Children Suicides in Japan PRESS REVIEW - LISA PERNAUDET

“Posters aim to raise awareness of child suicide”

The nonprofit organization Sai-Challenge Tokyo, based in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, has created posters for public elementary and junior high schools nationwide in an effort to end the problem of suicides caused by bullying. Some schools in Tokyo are already displaying the anti-bullying material.

The NPO plans to raise funds to cover the costs for distributing the posters to schools across the country through an online crowdfunding campaign.

Sai-Challenge Tokyo has organized public essay contests themed on the prevention of bullying and suicides, and held special classes at schools nationwide to raise awareness of the issue.

Suicides apparently caused by bullying continue to occur across the country.

The NPO launched the school poster project so children could easily view the anti-bullying material.

The NPO has created two kinds of illustrated posters — one of which features a panda crying while being pinched on the cheek, which won best design in a contest run by the organization in fiscal 2016 — and also supplies text-only signs that reinforce the anti-bullying message.

Using a subsidy from the Tokyo metropolitan government, the NPO plans to distribute about 20,000 copies of the posters and other materials to be displayed in school buildings at all of the public elementary, junior high and high schools in Tokyo.

On Jan. 20, the NPO’s posters were hanging on a wall in a corridor in front of the staff room at Yanagishima elementary school in Sumida Ward, Tokyo — the first school to display the anti-bullying material — and pupils seemed interested in the new information.

Kano Ito, 10, a fourth grader at the school, commented on the posters: “I was sad to hear that students who moved from Fukushima Prefecture because of the nuclear accident were bullied,” Ito said.

“Bullying is a bad thing,” she added.

Another fourth grader Runa Iwai, 10, said, “If I see a bullied kid, I want to make friends with them and support them.”

In an attempt to widen the distribution to schools across the country, the NPO plans to raise ¥1 million via crowdfunding by the end of March to pay for the printing and distribution of posters and other materials.

Tomoki Hirabayashi, the managing director of the NPO said, “I hope children will become more aware of bullying and take steps toward ending the problem of suicides caused by bullying.”



Located in East Asia, the country is composed of 6 852 islands

Capital city : Tokyo

Official form of government : a Monarchy

Akihito, Emperor of Japan
Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

Total Area : 377 915 km²

Total Population : 127 103 388 inhab. (in 2014)

3rd economic power of the world

The Capital city : Tokyo (by night)



A Shinto temple

SHINTO : religion, belief that involves respect of the nature and its elements. They can all be deities, for example a stone, or a tree, and believers go to the Shinto temples to pray, do sport or give offreings. The main idea is that we all have a place in the universe, because we are all part of the same whole. It is the main religion in Japan, and those temples are very famous. They are mostly red.


BUDDHISM : the other important religion in Japan. It comes from hinduism, and includes a single god : Buddha, who found the enlightment. The believers have to find it too, and must act depending on the karma : the concept that life is a cycle, and that you get what you "deserve".


a japanese speciality : the sushis. But there are a lot of other recipes using rice, noodles, fishes, ... that are made for traditional event


A traditional garden in Japan. They are mostly made of natural elements, to not use superficial objects. Very famous to be a relaxing activity and to be wonderful places.


Pages of the famous manga : Dragon Ball Z


There are kimonos for women, but also for men. Now, they are mostly used for traditional events


More than just writting, it is definitely an art.

Last but not least : SOCIAL BEHAVIOR

Two men doing the traditional bow

In Japan, the society is seen as a whole and people are only a part of it. We all have our own place in the group, and we have to respect it. There is a lot of pressure because we have to do our best, to be as good as possible, at least in our professionnal life. People must be efficient and respect their engagement. The implicit rules are stricts and it can also be one of the reason why people are smoking a lot in Japan : in order to support that pressure.


“Posters aim to raise awareness of child suicide”

Written on February 04, 2017, in The Japan News, which is the website of one of the most sold newspaper in the world : The Yomiuri Shimbun.

It deals with the fact that a lot of Japanese children kill themselves because of bullying or depression. So, a non-profit organization decided to led a campaign against bullying, to prevent suicide, in Tokyo's elementary and high schools.

In Japan, a lot of children kill themselves because of the pressure or the bullying they are suffering from. Some of those events happen on September 1st, the date children come back to school.


  • 18,000 child suicides from 1972–2013
  • 131 of those suicides occurred on September 1st
  • 1 in 12 elementary school-aged children suffer from clinical depression
  • 1 in 4 junior high school students suffer from clinical depression
A graph that shows the increasing number of japenese children suicides during September



Japan is one of the country where the suicide rate is the higher. There are many explanations, but what is different in the case of this country is that the japanese culture does not consider suicide as we do in western countries. Plus, they have to face more pressure, due to their way of living, and especially working : more expectations from people, more responsibilities, ...

Mostly seen as a sin in our countries, in Japan, it is seen as a "way of taking responsibility", as the pyschologist Wataru Nishida explains. For example, centuries ago, samurais used to kill themselves when they did not respect their words, or their leader. If they gave up a battle, they had to kill themselves with their own weapon to show their loyalty. Nowadays, it is still a brave and respectful decision.


  • The Japan’s overall suicide rate is 60 percent higher than the global average.
  • In 2014,there were around 25 000 Japanese suicides — roughly 70 suicides every day.



In order to aware children, an organization has decided to create posters to put in schools. Financed by a crowdfounding campaign, the organization needed 1 million Yens to create, print and distribute the posters. There are actually two posters, and they are expected to be printed in 20 000 copies and distributed in public elementary, junior high and high schools in Tokyo.

As quoted in the article, we discover that children are interested and had an attentive look at the posters in their schools : "I was sad to hear that students who moved from Fukushima Prefecture because of the nuclear accident were bullied" said a young girl. It has been the case for a lot of children coming from Fukushima, who have not been accepted by their classmates. Another one replied "If I see a bullied kid, I want to make friends with them and support them."

So it is a positive message of hope that we find in the article, proving that children suicides in Japan are not forgotten or ignored. People finally decided to react and the initiative had a good impact on the children. Even if bullying is not going to disappear in one day, it is a first step in that long fight against inequalities and bad behavior in japanese schools.



(because I am not all-knowing)

And you, did you know that there were a lot of suicides in Japan ? Even children suicides ?

What is your opinion about bullying ?

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