That is still true in many respects, although changing in others. For example, if something goes wrong in a large corporation, no matter what, the CEO usually makes a public apology and resigns. Compare that with U.S. CEOs!
In WWII Japanese could not really understand the propensity of our servicemen to surrender. Although many Japanse were captured, most would rather die (or live in a cave for the next 40 years ) than surrender. It was considered the ultimate shame to do so. And “suicide bombing” was invented by the Kamikazi.
It is difficult for people in a countlry only 250 years old to understand the traditions and culture of one a couple of thousand years old. While many Japanese have adapted to western ways, they still have a much, much stronger sense of honor than we are able to understnad. If that honor is soiled, taking one’s own life, to some, seems the only way to erase the stain.
I don’t know current statistics, but when I lived in Japan for a couple of years back in the late 40s, the suicide rate was still among the highest of civilized countries. It was not unheard of for a school kid to do so if he did not get accepted to a high school that was considered good enough, for example.
The Bushido code was pretty strict, and samarai, evidently, were expected to accept it without question. Death before dishonor. It always struck me as an enigma that the fiercest samarai, who would think nothing of chopping off a head, would sit under a cherry tree in blossom and weep at the beauty.
As others have noted, separating fact from fiction, however, is not easy.
Hell, I’ve been married to the same Japanese woman for 53 years and I still don’t understand her.