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|TOKYO Air Jordan 31 Australia , Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Kazuhiro Kiyohara is a household name in Japan with his many accomplishments as a former professional baseball player continuing to inspire a young generation of pro baseball wannabes, as Kiyohara has been an example of how hard work and dedication as a youth can make dreams come true.
So it stands to reason that his arrest earlier this week and him testing positive for illegal stimulant drug use Friday has sent shock waves through the baseball and wider community here, with many concerned that the scandal could have a wide-reaching impact on youngsters here.
Kiyohara is no stranger to controversy, and over the past few years has been accused and implicated in scandals involving drug use, but has always denied the allegations. The accusations peaked after he was hospitalized in the spring of 2014, but he maintained he was receiving treatment for diabetes and fobbed off other accusations, saying he was receiving medicine to treat flu.
And while the iconic former star may have adopted something of a "bad boy" image during his days as a player spanning 23 seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league, he has always stood as an example and Air Jordan Spizike Australia , hence a role model, for youngsters of how, if they too can shine as a player in national high school tournaments, maybe they too could be drafted into a team like the Seibu Lions as Kiyohara was in 1985.
"It's not just about baseball or (Kazuhiro) Kiyohara particularly, it's about the responsibility that comes with being successful or famous and being in the public eye. Yes, Kiyohara officially retired in 2008, but he has appeared on TV in variety shows and in magazines and remains an iconic character in the hearts and minds of the nation," anthropologist and sessional lecturer Air Jordan Son Of Mars Australia , Keiko Gono, told Xinhua.
"And with baseball being the country's national sport, a lot of youngsters look to the successes of former stars with the belief that they can do the same, and this is, naturally, encouraged by parents, teachers and coaches.
"'If you want to be the next Ichiro Suzuki, Yu Darvish or Masahiro Tanaka (all of whom have payed overseas in the U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) Air Jordan 9 Australia , you need to practice more, train harder, believe in yourself,' they'll say."
Gono went on to explain that despite the image of the "salaryman culture" here in Japan, children having lofty dreams is something that's really encouraged in homes and at schools and a lot of time from elementary school through to university is dedicated to sports, with some young enthusiasts, in fact, spending more time on sports fields than they do in classrooms.
"So for someone with the celebrity gravitas of Kiyohara to be embroiled in a drug scandal is of real concern Air Jordan 8 Australia , more so of late because a number of celebrities have been embroiled in drug-related scandals recently, including former girl-next-door pop star Noriko Sakai, and Shigeaki Miyazaki better know as ASKA from pop band CHAGE and ASKA."
"Until recently such scandals were rarely in the press, but one of the main problems, aside from the growing use of drugs for recreational use here, is that scandals involving celebrities always pique the interest of youngsters -- just look at Twitter or 2channel and the number of clearly young (school-aged) users that weigh-in on debates or post comments," Gono said.
The increasing use of social networking sites and particularly messaging applications like LINE, which are constantly expanding to offer products and services Air Jordan 7 Australia , list jobs, host blogs by celebrities and allow users to connect by simply shaking their smartphones together, are allowing for nefarious information to be transmitted to, from, and between youngsters, which can be hard for parents of children, guardians, schools and even the police to monitor.
The way youngsters communicate nowadays and the scope of information that's available online is Air Jordan 6 Australia , at times scary, mother of two Gono explained, adding that she herself has used such applications for research to highlight the potential for underage girls to be "groomed" and exploited by older users and illicit organizations.
"A combination of scandals involving high-flying celebrities like Kiyohara, the assumed anonymity provided by online applications but lack of censorship and age-verification methods, as with the wider internet, and a growing tendency for youngsters to interact more online than they do with their peers offline, I believe, is leading to social and moral boundaries becoming rapidly blurred Air Jordan 5 Australia , 'shock levels becoming far lower, and, a general 'couldn't-care-less' attitude," Gono maintained.
She added that following the Kiyohara scandal she had seen comments by junior high school-aged users online ranging from utter disgust with statements like: "He (Kiyohara) is an utter disgrace to the sport (of baseball) and "I hate him," to: "Who cares if he does drugs? Life's boring so maybe he just wants to have some fun?"
The latter statement, Gono said, would have been unimaginable from someone so young ten or fifteen years ago, but just goes to show how Japan is undergoing something of a shift in principals Air Jordan 4 Australia , ethics and moral behavior, as physical communities are being replaced with digital ones.
Factoring into this dynamic is the legal system's struggle to eradicate sales of synthetic stimulant drugs, which can easily be found online and at "head shops" that can be found in popular hotspots for youngsters, like the bustling Shibuya district.
"All you need is cash or a (someone's) credit card and you can buy the equivalent of liquid cocaine or MDMA (a psychoactive drug popularly known as ecstasy or Molly) with the vendors pushing the fact that their 'performance enhancing' or 'awakening' tonics and pills, and synthesized marijuana sometimes known colloquially as 'Spice,' are all legal."
"As soon as the government bans a particular chemical, component or
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