Suicide Letter ed. verb Part 3 (pg 107-144)

Chapter 3 – Itou Jun [13 years old]

Suicide Letter:

Dear Family:

Please forgive me for my lack of filial piety in leaving you behind.

I was bullied at school by ___ kun, ____ kun, and ____ kun who stopped coming over to my house after dad got angry with them, as well as by ____ kun and ____ kun. Their attitudes toward me changed completely in one day, and everyone began to ignore me.
        During school clean-up, they made me take off my clothes in the bathroom, and they poured water over me. They made many prank calls to me too. Whenever I picked up the phone, they hung up right away.

        Also, there were many times when my money went missing. Whenever I took two 500 yen coins to school, there was almost always only one by the time I headed for home. This has continued for a while now, and they’ve taken at least 5,000 yen from me.
        There were lots of other things that happened, but I can’t put up with this anymore. I still have friends when I go to school, but it seems like they’re starting to get them to ignore me too, and I’m scared. I’m scared of living. They stole life itself from me.
        I’ve become sick and tired of living, so please let me die. Oh, and dad? Thank you very much for buying me that bicycle. Even though I was only able to ride it for a week, I really am grateful. Please give the bike to ___ chan.
        They’ve also been bullying D-kun, along with many others. It seems like guys like ____ still don’t know yet just how terrible of a thing they’re doing, so I’ll be the sacrifice.
        Please give the jackets and clothes of mine that are still wearable to ___ chan, ___ chan and ___ kun. Nothing will come out of holding onto my things, so please do that. As for the basketball board, please give that to ____ kun.
        Dear family members, thank you for everything up until now.

Heisei 7 (1995) October 23rd.

Kasuga Junior High, Grade 7, Division 5. Itou Jun.

[Note: The “____” indicated the actual names of those referred to]

[ The Day of the Suicide ]
=Wearing his birthday present=

“There is no other way. There is no other path to take.”

        He was tired of living. He gazed at the rope dangling in front of him. He wanted to live, but he had already reached his breaking point.
        “I can’t bear it any longer.”

        November, 27th 1999. Two o’clock in the morning. Itou Jun-kun, by his own hand, put an end to his short thirteen year life.

        The reason behind his suicide was bullying. He had put an end to his life after writing in the suicide letter left behind of how he was being bullied by six classmates from the school basketball club.

        On the day of the suicide, the end of the term exams were close by, and Jun-kun had been studying until late at night. At around 10:30 at night, his father asked him:
        “Do you want a late-night snack?”
        “Yeah.”
        He and his father ate some bread and milk from around 11 to 11:30pm. Afterwards, he watched some sports news, and took a bath. It seemed like a routine day like any other.

        However, by this time, he had already prepared himself to die.

        “I wonder if I’ll feel better if I jump from the top of that building?”
        Jun-kun muttered this as he gazed up at a five-story apartment complex on his walk home from school. The evening glow cast a shadow on the clean-cut features of his face. His friend T-kun, who had been with him at that time, wondered why he would say something like that.
        “What a weird joke.”
        T-kun had no idea that Jun-kun was being bullied, let alone planning to commit suicide. Afterwards, this reality would lead to a source of suffering for T-kun.

        (This is an excerpt from the family daily log that was to be submitted to the teacher that he had been logging into before his death)

November 22nd

I thought about committing suicide. I even wrote out my suicide letter, and I thought about where I could jump from. I hope I can find a good place soon; I want to die.

November 23rd

In the morning, I went cycling. It’s time to say goodbye to my new bike, because I’m about to die.

I’ve already picked out the apartment from where I’m going to jump. I want to jump from the rooftop already.

November 24th

It was a short life, and even though I still have a lingering attachment to this world, it’s all their fault.

School’s become boring, and I’ve decided to resent them from the other world.
Goodbye.

