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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

No wonder they kill themselves

This time, Scheherazade spent half an hour in the room. She pulled his notebooks from the drawer and glanced through them. She found a book report and read it. It was on Kokoro, a novel by Soseki Natsume, that summer’s reading assignment. His handwriting was beautiful, as one would expect from a straight-A student, not an error or an omission anywhere. The grade on it was Excellent. What else could it be? Any teacher confronted with penmanship that perfect would automatically give it an Excellent, whether he bothered to read a single line or not.
- Haruki Murakami "SCHEHERAZADE"

It's rather remarkable how full of suicide Japanese literature is; they tend to romanticize it in much the same way English literature romanticizes love and marriage. Which is to say, a Japanese novel will often end in a climactic suicide of someone close to the protagonist, if not the protagonist himself. So, it strikes me as an astonishingly bad idea to actually require teenagers rapidly approaching the pressure of university entrance exams to not only read these suicide-drenched novels, but write reports on them.

That being said, I did quite like Kokoro, and preferred it to his equally famous I am a Cat.

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75 Comments:

Anonymous M.C. Tuggle June 07, 2017 11:08 AM  

In many of Mishima's works, you get the feeling that the protag's suicide is the author's idea of a happy ending.

Blogger Koanic June 07, 2017 11:23 AM  

It is remarkable that such a collectivist culture is prone to suicide, given that it is a tremendous waste of collective investment.

Blogger Chiva June 07, 2017 11:41 AM  

I lived in Tokyo when I was a teenager. One early morning I went for a run in the large park next door (keeping weight down for wrestling) and saw a young Japanese man dressed in his school uniform standing near a pergola at the tennis courts. I didn't give it any thought and continued with my run. Passing by the tennis courts while exiting the park I saw a group of people standing around the pergola. I stopped and look at what was going on. The young man had hung himself. This was the time of year when the exam results were sent.

During the 80s the pressure to succeed pushed on the young Japanese students (at all levels) was enormous.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 07, 2017 11:42 AM  

I don't know if it's a nationwide thing, but here in my corner of the Midwest, the schools were big on having high school students study death for a while. It started a little after my time (late 80s, early 90), and I dunno if they're still doing it, or what class they did it in. But it was like, for one quarter, they'd study and write about death, maybe visit a mortuary, write their own obituary, stuff like that.

Many of the kids thought it was cool, of course. Teachers and parents thought so too, on the premise that anything that holds the kids' interest for more than a few seconds must be a good thing. Always creeped me out.

Anonymous BBGKB June 07, 2017 11:42 AM  

When firefighters went to the nuke plant damaged in the tsunami they did the kamikaze ritual first, suicide culture may be part of being willing to go on suicide missions.

Blogger Josh (the gayest thing here) June 07, 2017 11:43 AM  

I don't know if it's a nationwide thing, but here in my corner of the Midwest, the schools were big on having high school students study death for a while. It started a little after my time (late 80s, early 90), and I dunno if they're still doing it, or what class they did it in. But it was like, for one quarter, they'd study and write about death, maybe visit a mortuary, write their own obituary, stuff like that.

13 Reasons Why is a huge hit with today's youth, looks like a continuation of that trend.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer June 07, 2017 11:47 AM  

I think it was on the Z Man's blog that I read that the Romans romanticized suicide as much as the Japanese and that it was Christianity that cured them of it.

Blogger VFM6974 June 07, 2017 11:50 AM  

“If you tighten the string too tight it will snap and if you make the string too loose it will not play…”
That's the string snapping, between that and Sōshoku Danshi (herbivore men) makes you wonder how little a society values men to push them to take themselves out of it completely. We have a similar issues with MGTOW in the west but due to family courts.

Blogger SixtusVIth June 07, 2017 12:00 PM  

M.C. Tuggle wrote:In many of Mishima's works, you get the feeling that the protag's suicide is the author's idea of a happy ending.

It very much is; read "Mishima" by John Nathan for an explanation.

Anonymous Ain June 07, 2017 12:02 PM  

"I think it was on the Z Man's blog that I read that the Romans romanticized suicide as much as the Japanese and that it was Christianity that cured them of it."

It's definitely a spiritual attack.

Blogger SixtusVIth June 07, 2017 12:04 PM  

VFM6974 wrote:between that and Sōshoku Danshi (herbivore men) makes you wonder how little a society values men to push them to take themselves out of it completely.

