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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 overdosing, 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.

Since the book was intended to be a manual, the author did not spend too much space on discussing the reasons and philosophy behind suicide. Although he does rhetorically pose the question "Why must one live?" Wataru simply lays out the methods of suicide one by one and then analyzes each of them in detail.

He covers 11 categories of suicide methods:

4.Slashing the wrist and carotid artery
5.Car collision
6.Gas Poisoning

Each chapter begins with a graph assessing the method in question in terms of: the pain it causes, effort of preparation required, the appearance of the body, the disturbance it may cause for others and its deadliness. Each of these matters is also rated by skulls, with 5 skulls indicating the highest rating.

Public reaction
Because the Japanese criminal code only censors graphical depictions of the sexual organs, this book was not censored by the government. Some prefectures designated the book as yugaitosho (book harmful to youth), which restricts the sale of books to minors, while some prefectures, such as Tokyo, decided against doing so. There are many suicides where the book was found along with the body, including several cases of the suicides of junior high school students. The book neither encourages nor discourages suicide, and as well does not tell those considering suicide to seek help, though wordings such as "completely painless" and "marvelous experience" are used to indicate that certain methods are less painful and more fatal than others. Moreover, the book shows that certain popular methods of suicide have very low success rates. For this reason, some argue that the book has made suicide attempts since its publication more fatal. Some attribute Japan's high suicide rate not just to the number of people who attempt suicide but also to the fact that people utilise more fatal methods,[1] though to what extent the book has contributed to this trend is unknown.

After the intense criticism and debate, the author subsequently published the second book, 'Our "Complete Manual of Suicide"' (僕達の完全自殺マニュアル, Bokutachi no "Kanzen Jisatsu Manyuaru"?) ISBN 978-4872331530 where he published fan letters and hate mail he had received. This second book somewhat helped shift the public attention to the various reasons some people commit suicide, and the controversy died down eventually. The book is still widely available[citation needed]. The same publisher, with a different author, published The Complete Manual of Disappearance (Kanzen Shisso Manyuaru) in 1994.

FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Manual_of_Suicide

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Several times this book has been found on the bodies in the "Suicide Forest" or Aokigahara.

"The perfect place to die." That's how Aokigahara was described in Wataru Tsurumui's bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide. A dense, dark forest bordering Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is infamous throughout Japan as a popular spot for those taking their final journey.

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In 2002, 78 bodies were found within it, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. By May of 2006, at least 16 new suicides had already been found. More than a few of them were even carrying copies of Tsurumui's book. No one knows how many bodies go undiscovered.

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Signs emblazoned with messages such as "Please reconsider" and "Please consult the police before you decide to die!" are nailed to trees throughout the forest. However, the woods have such a reputation that these minor deterrents do little to stop the determined. Local residents say they can always tell who is going into the forest for its stunning natural beauty, who is hunting after the macabre and who is planning never to return.

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Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from centuries of suicides. They don't want you to go back out.

However, even in these haunted woods, regular humans still have a job to do. Forestry workers rotate in and out of shifts at a station building in Aokigahara, and occasionally they will come upon unfortunate bodies in various states of decomposition, usually hanging from trees or partially eaten by animals.

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The bodies are brought down to the station, where a spare room is kept especially for such occasions. In this room are two beds: one for the corpse and one for someone to sleep next to it. Yup, you read that correctly. It is thought that if the corpse is left alone, the lonely and unsettled yurei will scream the whole night through, and the body will move itself into the regular sleeping quarters.

In inimitable style, the workers jan-ken to see who gets to sleep with the body. And you thought your job was rough.

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I left out pictures of a few of the actual bodies.They can be seen here if you want

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I know many people have probably heard about this forest before but it is so fascinating to me.I only discovered the suicide manual recently.

I also found two related books.

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The Peaceful Pill Handbook is a controversial book giving instructions on how to perform euthanasia. It was originally published in the U.S. in 2007 and was written by the Australian doctors Philip Nitschke and Fiona Stewart.

The book describes legal and moral aspects of suicide and euthanasia and provides how-to instructions for several suicide methods. The primary focus of the book is on peaceful (non-violent and painless) suicide methods that can be used by seriously ill and elderly people. To distinguish between suitable and non-suitable methods, Dr. Nitschke introduces the RP (Reliability-Peacefulness) rating. One of the recommended suicide methods involves drinking pentobarbital, a drug that Mexican veterinary drug stores sell (illegally) without prescription.[1]

The book was initially banned in Australia and New Zealand since it was deemed to be objectionable.[2] At the same time, the book was freely sold in other countries, in particular by Amazon.com in the US. Since May 2008 it has been allowed for sale in New Zealand if sealed and an indication of the censorship classification was displayed.[3] To circumvent the continuing import ban in Australia, an online for-pay ebook edition was launched in October 2008.[4] The more expensive online edition includes videos and other material, not available with the printed book. The Australian government included the handbook website in its proposed internet filtering plan in 2009.[5] (See Internet censorship in Australia).