2:00 am on the day of the suicide. Jun-kun changed into his new jeans and sneakers. They were the clothes that his father had purchased for him as a birthday present the previous week at a Western-style clothing shop called “The America Shop.” Perhaps he wanted to have close to his being the present that was filled with his father’s love for him.
        When he stepped out into the hallway from his bedroom, it was not surprising that the doors of the rooms of his younger sister Yuka (NOTE: not her real name) and his father were closed. There was no doubt that on the other side of the doors, the two were fast asleep. Jun-kun had predicted that due to his death, his family would suffer. He was about to do something that would lead to much pain for his family.
        “Dad, Yuka–I’m sorry.”
        He opened the front door, and once he stepped out, his body was swept by a sudden biting-cold.
        “It’s so cold…”
        But not ten minutes afterwards, he no longer felt this chill.
        “I’m scared…”
        He had a lingering attachment to the life of his that was supposed to have continued. Although he wanted to live, he couldn’t any longer. Amidst the daily bullying, he had reached a point of exhaustion.

        “I’m sure if I die, they’ll realize just how much they ran people down into the ground, and how much they hurt them. Even if it was just all fun and games to them, for me, it was a living hell. They didn’t understand my pain at all. If I die, I’m sure they’ll never try to bully anyone ever again, and I’m sure they’ll finally realize just how much they made me suffer.”

        Jun-kun headed towards a parking lot ten or so metres away from his house. That was where his father had put up a basketball board for him. He had even set up a light stand so that his son could practice at night. Since his father and grandfather had reinforced the basketball board three days earlier so that it wouldn’t topple over due to the wind and rain, it was of a sturdiness that would easily be able to support the weight of one person. He took out a rope, and tied it to the pole supporting the basketball board. And then, he took his own life. It was a life cut much too short. The cold shower rained down on his body.

        The next morning, the newspaper deliveryman discovered Jun-kun, and thinking that the person who lived in the house next door was the one who had hung himself, informed the family next door. Those who lived there quickly realized it was Jun-kun, and let the Itou family know. Jun-kun’s father, who had yet to fully swallow the reality of the situation, took his son, who had long ceased breathing, into his arms, and rushed him to the nearest hospital. It was almost as if he refused to accept the fact that his son had died.

        Afterwards, his father notified the police. The coroner’s investigation was complete by six o’clock in the morning, and the body was returned. The police identified his death as there being clear evidence of a suicide complete with a suicide letter.
        “What could have possibly happened for him to have…”
        His father called Jun-kun’s teacher, and at 6:30 am, his teacher came to the Itou family house.
        “He wrote in his letter that he was being bullied! What in the world was happening?!”
        His father pressed for answers from the teacher. He was Jun-kun’s teacher — how could he not have realized what was happening? His father yelled at the teacher out of self-frustration that he had not caught on to his son’s change and because of the utter wretchedness he felt.
        “I do admit there were various things happening at school.”
        The teacher apologized; however, no matter what kind of words were uttered, there was no bringing Jun-kun back to life.

        From around the afternoon of the 27th, many members of the press surrounded the perimeters of the Itou house. The incident of a young boy of only thirteen committing suicide due to bullying was a shocking one, so it was not surprising that society would show interest in such a case. His father handled the more than twenty requests for an interview by going through them one by one divulging only the facts. At Jun-kun’s school, the students were let out of school after they were informed of Jun-kun’s death. The students were struggling to accept what had happened.
        “To think something like this would happen in this district…”
        The community could not hide their shock.

        On the wake held on the 28th, all the grade seven students attended. Among them were those students who were identified in the suicide letter as being the perpetrators of the bullying. To the remaining family members of the deceased, it was their wish not to have the perpetrators attend the wake, but the students were made to attend under the pretext of the educational standpoint. Such actions by the school would later lead to lingering ill feelings between the school and the remaining family members of the deceased.

