Friday, July 24, 2009

Destitution and Care

The image below has stuck with me since I first read it. It seems as strong a description of an awful life of suffering as I have read. Worth remembering the role of parental care, political stability and good healthcare in promoting well-being. Perhaps because they are so obvious, we don't discuss them enough.

"At about 1.30am a thirteen year-old boy was found suffering in front of Nakanoshima Public Hall by a policeman. The youth was treated at a hospital but died at 2pm the same day. He had taken rat poison. Just before his death he faintly related the tragic story of his short life. He gave his name as Kazuo Yamamoto. He became an orphan through war ravage and was sent to an orphanage in Tokyo. Leaving the orphanage, he had been making his living cleaning shoes before coming to Osaka. His last words were "I wanted to die because of a headache". He had no belongings with him."

Japanese News Item, 1954 - From the Oxford Book of Death

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