Year: 2008 Source: Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, v.32, no.4 (December 2008), p.516-551 SIEC No: 20090808

The author begins this study by examining the recent rise in suicide in Japan & the most common public explanations given for this. Cases of Internet suicide pacts are then examined, placing them within the context of suicide in Japan in general, & providing a representative selection of ethnographic findings from Japanese suicide-related websites. Findings suggest that, far from being conducted by individuals who are not undergoing any serious kind of suffering, Internet suicides are characterized by severe existential suffering, a loss of the “worth of living” or its absence, & a profound loneliness & lack of connection with others. This suffering in the placed within the broader context of social transformation, upheaval & collective traumas that have resulted in a public turn to healing & spirituality. (98 refs.)