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Internet Suicide Pacts Surge in Japan

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-what-the-internet-is-for dept.

The Internet 571

darkmonkeh writes "The number of Japanese who killed themselves in online suicide pacts rose sharply last year, according to the BBC. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and the pacts may appeal to those scared to die alone. These Japanese internet 'suicide clubs' accounted for at least 26 deaths in the last 2 months."

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Right to privacy (4, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702451)

Good to see the Japanese people enjoy having a right to privacy :P

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702453)

1st post

Re:1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702471)

you fail it

YOU AM FAIL IT (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702748)


The key question... (0, Troll)

TheCowardofAnonymous (944653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702464)

What affect will this have on the American economy? I mean, the Japanese are killing themselves, does this mean lower competition for jobs here?

Re:The key question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702581)

Wtf? It's more expensive to outsource to Japan. The cost of living in Japan is insane. You're probably thinking of China or something...

Re:The key question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702585)

Twenty-six deaths per two months equals 156 dead Japanese per year. The population of Japan is around 127,417,244 people, of which 66.2%, or 84,350,216 are of working age*. So these suicides will reduce Japan's total workforce by ~0.00018% per year, assuming that all the suicides are people of working age.

This probably won't do much to the American economy.

* Statistics hastily cribbed from the CIA World Factbook

scared???? (2, Interesting)

mayhemt (915489) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702465)

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and the pacts may appeal to those scared to die alone geez, i thought killing urself was scary enough....

Mail Me (1)

Polymorph2000 (166850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702466)

Clearly movies predict the future http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312843/ [imdb.com]

Re:Mail Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702584)

I have this DVD, but haven't gotten around to watching it yet. Clearly I should do so now that it's relevant!

Whoa, looks like a great movie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702662)

Is it? Any details about the movie. Do any of them hang themselves? The movie's photos don't show enough. Does it have engrish subtitles?

vomit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702470)

do they vomit on each other also?

Fitting? (2, Insightful)

Crussy (954015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702474)

Anyone else find it fitting that this comes right after the thread about Darwin? Natural Selection sure works wonders

Re:All I have to say is ice cream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702542)

You better be careful hikikomon might happen to you, dudes. Actually that isn't even funny though, AT ALL. I don't think suicide is funny.

I am a firm believer that that phenomenon, such as too much time spent on the internet is not a good thing. To be a recluse is not a good thing either. As to why modern life is harder for the Japanese I am assuming it has to do with what a contrast modern life is compared to traditional Japanese culture. I just saw a blurb on 20/20 about the youth in Japan and how ignorant the kids are there...13 to 22 year olds are doing things like eating in public on the street, stuff that seems super normal in America, but in Japan it is frowned upon. So the culture clash of more traditional Japanese values and how modern society is, maybe those people are lost as to where their place is, which direction their country is going in and how to meld all of it together to form a healthy and productive society. Eh, they just need some ice cream. I am also a firm believer that ice cream makes everything better, especially *green tea ice cream

Re: Too much ice cream is a bad thing though too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702682)

I for one welcome our CAT 5, green tea ice cream eating, and no suicide pact OVERLOADED WITH BULLSHIT....

But why be an overlord and try to control people? I think hurting people or yourself is just wrong, being mean is just wrong unless you are evil and provoke people all the time for fun. Yeah, not nice. Sometimes people need to go off by themselves and want their space and privacy respected. The Japanese are definitely structured on that type of society. This is also a society that has Geisha's though.

Did you slashdot guys post nasty things about the Suicide Pact crowd in Japan and make them want to kill themselves? LOL I doubt it, but you know, maybe it was easier to not live life than to live with what they were living with. If you understand that, that means you might actually be *gasp* HUMAN

The Internet suicide pacts should grow worldwide (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702475)

as this lets the fucktards take themselves out the gene pool.

Re:The Internet suicide pacts should grow worldwid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702694)

I'm willing to do my part. Please e-mail me... I'll make a suicide pact with everyone who is interested, and I promise to kill myself each and everytime you kill yourself. Please mail me a PDF of your death certificate, and I'll do my part within an hour of receipt of your message.

Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (5, Interesting)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702476)

I have to wonder, what is it about Japanese culture that produces these people in such high numbers? In America, they'd listen to emo music.

I have hunches but no evidence. Could somebody explain this tragic issue?

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702486)

I have to wonder, what is it about Japanese culture that produces these people in such high numbers?

I'm not sure that the numbers are all that high. 26 people out of a population of how many millions?


Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (2, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702513)

The specific type of sucides they are talking about are a small (but growing) subset of the total number of suicides.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702518)

I gather that that's only the number that have committed suicide in online pacts.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702524)

I don't just mean those killing themselves via internet, I mean the notoriously high general suicide rates of Japan. They are quite real, and I'm quite curious as to why. I'm also curious as to why nobody in Japan (who would have some understanding of the issues) hasn't asked. The last statement applies to itself recursively as well as to why the suicide rates are high.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (5, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702577)

Cultural differences. Really.

People become depressed or financially or emotionally desperate all over the world. What kind of action (if any) it translates into depends a lot on social factors, such as the general acceptance of a given act, the impact on friends and relatives, the number of friends and relatives you have to be impacted and so on.

So in a culture where a suicide doesn't carry a heavy stigma, where you tend to have small circles of family and friends and where some peculiarities of financial law can make it an attractive option in some corner cases you'll get quite a few suicides.

Note that another way of "dealing" with an intolerable life situation, the killing spree or "going postal" kind of shootout, drunken rampages with a vehicle and so on, is very rare to unheard of here.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702494)

Behold the superiority of Japanese culture, as we like to say.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702508)

Whatever it is about Japan that produces suicidal people at higher rates, I know of three types of suicidal people in Japan:
* Samuri doing it to regain honour/because they've lost too much honour.
* Kamakazi pilots doing it most likely for patriotism.
* Suicid clubs

I wouldn't count you're average every day suicide because they happen all over the world. But as far as I know, nowhere but in Japan do the above 3 types of suicidal people get created to the degree in which they're created in Japan.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (2, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702596)

But as far as I know, nowhere but in Japan do the above 3 types of suicidal people get created to the degree in which they're created in Japan.

WHen you consider that you by definition need to be Japanese for the first two (and have to have lived before the Meji restoration era and during the second world war, respectively), that's not exactly a profound statement.

Land (3, Insightful)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702544)

They have so little land. They're all packed in there tightly. Scientists have done experiments with rats where they give them enough space and resources for 50 of them, start them with 10, let them breed, and then let nature take its course. What happens is that eventually they start fighting over resources (predictable) but also get mental illnesses at a much higher rate. They also started engaging in self-destructive acts. I think we see the same thing with Japanese people now. What, 130 million people in a (mountainous) area the size of California? They all have to be wage slaves because there's no cheap land to move to when your job gets shitty, so they just have to "take it". Problem is, a lot of them can't take the high stress that the wage slave-drivers try to milk out of them. "We got 30 people who can replace you. Work harder!" Yeah, you can probably imagine how it feels. It doesn't help that the Bank of Japan's policies are keeping the economy in the gutter by inflating the money supply so your same shitty wages buy you less and less.

Your hunches are worthless (2, Insightful)

Sleet01 (122510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702622)

Japanese are, on average, in better shape and longer-lived than Americans - and that goes for teens and young adults as well. Before worrying about Japan's high suicide rate, perhaps you should worry about this: in addition to a suicide rate of 12 in 100,000 persons (most recently measured in 1997), America also has a death by _homicide_ rate of 7 in 100,000. By comparison, Japan's rate is only 0.6 in 100,000.

There's more: American servicemen are constantly raping, murdering, and accidentally running over Japanese citizens, but we hardly ever hear about that.

So what's worse? The country where a higher percentage of people take their own lives because they can't deal with what the world around them has become, or the country where one in 14,000 people dies at the hand of one of his or her countrymen and which exports rapists and killers?

You do the math.

Re:Your hunches are worthless (3, Informative)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702728)

How did I know somebody would turn this story into an opportunity for hate-America propoganda?

You do the math.

Very well. With a 2005 suicide rate of 91(!) per 100,000 (and the U.S's falling to just over 10, according the WHO), that means that the Japanese suicide rate alone is still over five times the U.S suicide and homicide rates combined. Surely that must be cause for some concern. (Whether one country is "better" than another is not relevant to this topic, just an irrelevant troll you brought up.)

Re:Your hunches are worthless (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702751)

ne of the most controversial aspects of World War II history, in relation to the present-day world, is the Rape of Nanking in 1937 when the Japanese army was moving through China and attacked the city of Nanking (sometimes spelled Nanjing).

