Year: 2006 Source: Crisis, v.27, no.2, (2006), p.100 SIEC No: 20060959

In this letter to the editor, the authors discuss the Werther effect in which a book, play, song, or film provokes people to suicidal behaviours. An example of this phenomenon occurring in Japan in the early 1700s is described. Kabuki plays in which the thwarted love of the characters resulted in suicide are discussed. It is noted that an epidemic of double suicides has never been reported after “Romeo & Juliet” was first performed. The authors speculate national character may play a role in the appearance of contagious suicide. (4 refs.)