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peaceful_Pill_Handbook

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Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying is a controversial 1992 book by Derek Humphry, founder of the Hemlock Society in California and past president of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.

A newspaper journalist and author who helped his wife Jean end her life with an intentional overdose of medication after a long and painful decline from terminal cancer, Humphry wrote the book as a how-to guide for terminally ill people who wish to end their lives. The controversy arose not only from the intense debate over whether one should have a right to end one's own life, and whether anyone, especially medical professionals, can ethically assist self-chosen euthanasia, but also because the information in the book can be used by anyone, not just the terminally ill.

The book covers many aspects of planning and carrying out "self-deliverance", from the decision of whether and when one is ready to die, to the careful protection of anyone assisting one's preparations, to the legal and financial preparations for those one leaves behind. But the bulk of the work consists of the advantages and disadvantages and the processes for a variety of suicide methods.

In 2000, a Supplement to Final Exit was published with a new chapter on a method using helium gas as an alternative not requiring controlled prescription drugs. In 2001, marking the book's 10th anniversary, this information was included in the revised 3rd edition of the book. In 2005, an electronic addendum to the 3rd edition was released, offering refinements to the helium bag technique. The addendum was updated May 2009.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Exit

I'm in a morbid mood today.


( 88 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 17th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
I realize, and I am more than sure the OP does too, that suicide is a touchy subject for some. You can scroll past this post if need be, but no drama/wank plz. We've already been featured on sf_drama, which is super-lame.
Apr. 17th, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
Did I miss something? What was the feature for?
Re: *MOD NOTE* - orcasandowls - Apr. 17th, 2010 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: *MOD NOTE* - rally_pchan - Apr. 17th, 2010 07:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
I found the picture with the empty pill packets and bottle of water especially sad :(

But I also woner what the top rated methods are! Anyone know without me having to buy the book? lol
Apr. 17th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Ugh. This is depressing and disturbing... and kinda sickening when you stop to think that someone's making money off those manuals. Even making money off of a book that covers euthanasia for those who are terminal and in pain... I dunno, as much as I like money, I think I'd be a little hesitant to spend any earnings I made off something like that.
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
On the one hand, I see where you coming from. It's rather disturbing to know there's a market out there suicide manuals and euthanasia books.

But on the other hand, these books can be useful in an academic sense. If your trying to do research on the subject of suicide, knowing the viewpoint of those who are for euthanasia is helpful. Also, as a writer, it could be useful to have an idea about methods based on what they do to a body, how lethal they are, and what are the most popular ones can be useful if your writing about a suicidal character or someone who has to deal with the aftermath of a suicide. Let me just say from personal experience that finding good sources of information about this subject is a bit difficult.

And then there's also the morbidly curious to consider.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just that there's no reason to condemn a book based on it's subject.
(no subject) - almostindigo - Apr. 17th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xellos_otaku_21 - Apr. 17th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
Very interesting post. Gorgeous forest, but I would NOT want to be a worker there, that's for sure.
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Call me morbid, but I would like to read the "Suicide Manual". Partly from curiosity and partly because most of what I tend to write ends up being rather dark (mostly on the "dark comedy" side of things, but still...).
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Actually, I do too. I want to see how the subject is treated and what sort of information is in it, out of academic curiosity.
(no subject) - bwhahahabeck - Apr. 17th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
In this room are two beds: one for the corpse and one for someone to sleep next to it.

oh noooooooooooo D:
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
Actually, this isn't that unusual. Vigils were very common in the days when a body was on display in the home for several days before burial.
(no subject) - ihateclooney - Apr. 17th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xellos_otaku_21 - Apr. 17th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xellos_otaku_21 - Apr. 17th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spookymrsboo - Apr. 17th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - almostindigo - Apr. 17th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 17th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
I kind of want to read the Suicide Manual, but at the same time I am sure it would just make me sad..

Also, that picture of the sea of trees from above reminds me of this particular scene in Princess Mononoke:
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
So the Forest God was made up of the souls of suicides?

