Sunday, September 4, 2011

Goto's statement to Tokyo District Court - Part 5

Mr. Toru Goto carried out 21-day hunger strike in Apr 2004 and in May 2005, followed by 30-day hunger strike in Apr 2006.  He was almost starved to death after the 3rd hunger strike due to food sanction by his captors.

Original documents in Japanese are uploaded in the blog operated by the Association to Support Toru Goto's Court Case. The Association consists of 5 members from various background, mixture of current UC members(2) and non UC members(3). This article was translated by this blog's author from the Japanese texts in

Index of the Toru Goto's statement submitted to Tokyo District Court
  1.   Personal History
  2.  Joining Unification Church (1986)
  3.  First Confinement (Oct 1987 - Nov 1987)
  4.  After Escape from First Confinement
  5.  Second Confinement
    (1) Confinement in Niigata (Sep 1995)
    (2) Transferred to First Apartment in Tokyo (1997)
    (3) Transferred to Second Apartment in Tokyo (Dec 1997)
    (4) Miyamura's
    Deprogramming Work
    (5) First Hunger Strike – 21
    Days (Apr 2004)
    (6) Second Hunger Strike – 21 days
    (May 2005)
    (7) Third Hunger Strike – 30 days
    (Apr 2006)
    (8) Release from Prison
  6. After Hospitalization
  7. At the End
    5.  Second Confinement
(5) First Hunger Strike – 21 Days (Apr 2004)
In April 2004, I was attacked by feelings of uncontrollable anxiety and fear that I may have to spend the rest of my life in confinement.  As my fierce resistance to attempt to escape failed in Feb. 2001, this time I was determined to carry out 21-day hunger strike to protest the protracted confinement.

At the hospital
after release

I protested to my family by saying, "8 years have already passed.  The babies born at that time are 8 years old now.  This is a human rights violation.  The 30s in age are most productive age in life.  I was robbed of the most important 30s in this confinement apartment, isolated from the society.  You are responsible for that.  How many times do you think you robbed me of the rights to vote?  If you don't recognize this as human rights violations, your way of thinking is completely wrong.  Why you don't understand this?  You don't understand common sense.  This is a torture."  My family condemned me and demanded me to leave the church by replying, "You are not listening to people.  Think well with your head."

My brother's wife got hysteric while she was accusing me.  She sat on the tatami floor just in front of me, and she slapped my face by her hand with all her might.  She got agitated and continued to accuse me, and she slapped my face again in the same way.  She slapped me up to 4 or 5 times like this.  As she used to swim and she was masculine, my upper body heavily swung every time I was hit.  I always had pains on my face.  One day she had a plaster on the root of her thumb of the right hand.   It seemed that she hurt her hand.  This kind of violence started in April 2004, when I started the hunger strike.  And the violence was repeated until Sep. 2004.

My brother's wife bullied me cruelly.  At one time, she screamed agitatedly and said to me, "You've got to wake up."  She pulled my collar and poured ice water into my back.  When I was eating a meal after the hunger strike, she put a light stand just in front of me and placed a piece of paper on it to tease me.  She taunted me by saying, "Eat while you see this."   On the piece of paper, my sitting meditation style was drawn, and underneath the drawing there was a caption,"A man who is pursuing truth.  My name is Toru."    Such violence and abuses under the un-escapable confinement were extremely unbearable.  Even when I felt her presence, I felt scared, my heart beat became faster and my body became rigid.  Also she shouted abusive languages by saying, "A corrupt man at heart has no human rights." and she justified the abuses.

I often spent time by lying down towards the end of the 21-day hunger strike as I became weak and felt faint.  Even a small body movement became difficult.  I couldn't use toilet by standing position as I almost collapsed in the toilet. 

After the 21-day hunger strike, I started to eat with thin rice gruel.  It took a month to go back to normal meal.  I felt dizzy and faint during the time.  I was like a starving man in famine at the worst time.  It took one year for my body to regain my normal weight.

(6) Second Hunger Strike – 21 days (May 2005)

  In April 2005, I demanded some materials to study Korean language.  When my brother's wife and my sister rejected it, a heated argument started.  I protested by making loud noise by kitchen metal bowls.  I held the bowls in my hands and beat them each other.  But my family members never accepted my request.  The incident triggered me to carry out 2nd 21-day hunger strike. 

After the 21-day hunger strike, they only served me meager meals.  They sanctioned and abused me by depriving me of food.  I asked my brother's sister, "Why does it take so long to resume normal meals?At the first hunger strike, normal meals were served after one month.  Are you starving me to death?  Is it a kind of sanction?  When do you resume serving normal meals?”  She said, “I don't know."  She acted as if she didn't know.  The food sanction lasted for 7 months.  I suffered from dizziness for a long time, and I couldn't move my muscles as I wanted.

