Final Project Reflection for Amijima

When I read Love Suicide at Amijima, I found myself reflecting on how suicide is represented in films. Suicide can be complicated when it comes to representation because of how tender the topic is. But usually a story is more engaging when the material is more intense. Are Jihei and Koharu trying to escape their lives because they are miserable, or do they feel guilt?

But what are the negative effects of the portrayals of suicide, particularly in stories like Love Suicide at Amijima and most Shakespeare plays? It is hard to tell when these portrayals become dangerous. Just about every article I found stated that there really isn’t an effect anymore, but there used to be when this type of play first came out and they were banned. But there is the obvious risk for people who are suicidal that we need to take into consideration. For example the film version we watched felt completely different than the text we read. The end of the film felt purposely eerie. The puppet masters really contributed along with the dark foggy day and Koharu being afraid to die while Jihei was put into a murderous role. That changes the entire message to: suicide is messed up and should not happen. That is why I preferred the film.

But it’s not like the text didn’t do this as well, there was just a delay effect. Once they were gone, there was the feeling of how life will go on and it will eventually be forgotten where the fisherman found their bodies the next day. That subtle ending also states that suicide is pointless. But I really didn’t understand why emotion was taken out of the text at the end. So what do people get from plays such as Hamlet where suicide is romanticized? Possibly a necessary sacrifice or a dip in emotion so the following scenes can be more cheerful and bring you back up. Maybe the more range of emotion a story can deliver, the more entertaining it can be?

It’s a frustrating and heavy question. However I don’t need nor care to answer it. That is exactly why I chose this alternate ending for my project.

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