        All those who heard of Jun-kun’s death listened to the news in disbelief. However, it was an undeniable fact. Jun-kun’s suicide was not due to an intrinsic reason, but rather an extrinsic reason called bullying. In order to bring this to light, his father made the decision to take action. The effects of this decision would eventually affect a large number of people.

[ A Life Cut Short ]
=Since that day, everything’s changed=

        164 centimetres tall. A slender and muscular body with clean-cut features. Although he was a top student, he was sociable and playful, and he was well-liked by those around him. Since he was mild-mannered, he was rarely ever angry, but he had a commanding presence among his peers. He wasn’t a “goody-two shoes” by any means though, and back when he was a child, there were times he went around the neighbourhood playing nicky nicky nine doors. There were even times he was scolded by his teacher for hiding the girls’ hats. But his actions were one that never went beyond mere mischief.
        Although he had a slightly nervous and perfectionist temperament, he experienced no troubles due to him exhibiting that side of him in his studies. He also had a competitive side that he only showed to his closest friends, and there were times he would refuse to stop playing a game until he had mastered it, but he was not one to rouse hostility from those around him.
        His favourite music artists were B’z and Hirose Kami. He loved playing with his Skyline GTR radio-controlled car. He was always reading NBA basketball magazines. His favourite food was potato chips. His favourite manga was “the Super Radical Gag Family.” He spoke proudly of his skills at drawing.

        He was a youth like any other.

        Once Jun-kun entered middle school, he joined the basketball club. There were many popular boys on the basketball team, and they were objects of admiration for the female students. Jun-kun was not only handsome, but stylish, and he was attentive to his personal appearance. He styled his hair with mousse in front of the mirror, and he put on some of his father’s Ralph Lauren cologne. For the most part, he wore shirts and pants that were from Ralph Lauren, and he chose his clothes after referring to fashion magazines.

        It was not surprising then that he was popular with the girls — that is, until the day the bullying began.

        What went so terribly wrong?

        Jun-kun was born on November 17th, 1983 in Joetsu city, Niigata. Joetsu is a city with a population of approximately one hundred thousand, and it is an idyllic place where one can see the mountains from wherever one stands in the city. It also faces the ocean, and in the winter, snow would pile to over fifty centimetres. There are numerous ski resorts, and it is known by those who live in the Eastern Region as a winter sports resort town. It is an area with a mix of agriculture and the newly rising residential neighbourhood. Jun-kun grew up in the Kasuga district in which people are constantly on the move.

        The house that Jun-kun had grown up in is one that has been there for many years, and it is located on a small farm land. His father was successful from apartments among other things on the land that he owned. Due to incompatibility, Jun-kun’s parents divorced when he was ten years old. The uninhibited father who did not pay attention to what other people thought, and the mother with the meticulous nature — they rarely saw eye to eye. Jun-kun, out of his own will, decided to go and live with his father. In addition, because they thought it better not to separate the siblings, it was decided that his young sister, who was three at that time, would also live with him. Jun-kun was a reliable older brother who looked after his younger sister and helped his grandmother. Even after his mother left the household, he didn’t sulk, and he grew up living on the straight and narrow.

        His father was a unique character, and although the way he approached raising Jun-kun was different from most parents, their relationship was a close one. They played video games on the Super Famicom system together, and once a week they would go to the hot springs. In addition, they also went vacationing together to many places. There were also times that he woke Jun-kun up at two o’clock in the night to go star-gazing. Their relationship was more that of friends than father and son.
        From Jun-kun’s father’s perspective, he viewed Jun-kun as: “A boy who handled things on his own, and who didn’t cause troubles.” Although there were times his spoke up with his opinions, he always approached it logically saying: “You’re this way, so you should do it this way,” so it didn’t come off as him being hostile. The only time Jun-kun’s father scolded him was when he made his sister cry.

