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2009年11月21日 (土)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:逃走は「生きる実感」か /東京

(Mainichi Japan) November 21, 2009
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: The mind of a fugitive
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:逃走は「生きる実感」か /東京

Tatsuya Ichihashi, who spent two years, seven months on the run from police after fleeing from his apartment where the body of Briton Lindsay Ann Hawker was found, reportedly showed no resistance when police apprehended him at a ferry terminal in Osaka this month.

Ichihashi was raised in a privileged family, and while he was unable to become a doctor like his parents, he continued to study at university. He failed to find a job right away, but he was said to be searching for his dream while receiving financial support. One could say he was a youth who symbolized an affluent society; he was far removed from the young victims of social disparity such as those who lose their jobs due to company layoffs of temp workers.

So how did Ichihashi end up living in hiding for such a long time without (as far as we know) receiving any assistance? Where did his obsession with escaping at all costs come from?

Of course we don't yet know all the details of the case, but Ichihashi was said to have told people at a construction company where he worked that he had shut himself off from society. Perhaps what he said was not altogether made up. It is possible that he had tried to enter the medical profession like his parents but failed to do so, and during his days as a student when he was asking, "What do I want to do? What do I want to become?" his mental state corresponded to withdrawal from society -- regardless of how much fun he looked like he was having.

Ironically, running away from police forced Ichihashi to think by himself and make his own decisions. In a sense, those days on the run when all responsibility fell on him possibly gave him a sense of being alive.

In my clinic, young people often arrive saying that they don't feel they are living of their own accord, even though they are in fortunate circumstances. They, too, choose the path that will please the adults around them for the time being, without really knowing what they want to do, and live each day without any challenges.

One young person told me, "I want to experience living of my own free will, not because somebody has asked me to do something." But it is difficult to seize that opportunity.

Saying this, however, there are young people who go on to live independently after taking part in volunteer or disaster relief activities. I have often seen people who have lived withdrawn from society for more than a decade change suddenly and become active in this way. All young people have underlying strengths.

Were there no other paths Ichihashi could choose to sense being alive? I recall the faces of the young people I met at my clinic who were withdrawn from society but later got back on their feet. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)

毎日新聞 2009年11月17日 地方版


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