Photo taken at the hospital
after the release
I got athlete foot in my thumb of right foot during the confinement at the Ogikubo Flower Home.   Medication was initially supplied for it when I demanded.  After 2006, even if I demanded, they stopped supplying the medication.  The big toenail was deformed and it took one year to be cured after my release.  Also everyone including myself got eyestrain, and we all had eye drops.  They stopped supplying eye drops around at the same time when athlete foot medication was stopped.  I had eyestrain very easily.

At the end of 2005 or at the beginning of 2006, the light of the desk lamp blew.  I requested to replace the light bulb, but they didn't do it.

(7) Third Hunger Strike – 30 days (Apr 2006)
In April 2006, I demanded a notebook.  My brother's sister and my sister rejected it, and we started fierce argument again.  I thought I would not be released until I would do longer hunger strike than before.  I was determined to carry out indefinite hunger strike for the 3rd time.

At around 2 weeks after starting the hunger strike, it became difficult even to stand up.  Even to read a book or to think in my mind became difficult.  I spent most of the times lying down lifelessly even during the day.  At around the time passing 21 days in the hunger strike, which I experienced twice in the past, I became debilitated more and more.  I sensed that my life would be in danger if I would continue the hunger strike.  I said to my family that I would end my fasting on 30th day.  However, my family became furious against my resisting attitude.  They didn't serve rice gruel for one day even after I declared to end the hunter strike. 

As I was in starvation state, I protested by saying, "Are you starving me to death?"  My family still didn't feed me by saying "What are you saying?  You started the fasting and how can you demand food now?  Are you stupid?  Continue until you die."  I thought, "I would be killed", and I was filled with tremendous fear.

As there was no other option, I had to prostrate myself and beg my family for food.  On the following day, my family started to serve me thin rice gruel 3 times a day in small bowl (7cm diameter and 5cm depth) and thinned sports drink (500cc) called Pocari Sweat twice a day.  When my sister was in bad mood, she delayed to sever the drink for twenty or thirty minutes.  Even if it was a delay for a short time, it was very hard to me.  I became under thumb of my family.

In the morning when thin rice gruel was served, I was sitting in the position where I couldn't see other people's meals.  My brother's sister banged on the table and said to me, "Sit here."  I was forced to move to a place where I could see everyone's meals.  As I feared that they would stop serving rice gruel and I would receive more abuses, I had to take the order in spite of autocratic demand.  Thus my brother's sister made me see their meals while I was in the starvation state, and she caused me psychological suffering.  I never forget this humiliation.

Such liquid diet lasted for 70 days, and solid food was not served during that time.  To take only the liquid food was equal to that I was not eating anything.  As a result, I was forced to continue the fasting for another 70 days after my 30-day hunger strike.  I became nothing but skin and bone, and I was on the verge of dying of starvation.  I was confronted with the fear of death, and my physical state was the severest at that time.    

While I shared a dinner table with my family for these 70 days, only one small bowl with thin rice gruel in it was served just in front of me in every meal.  If I picked it up and drank it, it finished within a few seconds.  If I took a sip little by little while I was watching my family eating their meals, it still didn't take more than 3 minutes.   

I developed a sense of danger around these days that I may die if this continued.  I quietly opened the refrigerator door without their noticing, and licked mayonnaise or seasoning.  But when I opened the door one day, all the seasonings were hidden and disappeared.

Triggered from the fear of death from starvation, I stealthily picked up skins of carrots or apples from food scraps, and ate them in hiding.  When I bit the tiny bit of the apple attached to the skin, the sweetness of the apple spread in my mouth, and tears started to flow with joy.  But after a short while, even food scraps were also hidden and disappeared.

I sometimes became delirious, and I started to hear beautiful music out of nowhere.  It didn't take long to find out that it was auditory hallucinations.  I thought, "Someone may be here to welcome me from the spirit world, and this is a really critical moment."  This time I targeted the prepared rice in a bowl with water before being cooked.  I stole some raw rice from the bowl, and bit them in hiding.

At the hospital after release
My family prepared the rice in the bowl with correct amount of water, therefore the amount of water became relatively more than the rice.  The cooked rice became more watery, and it continued every day.  My family said in a searching voice, "The rice is watery recently."  I tried to stay calm, but I was desperately praying to God in my mind, "God. Please help.  Please don't let it be discovered. "  I was extremely concerned about the further sanctions which may be imposed if this was discovered.

