Author: Doris G. Bargen
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Literary Criticism
On September 13, 1912, the day of Emperor Meiji s funeral, General Nogi Maresuke committed ritual suicide by seppuku (disembowelment). It was an act of delayed atonement that paid a debt of honor incurred thirty-five years earlier. The revered military hero s wife joined in his act of junshi (following one s lord into death). The violence of their double suicide shocked the nation. What had impelled the general and his wife, on the threshold of a new era, to resort so drastically, so dramatically, to this forbidden, anachronistic practice? The nation was divided. There were those who saw the suicides as a heroic affirmation of the samurai code; others found them a cause for embarrassment, a sign that Japan had not yet crossed the cultural line separating tradition from modernity. While acknowledging the nation s sharply divided reaction to the Nogis junshi as a useful indicator of the event s seismic impact on Japanese culture, Doris G. Bargen in the first half of her book demonstrates that the deeper significance of Nogi s action must be sought in his personal history, enmeshed as it was in the tumultuous politics of the Meiji period. Suicidal Honor traces Nogi s military career (and personal travail) through the armed struggles of the collapsing shogunate and through the two wars of imperial conquest during which Nogi played a significant role: the Sino-Japanese War (1894 1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904 1905). It also probes beneath the political to explore the religious origins of ritual self-sacrifice in cultures as different as ancient Rome and today s Nigeria. Seen in this context, Nogi s death was homage to the divine emperor. But what was the significance of Nogi s waiting thirty-five years before he offered himself as a human sacrifice to a dead rather than living deity? To answer this question, Bargen delves deeply and with great insight into the story of Nogi s conflicted career as a military hero who longed to be a peaceful man of letters. In the second half of Suicidal Honor Bargen turns to the extraordinary influence of the Nogis deaths on two of Japan s greatest writers, Mori Ogai and Natsume Soseki. Ogai s historical fiction, written in the immediate aftermath of his friend s junshi, is a profound meditation on the significance of ritual suicide in a time of historical transition. Stories such as The Sakai Incident (Sakai jiken) appear in a new light and with greatly enhanced resonance in Bargen s interpretation. In Soseki s masterpiece, Kokoro, Sensei, the protagonist, refers to the emperor s death and his general s junshi before taking his own life. Scholars routinely mention these references, but Bargen demonstrates convincingly the uncanny ways in which Soseki s agonized response to Nogi s suicide structures the entire novel. By exploring the historical and literary legacies of Nogi, Ogai, and Soseki from an interdisciplinary perspective, Suicidal Honor illuminates Japan s prolonged and painful transition from the idealized heroic world of samurai culture to the mundane anxieties of modernity. It is a study that will fascinate specialists in the fields of Japanese literature, history, and religion, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Japan s warrior culture. "
Author: Steven Heine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2011-12-02
In Sacred High City, Sacred Low City, Steven Heine argues that lived religion in Japan functions as an integral part of daily life; any apparent lack of interest masks a fundamental commitment to participating regularly in diverse, though diffused, religious practices. The book uses case studies of religious sites at two representative but contrasting Tokyo neighborhoods as a basis for reflecting on this apparently contradictory quality. In what ways does Japan continue to carry on and adapt tradition, and to what extent has modern secular society lost touch with the traditional elements of religion? Or does Japanese religiosity reflect another, possibly postmodern, alternative beyond the dichotomy of sacred and secular, in which religious differences as well as a seeming indifference to religion are encompassed as part of a contemporary lifestyle?
Author: J. Arnold
Release Date: 2011-06-14
Genre: Social Science
Across history, the ideas and practices of male identity have varied much between time and place: masculinity proves to be a slippery concept, not available to all men, sometimes even applied to women. This book analyses the dynamics of 'masculinity' as both an ideology and lived experience - how men have tried, and failed, to be 'Real Men'.