This all arose as a result of Japan's invasion of Manchuria and its eventual attack on China proper. This is where there are two terms involved as to when WWII actually started. For the U.S. , WWII started on December 7, 1941 with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. The war lasted around four years, ending in 1945. However, from the Japanese viewpoint, the war was really fifteen years long and is referred to as "The Fifteen Years War" since some Japanese date the war as starting with the invasion of China, the fight against the U.S. not taking place for over a decade.

There was a lead-up in the public to the war as there is with virtually any war and the society waging it. According to the book The Imperial Screen: Japanese Flm Culture in the Fifteen Years' War 1931-1945, 2003:

"The prelude, lasting several months, featured a montage of 'Chinese-inspired incidents' reported by the newspapers in headlings that quivered with indignation. The pattern was to last throughout the thirties, each incident being presented as 'unprovoked' and therefore inexplicable in terms of rational, historical causes."

Censorship, both government inspired and individual-inspired, became important both in film and in newspaper reporting. Even books were used to fan the feelings in Japan. For example, in 1938 there were 38 books attacking the Jewish presence in Japan which was quite interesting since, for all practical purposes, there were no Jews in Japan.

Even the language became controlled which a reaction set in to the use of foreign words in the language and English was labeled "the enemy language." The people were being put into a mind-set of war by their government and by the media. This becomes important when considering why some people consider that the Japanese have not sufficiently apologized for the Nanking massacre and other actions. In effect, the population was being given the mind-set that it was the Japanese who were being attacked and provoked by the Chinese, not the other way around, and why apologize for something you didn't actually start?

"During the China incident, the Japanese popular imagination tended to conceive of the Chinese as hostile, faceless masses, as columns of refugees stolidly trudging roads to nowhere, or as clumps of lifeless flesh littering trenches and riverbeds."

If you dehumanize a group of people then it becomes easier to justify anything that you end up doing to them.

According to the book Japan in the 21st Century: Environment, Economy, and Society (2005):

"It is widely accepted among scholars that after the sudden collapse of the Chinese defense of Nanjing in December, 1937, rampaging Japanese soldiers executed thousands of prisoners of war, civilians as well as men suspected of being soldiers, and burned the homes of Chinese. According to some, as many as 300,000 were killed in Nanjing; Japanese accounts vary from several thousand to 200,000 dead, while some Japanese politicians deny that the massacre ever took place. The Tokyo War Crimes tribunal concluded that more than 140,000 people were killed...making it one of the worst atrocities committed by Japanese forces before and during World War II."

There are some Japanese, like the paragraph above notes, that simply deny that the massacre ever took place, much as some people are denying that the Holocaust ever took place, despite all the spoken, written and photographic evidence to the contrary. Even though over sixty years have passed since the events the feelings are still quite strong in China over what happened. That hurts Chinese-Japanese political relationships. Another thing that is a sticking point is when Japanese politicians visit war memorials to Japanese dead.

This all stems from the original invasion of China by Japan when they seized Manchuria and renamed it Manchuko, then tried to seize the rest of China but failed, especially when they had to withdraw men and materials to help them in their battle against the United States forces in the Pacific Ocean.

There was also a movie shot in Nanking just days after the fall of the city. The moving is called Nanjing, or Nankin, 1938. This became a propaganda film for the Japanese as the film-maker reported only on the things that made the Japanese look good and did not include the reality of the horror that was actually happening.

Again, from the book The Imperial Screen: Japanese Flm Culture in the Fifteen Years' War 1931-1945, 2003, the film editor's own words:

"'Chinese civilians had been forced to line up along a high fence. The line seemed to stretch on endlessly and when I walked beside them many began calling out to me, some holding out to me rancid-smelling bags of tobacco or handfuls of paper money. Their faces were imploring and grief stricken. Since all of them were on the way to be shot, even I became the object of their desperate supplications. Although I understood their forlorn entreaties, I could do nothing and this made me very sad.'"

What actually ended up in the film glorified the Japanese, though, and avoided the sufferings of the Chinese people.

The killings were not limited to Nanking, of course. According to the book Japan:A Modern History, 2002:

"Nanjing was not unique. Throughout China, Japanese soldiers plundered Chinese property, shot farm animals for food, and raped women of all ages. In the north, where constant attacks from Communist partisans made it seem as if every single villaer were an enemy guerilla, Japanese routinely tortured and abused peasants by smearing them with benzene and setting them afire, by bayoneting pregnant women, and by forcing children to walk into suspected minefields."

