Friday, July 13, 2007

Is Suicide an Acceptable Way Out in Japan?

Understanding how cultural differences make viewpoints radically different is a key in being able to work with a client or professional who is of a different culture. Today, ABC news reports of a sad story of a cabinet minister in Japan.

"Japan's ancient Samurai culture and its Buddhist religions make suicide acceptable here. Americans may find suicide shameful. In Japan, suicide is an honorable way to alleviate shame. But things are changing. Japan's mental health experts were shocked when a cabinet minister hanged himself hours before facing a bribery probe. The shock was over praise from Tokyo's governor, calling the dead man a real samurai.

"For the for the first time ever, Japan is looking at suicide as something perhaps caused by mental illness. Suicide is finally being viewed, not an act of glory, but the last act of despair.

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