Teaching methods included violent outbursts and telling students to die.

Back in my student days, I spent a year studying in Tokyo at Waseda University. Participating in the program honestly changed my life, and to this day I’m grateful to the school’s teachers and administrative staff.

However, a number of more recent students had a much less enjoyable time at Waseda due to the conduct of one professor in the school’s International Research and Education department. During the 2018 and 2019 academic years, the professor, a part-time instructor in his 60s who taught in the department’s School of International Liberal Studies, was found to have engaged in a continuing pattern of abusive and threatening conduct towards his pupils.

Among the professor’s verbal attacks was telling students “You were raised poorly,” which is in odd contrast to his penchant for kicking students’ bags and other belongings when he got upset. He would also tell students he was displeased with “You should quit school right away,” but such poor manners are small potatoes compared to the occasions in which he would simply command students “Die!” And while such a threat might not ordinarily be so intimidating coming from a senior citizen, the professor also had a habit of whipping out a pocket knife and brandishing it during lessons when he was instructing students on proper pronunciation.

Waseda University, citing a desire to protect students’ privacy, has not publicly stated how many students were victims of the abusive behavior, nor has it specified whether the students were Japanese nationals or foreigners (the International Research and Education department offers classes to both domestic and international students). The university has, however, announced that as of May 29, the teacher has been dismissed, with the official statement citing the reason for his termination as “academic harassment via inappropriate statements which caused mental anguish to multiple students and negatively impacted the learning environment.” In addition, the school has pledged to conduct university-wide harassment-prevention training programs and awareness activities in order to prevent such an incident from occurring again.

Source: Kyodo via Livedoor News via Jin, Waseda University
Top image: Pakutaso
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