December 1, 2003
Harper’s Magazine, New York NY
December 2003
www.harpers.org
ALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS
Jeff Wall, Gottfried Helnwein, Simon Norfolk.
The following suicide notes were left by Japanese schoolchildren, aged ten to fifteen, who killed themselves within the last several years. Some of them met in suicide chat rooms, which are becoming increasingly popular in Japan. translated from the Japanese by Patrick Luhan.
Stage Fright
mixed media (oil and acrylic on canvas), 2003
Stage Fright, mixed media by Gottfried Helnwein was on display last month at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.
ALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS
The following suicide notes were left by Japanese schoolchildren, aged ten to fifteen, who killed themselves within the last several years.
Some of them met in suicide chat rooms, which are becoming increasingly popular in Japan.
translated from the Japanese by Patrick Luhan.
Left by a ten-year-old boy who killed himself after being harassed for having an american father:
My blood is tainted and corrupt. I will fly from my apartment window, fall, and die. Why have I not died already? Because I have been waiting for tomorrow.
Left by a fourteen-year-old boy who hung himself:
I've always had my money taken from me. I could never have enough money to meet their demands, so they would hold me underwater until I agreed to do what they wanted. They'd always make me run errands for them. They forced me to dye my hair once. Getting bullied has become harder and harder, and I cannot go on with this life. Hopefully my death will excuse my failure in this life.
Left by a fifteen-year-old boy who hung himself in his family's garden:
I am already tired.
Left by a fourteen-year-old boy who hung himself:
When I was in seventh grade, I was always bullied. Now in eight grade, the bullying has become worse. They make fun of me, throw things at me, kick me, hit me, and do other violent things. It was a waste of time complaining to the teacher when I couldn't tolerate it. They'd throw my textbooks at me and harass me for telling the teacher. I have no friends who sympathize with me in class. My close friends in clubs outside school have learned to hate me, too. I'm too tired to hold out any longer. The world's not right for me.
One of three suicide notes left by a fourteen-year-old girl before she threw herself off a high building:
I've been bullied with words and violence almost every day, but no one's been nice enough to even notice my situation. I've been hurt every day with words like " dirty" from all the boys in my class. They will finally get what they want and I will die. I can't take this life anymore. Mama and Papa, I'm really sorry, but I'm finished. I'm afraid of death, but I know this will be a lifelong torment. I'm very sorry. Goodbye forever.
Left by an eleven-year-old girl and an eleven-year-old boy, respectively, who met in a suicide chat room and both hung themselves:
I think I might die now. I've prepared for all the necessary tools. Bye-bye.
Left by a fourteen-year-old girl who hung herself:
Ive continued to be bullied by the boys in my class. They say humiliating things. I can't help how I was born. Their bullying became too much, though. I've had so many humiliating experiences whenever any of the girls ask me, "did you dye your hair?" They only want to laugh at me too. I hate everybody in my class.
I don't understand why I have to study more hours than adults work while also going to school and cram sessions after school. There are many times when I want to die. Over the course of two days, an adult works twenty hours and rests twenty-eight. But children like me study for twenty-seven and a half hours while resting for only twenty and a half hours. I have no idea why adults have more free time than kids. Homework is like a mountain. I'll have an eleven-page assignment this weekend and fourteen pages of arithmetic homework. I already want to quit school. I want to be free, like a fish.
Harper’s Magazine, New York NY www.harpers.org, 01. December 2003




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