Why do so many Japanese commit suicide?

  • SOCIETY
  • CULTURE
  • We have seen and heard it in the news. Not once, not twice, but many times. They do it in the privacy of their rooms. Or in a far-away mountain where no one can see. But, worse, within the public’s eyes like in trains, and the latest, in the zero-accident but now tarnished record shinkansen, where most likely innocent people could be affected. In one high-profile suicide act committed inside the Shinkansen, one innocent passenger also died due to suffocation. Many Japanese have committed suicide. But, why? Why in such a beautiful country would some people choose to end their lives? I’ve tried to search for some answers to this query and let me share what I found with you.

    1. Exaggerated

    Suicide happens everywhere. A sad fact that some people struggle on this lovely earth choose to discontinue fighting and make a permanent rest. “Jisatsu” as it is called in Japan, or suicide is a universal occurrence. Japan is not alone. And more importantly, Japan is not the leading country with the highest suicidal rate. In fact, Japan is only the eighteenth out the top twenty-five countries with the world’s highest suicidal rate. On the fifth spot is Lithuania, Sri Lanka fourth, South Korea third, North Korea second, and Guyana on the top. Japan is not even in the top ten list.

    In my own opinion, it might be because Japan’s crime rate is really low and the news companies have nothing else to talk about but the self-inflicted crimes such as suicide. In other countries, there are more pressing issues in society, that talking about those who commit suicide takes a back seat. Media plays a big role in societal issues. The more the issue circulates in the media, the more it appears to be prominent, more than what it is in reality.

    2. Societal Attitudes

    Maybe you have read somewhere how good and harmonious the Japanese are. How well they follow rules as embedded in their “atarimae” culture. Atarimae in English means natural, reasonable, and expected. They do what is right because it’s “atarimae”. It is a natural thing to do. It is natural to throw garbage in the proper place. It is natural to fall in line and wait for your turn. It is natural to resign from your job when accused of something. And sometimes, it is natural to end your life when you are in trouble and the trouble you are in causes trouble to the others. Like when a head of a company fails to do his job and puts the company in a terrible situation. Or an old person suffers from a disease and needs to be taken care of by his family. They don’t want to trouble others so they choose to end their lives. Japanese also value honesty and integrity. So much that when they are put into a disgracing situation, a scandal that tarnishes their names and reputation, they find it very difficult to handle and impossible to repair. A situation that can only be escaped by disappearing. Of course, this does not happen to every Japanese. Only to a very few.

    3. Historical Values

    In the ancient Japanese society, a ritual suicide by disembowelment called “seppuku” and also called “harakiri” was formerly performed by Japanese samurai. Seppuku literally means “stomach cutting”. The samurai committing seppuku would normally use a small knife called “tanto”, a dagger, and cut their stomach while another samurai was acting as their second, lopping off their head. This highly ritualized form of suicide, a part of samurai’s bushido (samurai’s way of life) was abolished as a capital punishment in 1873. But even after the abolishment, voluntary seppuku goes on in the military grounds. This behavior is said to be widely praised by propaganda. I bet this could be one of the reasons why some Japanese still commit suicide. It is in the culture. It is in the history. In the end, we cannot really tell the reasons why some Japanese commit suicide because I believe that the best person who can tell us is the person committing the act him or herself, which, unfortunately, is impossible to achieve unless you see them and talk to them on the other side of life.

    Related: “Harakiri” Story of an Honorable Suicide

    1. Anonymous says:

      I heard stories about suicide when I was there in Japan years ago. I was wondering why this kind of act do happen with some Japanese and after reading this article, all my questions are clearly answered. More power to the author/writer of this article.

    2. i love reading this

    3. ajay says:

      the post was thought to be about some psychological facts and real life problems! do more research! everybody knows this much… i hope so…

    4. Anonymous says:

      Awesome article..

    5. I always thought it was because of the increased pressure in the city life

    6. No real information at all. This is just common knowledge. Waste of time.

    7. MOR - DarkLight says:

      you want to know more infos? let me tell
      you coming from someone who wants to commit a suicide, not now but maybe one more big problem,

      people here in japan is very sensitive, theyre not used on getting mistakes , its maybe because we are so strictly disciplined by our parents, that when faced with a problem it’s a great shock from us,
      we rarely experienced problem when were kids because our parents doesnt want us to commit mistakes,

      they always fear what others may say to them . and the pride is too much hahah. they rather die than to be ashamed. and i think its in our genes.

      bullying also is common here in japan, because what they cannot do in their house they do outside , parents dont know the attitude of their sons because they dont let their sons be themselves when at home,
      as you can see it’s almost all bad parenting

      pride, no mistakes, bullying , first time experiencing difficulty in life,and genes

      being disciplined has it own disadvantages also, but the pros out weighs the cons,
      lets just imagine that it’s a discipline program, you fail then you suicide haha,
      thanks for reading , and btw i want a painless death , i’m not that eager to die that will accept a painful death lol,

    8. Matt says:

      This article is fucking stupid and the person who wrote it has clearly never experienced/ dealt with anyone suffering with depression or considering suicide. Your reasoning and attitude is ridiculous and this article and the writer should be removed from this site. Living in a beautiful place doesn’t change shit if you’ve experienced mental trauma or are coping with depression/anxiety/any mental disorder. It happens everywhere in the world and japan isn’t an exception. Your shallow views don’t touch any depth as to why people commit suicide. There are many reasons as to why people commit suicide and all of the above are none. Please reconsider you’re writing career as your opinion is completely irrelevant and no one should waste another second reading any of this bullshit.

    9. Anonymous says:

      It is pretty informative hypothese and I guess reality would be something different.

    10. Anonymous says:

      I knew bits and pieces, but here I’ve got the answers I was looking for. Thanks for this article.

    11. INDIAN says:

      Chaloo Indians are not there in this LIST “Kudos to the Fighting Spirit of INDIAN”

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