Depression is no stranger to Japanese society, but only within the last decade has its "clinical" component gained currency along with the realization that the malady can affect almost anyone.

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, one in 15 people in Japan suffers clinical depression at some point in their lives.

Depression is considered the leading cause of suicide. And in the industrialized world, Japan has the highest rate. Out of 100,000 people, 12.8 females and 35.6 males will kill themselves. This has translated into more than 30,000 suicides annually in recent years.