suicide

“Joke” site demonstrates the cruelty of cyberbullying, makes us wet our pants

“Joke” site demonstrates the cruelty of cyberbullying, makes us wet our pants

Bullying has been a problem in Japan, as in many countries, for quite sometime–and like many other countries, cyberbullying is the latest permutation of the issue. While cyberbullies in the west may be using Facebook or Twitter, it seems that the focal point of digital harassment in Japan is the messaging app Line. Regardless of the medium used, there’s no doubt that bullying is traumatic for those on the receiving end.

Sadly, despite numerous public education campaigns and class lectures, bullying isn’t simply going to disappear. Perhaps the deeper issue is one of empathy–we like to think that a bit more understanding would help reduce the problem. And a recent viral webpage does just that, showing how painful it is to be on the receiving end of digital harassment. However, the surprise ending is what really got people in Japan talking.

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Unexpected Japan suicide facts are equal parts depressing and uplifting

Unexpected Japan suicide facts are equal parts depressing and uplifting

Live in urban Japan long enough and, as shocking as it sounds, you’re eventually going to have the distinctly unpleasant experience of riding a train that hits and more than likely kills a human being.

Even if you aren’t experiencing it firsthand, walking into a Tokyo train station only to notice yet another train delay caused by what is euphemistically described as a “bodily accident” (jinshin jiko, or 人身事故) is at least a weekly occurrence. It’s enough to make you think Japan must be wrestling with one hell of a suicide problem.

Which is true. But it’s not quite as bad as the Western media would have you believe. Here are five facts about suicide in Japan that are about as uplifting as we have any right to expect from facts about suicide:

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Suicides drop for second year in Japan, still leading cause of death among young adults

Suicides drop for second year in Japan, still leading cause of death among young adults

The Japanese government recently released its 2014 white paper on suicide in the nation. While the continuing downward trend in the number of people taking their own lives is encouraging, the statistics also revealed the sobering and troubling fact that suicide is the leading cause of death among Japanese aged 15 to 34.

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‘Power harrassment’ in Japan’s police force blamed for officer’s suicide

‘Power harrassment’ in Japan’s police force blamed for officer’s suicide

An investigation into the suicide of a police officer in a Tokyo police station has found that harassment from a superior contributed to his death. While the chief is now facing disciplinary action, it has again highlighted the problem of abuses of authority in Japanese workplaces, also known as ‘power harassment’, or pawahara in Japanese.

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Living with ghosts: The rising popularity of ‘death rooms’ in Japan

Living with ghosts: The rising popularity of ‘death rooms’ in Japan

In Japan, places where people have died are considered bad luck, so unsurprisingly apartments where there has been a suicide, murder, or other death are rented at much cheaper prices than usual due to a lack of demand. However, real estate agencies are seeing a surge in people specifically seeking these kinds of ‘death rooms’. That may sound horribly morbid, but usually it’s not out of a desire to be close to death. Rather, for those who can put aside their culturally-ingrained reservations, it’s a way to  save money during tough times.

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Looking for a cheap scare? Tell Japanese Siri you want to die

Looking for a cheap scare? Tell Japanese Siri you want to die

Apple’s virtual assistant Siri can be a lot of fun when you have free time and the battery power to spare. You could flirt with her, ask her trivia questions, or find the best place to hide a dead body.

For one Japanese Twitter user, however, a fun chat with Siri got really dark really quick. In their words: “I was screwing around with Siri and I randomly said ‘I want to die.’ Her answer was so unexpected that I put the chain lock on my door at the speed of sound.”

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“Customers also bought…”: Product searches for rope on Amazon JP yield creepy results

“Customers also bought…”: Product searches for rope on Amazon JP yield creepy results

A friend of mine once shared an image with me of the product recommendations section from Amazon.com, which showed a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 paired with a bulk pack of adult daipers. Apart from shut-ins who would rather soil themselves than leave their military-based shooter and go to the bathroom, it’s hard to imagine why Amazon’s super computers would suggest that the two products were a perfect match.

An equally odd product pairing appearing on Amazon JP caught the attention of Japanese netizens earlier today, but rather than giving them a good chuckle it has quite freaked them out.

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Korean media receives harsh criticism for not stopping man from committing suicide

Korean media receives harsh criticism for not stopping man from committing suicide

Members of the Korean media have come under fire this week after they filmed a man who warned via his Twitter account that he would jump from Mapo Bridge-a known suicide spot-and made good on his promise.

There staff on the scene made no effort to intervene and have been arrested as accomplices to the man’s suicide.

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53-year-old man who found it difficult to keep up with modern day technogy commits suicide

53-year-old man who found it difficult to keep up with modern day technogy commits suicide

According to reports from Taiwanese media, a 53-year-old man who lived in the city of Changua committed suicide in his pick-up truck earlier this week after pulling over to the side of the road.

