Ritual Suicide In Japan

1720 Words 7 Pages
Suicides are a worldwide phenomenon known in every culture and society. In japan the rate of suicides is among the highest in the world. Japan’s culture is considered to have a very permissive attitude towards suicides by the western nations. The historical past of ritual suicides among the samurais has often been pointed out as a possible motive where choosing death over life was considered a heroic act. Following Japan’s economic resecsion the rates of suicide has increased a lot. Suicides within Japan are somewhat unique with the special suicide form of Shinjyu suicides and a high rate of suicides among Japan’s elderly population in rural areas. The Japanese government seeks ways to decrease suicides inside the country and has somewhat been …show more content…
Japan’s history of ritual suicides has often been looked at in relations to the problem. The ritual suicides of the Samurai has to some extent been romanticised as a heroic act. Japanese religion has never banned a self-voluntary death or made any distinction between it and other ways of dying. The Samurai moral code viewed death as an act of courage and nobility where it was considered cowardly to live without having achieved anything. Voluntary death were considered more desirable then living a miserable life. This idea became a widespread view inside of Japan leaving ritual suicides to gain an important place in Japanese culture. The ritual suicides that the samurais took part in were of two kinds. First there was Harakiri or seppuku was a ritual suicide method committed according to the Samurai moral code honour and obligations. Harakiri was the ritual of one cutting their own stomach and die by bleeding to death. Junshi was another form of ritual committed upon the death of a lord to show an eternal loyalty (Prasol, …show more content…
These kind of suicides have been happening for long time and are known all over the world. In japan there is a special model of suicide clusters that is called Shinjyu and is claimed to have more personal significance than other group suicides. The first famous shinjyu occurred in the 1703 in Osaka. A young sales assistant and a young woman of high class fell in love but could not be together because of their different social status. They decided for this reason to end their life together so in that way they could be together for eternity. Chikamatsu who was a famous playwright at the time wrote a play called “Sonezaki shinjyu” about their story which became very successful. Shinjiyu became popular among the public as more plays focusing on phenomenon were being written and became popular. Evntually the Japanese government banned shinjyu plays in 1722. Originally shinjyu would only applied to a suicide pact of lovers but the meaning has changed and it can now it can be applied to different sorts of group suicides.These can be separated into four different categories. Ikka-Shinjyu is when the person committing the suicide takes the life of members of their family and then their own. Muri-Shinjyu is similar to Ikka shinjyu but it refers to a suicide where the person who wants to end their life kills another person first who is not within their

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