Yale University professor Yusuke Narita wants to abandon the traditional idea of respect and reverence for elderly people in Japan. Instead, he is encouraging the idea of mass ritualistic suicide to keep the population turning over and eliminate the drain of having progressively older Japanese on the island.
The assistant professor of economics at Yale said “I feel like the only solution is pretty clear. In the end, isn’t it mass suicide and mass ‘seppuku’ of the elderly?” The idea of using this “act of ritualistic disembowelment” commonly called seppuku, is what Narita has in mind to keep things going. Classified to the New York Times as someone who has“taken on the question of how to deal with the burdens of Japan’s rapidly aging society,” his ideas are something not in keeping with tradition nor are they popular.
When asked to elaborate on this idea last year, Narita claimed that the positive effects could outweigh the negative if people would “work hard toward creating a society” like the one depicted in the 2019 horror film Midsommar. In the film, a Swedish cult forced its elderly members to commit suicide by throwing themselves off a cliff. “Whether that’s a good thing or not, that’s a more difficult question to answer. So if you think that’s good, then maybe you can work hard toward creating a society like that.”
While this unconfirmed answer about this kind of society doesn’t help paint him in a positive light, neither do his ideas about euthanasia; something Narita says he can see “the possibility of making it mandatory in the future.”
Naturally, Narita has faced ample backlash for this idea. Many are not in favor of what he has had to say, and naturally, he claims things have been “taken out of context.” Instead, he claims that these comments are largely concerning their presence in politics and in business, where many have remained long past their prime years.
While these controversial remarks have gotten him ample backlash, it has also made him incredibly popular on social media. Recently his number of followers has exploded with younger people who share his views about how long seniors are hanging around. In turn, he has been photographed for magazine covers, been in an energy drink advertisement, and even “spawned an imitator” on China’s Tik-Tok app.
Narita has gone on to claim that his use of the terms “mass suicide” and “mass seppuku” were only intended as “an abstract metaphor.” He hinted at taking some responsibility for his words, saying “I should have been more careful about their potential negative connotations. After some self-reflection, I stopped using the words last year.”
Newsweek Japan columnist Masato Fujisaki explained that Narita’s words “should not be easily taken as a ‘metaphor’,” and added that the fanbase for the professor are the people “who think that old people should just die already, and social welfare should be cut.”
Others have come out to his defense, with many claiming that this is just his sense of humor, or that people should be more open-minded to the concept of seeing life and death differently than they have taken it in the past. These people believe that delivering such remarks with this level of sincerity is something everyone should pick up on.
If you have ever watched Japanese TV, you would see that their comedy is very direct. You know when something is supposed to be funny, and dry sarcastic humor isn’t something they do very much of. Dark humor is something that is popular with younger people but not seen in public media. Narita or his supporters believing that anyone should take this as a joke or a metaphor is laughable at best.
Instead, Narita needs to own his views. At least this way intelligent students will know to avoid him. God knows the rest of the leftists share in his idea as they continue to pump the elderly into nursing homes where they are quickly forgotten about and abandoned.