*is shot*
(no subject) - rally_pchan - Apr. 17th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
I have heard about the forest before but I have never actually seen it. It's so beautiful but sadly I probably wouldn't want to go only because I would get freaked out. :/

I want to read this Suicide Manual. Yeah, I'm just curious. I think I remember seeing the Final Exit book in the library I used to work in. I thought it just had information on the debate on euthanasia. Creepy, I guess.
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
Just an fyi, but this picture you have
(http://i44.tinypic.com/2hhp0uv.jpg) is from Kyoto, not Aokigahara!
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
Haha, I was going to point out the same thing. Like, "Wait a minute, that's Kiyomizudera! That's nowhere near Aokigahara!"
(no subject) - scarreddragon - Apr. 18th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
I remember when I was doing my Performing Arts A-Levels, we went to go and see a show by a Theatre Company our Drama Department were linked with.
The entire show was about different methods of suicide. Not suicide the subject... but actually re-enacting different ways to kill yourself. On our seats when we went in were pages of final words by famous people who had killed themselves.

As a student who was struggling to come to terms with her depression, understanding her depression and who was having problems with suicidal thoughts, I found it shockingly irresponsible that there wasn't at least a warning of 'oh hey, in case you're thinking of killing yourself...DON'T WATCH THIS'.

I do have a morbid curiosity when it comes to these things, and I am morbidly fascinated by suicide... but I don't understand how books like that can be published while other books that apparently subliminally suggested to someone emotionally unstable to go and do something stupid are banned.

Apr. 17th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
On the subject of book bannings, it mostly happens because said book got linked to a very publicized death. I pointed out in an earlier comment that these kinds of books can have an academic merit. And, while I do agree that it's irresponsible to not have a disclaimer about the subject matter, if someone seriously wanted to kill themselves, there's never just one cause for their choice. I'm of the belief that you can't entirely blame a book or a movie or a song for causing something like suicides. There's usually underlying issues that needed to be dealt with and were ignored or missed or, in the case of deaths that catch widespread media's attention, glossed over.

tl;dr: If somebody unstable really wishes to kill themselves, they're going to try to do so regardless of their reading/viewing habits.
(no subject) - countbecula - Apr. 17th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaelstra - Apr. 17th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - countbecula - Apr. 17th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
self immolation, why the fuck would you ever wanna do that? i get the thing with the monks protesting and all, but if your goal is to just die
you'd think people would just wanna get it over with quickly and painlessly. i could never read a book like that, i've known 5 or so people who committed suicide.

also apparently moss grows on skeletons?? neato
Apr. 17th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
I guess some people just want to save some money on cremation? *shrug*
(no subject) - barsukthom - Apr. 17th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xellos_otaku_21 - Apr. 17th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frostpixel - Apr. 17th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beeach_comaaa - Apr. 17th, 2010 05:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - barsukthom - Apr. 18th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beeach_comaaa - Apr. 17th, 2010 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xellos_otaku_21 - Apr. 17th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beeach_comaaa - Apr. 17th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - negativeneve - Apr. 17th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 17th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Oh man, I just looked The Complete Manual of Suicide up on Amazon and it is not translated into English. I review odd books and had not heard of this until this post.

I'm always in a morbid mood and always enjoy learning about new sources of morbidness. Very interesting - thanks for sharing.
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
I really want to read it.
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
I think this is such an interesting post!

I would read the book, not because I am suicidal in any way, but because I suppose I have a morbid curiosity...


I already want to go to Japan (for a plethora of reasons, mainly because parts of Japanese culture are so... odd... in my opinion), but I REALLY want to check out that forest. Not only is is really beautiful, but I would be weirdly stoked to find a dead body...

I am ze creep.
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
Having known some terminally ill people and sufferers of chronic pain who have committed suicide as well as some who did it for depression, I'm of a mixed mind on books like that. The people who were in agony...it was almost a relief that they were able to do it, and I think they may have found a book that walked them through the methods and legal aspects of it helpful and comforting. I suppose you could also argue that the ones who were depressed were in mental agony, but it just seemed like such a sad waste of a life over things that weren't permanent. I'm not big on book banning, though.
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
This makes me wonder if suicide/euthanasia will ever be socially acceptable. If so, when?

Nowadays, you could probably find gay erotic literature without too much trouble. 20 years ago, they might have been censoring or banning books on coming out to your parents. If we've come to accept things like homosexuality, racial diversity, promiscuity, divorce, etc, will suicide ever be okay?

It kind of frightens me to think of a world where suicide may even be encouraged, but I suppose that's how past generations thought of other subjects.
Apr. 17th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC)
In some cultures, suicide wasn't viewed with the same stigma as it is in mainstream Western society. For example, suicide to regain or retain honor was acceptable in Ancient Rome if I recall correctly.
(no subject) - stigmata_crow - Apr. 17th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_chr0i - Apr. 19th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC) - Expand
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