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Teenage girl jumps to her death at Machida Station

46 Comments

Police said Wednesday that a teenage girl jumped to her death from the platform at JR Machida Station in Tokyo.

Police said the incident occurred at around 8:40 p.m. Tuesday. TBS quoted witnesses as saying that the girl, who has not been identified, dropped her bag on the platform and then jumped in front of an oncoming train on the JR Yokohama line.

JR East said 10 train services were suspended for about 80 minutes, affecting 19,000 commuters.

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46 Comments
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What a terrible inexcusable waste of a young life.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This is all so common in Japan, and very often involves teenagers. So, when I read a story like this, I always wonder why some of these tragedies make the headlines, while most others don't even make local news.

Back in my teaching days one of my former students took her own life this way. She was around 15 at the time, but her suicide did not make the news. In fact, I have a strong suspicion that her death may not even have been counted among Japan's (woefully under-counted) suicide statistics, probably in a well-intended attempt to help the family save face. The full-time teaching faculty were told the specifics, but we were instructed to give a vague explanation to her classmates and the part-time teachers that it was some kind of traffic accident. Not one person — neither student nor part-time faculty — queried the sketchy story, except for some non-Japanese part-timers.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

No one should become a statistic at such a young age.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@CrazyJoe

No one should become a statistic at such a young age.

I completely agree.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

In fact, I have a strong suspicion that her death may not even have been counted among Japan's (woefully under-counted) suicide statistics, probably in a well-intended attempt to help the family save face

You know, Japanese statistics regarding suicide seem to be reported as is and are among the highest in the world and have been for years. Not all suicides make the news.

Besides your suspicion or feeling what proof do you have that they are under reported? Just because it doesn't make the newspapers doesnt mean it wasnt counted and yes many incidents are not released to the press. That's nothing new.

Schools will often times NOT report to classmates that someone from their school committed suicide, unless it hits the papers, it's nothing new and doesnt have anything to do really with saving face. It's more along the lines of the teachers having to explain and talk about the issue and in effect run away from facing the reality around having to discuss the issue of suicide with their students.

So instead of carrying about suspicions try to understand the culture behind it and just keep the memory of your student alive and not look for conspiracy theories that dont exist.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Poor girl ... I wonder what could have driven her to this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So instead of carrying about suspicions try to understand the culture behind it and just keep the memory of your student alive and not look for conspiracy theories that dont exist.

This story is about a young innocent girl that took her life.

We don't need your opinion on conspiracies and culture.

So just say a couple kind words and leave it at that...

You're Welcome!

RIP little one...

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Ugh. What a sad and horrible way to die

Please Japan, please stop bullying. Your kids are looking for help

1 ( +3 / -2 )

poor gal, japan needs some serious suicide helplines. Hopefully shell be in a better place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chin4Sailor: We don't need your opinion on conspiracies and culture.

Learn how to read more carefully before you post nasty comments to others. Yubaru was telling the other poster to forget about his or her conspiracy theory. Yubaru was not offering any conspiracy theories and ended by saying "keep the memory of your student alive and not look for conspiracy theories that dont exist." As far as "we" are concerned, speak for yourself. I appreciated his comment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan, please stop with the stigma of dealing with mental health issues. Where were this girl's parents??

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Readers, that ends discussion on conspiracy theories.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

what a tragedy for someone so young! Rip poor girl!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On a personal note, I know it's hard to celebrate life at a time like this, and we all tend to get a bit morbid when reading stories about what seem to be totally preventable death.

I think the message should be that we need to educate and teach children about the value of life and that no matter what happens in one's life you only have one to live and while taking your own may seem like a viable option, the people you leave behind will forever be scarred in their hearts because of what you did.

Suicide here seems to me to be one thing that goes so totally against so much of what makes Japanese people what they are, alwaysseemingly being concerned and worried about appearances, how other people feel, think, or act. Many peoples actions are based upon not sticking out and yet suicide is the direct opposite.

I pray that her memory lives on. Oh and on a personal note here, Ambrosia thank you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ijime, bullying happens all over the world, but here in Japan, if you get bullied, jumping in front of a train seems an "easy way out" but come on, back home in the USA, Mexico etc..you get bullied, you learn to fight, you learn to kick some ass and get revenge against your bully/bullies, not to go kill yourself, and if you are going to kill, it will not BE YOURSELF, you are going to get sweet revenge against the person who was bad to you, right?? So here in Japan, just way too many suicides but this is very, very DEEP in the Japanese psyche, to "try and escape in a noble way, meaning suicide." As for me, hell no! I do hope the school that this poor girl went to REFLECTS on why this poor young student took her life and in such a horrible way. RIP

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How very, very sad that anyone should feel that suicide is the only solution to their problems. In spite of many of the comments made above, there can be no doubt that this country, and others in the region, have a huge problem regarding expressing their true feelings, whether it be to parents, teachers or an independent professional. Teenagers have enough problems at this time in their lives, and need a more open culture to help them get through their challenges. As has been said, RIP little one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This time of year is 1st term midterms. I always notice a spike of 人身事故 or "human related accidents" on train lines around here during testing times -- especially when high school and college exam results are read.

