SUICIDE


SUICIDE
   Japan’s suicide rate continues to be one of the highest among industrialized nations (a 1993 manual describing suicide methods sold more than one million copies), and this trend is manifest in both the works and lives of modern writers. During the Tokugawa period, suicide played several literary roles. Suicide was sometimes the only option for star-crossed lovers whose social disparity precluded their earthly union, a popular theme in the theater. Suicide was the only path to preserve warrior and family honor, another popular literary context. Suicide was also the last resort for desperate or depressed literary characters. Modern literature inherited all three of these aspects of suicide, and they can be found in a wide range of texts, from Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro (1914; tr. Kokoro: A Novel, 1957) to the contemporary novels of Murakami Haruki and Oe Kenzaburo. (See KUROTOKAGE; MIYAMOTO MUSASHI; SHAYO.)
   Many notable Japanese authors have also taken their own lives, including Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Kawakami Bizan, Tamiya Torahiko, Kitamura Tokoku, Dazai Osamu, Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, and Arishima Takeo. Some scholars speculate that the pressures of Japan’s conformist society, combined with the peripheral status of writers, may contribute to this phenomenon. Mishima’s ritual self-disembowelment following a failed coup attempt in 1970 shocked the nation and is perhaps the most dramatic of author suicides. The motives for suicide among writers range from “a vague sense of anxiety” (Akutagawa) to fear of being discovered in an extramarital affair (Arishima), and many authors who commit suicide give their reasons in a suicide note, which itself constitutes a literary subgenre in Japan. Not all writers, however, provide their motives; Kawabata took his own life just four years after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature and experiencing supreme success as an author, yet left no note.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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  • SUICIDE — Le suicide trahit au premier chef le désir de surmonter l’irréversibilité, mais dans l’antécédence. «C’est parfois la peur de la mort qui pousse les hommes à la mort», disait Épicure. Mais qu’est ce que cette crainte de la mort, sinon l’attente… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Suicide — • The act of one who causes his own death, either by positively destroying his own life, as by inflicting on himself a mortal wound or injury, or by omitting to do what is necessary to escape death, as by refusing to leave a burning house… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • suicide — is a major public health problem for China that is only gradually being recognized. During the period from 1995 to 1999, there were an estimated 287,000 suicides each year, which makes suicide the fifth most important cause of death in the… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • Suicide — Основная информация Жанры …   Википедия

  • Suicide — Datos generales Origen Nueva York, NY Estado En activo Información artística …   Wikipedia Español

  • suicide — n. The act of killing oneself. v. commit suicide The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. suicide a killing of …   Law dictionary

  • suicide — deliberate killing of oneself, 1650s, from Mod.L. suicidium suicide, from L. sui of oneself (gen. of se self ), from PIE *s(u)w o one s own, from root *s(w)e (see IDIOM (Cf. idiom)) + cidium a killing (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • suicide — [so͞o′ə sīd΄] n. [L sui, of oneself (< IE * sewe , refl. pron. < base * se , apart > OE swæs, own) + CIDE] 1. the act of killing oneself intentionally 2. ruin of one s interests or prospects through one s own actions, policies, etc. 3. a …   English World dictionary

  • Suicide — Su i*cide, n. [L. sui of one s self (akin to suus one s own) + caedere to slay, to kill. Cf. {So}, adv., {Homicide}.] 1. The act of taking one s own life voluntary and intentionally; self murder; specifically (Law), the felonious killing of one s …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • suicide — ► NOUN 1) the action of killing oneself intentionally. 2) a person who does this. 3) (before another noun ) referring to a military operation carried out by people who do not expect to survive it: a suicide bomber. 4) a course of action which is… …   English terms dictionary

  • Suicide — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Punkrock, New Wave, No Wave Gründung Anfang 1970er …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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