- JR East, the line we were trying to take, is the most popular for suicides because it charges the bereaved families the least. CAN YOU BELIEVE they actually charge families for the delay their child’s death causes the metropolis?!
- JR EAST has been trying to discourage suicide by doing things like painting train crossings green, which shrinks say can alter the state of mind of would-be suicides. They’ve also added more cameras and trimmed trees to deny jumpers a sense of privacy. And in popular enclosed jumping areas, they’ve added mirrors thinking that a view of one’s self might make a jumper pause. They’ve also added blue lighting, which is supposed to be calming. Mark Saldana’sTokyo’s “Human Accidents”: Jinshin Jiko and the Social Meaning of Train Suicide
- Roughly 2,000 Japanese individuals commit train suicide each year, a figure that accounts for about 6% of total suicides nationwide. More than 30,000 Japanese commit suicide each year, one of the highest rates in the world, but only a small percentage — just over 2% of men and 3% of women — do so by throwing themselves in front of moving vehicles, usually trains. New York Times, 2009.
- According to Wikipedia, Japan has the highest suicide rate (25 for every 100,000 people) of any first-world nation and is ranked six out of all countries.
- The suicide rate is very closely tied to the economy; during the 2008 recession, it jumped 40%. More than half of people who commit suicide in Japan are unemployed.
- Working class people, aged 45-65 are most likely to commit suicide and there’s a 3x chance that they’re male over female. In this demographic, suicide is the no. 1 cause of death.
- Surely the Japanese historical tradition of ‘hari-kari’ or ritual suicide by self-disembowelment on a sword, practiced by samurai in the traditional Japanese society contributes to the high suicide rates today.
- The ‘copy-cat’ principal is equally at play… the problem with a suicide problem is that they’re contagious; suicides breed more suicides… especially among young people. There’s a very scary trend online now where young people kill themselves online. How terrible is that?!
Sorry for the depressing post…. I do appreciate how traveling really does literally show you what is going on in the world. Anyways, I promise to make up for this with something lovely and pretty to look at tomorrow!