The reduction of men to labor drones is the root cause of both nation's problems, the disease is merely more advanced in Japan. Also note that Japanese women are traditionally much more powerful in their homes than the men are (a husband is frequently given an allowance out of his own salary by the wife).

Blogger Feather Blade June 07, 2017 12:08 PM  

SixtusVIth wrote:(a husband is frequently given an allowance out of his own salary by the wife).

The women are, traditionally, responsible (and blamed) for managing everything in the home. It's a system that's worked for them for centuries.

Blogger Grandpa Lampshade June 07, 2017 12:16 PM  

Anime should offset this though. How are you ever going to see the next season of ATOT if you kill yourself?

Blogger praetorian June 07, 2017 12:25 PM  

Much as I admire the Japanese, there is something deeply satanic about their culture.

When firefighters went to the nuke plant damaged in the tsunami they did the kamikaze ritual first, suicide culture may be part of being willing to go on suicide missions.

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

Blogger Silly but True June 07, 2017 12:25 PM  

Aokigahara is the Golden Gate Bridge of Japan. Prior to 1988, it was about 30 deaths a year. In 1999, it had increased to 74, and attempts have continued rising, peaking at 105 bodies in 2003; in 2010 there were 250 attempts.

They did away with forest rangers there to be replaced by official suicide patrols.

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( Give us this day our daily bait, that we may crush our enemies, see their weaksauce driven before us and hear the lamentations of their women, thank you Baby Jesus, Amen ) June 07, 2017 12:27 PM  


2. Koanic June 07, 2017 11:23 AM
It is remarkable that such a collectivist culture is prone to suicide, given that it is a tremendous waste of collective investment.



makes sense from a Darwinian competition point of view though.

the hetman convinces all of his subordinates ( and reproductive competitors ) that they have an 'honor' duty to offer their lives in defense of he and his family.

i'm sure the utility in this is obvious ...

Blogger VFM6974 June 07, 2017 12:34 PM  

More data:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/05/national/1-4-japanese-men-still-unmarried-age-50-report/

At what time does the government steps in? and would they:
a) Make it an incentive to marry and have kids
and / or
b) Make it a penalty to be single and childless

Discuss.

Blogger SixtusVIth June 07, 2017 12:37 PM  

Feather Blade wrote:SixtusVIth wrote:(a husband is frequently given an allowance out of his own salary by the wife).

The women are, traditionally, responsible (and blamed) for managing everything in the home. It's a system that's worked for them for centuries.


My point is that the system does nothing to help the masculinity deficit, however old and (once) useful it may be.

Blogger Gary Eden June 07, 2017 12:40 PM  

My Senior English class was a tour through all the Classics of English Lit that had anything to do with death, murder, suffering and suicide.

It was pretty gruesome and freaked a number of students out; we eventually grilled the teacher about it but never got a good answer from her on why; she just denied the obvious connection.

Blogger VFM6974 June 07, 2017 12:44 PM  

"My Senior English class was a tour through all the Classics of English Lit that had anything to do with death, murder, suffering and suicide. "
Cool, so you went through all the works of Hans Christian Andersen? Children stuff can be gruesome.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer June 07, 2017 12:47 PM  

Serendipitously, a shrink was on one of the local talk radio shows in my area this morning discussing depression. He stated that people suffering from depression are more likely to suicide after reaching the nadir and they have started to recover. The reason, he stated, was that true depression was so draining that the energy to kill yourself wasn't available at the nadir.

Anonymous Bobby Farr June 07, 2017 12:56 PM  

Whatever aesthetic they are instilling in Japanese teenagers seems to be workings. Almost no fatasses, tattoos or love for third world garbage folk.

Blogger cheddarman June 07, 2017 1:26 PM  

@22 Bobby Farr

Are you aware of Japanese Herbivore culture? It is a different type of modernist suicidal culture embraced by a YUGE number of young Japanese men. IMO It is the polar opposite of masculine Japanese traditions such as Bushido and Samurai.

Blogger Markku June 07, 2017 1:33 PM  

I'm guessing that suicide is seen as the ultimate individualist act in a culture where there are very few individualist acts you can do. And that's why it's romanticized.