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (2, Interesting)

pilkul (667659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702673)

Westerners often speculate that there must be some deep unhappiness in Japanese society to cause all these suicides, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. Suicide is much more prominent in Japanese mass culture than it is in the rest of the world, and there's less stigma attached to it. For centuries there have been honor suicides, love suicides and so on (common, and often viewed as positive acts). Popular Japanese authors regularly kill themselves (even more so than here). Also, Japan's main religions do not ban suicide. So Japanese people are more likely to consider it as a reasonable option.

For example, I remember reading that a popular 17th-century puppet play by Chikamatsu glorified love suicides, and as a result there was a rash of them. This deep-set tendency has only been partially reduced by Western influence.

Emo Kids Aren't Always Suicidal. (3, Funny)

kakashiryo (866772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702679)

Yo, we're normal high school kids. Get over the stereotype. We may look funny or listen to weird music, but hey, wasn't that the goths a few years back when everyone poked fun at them? We're as human as you. Don't let a few rotten apples ruin the whole bunch.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702719)

It's because by and large the Japanese people have too good a taste for culture to listen to emo music. They try, and kill themselves when they recognize it as an alternative solution to having to listen to Emo as an outlet.

Re:Culture shouldn't be making "Hikikomori" (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702756)

What, you've never heard of Hiri Kiri?

Japanese culture has long embraced the concept of suicide being the answer to certain problems. In some situations it was seen as the only way to recover honour for yourself, or your family. Whereas western culture and religion have always forbidden suicide, and have threatened to send you to hell if you do it, Japanese culture has not only condoned, but encouraged it. So is it any wonder that their suicide rate is higher than ours?

Suicide Club (2, Funny)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702478)

Tyler Durden: The first rule of Suicide Club is - you do not talk about Suicide Club. The second rule of Suicide Club is - you DO NOT... Wait a second, never mind about the rules.

Re:Suicide Club (5, Funny)

PodissRT (914949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702519)

8th RULE: If this is your first night at Suicide Club, you HAVE to kill yourself.

Thought (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702481)

If the muslims continue to terrorize the West and the rest of the world, the result will not be the establishment of a worldwide caliphate, but the annihilation of the muslims everywhere.

Suicide (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702489)

The majority of suicides in Japan are young girls. Part of the reason is because in the culture of Japan girls are considered inferior in many ways.

The majority of suicides in the US are young boys (~86%). I'm not trying to start a flamewar but I think our culture has reversed and that the suicide rate is a good metric. Young boys who have problems in education are considered inferior while if a young girl has a problem she will get all the help she needs. ~60% of new students in our colleges are women and men are being pushed to the side as if they are inferior. Eventually we may get to the point where France is (for example, ~70% of all new judges are women). Many people like to pretend that this problem does not exist. The US and Japan have the same problems, except they affect different genders.

There's more to it than that... (5, Interesting)

Garwulf (708651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702627)

Certainly I think you raise a very good point, but there is a fundamental difference between east and west that nobody so far has touched upon, and it is important. We have a large stigma against suicide - in Japan that doesn't really exist, from what I understand. And there is a reason for that difference.

Put simply, Western spirituality is about how human beings relate to a divine being (God, Allah, etc.), but there is an assumption that human beings are not themselves divine. Eastern spirituality is about understanding how human beings are divine - they have part of the divine in them. So, ending your life in Western spirituality is a source of judgement and damnation at the hands of the divine, whereas ending your life in Eastern spirituality is in part setting the divine part of you free - hence, no ill spiritual aftereffects, and no stigma.

Re:Suicide (4, Informative)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702629)

Actually more girls attempt to commit suicide than boys in the US, but more girls fail because they tend to eschew more gruesome and reliable methods.

Re:Suicide (2, Interesting)

Garwulf (708651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702647)

There's also a large number of suicides that are attempts at auto-erotic asphyxia gone wrong, from what I've heard - they get classified as a suicide because "suicide" is a lot less embarassing than the truth.

(And if you don't know what auto-erotic asphyxia is, you probably don't want to. Trust me on that. Really.)

Re:Suicide (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702656)

Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females, Women report attempting suicide during their lifetime about three times as often as men.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/suifacts.htm [cdc.gov]

Re:Suicide (4, Insightful)

JDevers (83155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702702)

That is because there is a distinct difference between wanting to kill oneself and wanting the world to THINK you wanted to kill yourself, aka a call for help. The numbers are also skewed somewhat because many young girls attempt suicide on more than one occasion, whereas if you are successful that pretty much means it is your last attempt.

