Suicide in Japan and Other Eastern Cultures

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Suicide in Japan and Other Eastern Cultures

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A recent conversation reminded me of what Lori Noda, one of our three regulars who are Assistant Utah Attorneys General, said at the meeting concerning suicide in Japan, the country of Lori's ancestors, and other Eastern cultures.

I am posting it belatedly, because her comments are worth preserving.

She said that suicide is quite common in Japan and other Eastern cultures, and that it is viewed as the proper thing to do when one's honor is involved.

She even said that when a person becomes old and believes s/he has become a burden to others, it would be considered honorable to commit suicide.

She also said that when anyone commits suicide, it is presumed that honor was the motive -- and there is ABSOLUTELY NO INQUIRY whether the suicide's perception of what honor demanded was appropriate. [An inquiry regarding honor, of course, is different from an inquiry regarding whether homicide or suicide was involved, but such an inquiry takes place only if there are suspicious circumstances suggesting there has been a homicide.]

Finally, Lori said that Japanese and members of other Eastern cultures cannot fathom why there is such a fuss in the West about suicide.

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