Too sad.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A couple of young ladies from the junior college I taught in attempted suicide, and they were not much older than this little one. I always think of them when I read stories like this, and pray that they are doing okay....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That is so sad :(. To whomever she was I hope she "R.I.P". I wonder what drove her to her decision. You know what I bet I know what it was, I bet it was the "School Bullying".

You know how it is in "Japanese Private HS". Popular this and popular that. Pick on this and that. They seriously need to crack down on this kind of stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YubaruJun. 06, 2013 - 09:27AM JST

Suicide here seems to me to be one thing that goes so totally against so much of what makes Japanese people what they are, alwaysseemingly being concerned and worried about appearances, how other people feel, think, or act. Many peoples actions are based upon not sticking out and yet suicide is the direct opposite.

Actually, Yubaru, I believe suicide is unfortunately a psychological trait that matches how many Japanese people often think or act. Many Japanese are used to supressing their emotions. That is because historically in Japan, showing emotions (especially for men) is a sign of weakness. However, we all know that when you supress too many of your emotions for too long, the will eventually blow up (or implode, depends on how you look at it) and thus, resulting in suicide for some people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not all suicides make the news.

Of course they don't. It would be impossible cos there are nearly a hundred every day!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Actually, Yubaru, I believe suicide is unfortunately a psychological trait that matches how many Japanese people often think or act.

Seems to me that suicide was the accepted form of taking responsibility for one's wrongdoings, real or imagined, and had nothing to do really with emotions, well not directly at least.

Many Japanese are used to supressing their emotions. That is because historically in Japan, showing emotions (especially for men) is a sign of weakness.

True, true, but only in public it seems. Yet I would also say that (my opinion) many of the people who have committed suicide have perverted the cultural history and intent that ritualistic suicide once was here. Not saying that I thought it was right then or now either, just an observation here)

Consider that in the past it was done publicly as an atonement for whatever reason, people regained their pride their honor but now with folks jumping off of buildings, hanging themselves, jumping in front of trains, they have taken what to some seems like a romantic part of Japanese history and turned it into something they can use as justification for their own actions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Parents of teenagers, please put less social pressure of your teenage kids and try to understand and excercise love and compassion towards your kids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Funny how the death of 1 kid caused a total ban on all revolving doors in Tokyo, yet with all the suicides by train there has been no call for barriers between platform and track at every station.... It's sickening how little is being done to prevent these senseless deaths and even more sickening that they feel the need to report on how many trains or commuters were affected.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is really tragic. I would encourage everyone to look at http://www.saving10000.com/?lang=en

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Schools will often times NOT report to classmates that someone from their school committed suicide, unless it hits the papers, it's nothing new and doesnt have anything to do really with saving face. It's more along the lines of the teachers having to explain and talk about the issue and in effect run away from facing the reality around having to discuss the issue of suicide with their students.

Its very hit and miss here. At my daughters school a year ago there was a family murder-suicide (the mother killed herself and her 8 year old daughter, the son miraculously survived) and the very next day a letter came home to the parents from the vice principal saying what had happened, that they had taken all the school into an assembly and told them what had happened, and that they then cancelled morning classes and had a homeroom session with their class teacher. The class teacher had been instructed to allow the kids to talk and discuss and facilitate as necessary, and note any unusual or extreme reactions. Parents were encouraged to also discuss the issue with their children, and psychologists were to be made available to any child or parent with concerns from the following day daily for a period of 2 weeks, with further referrals available if deemed necessary.

Frankly, I couldnt have been more impressed and called the school to tell them so, but I know we were very lucky and I dont think this is the norm, mores the pity.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

Parents of teenagers, please put less social pressure of your teenage kids and try to understand and excercise love and compassion towards your kids.

Beautifully said.

Your comment strongly resonates with me after having had to helplessly watch my children enduring vicious tiger parenting geared toward junior high school entrance exams, and in the process seeing them face scorn at not making it into the 'right' school, and coming up against the humiliation of regularly being ranked on posted/distributed lists against their peers by their juku (cram school) and school teachers.

Sadly, this situation coupled with rampant hear-see-speak-no-evil denial of this sort of inhumane success-or-nothing mentality makes it is easy to see why so many of Japan's youth tragically go this route.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Barriers at train stations only treat the results and not the cause. If barriers whereat every station the suicidal would just find another way to off themselves. Obviously, the last anti-suicide campaign starring AKB48 was a failure.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So ok to report suicides but never report on the thousands of us who get stuck on trains waiting for them to clean up the bloody mess??

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

YubaruJun. 06, 2013 - 10:51AM JST

Seems to me that suicide was the accepted form of taking responsibility for one's wrongdoings, real or imagined, and had nothing to do really with emotions, well not directly at least.

Yes, way back then, it was considered "Honorable".

Consider that in the past it was done publicly as an atonement for whatever reason, people regained their pride their honor but now with folks jumping off of buildings, hanging themselves, jumping in front of trains, they have taken what to some seems like a romantic part of Japanese history and turned it into something they can use as justification for their own actions.