Many women kill themselves in violent "reliable" ways, they truly wanted to die, and of course many of the women who took a bunch of pills truly DID want to die, but most who slash their wrists in a very shallow way or who take pills are really making a call for help. They do not truly wish to die and so should be differentiated somewhat from actual suicide attempts that failed (such as botched gunshot wounds, many people attempt to shoot themselves without realizing the parts of their brains which are actually essential, that should most certainly be considered an actual attempt).

Bullshit. (5, Informative)

BJH (11355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702665)

You just pulled that out of your ass, didn't you?

The majority of suicides in Japan are older men, peaking at 71.1 people per 100,000 for men in the 55-59 age range. This is not particularly surprising, considering the pressures on men of that age (higher chance of being made unemployed, older parents to look after, higher rate of divorce, lower chance of promotion, etc.).

Young girls don't even come close; the 15-19 year old female suicide rate is 5.6 per 100,000.

Further statistics available here [mhlw.go.jp] .

Monthly Fee? (-1, Troll)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702490)

Do they have a monthly fee? I bet these guys force you to buy a year-long membership at least. Typical New Year's Resolution scam >:(

Re:Monthly Fee? (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702562)

I think they would charge per-attempt.

Boredom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702492)

It happens when you have everything, life becomes pointless (no dreams, no motivation no nothing), like in a mmorpg when you have everything it becomes boring after a while.

Blown out of proportion... (4, Informative)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702497)

So... 34000 Japanese killed themselves in 2003, and last year less than 100 people committed suicide as part of suicide clubs.

1 in 340, or 0.3 percent of suicides are accounted for by this?

People like to be horrified by the idea, but resources would be far better focused in pretty much any other way than worrying about this.

Re:Blown out of proportion... (1, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702603)

True, but is it a trend on the rise? If so, maybe they can nip it in the bud.

Re:Blown out of proportion... (1, Troll)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702664)

True, but is it a trend on the rise? If so, maybe they can nip it in the bud.

Hate to have to inject the voice of reason into this, but...


These people kill themselves for a reason.

They live in a place where they have no value as an individual, where society expects them to work themselves literally to death, and "urban sprawl" has gone the way of wall-to-wall carpeting.

I'd probaby want to escape that, too!

It really disturbs me that, at the same time our population keeps rising on an exponential curve, we still cling to archaic notions of the "sacredness" of every life.

Sacred? No. Worthless. Japanese society has just caught on to that idea realtively earlier than the rest of us. Perhaps it has something to do with their stereotypical obsession with honor and accepting suicide as an honorable way out of any problem, but they have the right idea. How do you deal with overpopulation? Encourage death.

Re:Blown out of proportion... (4, Funny)

wik (10258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702693)

Not a problem. The trend will die out.

Re:Blown out of proportion... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702640)

Suicide took the lives of 30,622 people in 2001 in the US with say around 292 million people.
127 million people in Japan, so the suicide rate in Japan is over twice that of the US.

Suicide Clubs? (4, Funny)

shmookey (952796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702498)

Oh, we slashdotters have known about them forever. We call them nightclubs.

Re:Suicide Clubs? (1)

alex4u2nv (869827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702610)

I thought it was suicidegirls.com? =p

Don't worry (4, Funny)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702500)

This sort of thing is self-regulating.

Paranoia Agent... (2, Informative)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702501)

Upon reading the title I was immediately reminded of Paranoia Agent, and now have that song stuck in my head...

Go tie your dick in a knot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702514)

You heard me.

Slashdot sucide club (5, Funny)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702516)

We'll be staging a group sucide next friday. Bring your own CAT5.

Re:Slashdot sucide club (3, Funny)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702534)


We'll also be installing Linux on your laptop for free!

Re:Slashdot sucide club (4, Funny)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702628)

First one to compile Gentoo before they die loses.

Re:Slashdot sucide club (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702598)

Cat5? You guys are pussies. A real man strangles himself to death with his bare hands.

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=ma nly_suicide [thebestpag...iverse.net]

Re:Slashdot sucide club (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702690)

naw, completing the two requisite sepuku strokes before your second cuts your head off is way more He-Manly.

Wouldn't these suicide pacts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702517)

eventually just die off.

Online suicide (0, Flamebait)

NittanyTuring (936113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702541)

Get your suicide online, at www.eSeppuku.com

Re:Online suicide (1)

c_fel (927677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702565)

Your link doesn't work, it must be slashdotted. Anyone has a mirror ?

