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As a society, we feel like we cannot show our weaknesses, that we must hold all of it in. It's not just that people feel like they can't go to a therapist, but many feel they cannot show their weaknesses to the people they are close to.

4 Comments

Yasuyuki Shimizu, director of the Japan Suicide Countermeasures PromotionCenter. Authorities reported a nearly 16% increase in suicides in August, compared with a year earlier, with the number spiking by 74% among teenage girls and women in their 20s and 30s.

© The New York Times

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That's because Japanese society has a culture of shaming and bullying. Showing what is considered "weakness" means you become a target of bullying, shaming and harassment. There is no easy fix. Japanese media needs to be heavily involved in facilitating national conversations about these issues. The intellectual elite and leaders of various social groups and movements need to strongly condemn these norms and expectations. Once there is a strong push against certain social norms or expectations, the next generation of Japanese will grow up without them, and that would be their "normal".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Talking about feelings is important, listening probably the key. Don't even have to make a comment just listen. Hardest thing is holding your tounge while someone in distress talks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Although I agree with this comment, my experience has been that it does not work for men. People may listen but they are repelled by mental weakness and in the end I have turned to books such as the Meditations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

FUNNY, Japanese way of thinking.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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