English teacher murdered

Ichihashi - prime suspectIn my post Misleading Media, I talked about how I don’t watch the news anymore, but there was one story late last month that got my attention. It was the tragic death of Lindsay Ann Hawker, a 22-year old British girl who was an English teacher at NOVA.

It was huge news in both Japan and the UK, and Japan Probe covered the story in the following posts:

During my first week back at school, the subject of Lindsay’s death was a hot topic. Some students apologized to me because I’m also British. That in itself was kind of strange. While I may be from the same country and work in the same profession, I certainly don’t feel as though I’m owed an apology.

Ichihashi, the man suspected of murdering Lindsay, was originally from Hashima in Gifu Prefecture, very close to my school. In fact, one of my students was in the same year at the same Junior High School as him. She has his photo in her school yearbook and remembers him as being very short-tempered. Apparently he comes from a family of doctors, which makes it all the more surprising as children brought up in such families usually receive the best education.

Coming to Japan at the same age as Lindsay did, I can sympathize with her supposed need to earn extra money on the side by teaching students privately. I remember feeling envious of foreign women who seemed to be able to get new students, usually businessmen, simply by being female. However, I also recall a female colleague telling me how much she hated the commute to and from work because she was constantly pestered by men, sometimes drunk, wanting to practice their English on her.

It seems to me that Japan is full of pent-up frustration. Just recently, my savings have been severely dented by all the taxes, bills, pension and insurance payments I’ve had to fork out for. I wonder how on earth young men in this country are expected to keep up with the demands of society, particularly those who never graduated from university.

I’ll stick my neck out and say that women in Japan want a man with money, someone who can provide for them while thay stay at home and take care of the family. Those men that can’t get a good job, will probably not find a wife either.

I’m in no way making excuses for the actions of Ichihashi, but in this country you either ‘make it’ or you don’t, and with the growing number of people who can’t get a good job, crime will inevitably increase.

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of such horrific crimes. If anything, things will only get worse.

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

One thought on “English teacher murdered

  1. You know the fact that he came from a family full of Doctor’s probably put an incredible amount of stress on the guy. Im certainly not making excuses for him as what he did(or his suspected of doing) was terrible. However, I think you’ve got a good point Nick when you say you either ‘make it or you don’t.’

Comments are closed.