”How about if we put these on you?”

It’s actually pretty amazing how prevalent cram schools are in Japan. Just about every suburban neighborhood has at least one, and in many communities there are more cram schools than standard elementary, middle, or high schools.

The advantages to sending your kid to cram school are, ostensibly, unique teaching strategies and more attention from teachers due to smaller class sizes or, often, one-on-one lessons. Unfortunately, those aspects also allowed one cram school teacher to take advantage of one of his students in a shocking way.

On the afternoon of Sunday, November 17, 62-year-old Koji Ito, who’s also the manager of the Heisei Shingakkai cram school in Nara City’s Fujinokidai neighborhood, was teaching a one-on-one lesson to a female student (the girl’s age, due to a quirk of Japanese vocabulary, has been reported as “between 10 and 19”). At some point during the lesson, Ito said “How about if we put these on you?” and produced three dog collars. He put one around the girl’s neck and one on each of her ankles, connecting them each to a leash. He then went back to teaching the lesson, leaving her hands free so that she could take notes or complete practice problems.

The girl was not injured, and it’s unclear whether Ito used physical force or psychological intimidation to pressure the girl into wearing the collars. Once he had her on the leashes, he forbade her from leaving the classroom, where she remained from roughly 1 to 4:20 p.m. before being released from the restraining devices and allowed to go home.

On November 20, the girl and her parents notified the police of what had taken place, and on Tuesday, Ito was arrested by officers from the Nara Prefectural Police’s Nishi Precinct. “All of those are things I did,” Ito replied to the accusations. “There is no mistake.”

Making the situation even more disturbing is that Shingakai provides instruction for students as young as elementary school, as well as those in middle and high school, meaning Ito had no shortage of naive, easily coerced targets, and so there may be other victims who haven’t come forward yet. The police are currently investigating Ito’s methods and motives, although in the case of the latter, it’s not going to take world-class detective work to determine that he gets his jollies in a very perverse way.

Sources: Livedoor News/Sankei News via Jin, FNN Prime via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/Schizek~commonswiki
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