        It may be that he took after his mother in personality that he was serious-minded, but out of the 180 students in his grade, he was ranked number five or six. However, his father was indifferent when it came to his grades. On the contrary, he was trying to get Jun-kun to stop studying.
        “Taking care of the fields and mountains is more important than studying. You should live as one with nature, and live as a human.”
        During the busy season for farmers, Jun-kun would go out into the fields to work two or three times a week and in the Spring, he would help gather the edible wild plants. In this way, he complied with his father’s wishes, although he did mumble from time to time about how he hated bugs.
        Jun-kun didn’t take after his outspoken father, but rather he had a meticulous and kind nature, and a sense of responsibility that made him want to take care of his problems on his own.
        Although he had a warm and earnest nature, he also had a tendency not to talk about himself unless asked. Even when it came to making friends, he wasn’t the type to go up to someone and start talking to him or her–rather, he had a way of opening up to those who came to him. He was a laid-back youth who was always smiles, so friends naturally came to gather around him.

        One of the reasons that drove Jun-kun into a corner was the pre-existing problems at the school.
        Kasuga Junior High, the school which he attended, experienced classroom violence in 1993, and after a verdict was reached that it lacked proper student guidance, they increased the instructing staff by one. The school prided itself on its advanced approach such as increasing the training sessions held for staff members, and providing guidance for those students who refused to come to school. However, by the time Jun-kun enrolled in this school, such activities as the parents being allowed to take a tour while class was in session were no longer being held.
        The school and the school board were confident that misconduct had decreased at the school, and the neighbouring junior high schools viewed Kasuga Junior High as being passionate when it came to student guidance. However, the fact-finding survey which was conducted immediately after the tragedy found that bullying in the form of ostracization had become an everyday affair, and it was revealed that there was an average of two truants per class.

        When it came to the attitudes of the students during class, it was revealed that when it was a female teacher conducting the class, the delinquents would do such things as slip out of class, cause noise, sing songs– in other words, the class was in a constant state of chaos. Things such as skipping and leaving class early was regarded as perfectly normal.

        There was a even time when a student council meeting was held in Jun-kun’s class regarding the students who acted in such a manner during class. The topic for discussion was the appropriate punishment for those students who disturbed the class. Of the three-step approach proposed, Jun-kun raised his hand in favour of the one with the harshest punishment. In the class, there was only one boy, and a handful of girls who raised their hands in favour of this option.
        This story gives an indication of his strong will. From the perpetrators of the bullying, this could have been viewed as being “impudent” or a “goody-two-shoes.” For Jun-kun, however, he viewed his studies as being only a part of his life, and all he wished was to be able to take classes in peace.

        His teacher was a thin man in his thirties. It was said that he was a timid character who was called by his first name by the students, and when ordered to go and buy juice by the students, would comply with the request. In Jun-kun’s fathers eyes, the teacher, although he seemed a nice enough of a person, lacked the leadership skills needed as a teacher. Two years after Jun-kun’s death, the teacher was transferred to another school.

        Had his teacher noticed what was happening?

        Before the summer break, Jun-kun’s father had received a phone call from the teacher.
        “Have you noticed any change in your child lately?”
        It may just be that the teacher had sensed a change in the class. However, it was also revealed that he had been calling the parents of all the students in the class to ask this…

        Among the students, there were those who were caught for shoplifting and who were arrested for causing injury upon another. One student, after being slapped in the face by a teacher, punched him in return, and the teacher was the one who broke down in tears. At any rate, the environment at the school was a chaotic one.

        The bullying Jun-kun experienced began in July. Around this time, members of the basketball team had been coming over to Jun-kun’s house from time to time to hang out after club practice. The practice usually ended at around 6:30 in the evening and afterwards, they would go over to Jun-kun’s house to chat or play basketball at the basketball court in the driveway of Jun-kun’s house until around 8 o’clock.
        One day, six members of the basketball team teased Jun-kun’s sister until she began to cry. Understandably, Jun-kun’s father was upset and yelled at them:
        “You’re old enough to know better! What are you doing making a young girl cry?”

