Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ibuki Bunmei's Anachronistic Madness

Ibuki Bunmei (Kyoto District #1, 9 elections to the Diet, 75 years of age) is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. His appointment to the post just over a month ago, a reward for his having supported Abe Shinzo in the Liberal Democrat Party presidential contest, represents an insult to the people of Japan.

Because is it poor form to separate the act of speaking from the acts of thinking or feeling.

Ibuki gave ample evidence of the threat his mouth poses to common sense and common decency in lecture to a study group for LDP politicians in Gifu City on February 9. Given the national discussion over corporal punishment in light of the suicide of a star student at Osaka’s Sakuranomiya’s high school (Link) and the forced resignation of the women's national judo coach for having beaten, kicked and otherwise abused his charges (Link), the party's views of corporal punishment came up.

Ibuki decided he should add his voice to the national conversation. Here are verbatim translations of some of the statements Ibuki made:
"If we forbid corporal punishment, education becomes impossible."

In response to an attendee's comment that "in order to raise a human being, there are times when, from the time of childhood, beatings must be administered," Ibuki replied, "My thinking is close to yours."

When asked how corporal punishment could become a problem, Ibuki suggested, "Because there has not been a clear establishment of why corporal punishment has been included. There are too many persons who do not come to the conclusion that it has been included as the expression of the affection of one who wants [the children] to become admirable human beings or athletes. It has been said that corporal punishment is being condoned, and it is troublesome that teachers appear who have seemingly been transformed into sadists. In sum, it is the polishing of human beings."

I know what you are thinking, "Please, no more of this. This is insane."

We must press on, however:
"Nowadays, if you use even a little [corporal punishment] fathers and mothers come into the school, shouting. How much love do these parents have for their children, I wonder?"

That's right. If an adult at your child's school slaps your child -- or slaps your child 30 or 40 times -- and you go to the school in a rage, you possibly do not really love your child.

Q: What ministerial portfolio did Ibuki Bunmei hold the last time Abe Shinzo was prime minister?

Is this even a question? (Link)

Yes, nausea is the proper physical response.

That and the thought, "Ibuki-san, I have an idea. Let us test your theory of education and sporting excellence. I will stand next to you with a baseball bat. Every time you say something I find stupid, I club you with the bat. If I find your movements kind of awkward or slow, I club you with the bat.

Amaterasu how I love you. Let the polishing begin!"

Unfortunately, as the statement above by one of the attendees at Saturday's meeting indicates, the theory that corporal punishment has no value in education is off the radars of the political classes – save those among those damn Socialists and Communists and their sympathizers in the ranks of teachers and children's day care center specialists, of course.

As for the latter, when would these public servants have the time to learn how to mold children into persons of great worth, given that they waste their days trying to teach children to get along with others and take care of themselves -- oh and the official curriculum too?

Seriously, where do people like Ibuki Bunmei come from? The past, yes. Any reason why they cannot stay there?


The Asahi Shimbun

Chugoku Shimbun


Anonymous said...

not for publication but "corporeal" should be "corporal"

no quibbles with the content, though

Avery said...

I love it when people say "anachronistic", "outdated", etc. This is proof that something is too close to the truth to be called "wrong" outright.

SNOOT said...

Did you mean "corporal punishment"?

I'm sure you wrote a good post. But I couldn't concentrate on reading it because I was distracted by this bizarre malapropism.

Your friendly neighborhood SNOOT

MTC said...

Avery -

I use "anachronistic" in order to:

1) reflect the state of the debate in Japan, where coaches and trainers of the Olympic women's judo team have been criticized not for wrongdoing, but for being "behind the times" (jidai okure)



2) to avoid pretensions of EuroAmerican superiority, given that it was only comparatively recently that corporeal punishment and violence against women became heinous in the EuroAmerican culture zone.

Anonymous said...

Bunmei can mean civilization. Is the Ibuki version the standard now under Abe Shinzo?

MTC said...


Thank you. Change made.

kamo said...

Pretensions of EuroAmerican superiority be damned. This is all kinds of fucked up, regardless of culture or timing. I apologise for the language, but it is at least an accurate reflection of my feelings on the situation.

I thought I'd got this bullying/'motivation' guff all out of my system a couple of weeks back, but clearly not. What better way to raise the next generation than by reinforcing the notion that physical force is the best way to assert ones viewpoint? Jesus wept.

MTC said...

kamo -

I agree with your assessment: corporal punishment has always been wrong. Honesty demands that I acknowledge, however, that European and American societies turned their backs on corporal punishment only comparatively recently, within my lifetime.

It seems that corporal punishment was banned in Japan decades ago. However, the law has never been enforced. If anything good has come of these recent tragedies it is reactionaries like Ibuki and radicals like MEXT Minister Shimomura Hakubun being forced to justify their archaic and unscientific belief sytems.

kamo said...

MTC - Sorry, reading that back I should probably clarify that my ire isn't directed at you.

Corporal punishment of children is just flat out wrong; there's nothing relative about it and as such the recent history of other countries' decisions on that score is irrelevant. Invoking it is the worst kind of diversionary tactic and the fact you felt the need to pre-emptively deflect that accusation is a sad measure of the pathetically low level of 'discussion' surrounding this (and many other issues). "And if all your friends jumped over a cliff...?"

On which note I should (probably, sadly) clarify that it's not a tactic limited to Japan, but it is one limited to douches.

MTC said...

kamo -

I have seen no study showing corporal punishment of children to be an effective means of inculcating a lesson or promoting performance. Then again, submitting the practice to scientific testing would be an abomination.

doing anything