Johatsu: Vanishing Without A Trace

Vanishing without a trace looks at the growing cultural phenomenon of “evaporated people” in Japan.

Known by the Japanese term “johatsu”, or evaporated people, the documentary dives head-first into the minds of the people who engineer a permanent vanishing act.

Supposedly, nearly 100,000 Japanese vanish without a trace each day. But why? And how?

Although Japan isn’t the only country in the world where this happens, a booming business has arisen from the circumstance of these vanishing acts.

There are many reasons as to why someone might was to commit to Johatsu; stress, unable to pay debts, growing tensions between family members, an escape from violent partners or the absolution of starting anew with renewed freedom.

In Japans case, the Japanese might have even more reasons. The country has had a long historic culture gravitating towards good honor standing. If one’s honor becomes bad, it befalls on the individual to rectify this.

In ancient times an unhonorable life could be rectified by seppuku – the ritualistic suicide by the samurai sword.

Today, however, seppuku might have been modernised – where the sword has become the art of dissapearing.

Johatsu: Vanishing Without A Trace
  • Info
  • Release date2019
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Sun Sheau Huei
  • Part of the seriesUndercover Asia