Author: Oleg Benesch
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014
Inventing the Way of the Samurai examines the development of the 'way of the samurai' - bushid=o - in modern Japan. Bushid=o is often viewed as a defining element of the Japanese national character and even the 'soul of Japan'. This volume demonstrates that bushid=o was not a continuation of ancient traditions, but rather developed from a search for identity during Japan's modernization in the late nineteenth century. This bookconsiders the events and writings that drove the dramatic growth of bushid=o, which tended to emphasize martial virtues and absolute loyalty to the emperor, and became a key ideology before and during the Second World War. Unlike otherwartime ideologies, bushid=o was revived soon after 1945, and is a popular and influential concept in Japan and other countries today. This book further examines the characteristics of bushid=o that have allowed it to recover and again be popularly perceived as a pivotal element of Japanese culture.
Author: Antoon A. Leenaars
Publisher: Jason Aronson
Release Date: 1993
This book is a representation of the current state of our understanding of suicide and the practice of suicide prevention. Part I outlines suicidology's history and development. It consists of four chapters: an outline of the evolution of contemporary suicidology as a professional career, a look at suicidology of one hundred years ago, a close examination of the definitions of suicide, and an examination of the political culture and public policy choices in suicidology. Currently in the Western world, suicide is a conscious act of self-induced annihilation, best understood as a multidimensional malaise in a needful individual who defines an issue for which suicide is perceived as the best solution. To understand this self-induced annihilation, one should also understand violence. Part II presents four chapters: an explication of violence and its legacy, the role of trauma and violence in subsequent suicidal behavior, homicide with specific reference to elderly Anglo females, and terrorism and hostage taking. The very person who takes his/her life may be least aware of the psychological reasons for doing so. Part III consists of a study of unconscious processes in suicide, and an explication of the confusions of the body, self, and others in suicidal states. Mental health clinicians must deal with suicide in the lives of many people across various ages. Part IV presents an essay on suicidal children, identifying these youngsters as having serious developmental problems, and a review of adolescent suicidal behavior. Various approaches to knowledge are encouraged in suicidology. Part V consists of a review of the literature, exemplified by two cases: an outline of the psychological autopsy in forensic suicidology and the explication of a suicide's videotape, addressing the question, "When someone commits suicide, who is responsible?" The intense personal study of suicidal lives is also necessary. Part VI consists of the careful study of the medical records of Adolf Hitler, and an examination through newly found documents of the sub-intended death of Herman Melville. Cultural elements in the suicidal event must also be understood. Part VII presents a view of Japanese suicide and recent trends of suicide and its prevention in Japan. The saga of suicide does not end with death. Survivors of suicide often need professional attention. Part VIII presents what happens to the significant others who remain behind after the suicidal death, and a study of the lives of the survivors of suicide of ninety-three New York City policemen who killed themselves between 1934 and 1940. Is suicide of the terminally ill the same as other suicides? Death with dignity, euthanasia, assisted suicide, planned death are all forms that describe such a death. Part IX examines the right to die and its consideration from the different cultural perspectives of the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States.
Author: Scott G Lynch
Publisher: WestBow Press
Release Date: 2012-06-12
This book was written to give people a healthy outlook on death and eternity and alleviate the fear of death. I have addressed five reasons why people are afraid to die. There is a beautiful physical description of heaven and what awaits us, as well as a step-by-step plan to know where you will spend eternity. This book is full of God’s truths regarding death, our salvation and heaven, for all people facing death—that would be ALL of us. As great as life is and as much as I enjoy it, I simply just can’t wait to die!
Author: Max Malikow
Publisher: University Press of America
Release Date: 2008-10-20
Suicidal Thoughts is a compilation of some of the most moving and insightful writing accomplished on the topic of suicide. It presents the thoughts and experiences of fifteen writers who have contemplated suicide-some on a professional level, others on a personal level, and a few, both personally and professionally. Through this collection, the reader is able to bear witness to the struggle between life and death and to the devastating aftermath of suicide. Suicidal Thoughts provides readers with a better understanding of the reasons why some individuals give serious consideration to killing themselves.
Author: Thomas E. Joiner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2005
Drawing on extensive clinical and epidemiological evidence, as well as personal experience, Thomas Joiner provides the most coherent and persuasive explanation ever given of why and how people overcome life's strongest instinct, self-preservation. He tests his theory against diverse facts about suicide rates among men and women; white and African-American men; anorexics, athletes, prostitutes, and physicians; members of cults, sports fans, and citizens of nations in crisis.
