Science: Pattern for Suicide

On Oshima, outside Tokyo Bay, stands the active volcano Mihara. It bubbles with sulphurous vapor and at irregular intervals shoots out molten rock. Japan has many active volcanoes, but Mihara is specially famed because of the romantic lovers who frequently kill themselves by jumping down its throat. Before World War II, 80 to 90 did this each year, and the steamship company that serves Oshima got rich on tourists who flocked to the island, they said, to watch the volcano, but really to watch the suicides.

Mihara's suicide score has fallen since the war, but the volcano may become famed as the...

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