Book Review of
TATEIWA, Shin'ya 2009 Tokyo,Chikuma Shobo, 418p.
*Tateiwa, Shinya 2009 Sole Life, Tokyo, Chikuma-Shobo, 418p. ISBN-10:4480867201 ISBN-13:978-4480867209 [amazon]/[kinokuniya]
_______ translation by HIRAGA, Midorie________
* 2009/03/03 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/thigasikawabata/20090303/1236605454 (Japanese)
* 20009/04/17 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/al-ghad/20090417 (Japanese)
* 20009/04/21 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/SugarCheap/20090421/p1 (Japanese)
* 20009/04/24 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/schizophrenic/20090424 (Japanese)
* Mukai, Shoko（向井 承子） May 10, 2009 "Challenging the Difficult Problem of Life and Death: Book Review on Shin'ya Tateiwa's Sole Life", Tokyo Shinbun May 10, 2009
I find something strange in my daily life more often these days. What bothers me especially is the social trend to leave the important issue of life and death to the institutions without thoroughly seeking the real solution.
It is a difficult problem; it has to overturn the deep foundation of our cultural believe such as the matter-of-fact feeling of "Respect and take good care of elderly or sick people". This book is packed full with difficult challenges about life and death in today's world. The book is not trying to domineeringly argue you down with logic. The author's particular writing style that accumulates thoughts spirally up shows how one thinker is facing the vast sea of complex issue of life and death. The life and death issue in today's world consists of such difficult and complex problems.
For example, let's see the idea of "Brain Death" defined by the Act on Organ Transplantation. No matter how alive the patient looks to human eyes, it would be dead because the law says so. Still, we humans cannot help resisting to take a lively beating heart out of another human being. Some people require legalizing the choice of dignified death for patients with "incurable and terminal" diagnosis. I believe there are some patients who demand that choice, too. However, can the diagnosis of "incurable" or "terminal" be 100% accurate? Have they receive enough treatment or care before they start wishing to die? Some other people require re-examination of technical and social environment.
Many people say "excessive medical treatment" is not necessary for elder people. It can be true in some cases. However, it is also true as history shows that elder patients can receive less treatment as they grow older because the public have begun to believe in that repeated propaganda.
The book analysis huge collection of writings and discussions on the topic from 1980s to now. The difficult problem between life and death is the result of complex accumulation of vivid actual facts. After carrying out such huge task, the author says, "You might ask me 'So, what's your opinion?' after piling up so much words." Still, author's last words left me the strongest impact after I read the book, "You don't have to believe the value which denies the life."
* 2009/05/10 http://jnetmore.blog50.fc2.com/blog-entry-325.html (Japanese)
* 2009/05/12 http://archive.mag2.com/0000156149/20090512050000000.html (Japanese)
* 2009/05/13 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/ogawa-s/20090513/p3 (Japanese)
* Ito, Ujitaka June 1, 2009 "Book Review: Tateiwa, Shin'ya Good Death (?)", Bungakukai2009-6 (Japanese)
* 2009/07/05 http://jiyuu-gennsou.at.webry.info/200907/article_4.html (Japanese)
* 2009/07/05 http://jiyuu-gennsou.at.webry.info/200907/article_6.html (Japanese)