        And it was apparently the very next day that the bullying began. It might just be that they were bitter of being yelled at by Jun-kun’s father, or perhaps it was annoyance at Jun-kun for having such a kind father. The six were all in grade seven. They had the cruelty of children but bodies that were close to that of an adult’s. They didn’t know the limits.

        The bullying escalated by the day. In the beginning, it was ordering him to do this and that, but the situation quickly deteriorated to the point that they were pouring water over him in the bathroom, and making him take his clothes off. The humiliation Jun-kun, who had a lot of pride, experienced was the equivalent of denying his integrity as a human being. There were also times they beat him, and they stole money from him.

        Among the six members of the basketball team that were bullying him, four were in the same class as him. The six who were doing the bullying had two other targets other than Jun-kun, but by the time that he had begun to be bullied, one of the students had already stopped attending school. This led to the bullying concentrating further on Jun-kun.

        A classmate of his commented: “I was told by the group that was bullying Jun-kun that I should ignore him, but I didn’t listen to them. It was a situation though in which it was difficult to report what was happening to the teacher even when I had seen him being bullied. I was scared too…”

        Another classmate, after having seen Jun-kun being bullied to the point of tears, reported what he had seen to the head teacher.
        “Jun-kun was being bullied, and he was crying.”
        “…You don’t need to say anything more. Just leave them be.”
        The classmate was stunned at the response that came back to him.

        Although the attitude of this teacher became an issue after Jun-kun’s suicide, in the beginning, he attempted to talk his way out by insisting that he had heard nothing of that nature. When he realized that no one was convinced, he changed his story to say:
        “Two students were having troubles. One of those students, I took proper action. The other student– I didn’t know the identity of that student. I didn‘t know it was Jun-kun.”
        The student who went to report what he had seen though, persisted that he had only ever reported about Jun-kun alone to the teacher. However, it came to no definite conclusion.

        In a survey regarding bullying that was held in class, Jun-kun had written:
        “I’m being ignored.”
        In his family daily log, he mentioned numerous times: “I’m tired.”
        Jun-kun’s grandmother, who was watching Jun-kun’s clothes, explained how she had noticed how dirty and ripped his clothes were.
        “Is he okay? Maybe he’s being bullied?”
        His father only laughed it off saying that because he was a boy, those kind of things happened.

        There were signs of the bullying.

        Before he had realized it, Jun-kun could only think of living as being one of pain. However, he didn’t attempt to seek help from anyone.

        “It’s not like anything would change even if I told somebody.”

        Even if he told his friends, they wouldn’t be able to help him. What could they do? They couldn’t do anything. It would only cause them to worry. And perhaps, they might hold the “bullied him” in contempt. They might even ridicule him. He couldn’t say anything to them because he wanted to continue their friendship as it was.
        He couldn’t open up about this to his father either. If he told his father, he would probably file a complaint to his teacher. If he did that, it might cause the bullying to become even worse because he had “ratted on them,” and he’d have to suffer even more. Not only that, he didn’t want to cause worry to his father.

        “I still have friends when I go to school, but it seems like they’re starting to get them to ignore me too, and I’m scared. I’m scared of living. They stole life itself from me.”

        This was how he was driven to suicide.

