Suicide Trends in Japan: Possible Causes.

TitleSuicide Trends in Japan: Possible Causes.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsYamazaki, Masatomo
Academic DepartmentSociology
Thesis AdvisorLangford, Charles C.
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Sociology
Number of Pages29
Date Published06/2000
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsfactors, Japan, prevention, societal factors, Suicide

Japan is often called a "suicide nation." This is not only because of high suicide rates, but also Japan's unique historical perspective on suicide. To think about suicide in Japan, the historical practices of hara-kiri and kamikaze will be discussed to understand how culturally related unconscious thoughts are a key factor to suicide. Hara-kiri, junshi, kamikaze, taking responsibility and murder-suicides still give clues to understanding why Japan is often called a "suicide nation." These practices have been shaped by hidden factors that still influence the Japanese people's behavior. Depression, loneliness, stress, and disease are some of the reasons why people commit suicide in Japan, and there are similar to the reasons for suicide in the United States. Often people in other cultures don't understand why so many people commit suicide in Japan. The Japanese care about harmony in relationships within the society, senses of loyalty, obligation, shame, unity, a n d responsibility, and these are related to hidden factors why people are committing suicide in Japan. These culturally related unconscious factors are very important in understanding suicide in Japan as these factors influence the people's behavior. There are unique suicide characteristics in the Japanese history. All of these factors may block the nation's effort to improve effective suicide prevention. Deep understanding of the Japanese culture is an important factor to discuss why Japan is called a "suicide nation." Why has Japan not improved effective suicide prevention?