Blogger Tino June 07, 2017 1:40 PM  

In part it is also some extrema of the current Japanese ant-hill approach to life. Many worker ants never see the sun, their circadian rhythm goes to hell, the depression ensues from being out-of-sync with life, and before you know it, suicidal intent is at the top of the agenda . The easiest way to keep a population healthy mentally is to make sure they get lots of morning sunshine and blue sky to re-synchronize the circadian rhythms and protect their sleep.

Blogger SirHamster June 07, 2017 1:43 PM  

((( bob kek mando ))) - ( Give us this day our daily bait, that we may crush our enemies, see their weaksauce driven before us and hear the lamentations of their women, thank you Baby Jesus, Amen ) wrote:2. Koanic June 07, 2017 11:23 AM

It is remarkable that such a collectivist culture is prone to suicide, given that it is a tremendous waste of collective investment.


makes sense from a Darwinian competition point of view though.



From a cultural point of view, looks like an effective filter for non-collectivists.

Only an individualistic person will look at the crushing weight of collectivist culture and decide that he'd rather be dead than bear his share of the burden.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim June 07, 2017 1:55 PM  

I taught my 9th graders "Romeo and Juliet"... I never painted their decision in the end as anything but tragic and the result of following impulsive desires absent of wisdom and concern for others. I made sure they were presented as hormonal idiots who wasted a wealth of life for the quick spark of lust.

Anonymous M.C. Tuggle June 07, 2017 1:55 PM  

SixtusVIth,

Thanks for the heads up. I found this:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/10/25/specials/mishima-bios.html

I checked and happily discovered that Nathan translated my copy of The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea.

OpenID chronicrpg June 07, 2017 1:58 PM  

@2 "It is remarkable that such a collectivist culture"

Japan is not a collectivist culture. "Collectivism" is a misleading misuse of a word when applied to Far Eastern societies. Japan is a culture of low-trust, low-empathy individualists, that somewhat successfully adapted to these qualities of its people by instituting various forms of societal sticks and carrots to keep them in check. Obsession with suicide (in non-fantastic stories, where heroes cannot grow stronger than the whole rest of the world) is rooted in, among other things, hidden desire of those individualists to give their society a final middle finger.

Blogger Happy LP9 June 07, 2017 2:03 PM  

Death Parade came to mind.

Heathers and Full Metal Jackets were comedies, forgive me.

Japan's feudal era (?): (pre gun era if ONLY we could time travel the miscreants to face Japan's most skilled swordsmen; warriors with full ronin mindset, the best kantanas and in a angry ZFG mood would send even the most armed of islam, sjws and antifa to faint from fear.

What I adore about South Korea and Japan is how they reform darker topics while deeply illuminating/dignify the value and beauty of life.

Also everything out of Japan, Russia, Finland, SoKo and Sweden seem flawless, easy and so professional; their art, literature, music, pop cultures, so lovely and highly regarded.

Yet their efforts are never easy, its hard work with profoundly uplifting endurance.

Blogger SirHamster June 07, 2017 2:07 PM  

Happy LP9 wrote:Also everything out of Japan, Russia, Finland, SoKo and Sweden seem flawless, easy and so professional; their art, literature, music, pop cultures, so lovely and highly regarded.

Don't know about Japanese culture all being flawless.

There's a reason why the Japansese word hentai is well known.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 07, 2017 2:08 PM  

VFM6974 wrote:At what time does the government steps in? and would they:

a) Make it an incentive to marry and have kids

and / or

b) Make it a penalty to be single and childless

Discuss.


People have been noodling that for ages. Ancient Greeks and Romans tackled this problem. Everyone has failed.

The birth cycles follow this pattern. When the future looks bright, when a nation is filled with optimism, a sense of destiny, exuberance, and (critically) security in the future, women have lots of babies. Such as in the postwar baby boom.

Conversely, when the future looks dark, uncertain and insecure, or (critically) SCARY, women do not have as many babies. Such as in the collapse of Russian births after the fall of the USSR.

We started talking about Japan's already lost decade -- two decades ago. That's their problem. What could the government do? What governments NEVER do -- upend their status quo and rearrange affairs to plunge the nation forward with a sense of purpose. That'll happen when events overcome the human nature which fights to deny it.

