about Japan

Suicide

Truth or tactwins Japan’s popularity contest.

But.

For the first time in 15 years it’s fallen below 30,000 people.

Yay.

My brain can’t really relate to those figures so I need an explanation in this vein:
Prior to 2012, 30,000+ people committed suicide a year= 1 suicide every 15 minutes.
2012 proud stats, 27,766 suicides committed= 1 suicide every 20 minutes.

I get that statistics and accuracy aren’t really a sure thing but when the aforementioned figures are also supported here and there, my skeptical ass knows those numbers aren’t so far off.

So combine an historically proud suicide method with the present-day ubiquity of said death and two things happen: a strange romanticism surrounding suicide emerges and desensitization strikes.

Regarding a certain romanticism, there’s a forest- Aokigahara Forest (Sea of Trees) that became an extraordinarily popular suicide spot after the novel Kuroi Jukai (the black sea of trees) by Seicho Matsumoto was published.  It’s a beautiful site that when combined with a lyrical work, somehow soft focuses a cruel, selfish and tortuous exit.

I can’t count the number of trains that have been delayed on account of suicide in the one year I’ve lived here.  In fact, if I’m late to work, suicide on the tracks is often assumed and as I write that, I realize I have been thoroughly desensitized.

Sadness.

Suicide isn’t a taboo subject but avoiding that road to perdition- psychotherapy- sure as fuck is.
Yep, I’ll be talking about that before too long.

Topical fact:
Dazai Osamu, writer who really wanted out of this life
1st attempt: solo, with pills.
2nd attempt: with a 19-year-old bar hostess, drowning (beach of Kamakura).  She died.
3rd attempt: solo, hanging.
4th attempt: with his wife, pills.  Both survived.
5th attempt: with his new wife, drowning in the Tamagawa canal.  Both died.

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