As some Japanese strive towards modernization, others are obstructing their efforts my remaining narrow-mindedly adamant upon their obsolete values. One of the major distinguishing characteristics of Japanese society has been the lack of individualism. Japanese people need to justify their existence on the grounds of membership to some sort of group. Be it family, club, or company. Japan is a collectivist society. A collectivist society is concerned with the good of all of the people, and not concerned with the individual’s desires or needs. Everything that the homogeneous country of Japan does strives to benefit the entirety of the community. Unfortunately, their efforts are futile. Their views are completely unrealistic. The
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Anger, which is basically forbidden by social norms to be expressed in public, may have extreme negative effects on a person. “Anger is a signal that something is wrong. Like pain, anger signals a need for correction. Long-term suppression of these signals may be emotionally and socially harmful. Anger may be the last emotion to resist numbness and despair, and is thus a survival mechanism, a last ditch attempt to make good” (Quek).
Suppressing emotions is not the only stress in a Japanese’s life. Stress in Japan is higher than anywhere else in the world, and can have drastic, extreme effects. It affects, as mentioned above, physical health, and in the most extreme cases, which happen relatively often, can lead to suicide. Suicide in Japan has become a significant problem naturally. In 2007, suicides due to losing jobs surged 65.3 % while those attributed to hardships in life rose 34.3 %. Depression remained at the top of the list of causes, rising 7.1 % from the year before. The rapid increase in suicides since the 1990s has raised concerns around the world. Japan has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, especially amongst industrialized nations, and it was reported by the Japanese government that their rate is the ninth highest in the world. In 2009, the number of suicides rose 2 % to 32,845, which passed 30,000 for the twelfth straight year, equaling to nearly 26 suicides per 100,000 people. This approximates to about one suicide every 15 minutes. Many people