Child death Japan – Mia’s first memorial / 千葉県野田児童虐待死事件 – 心愛(みあ)さんの一周忌

Treat others as yourself 「にょこ」というソーシャルマインド

Child death Japan – Mia’s first memorial / 千葉県野田児童虐待死事件 – 心愛(みあ)さんの一周忌

Hello, thank you visiting our website.  My name is Akiko Otake, the founder of NYOCO.  

みなさま、こんにちは。私どものホームページにお越し頂き、ありがとうございます。にょこ 代表の大竹明子です。

Mia wrote: ‘My father hits me while I am asleep and awake. Teacher, please could you help me?’

One year ago from today, Mia Kurihara, a 10 year old girl lost her life — found dead in a freezing bathroom in her house in Chiba, Japan, with bruises all over her body, broken rib, empty stomach (she was not fed over a week), water in her lung (later we found she was ‘punished’ with cold water over 80 minutes, which were done by her own father.  Domestic and international media, including BBC News, The Japan Times, The Mainichi, The Asahishinbun to name a few, covered this incident broadly.


SOS sent from Mia to her class teacher at school. In the boxed area, the instruction says ‘what you write will be kept secret, and ‘you are asked to write honestly’

Beyond these heartbreaking facts, the most shocking piece came out shortly after the news release. There were so many opportunities to have save Mia’s life. She sent her SOS in writing by filling out the questionnaires to report abuse. This led to her protection by the social service, but she was sent back home, based on erroneous assessment ‘not critically serious’ (her father kept changing the family’s physical address). Furthermore, the city official made a fatal mistake to have given Mia’s SOS note to her father who threatened them by yelling. One can imagine how bad this could be. Her furious father abused her even harder, this time, until she dies in a slow, painful way.


She was only 10 years old. When I learned about her case for the first time, I wondered if one could die if one wishes so strongly in despair… For a ten year old child, her family and school is everything she got. She turned to relatives, school, social service, none of them were able to save save her life. Mia is now gone, but there are sill many others just like her. This makes us think what we could do to save them? In Japan, about 80 children are officially reported to die from parental abuse every year (the similar stats says 50 child death from abuse in the UK). What is behind this case is not just a serious of administrative error or wrong assessment. There are poverty issue, cheap female labour in workforce, never-sufficient social support.


Mia is gone now, but her death has impacted many individuals, organizations, national and local government.  Chiba prefecture has recently announced that they start new service to protect children and their mothers under  domestic violence. Her life could have been saved if her mother knew she could get away from the life with violence.


The following pictures come from a privately owned DV facility. These small apartment rooms are made available for mothers and children for protection, supported by donations.  Corporate sponsor, IKEA, in this case, provided entire interior coordinations. If every business owner could spare a tiny portion of its extra space, money or its inventory (such as furniture, food, clothing, etc), there is a change we could build social safety network to save the most vulnerable existence in our society.  



メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 * が付いている欄は必須項目です