July 24, 2020

The Suicide of a Japanese star Haruma Miura and the Japanese Society

A Japanese star actor was found dead on 18th July in his home in Tokyo. 

He was 30 years old.

In his final post on Instagram, he had stated for the fans to look forward to the drama that will broadcast from September 2020, so it came as a surprise for all of us that his death came very suddenly.


本日情報解禁されました。 TBS ドラマ「おカネの切れ目が恋の始まり」 略して【カネ恋】! 今回自分が演じさせて頂くキャラクターは おもちゃ会社のドラ息子で破壊的浪費癖があるものの、ポジティブで真っ直ぐな猿渡慶太を演じます。 日に日に暑くなって参りましたが、キャスト、スタッフ一同、テレビの前の皆様に9月から、より笑って頂きたく撮影に励んでおります! 楽しみにいていてください! #おカネの切れ目が恋のはじまり #カネ恋 #ジレきゅん

Haruma Miura 三浦春馬(@haruma_miura_info)がシェアした投稿 -

Unfortunately, the police have reported that it is suicide.

Who is Haruma Miura?

Haruma was a young star actor from Japan.

He has been in numerous dramas, movies, and theatres, and won the Best Supporting Actor of the Japanese Academy Award in 2015.

He had recently started appearing in the music scene as well, showing his multi-talent.

The music production has decided to release his newest single today.

A portion of the profit of this single"Night Diver" will be donated to the charity event "Act Against AIDS" which Haruma was participating.


Japan has lost a gracious young talent

I’ve known him of course as he appears on TV, and especially because of a TV show "Why did you come to Japan?" that interviews foreigners that come to Narita.

The TV helps the foreigner in pursuing what they wanted to do.

One of the episodes was helping 2 Russian girls help them meet Haruma.

I was surprised to see that Haruma was really helpful with the TV and gave the girls a precious gift by meeting them.

That was kind of the person he was and the condolences from the other stars around him prove that he was really a nice man.

So why did he have to kill himself?

It is said that he was pressured from having to continue to succeed in his career.

But we have been finding out that he once wanted to retire from acting, but his family persuaded him not to.

The death of a 24 year old lady Matsuri Takahashi

This incident reminds me of Matsuri Takahashi.

She was working for one of the leading Japanese companies Dentsu when she threw herself off her company dormitory on Christmas Day, 2015.

Police later found out that there was heavy harassment by her elders in the company.

Image from Unsplash by Liam Burnett-Blue

She was raised by a single mother, graduated from Tokyo University, and entered where she thought will help her and her mother to live a happy life.

I remember when the news came out there were people that became interested in the issue because she was pretty.

So yes. She had the looks, the IQ, the grit to go through hard work through one of the toughest universities in Japan, but couldn’t make it at work.

She ended her life at the age of 24.

Image from Unsplash by Ian Espinosa

Out of all the things that are there in life, work is just a part of the one whole. But I think in Japan we have this pressure that work is everything.

What we need to know: It’s ok to make mistakes

I have been following Dan Takahashi mainly on Youtube, and he has talked about the death of Haruma Miura and how this issue might be able to be fixed.

He is a former Wall Street guy, half Japanese and half American, and have spent most of his life in New York.

He sold his part of the hedge fund he started, traveled across everywhere in the world, and settled to Tokyo where he was born.

He talked about suicide on his channel, you can have a view here.

What might be the issue is that many people in Japan are afraid of making mistakes.

My opinion: I agree with Dan fully

I agree with Dan. We Japanese think that mistakes are something that we should be ashamed of.

So we tend to have the “If we might make a mistake and end up being ashamed, then we should choose not to try.” mentality.

Image from Unsplash by processingly

People here tend to look down on people that have made a mistake or done something wrong.

The bashing is enormous and it often surprises me that people actually even take time to make judgments to people that they shouldn’t even care about.

But that is what is somehow happening to the Japanese Society.

What can I add? Learn to say no

If I were to add another thing, we should not think that everyone needs to be the same.

We really need to learn to say no to people that pressure us to be the same, or to things that tell us to do that we do not want to.

Image from Unsplash by zan

It’s so surprisingly difficult for a Japanese to say no in Japan.

My experience trying to learn to say no

After staying in San Francisco through the age of 8-15, I also was pressured from the Japanese mindset after I came back to Japan.

When I graduated from university, I had 2 options. Work in Singapore or work in Japan. 

My relative very strongly recommended me to work in Japan, to get to know how Japanese work.

Which I did, and I ended up working like a slave...and from what I think, without good reason.

When I went to LA to see one of my mentors, the advice was "Learn to say no."

This taught me to at least try to say no to things, or at least express my opinions to my elders.

So I tried.

But it is really close to impossible to say no when you are working for somebody and say no to what your elders want you to do, even if you think there is a better way.

This stressed me out a lot, and I went on to suffer from depression like many others do in Japan.

Image from Unsplash by Jude Beck

You have to protect your own life

What I did differently from Haruma or Akari is that I shut off my phone, hid at home, and never answered till they let me go.

I basically ran away from my situation. I feel sorry for doing this, but I had to.

There are so many others that are also stressed out but they keep it to themselves.

You will end up being the selfish one that cannot bear a struggle.

But it's ok. My company elders might still hate me if we pass by on the streets, but my life is more important than what they think of me.

I think there is nothing more important than being healthy and to value your own life.

My alternative was to start my own small business

My shortcut to fixing the issue I had with the relationship with the Japanese society was starting my own business.

Image from Unsplash by Vladislav Babienko

Using IT and the help of my friends, I live freely and close to no stress right now.

I do the things I love to do and have figured out how to sustain it.

So I think we all need to know that it is ok to have a dream, and it is ok to find alternatives, and it is ok to enjoy our lives.

Image from Unsplash by Clement Falize

What Japan needs to change its society

The death of Haruma has opened my eyes to another thing I want to start, and it is mentoring.

I will be starting to mentor those that are struggling in life, and I hope to lead them to do what they love to do.

Also, welcoming people that have different mindsets are crucial to changing how Japanese people think.

That means you! Our team strongly hope that you come and enjoy the country, and interact with us.

Written by PJ

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