Buddhist Monk Confronts Japan's Suicide Culture
Japan’s suicide rate is twice that of the United States. More than 30,000 people a year kill themselves in Japan.
So many people jump in front of subway trains that when a train stops between stations, people just assume it’s a suicide.
A Buddhist monk, Ittetsu Nemoto, decided he wanted to do something about that. He now works with depressed Japanese people who make the journey to his temple.
Larissa MacFarquhar, a staff writer for The New Yorker, wrote about Nemoto in a recent issue.
“There’s a sense that he and a few other priests are trying to help people rethink this choice, to think that suicide is not a good choice,” MacFarquhar said. “Even though suffering may be ennobling, suicide is not.”
- Larissa MacFarquhar, staff writer at The New Yorker who wrote the story “Last Call.”
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