[ The Day of the Interview ]
= If only I had spent more time with him =

        After meeting at the Tokyo Station, we headed first to Echigoyuzawa via the Joetsu bullet train. Because it was the winter season, the place was swarming with skiiers. In contrast to those people who were heading off to their leisure activities in a good mood, we were off to conduct an interview with the remaining family members of a deceased person. We must have looked out of place as we waited for the connecting train to arrive with nervous expressions on our faces.
        We switched to an express train to take us from Echigoyuzawa to Naoetsu. And there, we once again changed trains, and we finally arrived at Kasugayama. Although it had not been snowing as we had been worried about, the clouds that hung low in the sky gave off an intimidating aura.
        Before we headed to the house of Jun-kun’s father, we decided to place a phone call to him to inform him that we were on our way. When we told him of this, he insisted that he would drive to the station by car to pick us up. Similar to when we conducted the interview regarding Itou Daisuke-kun, the family member of the deceased came to meet us.
        Was it that we came across as helpless? Or did we give them the impression that would make them worry about us more than usual? We were a group of amateurs who had yet to understand the first thing about conducting an interview, and due to our nervousness, we could do nothing but to accept his kind offer.
        Afterwards, for this Niigata interview, we went together to eat seafood, and to see the sea of Japan. We formed a strange relationship with him that was hard to imagine between the interviewers and the remaining family member of the deceased. We weren’t sure if this was a good or bad thing. However, because of this, little by little, we were able to overcome the excessive nervousness we felt.
        His house was located in a residential area that was about ten minutes by car from the Kasugayama Station. “We’re here. This is it.” As he said this, he pointed towards the house, of which the roof stood out above the rest of the surrounding houses. We got out of the car, and as we drew near the house, we noticed a brand new mountain bike leaning against the entrance hall of the house. When we asked him about this, he explained it was something that had belonged to Jun-kun. The various mementos of Jun-kun around the house indicated that he had once lived here.

        The interview was held in the drawing room where there was the family Buddhist altar. It was as if we were being watched by Jun-kun, and we felt a feeling of tension and determination. The father’s gentle expression changed, and he shared with us his feelings falteringly as if it was something that had happened just yesterday.
        He expressed to us that he never suspected that his son was suffering to the point that he was considering suicide. He thought living was a natural order of things. To exaggerate slightly, he thought children were beings that could grow on their own as long as food and clothing were provided to them.
        “I thought children were beings that grew up freely. I thought living was something like breathing — a natural process that one didn’t have to pay particular attention to. I thought it was a given. If there was anything I was especially concerned about, it was that he was putting too much focus on his studies. If only I had spent more time with him, perhaps he would’ve opened up to me about the bullying. If he had, he might not have chosen the path of suicide. I think I was too overly confident of my children. So in that regards, our household may have been one in which the environment was close to death.”
        As he said this, Jun-kun’s father smiled bitterly. However, we wondered if such a father should be criticized? On the contrary, it was more normal for parents not to think of such things unless there were pressing circumstances that drew it to attention. Along with the anger he felt towards the school that did not take proper action and the perpetrators of the bullying, he felt extreme anger towards his own obliviousness.

        After we had talked for some time, the father allowed us to go and see Jun-kun’s room. His room was located on the second floor on the left side. As we opened the door and went inside the room, there was a study desk directly facing the door. And on the curtain rail hung his school uniform. The bookshelf and the contents of the drawers were left untouched from when he was still alive. The only thing that had changed was that the owner of this room, Jun-kun, was no longer there. It would not have been a surprise if Jun-kun had suddenly come bounding into the room from behind saying “I’m home.”

        Although it started due to a petty matter, the bullying quickly escalated. It was probably the case that the youths who were the perpetrators of the bullying were doing it just for the fun of it— an extension of their play. They mistakingly thought that they had become special beings after indulging in a sense of superiority they felt in controlling someone by force. It may have been the case that they themselves were not even capable of putting a stop to their actions. Of course, that does not mean that what they did was something that is forgivable. We sincerely hoped that the perpetrators realized the errors of their ways, and fully realized the role they played in driving Jun-kun to his death.
        At the same time, it was unfortunate that neither the school nor the family could put a stop to the tragedy, because Jun-kun had shown signs of his suffering.
        He wanted someone to realize. He didn’t want to die. However, his sincere hopes did not reach anyone.
        The bullying stole Jun-kun from his family and friends. They could not react with anything other than stunned shock at the unexpected tragedy. However, it was undeniable that the reality of the situation was, they would never again be able to see Jun-kun. The child’s room without its owner. The school life without a friend. What was left after the death of the youth who died much too soon, was a gaping hole of pain that can never be filled.

