Translation of The Complete Manual of Suicide’s preface


The Complete Manual of Suicide (完全自殺マニュアル Kanzen Jisatsu Manyuaru, lit. Complete Suicide Manual) is a Japanese book written by Wataru Tsurumi. It was first published on July 4, 1993 and sold more than one million copies. This 198 page book provides explicit descriptions and analysis on a wide range of suicide methods such as overdose, hanging, jumping, and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is not a suicide manual for the terminally ill. There is no preference shown for painless or dignified ways of ending one’s life. The book provides matter-of-fact assessment of each method in terms of the pain it causes, effort of preparation required, the appearance of the body and lethality.

Several years ago, I found an okay translation of the book’s preface and just dug up a document I’d copied and pasted it to. I, geefitch, did not translate this myself, but I did clean it up as much as possible to make it more understandable. Some bits are still a bit hazy, but you get the gist. I neither condemn nor condone suicide by posting this, rather The Complete Manual of Suicide is one of my many morbid interests and I find the preface quite disturbing. That’s saying a lot. This book has been found on bodies in the famous Aokigahara Forest and the preface itself provides a very dark insight into a certain mindset of youth and young adults at a very particular time in Japan’s history - a time which saw the aftermath of the economy’s bubble collapse (refered to as “The Lost Decade), the ripples of which stretched far and wide across the country - among the other, usual factors (discussed in the text to come.) Culturally, I feel this is some striking and unique stuff.

So yeah, just wanted to throw in a little perspective in there. I really needn’t give a trigger warning here but if you’re feeling depressed at the moment, I’d definitely give it a miss. Anyway, enjoy.

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