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Old 2012-02-13, 00:55   Link #2141
LeoXiao
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Why is it that Japanese like committing suicide so much? Do they really do it much more than in China or Korea?
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Old 2012-02-13, 01:12   Link #2142
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Why is it that Japanese like committing suicide so much? Do they really do it much more than in China or Korea?
It think it's just that suicides are more "public" than in Korea or China, because of the different thoughts behind the suicides. A percentage of the Japanese ones are based on so-called "honor-keeping" and thus are meant to be made public, while almost all suicides in Korea and China tend to be just someone being depressed or not being able to face life anymore.
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Old 2012-02-13, 01:23   Link #2143
LeoXiao
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Yeah, I was wondering. Because I hear about Chinese people committing suicide all the time, though it's Japan that gets all the drama over it.

I'd be surprised if Japan was the only East Asian country to have something like seppuku.
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Old 2012-02-13, 01:41   Link #2144
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
I'd be surprised if Japan was the only East Asian country to have something like seppuku.
Korea did have something similar, but it was more of an execution where the person dying still kept their beliefs. It could be summarized as "I die by your command according to my loyalty, your Highness, but my belief remains the same. May you turn to the right side".
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Old 2012-02-13, 02:09   Link #2145
LeoXiao
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An execution? Isn't that not suicide then?
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Old 2012-02-13, 02:15   Link #2146
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
An execution? Isn't that not suicide then?
The execution was drinking poison on your own accord. The basic process was this:

Those sentenced to death by poison (high-ranking officials or members of the royal family) were first banished to remote places and then executed there. The execution process included the accused dressed in clean garb bowing four times toward the direction of the palace to pay his last respect to the king and drinking the poison. An executioner and several assistants attended the execution to make sure that the poison has been administered right and taken effect. Sometimes they even had to force-feed the poison to a resisting prisoner or lock a prisoner in a heated room to facilitate the deadly effect of the drug.

Basically, it's somewhat similar in that seppuku can also be commanded.
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Old 2012-02-13, 02:18   Link #2147
Terrestrial Dream
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
The execution was drinking poison on your own accord. The basic process was this:

Those sentenced to death by poison (high-ranking officials or members of the royal family) were first banished to remote places and then executed there. The execution process included the accused dressed in clean garb bowing four times toward the direction of the palace to pay his last respect to the king and drinking the poison. An executioner and several assistants attended the execution to make sure that the poison has been administered right and taken effect. Sometimes they even had to force-feed the poison to a resisting prisoner or lock a prisoner in a heated room to facilitate the deadly effect of the drug.

Basically, it's somewhat similar in that seppuku can also be commanded.
You are talking about 사약, yes?
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Old 2012-02-13, 02:19   Link #2148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post

Basically, it's somewhat similar in that seppuku can also be commanded.
Woah, ordering someone to commit suicide...?!

I hope corrupt politicians in my country does the same.
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Old 2012-02-13, 02:21   Link #2149
Sumeragi
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Originally Posted by Terrestrial Dream View Post
You are talking about 사약, yes?
Sayak was the poison, not the act itself. The actual "name" of the execution was "Bestow/Receive Sayak".

To continue taking info from KBS World:

Called “sayak” in Korean and meaning “deadly medicine,” the poison’s main ingredient is usually arsenic. It is white odorless, colorless powder and it kills by attaching to enzyme protein molecules in the body to suffocate the cells. When taken in lethal dose, arsenic induces vomiting, diarrhea, expansion of blood vessels, and falling blood pressure, which ultimately leads to the paralysis of the central nerve system. The death usually occurs within an hour or two of intake.

Other ofter-used ingredient was monkshood or wolfsbane, which has hooded bluish-purple flowers. Its roots contain a toxic alkaloid compound called aconitine, which causes muscle paralysis. The same substance is used on poison arrows in Africa. In Oriental medicine a small dose of wolfsbane processed to be non-toxic was prescribed to people with poor circulation or cold extremities. However, too much of unprocessed wolfsbane could literally cook a person from inside, pushing up the blood pressure and body temperature to the point where blood vessels including the ones in the brain to burst. This ingredient was especially lethal when combined with pure gold, honey, ginseng or crab eggs, all of which have hot properties.

.......

Whatever the poisonous mixture was made of, it usually took more than 30 minutes for the drug to take effect. So the scenes where prisoners spew out blood and dies immediately after they drink the poison are inaccurate. For instance, there is a record that scholar Song Shi-yeol during King Sukjong’s reign did not die even after drinking two bowls of poisonous drink, so he had to have all his orifices in the body blocked and made to drink the poison again.



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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
Woah, ordering someone to commit suicide...?!
Contrary to what most non-Japanese think, at least half of the time seppuku was a punishment rather than a "voluntary" thing. If someone had done a wrong, they were given the choice of committing seppuku rather than be executed like a common criminal, and hence was done only by the samurai class (basically the new nobles).
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Old 2012-02-13, 02:28   Link #2150
LeoXiao
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In the one Korean drama I had watched I remember that they had a queen put to death by poisoning and she was able to talk for like ten minutes before dying (and putting a curse on the executioner apparently).

