Suicide as the Only Honorable Way

To extricate oneself from a sticky situation, suicide is literally the last resort. A person in full possession of all his faculties would naturally hesitate to resort to what has been called a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But there are people and cultures who look upon self-annihilation as a viable option in order to save some vestige of one’s honor. The Japanese are of course well-known for this. Seppuku or ritual suicide is a means not only of recovering some terminal self-respect and atoning for one’s misdeeds. It can also be aimed at shaming a morally bankrupt system to change. This is what spurred Buddhist monks to immolate themselves publicly and dramatically during the Vietnam war. Japanese novelist and ultra-nationalist Yukio Mishima thought he could do this too but only succeeded in killing himself. Continue reading “Suicide as the Only Honorable Way”

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