It is one of important matters for people in Japan whether they belong to their culture or not. There are some expressible and inexpressible cultural standards, which people need to have or achieve until some certain ages. Although such age categories (e.g. to be a full-time employee, to get married, or to have children) have been shifting with some social movements, it is not so different to feel shame when people cannot catch up with lifetime activities of the majority. Therefore about 30,000 people commit suicide each year in Japan because they think about themselves unworthy in the society. Why do they think so? It comes from collective ideas, which have been cultivated through Confucian philosophy in many Asian countries. In fact some cultural scholars have researched and analyzed it for a long time. Yet, why do people in Japan choose to commit suicide instead of living with own individual situations? It is �Cultural Socialism� that there are some culturally approved standards for being an accepted person in the society, which are less allowable to have individuality but need to embody their socially allowable matters in themselves. From eyes of Japanese, I would like to introduce how and why �Cultural Socialism� atmosphere has been created since it is obvious to have Confucian influence in their lives. People in Japan need to have more individuality and flexibility for reducing suicide rate. This study will encourage people in other countries where people are suffering from similar social situations to Japan.
Kaori Yamashita, University of Wroclaw, Poland
Stream: Cultural narratives of belonging/not belonging
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