I really don't know what the most common reasons are for suicides in Japan since they never print that info, but looking at the way people live nowadays, I really doubt it has any connection with or is an extension of the old days of honor and pride. That's why I think it's an emotional 'trait' if you will, that many Japanese are prone to bottle up their emotions until they let them out all at once. I've seen it often in Japan where quiet people burst out with sudden anger or emotion.... and the extreme cases probably end up either stabbing people, running over people, or killing themselves instead of talking to someone and dealing with their emotions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, it is a bit of a myth that Japan has such a high suicide rate, or the highest in the world. It is now at number 10 in the world. Greenland the highest, Korea, China, and Slovenia all higher than Japan. The suicide rate in South Korea is actually significantly higher than that of Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is such a tragic story - I wish this young girl could have reached out to someone for help - she had her whole life ahead of her. I pray she has found peace in heaven and also pray for her family at this terrible loss. Life is so full of challenges for young people these days - their young lives should not be filled with stress - it should be filled with joy and fun. As adults we have enough stress but childhood is a time for learning without pressure with exams, family expectations,etc - there has to be balance in their young lives - encourage them to do the best that they can in their studies/exams, but also allow them to have fun, too. Teach children about bullying as well - at home and in school if this is what may have been troubling this child.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

10 train lines for 80 minutes, this young girl had more impact on more people than most of you will ever have. Not to mention to collision.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Disillusioned, you're right that barriers only treat results not the cause. However if they have a barrier of say 4 foot to climb over to jump in front of a train, I think someone might see them first. And maybe I'm being naive in thinking that this someone would stop them...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suicide is after all a permenant solution to a temporary problem!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Suicide is the cowards way out. No matter how bad the problem is ... always a way out besides splatting yourself. Always some to talk to. No sympathy here.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The Chronic Suicide is the cowards way out. No matter how bad the problem is ... always a way out ....

Unfortunately, unless you have been in that awful downward spiraling of depression it's hard to say suicide is a cowards way out, because in most cases you are so depressed you see suicide as the only positive thing you can do for yourself. At least that is how it felt for me, but I was lucky that I had someone watching over me and they dragged me out of that pit of depression, and it took 4 years to get close to where I used to be....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

R.I.P :( It is such a pity. It could be many things, but I don't think we will ever know.

The ChronicJUN. 06, 2013 - 03:51PM JST Suicide is the cowards way out. No matter how bad the problem is ... always a way out besides splatting yourself. Always some to talk to. No sympathy here.

Why? Why? Sometimes in life you feel totally alone. As a teenager especially, it is a very difficult and sensitive time..one can feel alone so easily. Maybe that other way out, she couldn't see it. It is very easy to get lost on only one solution at any age, but teen especially... I don't know how was your life as a teen, but mine was not easy. I was bullied up to age 19, (when I learned not to care, and laugh at my bullies in their faces), and other stuff with that, which I don't want to mention. There were instances where options were limited. In the end an uncle realized my depression and got me to talk about it all. It took me 3 years to get out of it, it is not easy, especially if you don't have friends or your parents are too worried about other things. A person could feel like a nuisance. The spell sometimes comes back but, I wish that with kids like these somebody would realize. It would mean a promising future. There are many who aren't as lucky as me, and people around them will either not care, or not realize.

I wish everyone has the guts to talk about their problems, but many don't, for fear.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I concur with the majority of posts here. Support networks are needed desperately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Chronic,

I basically agree with you. When it comes to adults who should know what the hell they're doing. Teenagers, however, cannot be called cowards in my opinion. They are not fully mentally fit to make the best choices thay can. In any case - suicide is a pretty sad affair and I believe Japan is too harsh a society for many people. This notion of never really speaking your mind sure can't be good for people. Obey, obey, obey, wether it is your sempai, teacher or boss.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mottainai!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I feel for. I don't like seeing people judge her. All you read was that she committed suicide, you don't know why. I know first hand how life can mess with you, and I know how it feels to not want to be alive anymore. I wish I or someone could've been there to help her and see what was so wrong? <3

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ The Chronic

Suicide is the cowards way out. No matter how bad the problem is ... always a way out besides splatting yourself. Always some to talk to. No sympathy here.

Quite ironic to tote the name “Chronic” when you have no idea what chronic depression is. Look it up!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow! This is a sad day. Sad for her, her family/loved ones, friends, fellow classmates. I can't even imagine the horror of this happening. Gotta be a better way to cope. Everyone keep your ears and eyes open and look for warning signs and DO SOMETHING! Rest In Peace young one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

noirgajin said: Quite ironic to tote the name “Chronic” when you have no idea what chronic depression is. Look it up!

.......

The name 'The Chronic' comes from the Dr. Dre Rap album of the same name. Has nothing to do with chronic depression.

Now if somebody is Mentally ill (diagnosed with a mental illness) and commits suicide, that is a different story.

But if somebody just decides to off themselves because they think that 'their life seems unfair,' then they need to do a reality check. Life IS unfair...for most people. Deal with it and not by splattering yourself is what I was saying.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No one should ever have to feel like suicide is the only option.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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