Blogger Student in Blue June 07, 2017 2:21 PM  

@30. Happy LP9
Also everything out of Japan, Russia, Finland, SoKo and Sweden seem flawless, easy and so professional; their art, literature, music, pop cultures, so lovely and highly regarded.

That's because the grass appears greener on the other side. There's often hilarious misconceptions and pedestalizing of "American" things, such as "oh she was so famous, she could even compete in Hollywood!" or an oft misconception that Americans are all blonde, blue-eyed and overly muscular with a bunch of guns everywhere.

Anonymous TheShrike June 07, 2017 2:28 PM  

The audiobook version of 1Q84 is phenomenal. Only one of his books I have"read".

Anonymous Antipas June 07, 2017 2:29 PM  

If this isn't a lesson to the "alt-lite/civic nationalists", I'm not sure what is.

Anonymous Antipas June 07, 2017 2:31 PM  

sorry, wrong thread

Blogger tuberman June 07, 2017 2:40 PM  

29. chron

"Japan is not a collectivist culture. "Collectivism" is a misleading misuse of a word when applied to Far Eastern societies. Japan is a culture of low-trust, low-empathy individualists, that somewhat successfully adapted to these qualities of its people by instituting various forms of societal sticks and carrots to keep them in check. Obsession with suicide (in non-fantastic stories, where heroes cannot grow stronger than the whole rest of the world) is rooted in, among other things, hidden desire of those individualists to give their society a final middle finger."

Your explanation strikes me as completely true. I have not personally connected all the dots yet, but if I did, my bet is that you would be spot on with this view.

Blogger tz June 07, 2017 2:44 PM  

The culture of death as high art.
Suicide is a late symptom, after contraception and democide (what is Japan's birth rate), abortion (common there), and euthanasia (will solve the problem with so many old people).

I wonder how japanese cowboys handle Kobe beef cattle.

Blogger tuberman June 07, 2017 2:47 PM  

So, what about "Sorrows of Young Werther," and that stage of European Romantics? How about the Goth obsession with Vampire Blood? Ha!

Blogger seeingsights June 07, 2017 2:57 PM  

Vox can correct me if I'm wrong--but it seems to me that in Japanese culture their is also this notion of self sacrifice for the greater good. Sacrificing one's life is honorable. The U.K. has that in their culture too I think.

Blogger tuberman June 07, 2017 3:00 PM  

27. Sterling Pilgrim

Hey, you wouldn't be the first "teacher" to reduce Willem to Binary values, now would you?

Blogger Feather Blade June 07, 2017 3:18 PM  

Bobby Farr wrote:Almost no fatasses, tattoos or love for third world garbage folk

That's because tattoos are reserved for the incurably criminal.

praetorian wrote:Much as I admire the Japanese, there is something deeply satanic about their culture.

Living there as a Christian feels a lot like living in Ancient Rome would have (minus the need to meet for worship in graveyards and the danger of being thrown to the lions, of course).

There are shrines to gods and spirits everywhere; people visit them to ask for help with school, work, and love, or maybe "just in case" even if they don't really believe; and the local Christians argue over whether it's a sin to make the traditional visits to the shrines at New Year's.

Blogger Happy LP9 June 07, 2017 3:22 PM  

31 Or Far Shore; 彼岸 Higan.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2017 3:28 PM  

It is remarkable that such a collectivist culture is prone to suicide, given that it is a tremendous waste of collective investment.

It's the one thing you are allowed to keep for yourself.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 June 07, 2017 3:38 PM  

At least the Japanese commit suicide for decent reasons, unlike people in the West like that idiot who mailed a bomb to Bjork and then offed himself on video.

Anonymous Reinhard June 07, 2017 4:06 PM  

chronicrpg wrote:@2 "It is remarkable that such a collectivist culture"

Japan is not a collectivist culture. "Collectivism" is a misleading misuse of a word when applied to Far Eastern societies. Japan is a culture of low-trust, low-empathy individualists, that somewhat successfully adapted to these qualities of its people by instituting various forms of societal sticks and carrots to keep them in check. Obsession with suicide (in non-fantastic stories, where heroes cannot grow stronger than the whole rest of the world) is rooted in, among other things, hidden desire of those individualists to give their society a final middle finger.


This is only partly true. The best knowledge we have of individualistic and collectivist societies is via Dutch scientist Geert Hofstede's "cultural dimensions".