But yeah, if someone forces you to commit suicide it's not really suicide. Seppuku when forced would be the same thing in my book.
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Old 2012-02-13, 08:16   Link #2151
Shinji01
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Saving space...
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyjay729 View Post
Saving space...
This is why I wish I had paid attention during class in high school...
I think what my teacher was trying to say was the same thing. That the Ainu share similar roots with many other strands of people around the world, but the question is, in which order did they migrate into japan and influence their culture?

The mainstream understanding is that Ainu where there long before other people, but when you trace the cultures from a linguistic point of view, Japan could have been influenced from the Southern areas...or something like that.

The sad thing is, very little schools teach this stuff, and most Japanese take being Japanese for granted and think we are just "Japanese".

Very interesting field to study.

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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Do the Japanese even have middle names?
I think culturally we dont have middle names.
Most documents only give you space for a first name and a last name.
But with more mixed cultural families and immigrants coming in, I do see people with two surnames/ middle names, like "Soryu Asuka Langley" and "Said Yokota Erena in AKB48. (Yep I had to use a Eva example)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Sayak was the poison, not the act itself. The actual "name" of the execution was "Bestow/Receive Sayak".
1 to 2 hours until you die? It must have been painful...
I knwo that seppuku was also not an quick and easy as it seems on TV and movies (hence you get a guy to chop your head off).
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Old 2012-02-13, 09:25   Link #2152
Vexx
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Seppuku is a slow and excruciating death unless you're able to nick the main artery way back near the spine (unlikely with the blade used for it). All you're trying to show is the *willingness* to die that way -- the headsman provides the killing blow to say "we get it, no need to actual go the route"

Obviously, most moderns try to pick a more instant method. Sometimes they screw up (usually by not jumping from somewhere high enough).
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Old 2012-02-13, 09:39   Link #2153
Tri-ring
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First of all if you do some research on the full names of gods in Japan they are really are string of names. for example there is Okuninushi-Omononushi-Onushi no mikoto which is like trinity of Christan origin where Ounishi(大主) is the spirit, Omononushi(大物主) is the lord and Okunishi(大国主) is the savior which defines the origin of Christian third name system. The Arabs naming system is expressing linage where the longer the name the further you know the name of you ancestor. Traditional was probably a mixture of both, another complicated matter is added title such as Sado no kami(佐渡の守) which means protector of Sado a title like the duke of Elington given to the nobles.
As for sepuku there are probably three types, one is a form of ultimate protest, another is a form of ultimate apology and the last the form of punishment blended with self-sacrifice to save face of the family.
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Old 2012-02-13, 09:52   Link #2154
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
First of all if you do some research on the full names of gods in Japan they are really are string of names. for example there is Okuninushi-Omononushi-Onushi no mikoto which is like trinity of Christan origin where Ounishi(大主) is the spirit, Omononushi(大物主) is the lord and Okunishi(大国主) is the savior which defines the origin of Christian third name system.
Did the concept of "courtesy names", also known as "style names", exist in Japan?

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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
The Arabs naming system is expressing linage where the longer the name the further you know the name of you ancestor.
It's a common system that's not limited to Arab culture. Arabs would denote their parent's (usually the father) name with the "al-" or "el-" prefix. Basically, you have so-and-so son of so-and-so.

Personally, I'm glad to belong to a culture that uses surnames. It makes keeping track of your relatives so much easier.
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Old 2012-02-14, 04:23   Link #2155
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I've broken a few rules to reproduce this article in full, in response to a point raised by aohige in the News Stories thread.

It was an interesting development that I had wanted to bring up here at the time but, unfortunately, forgot about. I tried to find the report online, but it seems to be unavailable at the usual public sources. So, I took it from an internal archive, for discussion and reference purposes. I'd appreciate it very much if people do not circulate it further without my knowledge.

Japan's small parties push for greater local autonomy
Quote:
By Kwan Weng Kin
Japan Correspondent for
The Straits Times

(Feb 2, 2012)


TOKYO: To push their demands for more local autonomy and other reforms, three small political parties, including one to be formed by outspoken Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, are banding together to create a third force to challenge Japan’s existing two large parties.

Working with Mr Ishihara, 79, to launch a new party next month are the heads of two small parties, Mr Shizuka Kamei, 75, of the People’s New Party, and Mr Takeo Hiranuma, 72, of the Sunrise Party of Japan.

Following a meeting with his partners last week, Mr Ishihara hinted at his readiness to quit his governor’s post and return to national politics, from which he had retired in 1995.

“The country is more important than Tokyo. I ran Tokyo for the sake of the country and have done whatever needed to be done,” he told reporters.

Mr Ishihara and his partners are rushing to launch their party next month in apparent anticipation of a stalemate in Parliament over Bills related to the government’s unpopular proposal to raise the sales tax from 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

Should that happen, there is a likelihood that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will call a snap general election.