The problem with Internet Recluses (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702551)

Is that they never get out - see the sun or get excercise. 30 minutes a day wards off all types of ailments, including depression (when was the last time a psychologist prescribed this?)

I heard in China that they have mandatory exercise (in some parts, like around 20 minutes a day) throughout the day, including outdoor community facilities which people are encourage to use. I wonder how Japan, especially Tokyo, is in this regard - especially office workers.

Re:The problem with Internet Recluses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702641)

Actually, I have heard of psychologists recommending exercise in the less severe cases of depressions. But at the same time it's not fair to lump all forms of depression into just being anti-social and lazy. Depression is a real diesease with real symptoms and real problems. It can be caused by chemical imbalances and simply saying "got out and exercise" is very narrow minded. There is research that shows a symptom of depression is pulling away from society and being "anti-social."

People with depression shouldn't feel like they are somehow inferior because they have a legitimate medical problem. If you feel depressed or think you are, go talk to a doctor. It's just as serious as an infection or any other medical aliment. Don't let yourself suffer just because someone else thinks you should just "snap out of it" with a little exercise and fresh air.

Re:The problem with Internet Recluses (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702737)

But at the same time it's not fair to lump all forms of depression into just being anti-social and lazy.

That's not what I'm said at all. I know from myself when I'm feeling depressed, it's usually because I've been cooped up too long. The last time was when I had a leg brace on and thus couldn't get exercise - I felt sicker because of the brace.

I also knew a colleague who became very rich and insisted on retiring around 50, from all his work, to live like a stereotypical senior citizen retiree - meaning sitting at home watching TV, waiting to die - his own words - all day because, of course, that was the way to live the good life for "someone who made it."

Within 6 months, his hair grayed, he gained 50 pounds, and looked 20 years older. Fuck, he even walked like an old man with a slight hunch in his posture. All this from a guy who loved his work and looked 40 y/o previously. (He's now working again and happier.)

Attitude means a shitload.

You'll also find that suicide is more common among people who live in dark/rainy areas and people who are less active. There's a strong correlation there.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/story.php?story_id=2261 66&c=105 [joplinglobe.com]

Of course, it's not all cases (let's not go Tom Cruise here), but a lot more than one thinks.

Re:The problem with Internet Recluses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702680)

I heard in China that they have mandatory exercise (in some parts, like around 20 minutes a day) throughout the day, including outdoor community facilities which people are encourage to use. I wonder how Japan, especially Tokyo, is in this regard - especially office workers.

There is outdoor exercise equipment available in China to use for free, but it isn't mandatory. Some businesses (eg. bars and restaurants) like to have their staff run around the block before busy hours, but that's part of a team-building kind of thing. There's a good point hidden in there about the exercise being outdoor -- the sunlight's a nice thing, and I hadn't thought about that.

It's perhaps worth pointing out that attitudes about suicide under different cultures can be shockingly different. The Western viewpoint has been perhaps influenced by some religious ideas that it's a sin. This isn't the case in mainland China nor Taiwan. Someone who has attempted suicide won't necessarily be thought of or treated in a negative way even when things are settled down, and traditionally and sometimes even now, relationships are brought back together when either the guy or the girl does it to show they're having a rough time after a breakup. In a roundabout way, it has something about a girl traditionally considering some relationship criteria more important than the love she currently feels, and an expectation that things will grow - trying to make the best of things along the way. Perhaps the easiest way to find out about this would be to ask a colleague who has grown up in Taiwan.

Lots of Exercise (2, Informative)

chub_mackerel (911522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702744)

Actually, public support and encouragement for exercise here in Japan is quite common. It's a matter of culture. One of the first things I'm always asked during the "introductory conversation" (which varies little from person to person) is what kind of sports I like to do. Kids and adults are encouraged to exercise. Many communities have very well-appointed civic community centers with gyms and pools and martial arts classes (public funding for something like that isn't seen as something evil and socialist here). There's a holiday called "sports day" when local schools have athletic festivals and people go out to join in and watch, etc. Employees at many companies here do morning calesthenics every workday. Public parks are full of people playing team sports, even way out in the suburbs. The public TV station, NHK, has little 10-minute exercise bits throughout the day for housewives (yes, this is Japan), elderly folk, and other homebodies to do if they want to join in. And perhaps the biggest thing: Japanese people walk. ALL the time. I live in the distant outskirts of Tokyo and every time I have a friend or relative come from overseas, I need to warn them to get in shape because the first few days here are going to involve lots of walking up and down subway stairs, from station to location, etc. There's a reason people here are generally thin. Not to mention: oodles of bicycles everywhere, used as transportation by a sizable fraction of the public.

