In our world, different peoples coexist, each of which has its own traditions and customs. At the same time, there are some national phenomena that can be very difficult for representatives of another country to understand. Japan is a distant and mysterious part of Asia, which is not easy for Europeans to unravel. This country has its own culture, mentality, customs.
We will tell you about the Japanese phenomenon, which has no analogues in the world. In this country there is a term “johatsu”, reflecting a very unusual cultural phenomenon. Translated from Japanese, this word means “evaporating people”. That’s what they call those who disappear without a trace all over the country. Thousands of people disappear in Japan every year.
People disappear without a trace, as if they had never been in this world, but no one is looking for them: neither relatives nor the police. These people do not die in traffic accidents, do not die at the hands of maniacs. But where and why do the Japanese mysteriously disappear?
Johatsu is a unique phenomenon that is difficult to understand for those who do not live in Asia. But for the Japanese, the concepts of dishonor and shame are much worse than death. It seems more right for representatives of this nation to disappear than to drag out a shameful existence. This attitude to shame was laid down in the life philosophy of the samurai.
For them, the only correct way out of the situation associated with shame and defeat was considered ritual suicide by cutting open the abdomen with a special dagger. The origins of johatsu come from there, and this phenomenon is deeply embedded in the Japanese worldview. People who have suffered a serious setback, brought shame on themselves or their family, often simply disappear.
They are not trying to fix the situation, because shame for the Japanese is the most terrible thing, something that cannot be changed in any way. Therefore, after suffering shame, it is easier for a person from this country to disappear forever. At the same time, the family will not look for the disappeared. Where do the Japanese disappear who cannot survive the shame?
Thousands of people in this country change their appearance, sell their property, move to a new place, get another job. They break all social contacts, connections with relatives, friends. These people seem to dissolve, disappear from the field of view of all acquaintances. They can start a new life with a different appearance, invent a new one, or simply hide their old biography.
There can be a huge variety of reasons to become a dzhokhatsu: bankruptcy, a failed exam, a fight, a mortal insult inflicted on a person. This forces people to completely change it, leaving all their relatives, friends, and the usual way of life. For example, one day a father may simply not return to his family and lose contact with them forever, it’s hard to believe, but this happens.
The largest number of dzhokhatsu was recorded after the Second World War. During this period, the Japanese who fought on the side of the fascists experienced national shame. A large number of missing people were during the years of major financial crises, when many simply could not fulfill their debt obligations.
Johatsu is a unique cultural phenomenon that has been described in many books, became the basis for a song by Radiohead called “How to completely disappear and Never be Found”. At the same time, missing people who could not bear the burden of shame are a taboo topic for Japan.
It is not customary to talk about it, an unspoken taboo is imposed on such a discussion. That’s just ignoring the phenomenon of dzhokhatsu crippled destinies does not become less. Interestingly, there are even companies in Japan, of course, illegal ones, which make new documents for everyone.
At the same time, a person becomes simply impossible to track down and find not only relatives, but also the police, if he is hiding, for example, from debt. Johatsu is a very ambiguous phenomenon that is not found anywhere else in the world. It is difficult to say how many missing people are really hiding from shame, and how many have passed away.
Many dzhokhatsu move to rural communities or leave for disadvantaged areas where documents are not needed in order to earn money for a living, and many areas are secretly controlled by the Yakuza. But it is very difficult to say for sure what these people are doing, because any connection with them is completely lost.
Our world is huge and diverse, there are so many unusual national phenomena in it that it is difficult for those who do not belong to a certain ethnic group to understand. For the Japanese, honor and pride are one of the most important concepts. It seems very right to live with a clear conscience, but to die or change the usual way of life because of failures is the reverse, not at all attractive side of such a philosophy.