Friday, March 10, 2006

Japanese Æstheticised Death & the Internet

From the Associated Press, dateline Tokyo:
TOKYO - Six young Japanese were found dead from asphyxiation in a car Friday, charcoal stoves still smoking beside them — apparently the latest victims of a surge in suicide pacts arranged over the Internet.
More here.

Update: here is the latest reported occurence, from the BBC.


Ray said...

with the overly competetive school system in japan, it's quite a bit of stress on youths to stay on top and live up to expectations. for the youths, better education means better jobs, which means easier life in the long run. maybe it's seppuku, maybe it's one's own inability to resolve one's own ketsu, maybe it's the result of a swamped idea of western individualization in which the unguided japanese youth cannot grasp.

i mean, with the whole blue-collar/white-collar work issue that focuses primarily on working males (which also relates in suisides), families aren't as united as they were, not with dad working more and seeing less of the family. kind of sad really, that family unity is broken for economic unity.

for those who like a twisted, gory movie, i recommend renting "suicide club" from the international section at rogers video (the one on 41st and victoria has it). it's japanese and it deals with similar ideas, in which youths under pressure and stress all commit group suicides. even a working family man commits suicide as well under the same sort of buckling.

Rebecca said...

for some strange reason this made me think of Chinese history. There was this big exam that people studied their whole lives to pass and so many failed. They turned to something that could make them forget the pain of failure...opium.
Internet has to be escape for people and it's easier to make a connection online because it's not real.
All these people in front of me and I still feel alienated, welcome to the world. I sound very depressing but it's about adaptation.

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ray said...

rebecca: i think you're right, and i think this is where east has to meet west, as you get an issue of honne/tatamae and persona/masque/denial/depression starting to happen. internet's fun and easy to adapt to, or so you think you're adapting to something you think is the same as yourself. but unless you click in/escape from the/your issue, it's not gonna work :S

taking into account your example into say ours: welcome to post-sec, where you have school, possibly work, and the dismal issue about what happens after...

(i edited my previous comment, hence removed)

Mary said...

"When Japan was poor, families did more things together out of necessity, like sharing a bath or eating together, and the community was much more important, especially in rural communities," Usui said.
"But now it's increasingly all about the individual. This leaves people more isolated and likely to contemplate suicide,"

Reading the article, the connection between individuality and suicide shocked me.

Dr. S.A. Ogden said...

Hmm .... Helpful observation(s)