Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Suicide Takes 600 Japanese a Week!

TOKYO — "Six people were found dead Sunday in two cases of suspected group suicide in Fukuoka and in Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, by inhaling carbon monoxide from burning charcoal in vehicles, police said.

In Fukuoka, the police found a 20-year-old female part-timer from Kitaamabe, Oita Prefecture, a 21-year-old male college student from Fukuoka's Nishi Ward, and another man believed to be in his 20s in the student's minivan on a forest road. In Sasayama, three men were also found dead in a minivan with three charcoal braziers." (Kyodo News)

With an English accent he spoke. Jet black hair and big black eyes. He was a handsome young man.If a young man can look distuinguished he did. Although, I always had a penchant for English accents.

Hide was an English teacher at the ECC English school in Machida, an area of southern Tokyo. Hispoliteness was in sharp contrast to Don the loud American from Seattle. Don was boarish where Hide wassoft spoken. Perhaps that was part of the problem. How was the meek Hide to deal with some of the aggressive, obnoxious "gaijin?"

We had beer a few times after work. Hide had an attractive girlfriend who lived in Osaka. He saw her as often as he could.

I liked him for his kindness, self-effacing manner and his sensitivity. I couldn't imagine him ever hurting anyone. It was interesting to hear a British accent coming from his Japanese face.

We went hiking one time with his students. Jeff another Canadian like myself, and Hide frolicked in the mountainstream in Tanzawa. We joked around with Hide's students. One time I met Hide's girlfriend--a nice lady.

Before Christmas break, on the last day of classes, it was announced that Hide would be the new Assistant Manager.Mr. Tanaka announced it in the staff room. I turned to congratulate Hide but he looked shocked rather than happy.I didn't think too much about it at the time.

After the Christmas holidays we returned to work and I asked one staff member, "Where's Hide?" She wasembarrassed and said,k "He doesn't want to come to work." Nobody seemed to know why. The next week I asked whenHide would come to work next and was informed, "Hide is dead."

Some people are too kind and sensitive for this world. I miss Hide. I wish he could have talked to someone--anyoneabout his problems. He had so much potential. He was such a great person. I would have listened to him and tried tohelp had I known.

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