According to Hofstede's material, all European countries except Russia and orthodox south-east Europe are individualistic, also included are all Anglo-Saxon countries overseas. The most individualistic country is the US. Collectivist in comparison are all non-European countries including Russia and China. Portugal is collectivist, too. Japan has a mean score and is neither individualistic nor collectivist.

Also of interest is OPRM1 (μ-opioid receptor gene). There is a connection between OPRM1 and the subjective sensitivity towards social rejection. The neurologist Baldwin M. Way found that there were large ethnic differences regarding the distribution of the G allele of the μ-opioid receptor gene. It is most common in Far East Asia with 30 to 45 percent, then comes Latin America with 20 to 37 percent and 27 percent in India. European countries have percentages of 5 to 17, with the lowest percentages found in northern Europe and higher ones found in southern and eastern Europe.

Baldwin calculated the geographical correlation between the G allele and the "cultural dimension" collectivism based on country data and got a correlation of 0.65. So there is a mid to strong correlation between the ORPM1 polymorphism and collectivism. The more common this allele is, the more collectivist the culture. Cultures that place high value on social cohesion have the highest amount of people who react strongly/sensitivly regarding social rejection; the lowest amount of such people are found in the individualistic countries of northern Europe.

This is mostly from the book "Völkerpsychologie" by the German anthropologist Andreas Vonderach.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2017 4:06 PM  

I once read the memoir of a Kamikaze.

I wish I could tell you his name but I don't remember it all. The story was in MHQ if you want to dig it up.

It appeared to be an honest recollection of what was supposed to be a man's very last thoughts in the moments before his death.

Truthfully, he had done his best to kill himself but the bomb failed to go off and American servicemen are noted for their sentimentality, so they fished his unconscious body out of the water.

His memoir of his only mission was a roller-coaster of highs and lows as he flew his plane towards and American carrier.

The really interesting part was that his last thought before impact was, "I've won!"

Anonymous A.B. Prosper June 07, 2017 4:06 PM  

a deplorable rubberducky wrote:VFM6974 wrote:At what time does the government steps in? and would they:

a) Make it an incentive to marry and have kids

and / or

b) Make it a penalty to be single and childless

Discuss.


People have been noodling that for ages. Ancient Greeks and Romans tackled this problem. Everyone has failed.

The birth cycles follow this pattern. When the future looks bright, when a nation is filled with optimism, a sense of destiny, exuberance, and (critically) security in the future, women have lots of babies. Such as in the postwar baby boom.

Conversely, when the future looks dark, uncertain and insecure, or (critically) SCARY, women do not have as many babies. Such as in the collapse of Russian births after the fall of the USSR.

We started talking about Japan's already lost decade -- two decades ago. That's their problem. What could the government do? What governments NEVER do -- upend their status quo and rearrange affairs to plunge the nation forward with a sense of purpose. That'll happen when events overcome the human nature which fights to deny it.


This might be the singularly best piece written on that topic, succinct, accurate and to the point.

Anonymous Susan() June 07, 2017 4:23 PM  

Markku has a good point. When you live in a nation/culture where the Emperor owns you body and soul, then ending that life is the only act of living that you truly own for yourself.

The human spirit is not designed to live in tyranny, it is wired to believe in a higher power than man's. So the rebelling by suicide is seen as the only honorable way out.

I have developed an interest in Asian movies over the past several years. One common thread I have noticed is they prefer ending a story on the darker side, rather than a happy ending.

Just one side effect of centuries of Emperor worship rather than of God. Like the ancient Romans under the Caesars.

Anonymous BBGKB June 07, 2017 4:24 PM  

"The birth cycles follow this pattern. When the future looks bright, when a nation is filled with optimism, a sense of destiny, exuberance, and (critically) security in the future, women have lots of babies. Such as in the postwar baby boom.

Conversely, when the future looks dark, uncertain and insecure, or (critically) SCARY, women do not have as many babies. Such as in the collapse of Russian births after the fall of the USSR"

That is only for k selected peoples & one of the reasons 3rd world trash has been imported to outbreed us while leeching money from us to pay for Latrina's 21 crackbabies makes whites breed less.