The watery rice continued every day.  My family said, "This rice cooker was broken." and bought a new one.  They miraculously didn't discover what I did.  I anyhow survived the starvation crisis.   It was really beyond my imagination that my family members did such things to me.

I read a newspaper column during the confinement.  The column was about the young men (20s) of IRA (Irish Republican Army) who died of starvation from 40-day or 70-day hunger strike in 1980s.  I didn't have enough food except for liquid food after 30-day hunger strike.  I took rice and ate them to survive.  I worried that I would face major challenges of my survival if the situation continued.  I begged my family to resume normal meal at the beginning of July 2006.
It looked like that my brother feared that he was charged with murder if I died in this situation.  My brother said to other members of the family, "Isn’t it the time to resume normal meal?"  My brother's wife unhappily replied in dismay, "Unbelievable!"  When I heard the conversation among family members, I found out that my brother's wife intended to continue the nefarious food sanction until I would abandon the faith.  I felt that my brother's wife had hysteric hatred toward me who kept on refusing to abandon the faith.  She disregarded my life.  I got chills down to my spine to know her cold-heartedness.

However, they served only thicker rice gruel at first.  Then they made it thicker and thicker.  It took 4 months to resume normal meal.  After the 4 months, they served a piece of bread and a glass of drink for breakfast.  A meager meal was served for lunch such as a bowl of rice, a bowl of miso soup, 4 pieces of dried seaweed, pickles, small fish etc.  For dinner a bowl of rice, a bowl of miso soup, pickles, small shrimps, natto (soy bean product) without much side dish were served.  These kinds of meals lasted until the end of my confinement, and I suffered terrible hardships physically and mentally. While my family was eating normal meals, I was at the same table to eat the meager meals from the small plate (10cm in diameter).  I desperately felt like to eat things from their plates.

My brother's wife said, "What an awesome meal you have!" by pointing at my plate.  After the meal, the family members were eating desert, fruits or snacks in the room near the front door.  I was still hungry after the meal, and I became very sensitive to smell.  It was an unbearable experience and I collected apple's skin from food scraps and ate them.

I couldn't go to sleep at night because of hunger.  Menus such as Curry, Pork cutlet on rice, Gyoza, Ramen, etc, which I wanted to eat but I couldn't eat came up in my mind at the bedtime.

Around in Sep. 2006 when Mr. Abe formed a government in Japan, my sister attempted to take some videotapes when she was cleaning the room.  When I tried to get them back, I got into a scuffle with my sister.  My sister damaged the videotape.  My brother's wife joined the scuffle, and she took a TV antenna from the room.  As my sister alone physically overpowered me, I didn't even have the energy to take the antenna back from my sister-in-law.  I even couldn't watch TV from that day, and it caused further mental suffering.  My sister started to treat me badly as the confinement in the room was protracted.  My brother's wife and my sister did not like me watching TV.

One day, my brother's sister took books away from my room.  I went to the room next to the front door to get the books back.  My sister-in-law said in a strong tone, "Don't come." And I was banned to enter into the room beyond the accordion curtain.  I feared that I would have further food sanction; I couldn't help but be compliant with the order.

I remember that after the 3rd hunger strike my family mentioned to me a few times that I could leave.  Even if I heard such words, I couldn't believe they were saying seriously because of the violence that my family did to me, or my experiences of abuses such as food sanction.  Rather, I could not help but understand that it was their intention to use their comments as excuses to avoid accusation of confinement in case of criminal charges for the future filed by me.

Some mechanic (to repair air-conditioner etc) visited the room a few times.  I couldn't ask them for help by the following reasons.

Firstly,  My brother always monitoring me near the mechanic.  While my brother was staring at me, it was impossible to ask for a help to the mechanic.

Secondly, A man came to the room to fix the air-conditioner in Summer in 2000, and I learned the man was an acquaintance of Miyamura from the conversation between the man and my brother.  I couldn't ask such person for a help.  Also as there were possibilities of other agents' connection to Miyamura or my family, I couldn't ask for a help to such other agents

Thirdly, I received mental and physical abuses in the closed confinement room from Miyamura, former UC members and family members since being transferred to the Flower Home #804.  Such abuses were already mentioned in my statement.  For example, the abuses include the defamation targeted at me by many, psychological suffering caused by their criticism, physical suffering by overpowering me when in the escape attempt, severe food sanction after the hunger strikes (twice of 21 days, and once of 30 days).  The fear of abuses was increasing from the past treatment of harsh abuses.  In fear of the failure to ask for a help to such mechanic/agents, I couldn't ask such agents for help.
Translated by Yoshi


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