There is a side to Japan and one that isn’t discussed often. A bitter, vinegary flavor that is part of the recipe of Japan, but isolated is unpalatable. It is an all-consuming darkness that swallows souls and takes lives. There is a culture of allowing people to be who they are with no judgment passed, and that is a really cool thing about life here. There is a flip side though, in that much needed interventions are never staged, and people disappear into themselves.
One of the greatest indicators of violent and/or self-destructive behavior is disconnect, and Japan is so incredibly convenient a place to do that. It’s far too easy to divorce from reality. This leads to shut ins, and tech fetishes glorifying fantasy over reality. It is also leading to unrealistic expectations, retreat from the world, violence against others, and suicide.
Suicides in Japan are double than that of the US and 3 times that of the UK (per 100,000). There is such a sad hopeless resignation that is occurs in the anonymity of Japan, that oblivion seems the better choice. I have seen it happen in the office with great people who suddenly disappear and throw themselves off bridges into swollen rivers, or those that have leapt in front of trains.
It’s not hard to find the dark pulse in Tokyo… You don’t have to speak Japanese, you don’t have to turn over rocks… Just open your eyes and look. Unclog your ears and listen and you can hear its beat.