While any suicide is a tragic enough event, what brings this particular incident into the media spotlight today is the note the man allegedly left before taking his own life, which contained the lines: “I’m useless at just about everything these days, whether it be computers or cellular phones … Going on living in this way is scarier than dying. 

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Employee injured as suicidal man leaps in front of train, bursts into cabin

Employee injured as suicidal man leaps in front of train, bursts into cabin

On Thursday this week at around 3:30 P.M., a rail employee in Nagoya City was struck and injured… by the body of a suicidal customer.

Hold on, let’s rewind a bit.

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Suicide Prevention Month: Depressing Posters Cause Controversy in Kobe

Suicide Prevention Month: Depressing Posters Cause Controversy in Kobe

As part of efforts by Kobe City to prevent suicides, a number of huge posters (each measuring 2.1  by 1.35 metres), have been set up on local subway platforms at Sannomiya Station, in Kobe’s Central Ward. While some have commended the effort, it seems that the crowds of commuters aren’t all on board with the somewhat depressing content, as the move has been generating a lot of criticism from the public.

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The Five Most Popular Places to Kill Oneself or The Top Five Places to Save a Life

The Five Most Popular Places to Kill Oneself or The Top Five Places to Save a Life

Japan often gets a reputation as a suicide-heavy nation but the social problem of self-destruction is something all parts of the world have to tackle.

The following is a list of five places in the world where suicides have most often occurred. It’s a bittersweet honor in that they are all either places of extreme natural beauty of impressive feats of engineering.

On the other hand, they are also places and countries that clearly do too little to prevent either the mental illness that leads to suicide of the act itself.

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Yamanote Line Accident Horrifies Tokyo’s Commuters

Yamanote Line Accident Horrifies Tokyo’s Commuters

At approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday, all trains on Japan Rail’s Yamanote line came to a sudden halt. The words jinshin jiko could be heard echoing through stations across Tokyo as announcements rang out explaining that service on the Yamanote line had been suspended and that other routes may suffer delays as a result.

Jinshin jiko literally means “human body accident”, and is a vague phrase used to communicate that someone may have been injured or killed as a result of a traffic accident. Very often, however, it means that someone has thrown themselves in front of a train.

Sadly, this is far from an unusual occurrence, and, as horrendous a sight it must be for anyone to witness, people have become used to hearing of these “accidents” on Tokyo’s train lines. However, photographs uploaded to Twitter by Japanese commuters yesterday have left many speechless and evoke feelings of pity for the driver of the train in particular, who will undoubtedly be left emotionally scarred by the incident.

The following images do not contain scenes of blood and gore, but some readers may find them disturbing.

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Chinese Government Authorities Offer Cash Rewards in an Effort to Prevent Self-Immolations

Chinese Government Authorities Offer Cash Rewards in an Effort to Prevent Self-Immolations


With Tibetans continuing to set themselves ablaze in protest of oppressive rule by Chinese authorities, state media for Qinghai province reported that the government of the province’s Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture announced it would begin offering rewards of 200,000 yuan (about US$32,000) by December 27 to anyone at the scene who can prevent such suicides from occurring.
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【Heroism】 Younger Brother Catches Suicide Jump Sibling, Saves Life

【Heroism】 Younger Brother Catches Suicide Jump Sibling, Saves Life

At around 4:20pm last Sunday, emergency services in Tokyo’s Ōta ward received a call saying that a young man had leapt from a building and was lying injured in the street.

Arriving moments later and no doubt prepared for the worst, paramedics were instead met by an altogether different and quite remarkable scene; there were, in fact, two men, but both were fully conscious and had sustained only relatively minor injuries.

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Website Lets You Check if Anyone Was Murdered or Committed Suicide in Your Home

Website Lets You Check if Anyone Was Murdered or Committed Suicide in Your Home

None of us wants to live in an apartment or house where someone was killed, also known as stigmatized properties. It’d be pretty creepy in the least.  However, in Japan the desire to not live in a place like that is so intense that you’d think Poltergeist was a documentary.

Oshima Teru is an up and coming website that also must be a real estate agent’s worst nightmare.  Its main purpose is to map out every property where unnatural deaths occurred. Originally only focusing on the Greater Tokyo Area, they have expanded into nearly worldwide coverage including North America and Europe.

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Could Cool Blue Lights Help to Calm the Suicidal?

Could Cool Blue Lights Help to Calm the Suicidal?

Thanks to Japan’s extensive rail system, millions of people are safely and promptly carried to and from to their destinations every day.

For instance, Uchihara Station in Mito city alone sees over 2000 people pass through every day. However, these useful transportation nodes are also plagued by a dark social ill: suicide by train.

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