Japanese phenomenon of "volatile people"
• Japanese phenomenon of "volatile people,"
After marrying, the master of martial arts Ichiro optimistic plans for the future. Together with his wife, Tomoko, they lived in their own home in Saitama, affluent Tokyo suburb. Their first child was born Tim. The family took a loan to open ravioli. But suddenly there was a default, and the couple were in debt. They did what hundreds of thousands of Japanese people come in such circumstances: sold their house, packed up and gone. Forever.
Among the many oddities that are inherent in Japanese culture, it remains a little-known phenomenon of "volatile people." Since the mid-1990s in the country each year disappears around 100 thousand Japanese. They expelled themselves from society because of the humiliation of all sizes: divorce, debt, loss of employment, a failed exam.
French journalist Lena Mauger learned about it in 2008, and five years of dedicated study of the phenomenon of "volatile people," telling the history of the Japanese people, in which she could not believe it. "It's taboo. This can not be said. But people disappear, because they know that they will be able to survive at the bottom of the Japanese society, "- says Mauger. These lost people live in ghost towns, which themselves had built.
Sanya City is not marked on any map. From a technical point of view, it generally is not. It slums within Tokyo, the existence of which the authorities prefer to keep silent. The territory is under the control of a yakuza - a criminal organization that hires people to do illegal work. "Evaporate" live in a tiny squalid hotel rooms, often with shared toilets and no access to the Internet. In most of these hotels it is prohibited to talk after six in the evening. There Mauger Norihiro met 50-year-old man, who gave his disappearance 10 years ago. He cheated on his wife, but a real shame for the man was that he lost his engineering job. Because of the shame he could not inform his family. Throughout the week, Norihiro behaved in the same way as usual, to get up early in the morning, put on a suit and tie, he took the portfolio, kissing his wife goodbye, and then went to the office building of his previous work and was sitting in the car all day, ate nothing and no I not talk to anyone. Fear that his lie will be revealed, was unbearable.
"It could not last forever. After seven in the evening I still had to wait in the car, because often after work, I went drinking with superiors and colleagues. When I got home, it seemed to me that his wife and son begin to suspect something. I felt guilty. I could no longer contain them, "- says Norihiro.
On the day of the salary he put on a clean ironed clothes and caught the train in the direction of Sanya. He did not leave the family no note, and all his relatives believe that the man had gone into the woods Aokigahara where suicide.
Today, he lives under an assumed name, in a room with no windows and the door locks on the padlock. He has a lot of drinking and smoking. By practicing such a masochistic form of punishment, the man decided to live the rest of his days. "After all these years I could return. But I do not want to be close to see me in this condition. Look at me. I look like a jerk. I have nothing. If I die tomorrow, do not want to be identified, "- says Norihiro.
Yuichi - a former construction worker who disappeared in the mid-1990s. He had to take care of sick mother, but went bankrupt because of the cost of medication for her. "I could not survive that did not justify hopes of the mother. She gave me everything, but I was not able to take care of it, "- the man says. Yuichi settled by his mother in the number of cheap hotels and left her there. His act may seem paradoxical, even perverse, but not for the Japanese culture where suicide is considered the most dignified way to erase the shame that fell on the family. "You see people on the street, but they had already ceased to exist. After fleeing from the society, we are gone, we are slowly killing ourselves, "- says Yuichi on Sanya, a place where he moved.
Most cases of "boil" in Japan was after two key events: the defeat in World War II, when the whole country was experiencing a feeling of national shame, and during the financial crisis of 1989 and 2008.
Began to appear underground organizations to provide services to those who want to give their disappearance for the kidnapping. The houses of these people staged a pogrom that all looked like a robbery, they made false documents, that they can not be traced.
Shu Hatori nine years ran a company that helps people to "evaporate".
One such organization was the company "night travel", which was opened by Shu Hatori. He was engaged in legal business - Furniture transportation - until one day it has not approached by a woman asking if he would help her to "disappear along with the furniture." She complained that because of her husband's long life has become unbearable.
