JAPAN: Death on the Mountain

Men have died, and worms have eaten them, But not for love.

This cynical couplet from Shakespeare's As You Like It would shock the traditionalists of Japan, who cherish in song and story the tales of true lovers pledged in death. Last year 3,000 Japanese girls between the ages of 15 and 24 killed themselves, and 1,000 of these died in suicide pacts with their lovers. Last week Japan was sentimentally creating a new legend about a new pair of star-crossed lovers.

The girl was 19, and a princess—Aishinkakura Eisei, niece of Henry Pu Yi, the Japanese puppet "Emperor of Manchukuo [Manchuria],"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!