My daughter Emilie is not a thing

On 10 December 2011 my wife Shijima Hirasawa (平澤しじま) got drunk and violent. She started beating me even while I was holding our daughter Emilie. Now because I was twice as heavy as my wife I wasn’t worried that she would hurt me, but she was completely out of control and I was worried that she could hurt our daughter or herself.

So I called her sister, Akitsu Tajiri (田尻秋津) and then called the police when talking to her sister didn’t work. This is the police report, in Japanese.

The police arrived and tried to calm down Shijima, who went back and forth between crying helplessly and throwing up. Akitsu finally arrived. We cleaned Shijima up and the mess she made, the police left.

Akitsu felt it was best to take Shijima with her. She also took Emilie because she said Shijima would panic if she didn’t find Emilie with her when she woke up the next morning. Akitsu is very charming and manipulative, and she easily seduces people to her point of view. So I agreed, one of the few things I regret about my actions.

Basically this event defines the relationship between my ex-wife and my daughter. Shijima was obsessed with getting pregnant. For her, Emilie is an achievement, a prize. She’s more like medecine and a comfort than she is like a baby. For Shijima, Emilie is her pet. Emilie is a thing. A precious thing perhaps, but a thing nonetheless.

My daughter Emilie is not a pet, she’s not a thing.

As the British novelist Terry Pratchett wrote, sin starts when you treat people like things. Sin can become many things, but that’s where it starts. Well, I’ve got news for my ex-wife: our daughter was not brought into this world to make her mother feel better. She’s not medecine for Shijima’s personal problems. As with anyone, the purpose of Emilie’s life is her own happiness.

Parental rights are not rights over our children as if they were our property. Parents have duties to see their children are educated and are given a chance to make their own happiness. Parental rights are rights on choosing how to discharge our duties as parents. Shijima Hirasawa has deprived her daughter of her father. She is unfit to be a mother. In Japan, unfortunately, she is not alone.

 

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