Author: Edwin S. Shneidman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2004-02-26
Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind is a uniquely intensive psychological analysis of a suicidal mind. In this poignant scientific study, Edwin S. Shneidman, a founder of the field of suicidology, assembles an extraordinary cast of eight renowned experts to analyze the suicidal materials, including a ten-page suicide note, given to him by a distraught mother looking for insights into her son's tragic death. The psychological autopsy centers on the interviews conducted by Shneidman with Arthur's mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, ex-wife, girlfriend, psychotherapist, and attending physician. To gain some understanding of this man's intense psychological pain and to examine what may have been done to save his tortured life, Shneidman approached the top suicide experts in the country to analyze the note and interviews: Morton Silverman, Robert E. Litman, Jerome Motto, Norman L. Farberow, John T. Maltsberger, Ronald Maris, David Rudd, and Avery D. Weisman. Each of the eight experts offers a unique perspective on Arthur's tragic fate, and the sum of their conclusions constitutes an extraordinary psychological autopsy. This book is the first of its kind and a remarkable contribution to the study of suicide. Mental health professionals, students of human nature, and persons whose lives have been touched by this merciless topic will be mesmerized and enlightened by this unique volume. An epistemological tour de force, it will speak to anyone who is concerned with human self-destruction.
Author: Robert L. Barry
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Release Date: 1996-01-01
Genre: Social Science
Suicide, and how civilized people should respond to it, is an increasingly controversial topic in modern society. In Holland, suicide is the third leading cause of death of people between the ages of fifteen and forty. In the United States, it is the second leading cause of death among older teenagers. Laws prohibiting assisted suicide are being directly and boldly confronted by activists in the United States, most notably Jack Kevorkian. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union has publicly declared suicide a fundamental human right that should be protected under the Constitution. The Hemlock Society has introduced referenda in California, Washington, and Oregon to legalize suicide and assisted suicide. The most vocal opposition to these initiatives has come from the Roman Catholic church. Breaking the Thread of Life marshalls philosophical, moral, medical, historical, and theological arguments in support of the Roman Catholic position against suicide. In a comprehensive study of the history of suicide, Barry shows that Christian civilization was one of only a few early societies that was able to bring suicide under control. He counters claims that Catholicism and the Bible endorse rational suicide. Barry also analyzes arguments in support of the rationality of suicide and illuminates their biases, inadequacies, and dangers. Barry presents the rationale for the Roman Catholic church's strong, extensive, and articulate opposition to efforts to gain legal and social endorsement of suicide and assisted suicide. His book represents the most complete study of the classical Roman Catholic view of rational suicide to date, and it will be of significant interest to philosophers, theologians, physicians, and lawyers.
Author: Albert Bermel
Publisher: Heinemann Drama
Release Date: 2000-02-11
Certainty may give way to misgiving, happiness may become unease. Moment-to-moment changes often make actors and directors pause and ponder when deciding to perform a Shakespeare comedy. But this should not be the case, claims theatre scholar Albert Bermel. In Shakespeare at the Moment, Bermel contends that Shakespeare's comedies depend for their effects on their sparkling inconsistency and spontaneity, and on the opportunities they offer for artistic ingenuity and initiative. The book discusses fifteen plays, addressing Shakespeare's experimentation, the power and intelligence of his inconsistencies, his novel "happy" endings, and ultimately, how each comedy can be performed. Among other things, Bermel argues that: The characters in these plays are not rigidified personalities, and actors will, almost inevitably, add their own "characterizations" to their roles. Shakespeare created scenes and roles that actors can rediscover and remake without being untrue to the words. Shakespeare's female roles are the most persuasive and familiar carriers of the feminine spirit in today's theatre world Bermel encourages actors to reinvent and "characterize" Shakespeare's characters in their own acting, and he provides examples of how the comedies have already responded to the imaginative treatment of a director and the memorable dynamism of particular actors.