Anonymous BluePony June 07, 2017 5:05 PM  

"Anime should offset this though. How are you ever going to see the next season of ATOT if you kill yourself"

There was an episode of Paranoia Agent where a young girl, a young man and old man wander around trying to kill themselves. I was all WTF and looked it up, and that's when I learned of Japan's suicide issue. I think they realize at the end they aren't casting shadows and people are not noticing them, so I guess they succeeded at some point?

Blogger Happy LP9 June 07, 2017 5:06 PM  

I am enjoying Murakami's work.

In America it seems that killing yourself and fatalism are symbiotic as viewed outside of the USA is often an act of honor or the refusal to be dishonored when one is out of options or their back up against the wall.

Blogger Happy LP9 June 07, 2017 5:08 PM  

51...Little Slugger Ran from the Dead very Japan; ep6, ok I am promise to go work out and stop posting. Forgive me.

Anonymous BluePony June 07, 2017 5:10 PM  

"Make it a penalty to be single and childless"

Oh, great. Make my lack of social wiring in my brain a crime. Thanks.

Now, if they also offer assistance from the Federal Bureau Of Wingmen, I might be OK with this.

Blogger My Dead Gramps June 07, 2017 5:16 PM  

A cat is fine too.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable June 07, 2017 5:18 PM  

A cat is fine too.

Yes, yes it is.

Blogger tuberman June 07, 2017 5:22 PM  

46. Reinhard

Is there any social psychologist worth a tinkers damn since WWII? Especially one that taught near Paris in the 1970's (Commies, anyone), and used early computer models (Climate change computer models, anyone)?

I know of a wonderful Aussie anthropologist that wrote a book about a tribe in central New Guinea about how that tribe was the most amazing people in the entire world, as they were always smiling and stuff. Turns out they had a homicide rate 100X higher then the worst areas in the USA. Typical Margret Mead phoney social scientist developed in and after WWII. Think "Missionaries."

Why would any intelligent person these days buy into someone like this as "scientific?" Computer models exactly "prove" that global warming is real and people are causing it, but the fact put the lie to it.

I'm suppose to believe this guys set up for computer models on the massive broad areas he claims to be scientific about are set up with a clue?

Nope!

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2017 5:38 PM  

@24. Markku

I'm guessing that suicide is seen as the ultimate individualist act in a culture where there are very few individualist acts you can do. And that's why it's romanticized.

Almost but not quite.

Basically it's escape.

From yourself.


During the early 1990s I got to know the suicidal mindset a lot better than I ever wanted to.

We were trying to figure out why military suicide rates were through the freaking roof. The interviews with survivors basically came down to the same thing and that thing was NOT, "a cry for help."

It was escape.

The Suicidal fails to meet the expectations and standards that are imposed upon him.

The Suicidal doesn't really blame himself for his failures but those failures ARE internalized. You can't get away from them. You aren't in the position to accept your failures or blame someone else for them.

The pressure becomes intolerable.

I suspect most Japanese feel that pressure to one extent or another. Their entire society is the result of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Running away and staring over isn't possible because you can't run away from internalized failure.

Your only way out is the Grim Reaper.

Duty is as heavy as a mountain. Death is as light as a feather.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2017 5:41 PM  

@24 Markku

I should have included this.

His handwriting was beautiful, as one would expect from a straight-A student, not an error or an omission anywhere. The grade on it was Excellent. What else could it be? Any teacher confronted with penmanship that perfect would automatically give it an Excellent, whether he bothered to read a single line or not.

Blogger Markku June 07, 2017 5:47 PM  

Almost but not quite.

Basically it's escape.


You are confusing two things. Why the person commits suicide, and why others romanticize the act.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2017 5:57 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger James Dixon June 07, 2017 5:58 PM  

> ...Americans are all blonde, blue-eyed and overly muscular with a bunch of guns everywhere.

Well, two out four ain't bad. Three out of four when I was a mere youth.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 07, 2017 6:03 PM  

60. Markku

You are confusing two things. Why the person commits suicide, and why others romanticize the act.

Apologies. I was combining two things when I should have segregated them.

I believe that suicide is a touchstone for the Japanese because everyone there to one extent or another understands the pressure.

And societal touchstones tend to be romanticized.

Blogger tuberman June 07, 2017 6:20 PM  

Some things I remember from my studies of Durkheim was there are different types of suicide. Altruistic suicide is suicide over Duty and Honor, so this applies to both Japan in general, and someone in the military in the USA.

