Haruna Sumiyoshi (pseudonym), who had been an Internet cafe refugee since the age of 15, gave birth to a baby in the bathroom of her store at the age of 23 and left it there. At the age of 23, she gave birth to a baby in the bathroom of a shop and left it there. She spent a year and a half in a women’s prison for abandoning and killing the baby (see Part 1 for details).
After leaving the women’s prison, she went to live with her parents in Kanagawa Prefecture. Her mother, who lived at home, was a retired SM club queen and worked as a cook in the kitchen of a nightclub. Her father-in-law, who lived with her, had the same job at a different restaurant.
When Haruna returned to her parents’ house, she felt bad about the incident and wanted to live a quiet life, keeping her breath down. However, her father-in-law was still drinking every night and committing domestic violence, just as he had done when she ran away from home at the age of 15. In an attempt to escape her home environment, Haruna moved into the apartment of an 18-year-old construction worker who had picked her up.
At this time, Haruna was working part-time at a convenience store and then as a hall staff at a karaoke bar in Yokohama City.
She had been immersed in the night world ever since she was 15 years old, so conversely, she was afraid of working in the daytime world and thought that people would not accept her as an ex-convict. However, I did not have the communication skills to work as a hostess. So I chose this job.
My work at the karaoke bar kept me busy, and I even made some colleagues that I would go out drinking with. However, compared to my life so far, there was something lacking. So, without telling her boyfriend, she started going to a happening bar she used to go to.
She probably has some kind of attachment disorder due to the fact that she was never loved by her parents. She can only cover up her unfathomable loneliness with momentary sexual acts.
Johnny’s for emotional support
“Hap bars are a place of my youth. The sex itself is not at all pleasurable, but it was the only place that accepted and needed me as a refugee from an Internet cafe after I ran away from home when I was 15. The staff and regulars would say, “Welcome home. It’s a place where I can feel connected to society.
Haruna lived with her boyfriend for three or four years, but never once did they talk about marriage.
Haruna’s name was still on the Internet along with the news of the incident, so there was a good chance that her boyfriend would know about it, and if she were to get married, her relatives would find out about her past and oppose her fiercely. Haruna herself didn’t think she could pour her heart and soul into housework and childcare, as she only felt alive in a happening bar.
Nevertheless, living with her boyfriend and continuing to work legally, she had more and more contact with the outside world.
One of the most frequent was the contact she had with fans she met at her favorite Johnny’s concerts. This was something completely different from the relationships she had built through prostitution and happening bars.
“I know it sounds strange, but for me, Johnny’s has been my emotional support since I was young. Even when I ran away from home and was a prostitute, my only hobby was to buy pictures of Johnny’s. I love the Kinki Kids and KAT-TUN, and seeing their faces makes me feel relaxed.
I also had a dream that if I worked hard and earned enough money, I could go to concerts. That’s why I spent most of the money I made selling my body to the Johnny’s, and I did the same after I started working at a karaoke bar.
You know, girls who run away from home or are cheerleaders say they are lonely and do methamphetamines or drugs. But I never touched any of them. I think it was probably because of the janitors.
The reason why runaway girls turn to illegal drugs is because they want to feel happiness, even if only for a moment, in the depths of loneliness. For Haruna, it was Johnny’s. And as her contact with the public world increased, her activities related to Johnny’s must have expanded.
I want to get away from my father-in-law as soon as possible.
However, 20 years later, the Covid-19 disaster struck her.
In March of that year, Haruna quit her job at a karaoke bar and was invited to work as a black-clerk at an upscale club. The pay was better there. However, just as the first emergency was declared, the offer was dropped and she lost her job.
Since she had broken up with her boyfriend not long before this, Haruna moved in with her parents. However, she had always wanted to get away from her father-in-law, who was a domestic violence offender, as soon as possible.
After the state of emergency was declared, she started working at an auto-related factory as a temporary worker. The main reason why she chose to work at the factory was because it had a dormitory and she could be away from her parents’ house.
Soon after she started working at the factory, she was approached by one of the male employees and they began a physical relationship. She was stressed out from her day job, which she was not accustomed to, and she was missing human touch.