Exercise may be a generally good thing for mental well-being, but I don't think that's a factor that negatively distinguishes the Internet recluses in Japan from those anywhere else. Are the Internet recluses here still more likely to be out of shape? Sure. But I think the background level of fitness here is pretty good, so even those outliers are probably in better shape than, for example, geeks in the US.

Re:The problem with Internet Recluses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702763)

The Japanese are crazy, in at least one way, about fitness. If you ever go there you can see even office workers, their bosses included, doing calisthenics (I'm not sure I have that right) before work. Pretty cool.

I doubt that the mood lift offered by 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to help someone on the edge of suicide. Perhaps it just might help for awhile after the exercise, but all it takes is one spike of "I hate my life" to make a suicide.

Moreover, as several slashdotters have noted already, the culture is different and many Japanese suicides are not related to depression (love/honor suicides).

They Obviously (2, Funny)

Blazeix (924805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702588)

Obviously, All the japanese are infected with Toxoplasma [slashdot.org] !

Re:They Obviously (1)

Tekkanano (537583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702643)

Ohh, those things are making me wanna commit suicide too, lol!

Japan's suicide factors (2, Insightful)

hunterkll (949515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702590)

one of the big factors in japanese suicides is the competitiveness and pressure placed on the students in the schooling system.

Kent Brockman says: (0)

Blazeix (924805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702602)

I, for one, welcome our technologically superior yet suicidal Overlords!

OK on the count of 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702611)

1 ... 2 ... 3 ...
*watch webcam as everyone commits suicide*
OMG they actually did it .. LOL l0s3rz

Japan and Suicide (5, Interesting)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702613)

Having lived here awhile now, the idea of suicide in Japan is completely different from what it was in America. There are a couple things you have to keep in mind:

A) Mental illness is heavily stigmatized
B) Suicide is legal and only vaguely stigmatized

Oh, and if you kill yourself by jumping in front of a train (I don't know how many times I've sat on a train where we couldn't move until they cleaned it off), your family has to pay Japan Railways for the cost of repairs/cleaning. So, if you're crazy and hate your family and work 70 hours a week, suicide doesn't seem that bad, really. Nobody seems to care that much about it either. People always laugh and joke when the train comes to an abrupt stop.

Internet suicide is old news here. Just like your silly "cellular phones" and "computers". Telepathic communication is the new thing.

Where is the world going? (5, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702639)

Having been to Japan, I found a society that is near perfect...trains on time, organized streets, and very courteous folks. Everyone seemed to be busy with something. This masked what I guess I obviously failed to see.

Then I visited East Africa where I found a priviledged few among a sea of poverty and hopelessness. But what struck me is the ease the Africans took life as. They seemed to be happy, always thinking that the following day would be a better one. They even shared the little they had, something very rare in a major city in the USA for example.

This makes me wonder....What is it that we in the west miss out? Why is it that suicide rates in the so-called first world are significantly higher than those in the third world? Can we still call ourselves developed? I doubt.

Where is the world going?

Re:Where is the world going? (1)

zephc (225327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702733)

two words, man: Hakuna Matata

Yeah, Japan is the West? (1)

Cybert14 (952427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702759)

Oops...false dichotomy. I suppose libertarianism blows your mind too.

Re:Where is the world going? (5, Interesting)

pilkul (667659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702780)

I once read that in the Nazi death camps, suicide was very rare, but in the month after the camps were liberated a large number of survivors took their lives.

What I mean to say is that suicide is an act undertaken by those who are physically in good shape but psychologically and philosophically shattered. When you're starving, you think only of getting the next bite of food, and the thought of killing yourself is remote. When you have the time and mental capacity to ponder nihilism, that's when you take action. I think that would explain the third-world/first-world difference; there is not more misery in the first world, but the misery that exists is more conductive to suicide.

Re:Where is the world going? (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702782)

I understand that the best gauge of happiness is relative standing with one's peers: basically, you're happy if you can believe (without too much strain) that you are doing a little better than your neighbors. This scale is independent of absolute wealth but it is sensitive to the range of possibilities one's sees for one's life (or the range of lives that one sees others apparently not too different than oneself living).

So, the more visible models of others doing better, the more miserable we tend to become. This might be a special problem in wealth oriented or success oriented societies, where inter-personal comparisons are almost mandatory and are "mechanized" (e.g. SATs, MATs, performance indicators, etc.).