In between the lines was a suggestion that Individualism is fragile everywhere, and that especially altruistic suicide (duty and honor), the pressure of society undermines the fragile individual. A kind of voodoo death destruction of the person happens and opens up literal suicide.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky June 07, 2017 7:13 PM  

FWIW, on this grim topic of suicide, the spike in suicides among white middle aged American males seems very real. My wife handles benefits for a large company (50,000+ employees) and she's currently reeling from a big uptick in them. Our experience is quite in line with all the reporting lately on this. It's tragic.

Blogger AdognamedOp June 07, 2017 7:33 PM  

I wonder if there's a connection to Japans defeat in WWII with this epidemic. I think a nations psyche would be rattled if two atomic eggs got dropped on them that ended their imperial ambitions.

Blogger Matthew June 07, 2017 8:31 PM  

Gary Eden wrote:My Senior English class was a tour through all the Classics of English Lit that had anything to do with death, murder, suffering and suicide.

It was pretty gruesome and freaked a number of students out; we eventually grilled the teacher about it but never got a good answer from her on why; she just denied the obvious connection.



I never understood why Tess of the D'Urbervilles was supposed to be sad.

Blogger Matthew June 07, 2017 8:32 PM  

Also, I can't believe no one has posted the relevant Chesterton quote.

Blogger Mountain Man June 07, 2017 9:38 PM  

..."not an error or an omission anywhere. The grade on it was Excellent. What else could it be? Any teacher confronted with penmanship that perfect would automatically give it an Excellent,..”

And its because of this attention to detail that every motorized piece of transportation that I own is Japanese.
Toyota truck, Honda SUV for the wife, Yamaha snowmobile, Honda four wheeler.
Every one of them is bullet proof , smooth operating and never breaks down.
The Japs attention to detail is unsurpassed. Only the swiss seem to rival them.

Anonymous Jack June 07, 2017 10:33 PM  

The romanticization of suicide has crept into Western culture, or what's left of it, via the suicide of artists, especially musicians. There were copycat suicides when Kurt Cobain killed himself.

At Alpha Game, Dalrock left a comment about someone who wrote to him, and then when Dalrock didn't respond, the guy flipped out and wrote a long gamma letter that culminated with "You had your chance and you blew it. I'm unsubscribing to your blog!"

It occurred to me that this guy isn't actually going anywhere - he's going to lurk around the site waiting for some kind of reference to himself. I think this is what a fair number of suicides actually want. They don't want to die, they want to somehow be there to see all the suffering and regret that their absence causes, when everyone "finally realizes how wrong they were not to appreciate me."

I don't believe in killing oneself, but I can kind of understand how the Japanese and Romans formulated their ideas of a noble death by one's own hand. At the very least, it's not gamma if it's truly done in the spirit of "death before dishonor."

What are the different attitudes to suicide among the various levels of the SSH?

Blogger Doom June 07, 2017 10:35 PM  

It is a bad idea, if your notion is for them not to commit suicide. If you want to think the herd of certain elements, earlier in life, then that is perfectly logical. Has it been decided that those prone to suicide are at much greater risk to social and political harmony? If so... there you go. Hmm... I wonder if we can work on translating those books and make THOSE required reading. While our economy would only get worse, social and political harmony would increase. And... who would miss the antifas?

Blogger praetorian June 07, 2017 11:57 PM  

The Japs attention to detail is unsurpassed. Only the swiss seem to rival them.

Landcruisers.

I can forgive a lot simply due to landcruisers.

Blogger Deeed x June 08, 2017 5:02 AM  

When in Japan, i was watching the classes for learning Hindi and during the course, they showed some Bollywood films. Japanese audience were perplexed by those films. As Bollywood films are typically happy ending sort, they were bemused by the lack of tragic ending. You reaffirmed this notion of depressive culture present in the land of rising sun.

Blogger Dirk Manly June 08, 2017 8:47 AM  

@4 Cail Corishev

What do you think caused the whole Goth culture. It's literally morgue/mourning garb combined with faux-dead makeup

Blogger Dirk Manly June 08, 2017 11:28 AM  

@4 Cail Corishev

What do you think caused the whole Goth culture. It's literally morgue/mourning garb combined with faux-dead makeup

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