Her boyfriend was 35 years old, one year younger than Haruna, and lived at home, but there was no talk of marriage or cohabitation. He probably knew about the past incidents she had caused by searching the Internet. He probably knew about her past incidents through internet searches, and she didn’t dare to go deeper into the relationship, only continuing to have a physical relationship with him.
In the spring of 2009, Haruna found out that she was pregnant. But even then, she didn’t discuss it with anyone, including her boyfriend. Why on earth would she do that?
Haruna says, “I didn’t tell my boyfriend.
Haruna says, “I didn’t tell my boyfriend because I was afraid he would get upset if I told him. If I told him I was pregnant, he might not like it and run away. I don’t get along with many people, so I was afraid that the people I got to know would hate me. That’s why I thought I would never tell anyone.
I couldn’t even tell my mother at home. I’ve been in juvenile detention, had incidents, been in jail, etc., and I’ve caused my mother a lot of trouble. If I told her that I got pregnant with a child that I couldn’t raise here, she would get angry. That’s why I was afraid to tell her.
This is probably due in no small part to the attachment issues she has. She is extremely afraid of being disliked, no matter who she is talking to, and even when something happens to her, she stops thinking about it as if she were frozen.
In the meantime, the baby in Haruna’s belly was getting bigger and bigger. She never went to the hospital, and was on the verge of her last month.
“When my belly got bigger, I remembered the incident. I don’t have money and I’m not the kind of person who can raise a child, but I didn’t want her to die like that. I still feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for them. That’s why I wanted to let the next one live.
“I think I’ll neglect him.”
She happened to find Baby Poketto, a non-profit organization that supports special adoptions, when she was searching the Internet. She had already been ordered to move out of the company dormitory, and her savings had almost run out.
Haruna sent a message to the contact information on the website and Baby Poketto responded quickly. The response from Baby Poketto was swift: a staff member immediately came and arranged for the baby’s living arrangements, and arranged for the baby to be placed for special adoption with a couple living in western Japan.
She said, “This baby will be the first.
“When I saw her face, I thought she was so cute. When I saw his face, I thought he was cute, and when I put him up for special adoption, I thought I would miss him.
But I don’t have the ability to make a living, and if I kept her with me, I’m sure I’d end up neglecting her like my mother. So it’s better to have someone who can raise me.”
It was probably because of the abandonment and death incident when she was 23 years old that she decided to save the baby’s life this time.
From a common sense standpoint, Haruna has a lot to blame for this incident. But at the same time, she has to consider the responsibility of her boyfriend for getting Haruna pregnant.
According to Haruna, her boyfriend still doesn’t know about the pregnancy and the birth. But how is that possible?
It’s impossible for a thirty-five-year-old company employee to not notice anything unusual. It was impossible for a thirty-five-year-old company employee not to notice anything unusual. He might be taking advantage of Haruna’s silence, pretending not to know, and hoping to get away with it.
When I thought about it, I realized that Haruna had done the best she could, despite her shortcomings. However, she had to ask herself what about her lover who got her pregnant.
What does Takuko Okada, the representative of Baby Poketto who accepted Haruna, think? Okada says the following.
“All the children who come to our organization are like this. They don’t have the strength to live or to think properly. So they come to us when their bellies get too big and they can’t do anything about it.
But when a woman gets pregnant, it’s half the man’s responsibility. Many of the women who come to us don’t know or can’t contact the man who is the father. The father has run away and only the mother is suffering.
The number of children who have lost their homes and jobs due to the Covid-19 disaster and the number of junior and senior high school students is increasing, but the underlying problem has not changed at all. We’re working to save at least the children.
It is easy to criticize Haruna for being shallow. However, Haruna has lived through a difficult life that only she can understand, and after the sad incident, she decided to make the best choice for herself by adopting a special child. From now on, she has a contraceptive ring in her heart.
The problem of giving birth to a child that cannot be raised is not a problem that can be solved by putting it on women alone. We need to shed light on the responsibility of men as well.
Interview, writing, photography： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. He is active in reporting and writing about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "The House of 'Demons': Parents Who Kill Their Own Children," "Forty-three Killing Intentions: The Depths of the Kawasaki Jr. 1 Boys' Murder Case," "Rental Child," "Kinship Murder," and "Social Map of Disparity and Division.