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Suicide in Japan 2009/12/22 07:01
Im reading the novel Kokoro and I need to create an oral presentation. I was wondering how the Japanese view suicide, individualism, and solitude as opposed to the way Americans do. Is there any religious correlations to suicide? How do the Japanese differentiate solitude and individualism? Is there a negative connotation to the idea of solitude?
by Micheal Perry (guest)  

suicide etc. 2009/12/22 15:22
I can't talk about Japan, but Individualism and solitude are totally different concepts in the western culture for example.

One can be a strong individualist and be always surrounded by a crowd of people. Individualism is neither solitude nor loneliness and solitude is not loneliness either. . .

Some people that have committed suicide were lonely but other were very popular and friendly. ones.
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/22 19:42
Micheal,

I would say that, in Japan today, suicide, individualism, and solitude are viewed quite similarly as how they are viewed by Americans. Is there any religious correlations to suicide in Japan today? Basically, no. And if I were to put it in one word, there is a negative connotation to the idea of solitude (kodoku) and a relatively positive connotation to the idea of individualism as opposed to solitude (kojin-shugi). But if it's about samishisa (solitude) or riko-shugi (indivisualism), that is a whole different story.

By the way, if you are talking by "Kokoro" by Natsume Soseki, the Japanese of that era had quite a different idea about suicide, solitude and indivisualism compared to the idea we have today.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/23 00:53
I agree with Uco. Things were a lot different back then. Also the causes of the two suiceds in the book are very different.

P.S. I love this story very much.
by Ikuyo Kuruyo (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/23 06:17
I was wondering how the Japanese view suicide

Well if they are on the Chuo line in Tokyo trying to get to work in the morning they view it as quite inconvenient.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

lots of typo 2009/12/23 09:28
I realized I made a lot of typo in my previous message. I meant to write;

...individualism (kojin-shugi) as opposed to solitude. But if it's about samishisa (solitude) or riko-shugi (indivisualism), that is a whole different story.

By the way, if you are talking about "Kokoro" ...

I'm sorry for the confusion.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Attitude to suicide in Japan 2009/12/28 12:15
I can only agree and second what Uco and Kyoko have said in that attitudes to suicide were very different back when Kokoro was written. In the modern Japan of the 21st century economic and social factors much more behind the unnecessarily high and tragic loss of life in Japan every year.

As one indicator to suicide in Japan today I would like to recommend you see this recent article and one which is refreshing in that writer, Ms Tomoko A Hosaka, points to the need for both political will and public education to help bring about practical and proactive well funded support schemes and programs to help those who are under experiencing extreme financial difficulties and unemployment:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091218/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_battling_suic...

I would also like to suggest that as many Japanese people have very high reading skills in English that any articles dealing with mental health issues in Japan could usefully provide contact details for hotlines and support services for people who are depressed and feeling suicidal.

Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):
Japan: 0120-738-556
Tokyo: 3264 4343

AMDA International Medical Information Center:
http://amda-imic.com/

Andrew Grimes, JSCCP, JCP
Tokyo Counseling Services:
http://tokyocounseling.com

http://tokyocounseling.com/english/
http://tokyocounseling.com/jp/

http://www.counselingjapan.com


by Andrew Grimes (guest) rate this post as useful

Suicide rate 2009/12/29 00:45
I think one of the reasons the rate of death due to suicide is so high among young people in Japan is due to the phenomonen of Hikikomori
by Sandlapper (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/12/29 12:05
I think one of the reasons the rate of death due to suicide is so high among young people in Japan is due to the phenomonen of Hikikomori

This is totally new to me. I doubt that hikikomori (locked in house) people tend to commit suicide, especially as they have little access to suicidal tools. Actually most people commiting suicide in the recent months has been middle aged businessmen who broke down due to the economical crisis. As for the younger people, they influence each other through "suicide sites" on the internet.

On a side note, suicide catches. In other words, suicide is a touchy issue to discuss about.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/12/29 16:13
I think one of the reasons the rate of death due to suicide is so high among young people in Japan

Is it high among young people? I know that the suicide rate in Japan is generally on the higher side in international comparison, but I doubt that this is the case for all age groups. I think I even remember a statistic showing the suicide rate of younger age groups in Japan to be relatively low. A large majority of people committing suicide are old aged.
by Uji rate this post as useful

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