Has Japanese Schooling Become Too Rigorous?





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Published on Dec 18, 2007

The Lost Generation (2004): Japan's rigorous academic system is being blamed for creating a generation of aggressive, damaged individuals.

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A few years ago, Koichi Yamamoto was a happy, healthy, straight A student. Now he's unrecognisable. He attacked his family, driving them out of their home before withdrawing from society altogether. And there are approximately one million other 'hermit children' like him. In a country where students regularly study from 8.30 am to 11 pm, more and more children are collapsing under the pressure. "I think we're going to be in serious trouble in 20 years time," states one social worker. The number of youths committing violent crimes has doubled and thousands commit suicide every year. "We are not facing a youth crisis so much as a crisis of Japanese culture itself," states social worker Ogi. "We no longer know how to bring up children."

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