Re:Where is the world going? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702786)

Ever read the unibomber manifesto?

Re:Where is the world going? (1)

slavik1337 (705019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702791)

In the words of one russian stand up comic is that things can only get better. They are so bad that they can't get worse, only better. I find this very true about the Africa that is below the poverty line.

Japanese women are hot (-1, Offtopic)

www.staff.ie (947600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702646)

I wonder if they knew a nice, charming, good looking, rich guy like me (modest, moi??) would be happy to let them crash in my place for a few months and get their life together (or even, just party and have a good time), would they still kill themselves?

Isn't there always another option?


I feel particularily sensitive about Japanese women killing themselves because I think they're hot (at least I'm being honest.)

Re:Japanese women are hot (-1, Troll)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702711)

The woman sitting at the desk next to mine just read your post, screamed and jumped out the window. So I guess the answer is "yes, they would still kill themselves."

Re:Japanese women are hot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702769)

I wonder if they knew a nice, charming, good looking, rich guy like me


Too Bad... (-1, Troll)

jchawk (127686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702649)

Damn it's too bad we can't convince some of the slashdot crowd to follow suit! :-P

Hmmm.. I smell an idea (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702659)

Suicide has become a widely discussed topic on many websites in Japan, and there is even a guidebook to the best places to kill yourself.

Of course, they could always market the book as a haunted guide book. You know all those stories always start with someone kill themselves.

If the japanese society wasn't so fucked-up... (-1, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702704)

If the japanese society wasn't so fucked-up, this would not be a problem.

The japanese are extremely competitive, and socially constrained, to the point that individuality is savagely repressed.

Recent events of railroad employees been humiliated when they run their trains late have resulted in horrific rail crashes thanks to a train engineer running late trying desperately to make up lost time.

And with the japanese economy on life-support to prop-up corrupted banks, it's no wonder that kids do not see any future and want to end it all.

The japanese culture does not value original thought, to the point that it can be argued that they are almost incapable of it. The only thing they can do is imitate, and this is what the japanese have been doing since Admiral Perry visited Japan more than 120 years ago.

Japan has been monkeying the United States and the West, by engaging in war with Russia in 1911, and then with the US in 1941. After nearly escaping anhihilation, under american rule, Japan has been transformed in a huge factory turning out zillions of trinkets, to the point of wasting whole industrial sectors abroad, all the while providing an antfarm existence to it's population.

Clearly such an environment is wholly unforgiving of non-comformity. But for the japanese to do otherwise would mean a major cultural upheaval. So, in the end, it's really up to them.

It had time to become like this (2, Informative)

winphreak (915766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702723)

Japan has always had a high risk of suicide. The movie, as well as some cultural knowledge, show that.

The term Hari Kari is really Hara Kiri. That's when a samurai or warrior would be dishonored in his actions, and would rather kill himself than bow down to a new ruling party or to shame.
Then, in the 1800s, when Japan moved for industrialisation, objective sucess became key. Most Japanese never switch careers.Success became the new standard. Someone who had great wealth or power would commit suicide over an incident that would bring them down.
Combine all this with a new, semi-anonymous network, and you can have suicide parties. Just like in California about a decade or so ago, when they all died together.

This is just a fad... (1, Funny)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702729)

... that will die out in a year or two.

Strange (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702730)

In the words of Malcom Reynolds, "Everybody dies alone"

Let me be the first to say that... (2, Funny)

chriswaclawik (859112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702732)

... I wouldn't want to be part of any suicide club that would have me as a member.

Your Rights Online: Internet Suicide Pacts Surge i (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702735)

Your Rights Online: Internet Suicide Pacts Surge in Japan

what the fuck does people killing themselves at the same time as other people using the internet have to do with my "rights online"?

serious probs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14702753)

Japan has some serious problems with its people.

(*) They have high suicide rate

(*) They have some of the lowest fertility rate, and have -ve growth of population

Their economy, and workaholic schedules, heavy competition are some of the factors to blame. They are some of the most stressed workers.

Take that, Emperor Meiji (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702754)

You can destroy the Samurai, but you cannot destroy the Samurai inside man.

//just saw The Last Samurai

Paranoia Agent (1)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14702787)

When I saw this the episode "Happy Family Planning" of Paranoia Agent [wikipedia.org] , I thought it was just the author's twisted plot device. But it turns out this happens for real. Who knew?

Or perhaps we have a case of life imitating art?
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