The new party hopes initially to have 70 to 80 members, including politicians from both the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party who support its policies.

Mr Ishihara, who remains popular despite his age, also intends to cooperate with populist local leaders in the general election, which must be held no later than the middle of next year.

The most prominent among these local leaders is 42-year-old Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who leads his own Osaka Ishin no Kai political group.

Another is Mr Hideaki Omura, 51, the Governor of Aichi prefecture in central Japan, who plans to form his own regional party soon.

Mr Hashimoto, a lawyer, is an articulate crowd-pleaser whose feistiness has won him the strong backing of Mr Ishihara.

Mr Hashimoto is seeking to end Japan’s 140-year-old prefectural system which centralises power in the hands of national bureaucrats in Tokyo, a situation that stifles local initiative.

He proposes to reorganise the country into eight or nine regions which would be given greater autonomy than at present and which would operate as almost independent states.

He also wants the western Japanese city of Osaka to have an administrative structure similar to that of Tokyo.

Mr Hashimoto’s proposed reforms are believed to have wide support in western Japan, but not among national bureaucrats, whose influence will be eroded if the reforms go through.

To realise his vision, Mr Hashimoto believes he needs a strong political presence in Parliament.

“We want to remake Japan. As we don’t know what our relationship with the established political parties will be, we have to prepare thoroughly,” he said recently.

The popular mayor plans to conduct monthly seminars starting next month to groom up to 200 candidates to stand in constituencies in western Japan in the next general election.

Aichi governor Omura plans to field about 100 candidates in constituencies in central Japan.

With efforts to form a new political front centring on Mr Hashimoto shifting into high gear, the move has clearly worried Mr Noda.

“Hashimoto is popular as a reformist. But I hope there will be no white ants swarming around him,” Mr Noda said in Parliament last week, in a cynical reference to politicians scurrying to ride on Mr Hashimoto’s coattails.

Political gridlock has plagued Japan since 2010 when the DPJ lost control of the Upper House to the opposition, enabling opposition politicians to easily block government Bills in that chamber.

Nationwide opinion polls have shown voters to be unhappy with the state of politics in Japan, which has seen a change of prime minister every year for the past several years.

Mr Noda’s own popularity has sunk to below 40 per cent, only five months after he took office.
There are a number of dynamics at work here, I believe. I don't have time at the moment to fully articulate some of my questions but, for a start, I'm curious about Mr Ishihara's popularity among Tokyo voters. He is apparently a populist, but in what way? What is he saying and doing that resonate so strongly among Tokyo voters? For that matter, how broad is his popularity among Tokyo voters? I remember reading an earlier story elsewhere about him enjoying support from older residents.
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Old 2012-02-14, 04:42   Link #2156
Sumeragi
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Ishihara enjoys Tokyo support mainly because he gets the elder votes and also is the only "sane" candidate that runs in the election. Basically, he's the sole big fish among midgets in the Tokyo Governor election. As for populism, he is a bit more anti-establishment in the sense he's against the stagnant way things are run by the major parties and the bureaucrats. However, in no way is he a populist in the more general sense.


Now, as for Hashimoto: Frankly, I don't agree to his plans in the present form. He's pushing things too fast, which might work within the context of Osaka, but will cause major backlash on the national level. It's my opinion he needs to spend at least another 10 years building up a coalition within Kinki before going national.
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Old 2012-02-14, 05:49   Link #2157
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Ishihara enjoys Tokyo support mainly because he gets the elder votes and also is the only "sane" candidate that runs in the election. Basically, he's the sole big fish among midgets in the Tokyo Governor election. As for populism, he is a bit more anti-establishment in the sense he's against the stagnant way things are run by the major parties and the bureaucrats. However, in no way is he a populist in the more general sense.
Would appreciate more elaboration. Ishihara has been somewhat tarred by Western media, and is especially loathed among younger foreigners because of his association with "anti-media" policies. I'm trying to get a more accurate grasp of how he is supposed to be a "saner" alternative for Tokyo voters. Who are the alternatives, for that matter, and how are they worse than him?
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Old 2012-02-14, 06:05   Link #2158
aohige
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Add anti-gay, mysoginist/sexist, anti-foreigners, and anti-disabled.

The dude hates a lot of people.
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Old 2012-02-14, 07:01   Link #2159
TinyRedLeaf
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Add anti-gay, mysoginist/sexist, anti-foreigners, and anti-disabled. The dude hates a lot of people.
Er... again, how's he the "saner" choice?

Were the alternatives that rotten, or is there something less savoury about Tokyo residents that we should be aware about?
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Old 2012-02-14, 07:04   Link #2160
Dhomochevsky
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Add anti-gay, mysoginist/sexist, anti-foreigners, and anti-disabled.

The dude hates a lot of people.
He should switch over to whitelisting, much more efficient for a hater like that.
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