Guardians on Suicide Cliff

  After serving as a police officer for more than 40 years, Shiga Yukio began planning for his retirement. In September 2003, he had six months to retire from a police station in Fukui Prefecture (on the west coast of Japan) where he was serving. One fine evening, Yukio Shiga, who was patrolling near a local coastal forest, met a man and a woman, and it was this encounter that changed Yukio Shiga’s life.
  The man and woman sat on a bench, cuddling their bodies together. Shiga Yukio noticed that the two of them were behaving very abnormally, because the two men’s wrists were tightly bound by several blood-red handkerchiefs connected a “Hello,” Shiga Yukio approached the two of them and asked, ” What are you doing here?”
  ”We waited for sunset to jump off the cliff,” the couple said bluntly. It turned out that they were a husband and wife. Due to the failure of the business in Tokyo, they owed a large amount of debt and could not pay off. They planned to jump into the sea from a high cliff near a seaside to end their lives. Because of the steep terrain, this seaside cliff known as Tojinbo is often seen jumping off the cliff by short-sighted people from all over Japan.
  Witnessing this scene, Shiga Yukio talked with them for nearly an hour, and finally persuaded the two not to commit suicide. “I told them they might get help if they consulted the authorities,” recalls the retired police officer.
  Five days later, Shiga Yukio received a letter from the couple saying they had been rejected by government officials and had no choice but to end their lives. Soon, Shiga Yukio learned that the couple had committed suicide by hanging.
  The incident that happened seven years ago made the old man sad. It also sparked an unusual anger in him at the time, and Shiga Yukio took the couple’s letter to the local social security department. But those officials claimed there was nothing they could do about it.
  Shiga Yukio, who called this hard-hearted attitude a “crime of social organization,” decided to take some action himself. After he retired in March 2004, he opened a small teahouse about 100 meters away from the seaside cliff of Dongxunfang, so that those who seek short-sightedness can be comforted, confided and consulted in the teahouse. Over the past five years, Shiga Yukio spent more than 3 million yen ($40,000) in savings, including his pension and borrowings, to pay for the daily teahouse expenses until 2009, when he This act of kindness only received financial assistance from the local government.
  In the early days of opening the teahouse, Shiga Yukio went to the cliff several times a day to check the surroundings. Later, through advertisements and word of mouth, some volunteers came to help. So Shiga Yukio increased the number of visits and spent more time providing psychological counseling for those who needed help in this regard.
  Today, the suicide prevention group formed by the elderly Shiga has grown to 85 members, including 20 volunteers who regularly participate in inspections. They roamed the cliffs at 10:30 a.m. each day, looking out for “potential suicidal people” (such as those not interested in viewing the scenery) who were acting suspiciously. “I always approach them, say hello, and then take the initiative to talk to them,” Shiga Yukio said of his way of working.
  Afterwards, Shiga Yukio will guide the “suspects” to a teahouse and serve them a Japanese-style glutinous rice ball. “This glutinous rice ball in Japan is served at New Years and funerals,” explains Shiga Yukio. “The glutinous rice ball can make people recall their hometown, family and childhood, so that people can breed a peaceful mood.” residence. In some cases, he also helped some people find a job.
  Shiga Yukio recalled the case of a man. This man lost his job in the construction industry due to a back injury. His wife then abused him, making him intolerable. But when he filed for divorce, the woman refused. Later, his wife bought him a life insurance policy and told him to “die quickly”. The man then took a car and traveled all the way to Toxunfang. Shiga Yukio noticed him standing on the edge of a cliff, holding a bottle of Japanese wine. “What are you trying to do here?” Shiga Yukio asked, “You’re going to stumble and fall.” Although the man refused to answer, but under Shiga Yukio’s persistent questioning, the two began to talk , until the sun goes down. Finally, the man obediently came to the teahouse to listen to the retired police officer’s further persuasion. The next day, Shiga accompanied the man to meet with his wife, and they went through the divorce procedures after consultation. “The man is now happily returning to his normal social life.”
  The work of Shiga’s suicide prevention group also includes gathering gatherings of suicide survivors and lobbying government officials to do more to prevent suicide , Finding Missing Persons… Yukio Shiga has also authored 4 books, the latest of which was published in May 2010, “Let’s Prevent Suicide: The Shiga Manifesto from Tojinbo”.
  So far, Shiga and his group have prevented more than 240 suicides.   ”These people are waiting for someone to tell them they shouldn’t leave this world,” declared Shiga
Yukio. “No one really wants to die.”
A part of the adjacent Sea of ​​Japan coast is about 50 meters of pyroxene andesite cliffs, with a total length of more than one kilometer. The coast is very steep and steep due to the erosion of the waves for many years. It is also a famous tourist attraction. In order to prevent people from committing suicide, the Fukui prefectural authorities have set up infrared surveillance cameras in the area. If they find someone planning to jump into the sea at night, they will automatically play “What’s the matter, don’t think about it”, “Please wait a moment, someone will come to help you soon”, etc. Women tape to stop.

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