I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Art immitating life or vice versa?

Suicide Club (Jisatsu circle) 2002. A mystery/thriller/gorefest/musical motion picture directed by Sono Shion. Summary on Amazon.com: A wave of unexplainable suicides sweeps across Tokyo after 54 smiling high school girls join hands and throw themselves from a subway platform into an oncoming train. Are the jumpers part of a cult? What is the connection to the website that chronicles suicides...before they happen? And, what is the connection to the Japanese all-girl pop group "Desert?" Suicide Club is a stylish, bizarre thriller that examines pop culture and disaffected youth.

CBS World News October 12, 2004: Nine bodies were found in two parked cars Tuesday with charcoal stoves at their feet and the windows sealed from inside in what is believed to be Japan's largest group suicide pact. More

Another dispatch reporting from Tokyo here.

A 24-year-old man who died in western Tsu city on March 5 last year said in his note: "We don't know the reason why we want to die. We've got together to die peacefully."

A collection of DVDs for a Net group suicide are available on the Internet for ¥3112 ($38).

One website includes a poem by a person named R. Ueki which encourages group suicide:

Now, let's commit a pure group suicide.

You, meagre young people. There is no point for you to stick to your life.

Suicide is the only thing you can choose.

It's the last glorious seal you will be able to leave behind.

Japan's suicide rates are among the highest in the world. According to the National Police Agency, 34,427 people committed suicide in Japan in 2003.

Officials have blamed a decade-long economic slump for an increasing number of people killing themselves.


Blogger Dean Trippe said...

Suicide's always pretty hard to take, esp. to those of us who have had loved ones take their lives. With group suicides I'm always surprised there's not at least one hold out, who's just impacted by the reality of death. Huh...I might have to write that down...

2:48 PM

Blogger Ronnie said...

Depression can surge silently and that impulse apparently can snap on suddenly and can seem to be a viable way out. I saw Jane Paulie discuss her depression on T.V. and cites the moment that alerted her doctor. At the time she was doing a story on a suicide survivor who described her moment of decision. Jane herself was being treated for depression when she disclosed, as matter of fact and not relating it to herself, that she can now see how that girl can feel that way. The doctor immediately took action, and Jane was in a hospital ward under suicide watch. It gave me an idea of how critical that kind of intervention is in preventing a suicide.

This mass suicide though is more perplexing. I can only guess at the heartbreak their families are going through or the trail of questioning and guilt those left behind will be pondering on for years. There's everything sad and tragic about this, but what angers me is the possibility that this might just be a new fad mindset, like people who opt to amputate their limbs as a fashion statement; that this is nurtured and imflamed by a sad few but bought by the weak and numbed section of all our societies.

This is one fashion statement that can only be made once--and you won't be around for the review.


9:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That certainly is disturbing. Maybe it makes it easier going in groups? I don't know. I hope their families are coping they best that they can.


12:50 PM


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