Uncle John’s Unsinkable Bathroom Reader has an interesting story about Masabumi Hosono, the man condemned by a nation for surviving the Titanic.
No, the harshest attack against Hosono came from his own countrymen. For in surviving the Titanic disaster, he had broken two cultural taboos. Not only had Hosono chosen ignominious life over an honorable death, he had done so in public – on a European passenger liner with the eyes of the world upon him.
Hosono was denounced as a coward by Japanese newspapers and fired from his job with the Transportation Ministry. The ministry hired him back a few weeks later, but his career never recovered. College professors denounced him as immoral, and he was written up in Japanese textbooks as a man who had disgraced his country. There were even public calls for him to commit hara-kiri – ritual suicide – as means of saving face.