[ Thereafter ]
= My daughter’s dream is to become a lawyer =

        On a day blessed with warm weather that was unlike the cold sky from the day before in November of 2003, we once again met with Jun-kun’s father. It had been four years since the interview, and eight years had passed since Jun-kun’s death.
        The other day, the father had attended the second trial that was brought against the city of Joetsu. This was because he wanted acknowledgement of the fact that Jun-kun’s class had been experiencing problems, and recognition of responsibility for Jun-kun’s suicide. When he had decided to sue the municipality and go to court, he was met with malicious slander that accused him of “only doing it for the money” and of “wanting to shove all the responsibility onto the city.” However, he explained to us: “I am also at fault. But the school should also be held responsible. All I wanted was for that to be acknowledged.”
        “It’s the reality of the situation that my son is no longer on this earth, so we shouldn’t try to run away from that fact. That’s why half of the responsibility for his death rests on me. That’s what I planned to say during the reading of my personal statement, but my lawyer stopped me at first saying it would put us in an unfavourable position. However, in the end, the lawyer relented, and allowed me to incorporate it into my personal statement.”
        Although we can’t say for sure whether that statement was what influenced the decision, but the first trial ended in defeat. The appeal ended in settlement out of court.
        “In all honesty, I wanted to keep on going until an official verdict was reached, but the municipality made a concession in our favour, and there were the words that I had wanted to hear from them within that concession.”
        When we asked about his thoughts regarding the trial, he smiled as he said this.
        Itou-san’s family moved after our first interview. If they had stayed in Joetsu, Jun-kun’s younger sister would have had to attend the same school Jun-kun had been attending — Kasuga Junior High. However, he could not have his daughter attend the school which he was filing a lawsuit against. This is why he decided that it would be best to move shortly before his daughter advanced to junior high.
        A new life with his daughter living in an unfamiliar place. He explained to us that after the trial, he tried to put as much distance between himself and the issues of bullying and suicide. This action came about due to his sincere wish that his daughter could recapture a peaceful life.
        After Jun-kun’s death, the Itou family life changed drastically — the reporters that intruded into their house day after day, and even after that had settled, the father had put all his energy towards the trial. There was not one day during which he could rest. If it had been only himself that was involved, he may have been able to bear it. However, he didn’t want his daughter, who was still so young, to have to endure something like that.
        “At our house, we rarely ever talk about my son anymore. I don’t think the neighbours are even aware of what had happened. It’s not that we’ve forgotten — whenever November rolls around and the anniversary of his death draws near, I can’t help but think back to him.”
        Because it was not possible for us to ask his daughter directly of her thoughts regarding her older brother’s death, we can not say for sure what she felt. It seems the case though, that she was influenced by it a great deal. We say this because his daughter’s goal for the future is to become a lawyer. In the process of talking with the lawyers that visited the house frequently as her father prepared for the trial, she must have perhaps begun to feel that she herself wanted to become a lawyer one day. Her father told us that currently, she was studying hard towards her dream.
        “I don’t know for sure if she can become one, but I am very happy that she has a clear-cut goal for the future now. If I had to find one good influence on my daughter that came about due to Jun-kun’s death, it was that she was able to hold a dream.”
        If his daughter’s dream becomes a reality, there is no mistaking that she will become an excellent lawyer.
        In this way, the remaining family members of the deceased in various ways accepted the death of a beloved, and struggled to overcome the tragedy. Undeniably, their strength and dedication touched us.

TO BE CONTINUED…
[UP NEXT: pg 145-188]

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2 Responses to Suicide Letter ed. verb Part 3 (pg 107-144)

  1. bLeuZ says:

    What happen to T-kun?
    “T-kun had no idea that Jun-kun was being bullied, let alone planning to commit suicide. Afterwards, this reality would lead to a source of suffering for T-kun.”

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