Hatori took for their services 3, 4 thousand dollars. He was faced with different customers: with housewives who have spent all the family savings, with their wives, from husbands who have gone, and even with students who are tired of living in a dormitory.
When Hatori was a child, his parents also fled, finding themselves in debt. He believed that doing good work, helping those who approach him: "People often call it cowardice, but over the years I realized that it was all only benefit." Eventually Hatori threw this activity - the truth, refused to share details of the its decision. Hatori was a consultant on the set of the Japanese television series "Night Flight". TV series, based on real cases of disappearance, became a hit in the late 1990s. The plot was to organize the "Rising Sun", which served as the prototype for the company Hatori.
Here is an excerpt from the description of the show: "You have financial problems? Bogged down in debt? "Rising Sun" - a consulting firm that you need. Too late for interim measures? Escape or suicide - the only way out? Refer to the "Rising Sun". Day of Genji Masahiko works in a reputable consulting firm, and at night helps desperate people start a new life. "
The book is about the disappeared, prepared by journalist and photographer Lena Mauger Stéphane Remaelem.
Regardless of the causes of stigma that forces the Japanese "evaporate", their families, this does not become easier. Many relatives so ashamed of the fact that their loved one was gone, that, as a rule, do not even report it to the police.
Those families that are trying to track down "evaporated" refer to a private organization, which keeps secret all the information of its clients. Address of the company are hard to find, and its headquarters is a tiny office with a desk and a yellowed by cigarette smoke walls.
The organization consists of a network of private investigators, many of whom have personally experienced the disappearance or suicide of loved ones, and so the work on a pro bono basis. On average, each year they are investigating about 300 cases. Their work is complicated by the fact that in Japan there is no public database with information about the missing people. The citizens of the country do not have documents with an identification number, such as social security number or passport that would enable a person to track the movements of the country. The Japanese police also do not have access to information on banking transactions. "Most of the investigations are cut off midway, - says Sakae Furuchi, head of the group of detectives. - The problem is the high cost of hiring private detectives: from $ 500 per day. " It's very heavy sum for those whose loved one has escaped out of debt. People who "evaporate", often change their names and appearance. Others simply believe that no one will not look.
Kabukcho, red light district of Tokyo.
Sakae managed to find a young man who once did not return home after the exam. Familiar happened to notice it in the southern part of Tokyo. Sakae wandered the streets until it found a young man who, according to him, shaking with shame. The young man was afraid to disappoint his family, because not passed the exam. His suicidal thoughts, but he could not commit suicide.
Now Sakae is investigating the disappearance of the mother of eight boys with disabilities. She "vanished" on the day of presentation son in the school play, despite his promise to sit on the front row. Since then, it has not been seen. Son and husband of the missing find no place: the woman never gave anyone understand that unhappy, suffering, or regrets about some his actions.
Sakae still hopes to find her. "She is a mother, - he says. - Perhaps destiny will lead her back to a close. "
Todzhinbo Rocks known record levels of suicides.
According to the report of the World Health Organization in 2014, the suicide rate in Japan, 60 per cent higher than the world average. A day in the country takes place from 60 to 90 suicides. The centuries-old practice of depriving himself of life dates back to the samurai, who made hara-kiri, or suicide bombers, military pilots during World War II. The Japanese culture also emphasizes the superiority of the group over the individual. "Bulge need to drive a nail" - Japanese maxim. Those who can not or do not want to fit into society and adhere to its stringent standards and fanatical diligence remains "evaporate" in order to gain a kind of freedom.
For young Japanese, who want to live in a different way, but do not wish to break off relations with loved ones, there is a compromise: to become otaku, that is periodically run away from reality, dressing up your favorite anime character.
"Escape is not always have to be present. We dream of love and freedom, and sometimes content with small: suit, unlearning song or dance. Japan and much of this, "- says a young man named Matt.