Suizid bei Jugendlichen in Japan und Deutschland : Ein Beitrag zur kulturvergleichenden Jugendforschung

Kreitz-Sandberg, Susanne GND

Suicide among Japanese adolescents is a popular topic in the media. However, a comparison of data and research from both countries, tracking the changes from the 1950s to the 1990s, shows that Japan’s present per capita rate of juvenile suicide is lower than that of Germany. Therefore, it seems that cultural interpretations of suicide are responsible for the impression of high suicide rates among Japanese adolescents. This article reviews several recurring arguments about the context of juvenile suicide; for example, suicide as a reaction to a rigid social system or to pressure in the schools. The recently discussed connection between suicide and bullying (ijime) will be given special attention. Different types of media, such as newspapers, popular publications, and scientific reports, address suicide in specific ways. There is a conformity among the international perspectives which is clarified by a review of the research papers. Such a review also elucidates the irrelevance of national stereotypes.