Samurais And Honorable Suicide Essay

2187 words - 9 pages

Death, its such an unexpected thing that happens to everyone at some point in their life. Some people die old, some go young. Others go without warning, just disappear from our lives without explanation. No letter, note or goodbye, they just leave us to never return. Death, or in this situation suicide, where you may never know why they did it. Just left with loose ends that will never be tied up. For others its a glorious thing, they accept it as a way of life or something that has to be done to “save” them or their family. Suicide is looked at differently in a particular cultures compared to how other cultures do. The samurais see it as honor to them or their loved ones after dishonoring them. To them its not something to be feared but to be excepted, death in this form will bring back honor to their families. In other places such as America, suicide is seen as such a horrible thing. We don't understand why someone would take their life so soon or what would push them to decide to end their life? There are a lot of people in the world that fear death but some few stare at death and welcome him. Suicide is seen in so many different ways through cultures, people and even books. Throughout literature and real life events people make the decision to commit suicide for different reasons, such as honor in Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama or Weakness and the inability to change with the world around you in Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe.
Samurai's Garden is a great example of someone looking into the eyes of death and accepting him. Kenzo accepted death when he took his life after he felt he had dishonored his friends. Most people would be confused by this, wondering why take your life because of a secret between the girl you loved and your best friend? In the japanese culture though this was seen as the honorable thing to do and is respected. In Japan, when someone has dishonored their loved ones they see as taking their life as freeing their family from their shame. Also that their loved ones won't have to suffer a life of hardship if they were to live. This is exactly what Kenzo did he felt that taking his life would better his friends. This might seem absolutely outrageous to most people but in Japan this was a respected decision that Kenzo made. When the village found out kenzo had died they closed off his shop and covered his body. There was a ceremony held in his honor to remember him as the great man he was. Kenzo was respected for the decision to take his life, they understood why he did what he did and didn’t question a thing about it. The japanese are not like most people when it comes to suicide, they accept and understand the actions of that person. Larissa MacFarquhar gives a great example of how the Japanese view suicide in their culture:
The idea there is that one can take responsibility for the situation of your life by committing suicide. If, say, you are the wage earner of a family and you are in unrecoverable debt, you can...

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