Japanese Suicide Essay

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Imagine being a samurai in ancient Japan. You have just been captured. What do you do? You would draw out your tanto or short blade, and plunge it into your stomach. Then you would start moving the blade from left to right, slicing open your insides. In Japanese culture, the ritual seppuku was often practiced when captured by an enemy or committing a serious crime. Although this ritual was banned, Seppuku is still practiced today.
Over the years suicide rates in Japan and America have dropped and increased, respectively. A major part of these suicides are the reasons behind it. How does the cause of suicide in Japan differ from America? In America one of the main causes of suicide is bullying. On the other hand, one of Japan’s main cause is economic struggle.
The first person to ever speak of the morality of suicide was Socrates when the suicide rate was so low you can’t find any records of it.. This was 400 years before christ (crouchfoundation). Jumping forward 2414 years, about 800,000 people die each year from suicide. Back in October of 1929, the stock market crashed, resulting in the Great Depression striking the United States. The Great Depression was the longest economic decline in the history of the world. Many civilians lost their jobs creating emotional distress at the time. An obvious emotion was depression, which many times resulted in self destruction. Before the Great Depression, in the Shogun Era, samurai would feel like a disgrace to their own family. Just like the Great Depression, these feelings of disgrace were followed by a ritual suicide. In 2010 there were 33, 687 deaths from motor vehicle accidents and 38,364 were from suicide (NY Times) . Suicide rates have been increasing more and more each year. This ...

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...ernment has launched several campaigns in the last few years designed to combat suicide, results have been positive.
In America, suicides will continue to increase until society decides to address the problem of bullying. While laws are passed to increase punishment after the crime was committed, the numbers won’t improve until we proactively address the cause. In Japan, their society has begun to address the cause, laws have been passed to reduced the pressures and research is being conducted that would bring to Japan’s society. The remaining stumbling block in japan continues to be “overwork”, until this practice is brought under control suicide rates will not decrease dramatically. In America bullying will continue to be the number one cause for suicides, a trend that will not change in the foreseeable future. Only a major shift in attitude will change this.
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