Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Suicide Forest at Aokigahara on Mt Fuji

At the foot of Mt. Fjui lies the suicide forest named Aokigahara or Sea of Trees as it is sometimes known, it is a notorious place where people who wary of life can exhale their last breath. Frighteningly a large number of people travel there making the foot of Fuji their final resting place. This popular spot is filled with strange masses of moss and volcanic rock, it is the world's second most popular suicide location after San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives inside the forrest. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within it, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. By May of 2006, at least 16 new suicides had been reported and more than a few of them were carrying Wataru Tsurumi's bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide, who quotes "The perfect place to die." In the depths of the forest warning signs are nailed to trees reading "Please reconsider" and "Please consult the police before you decide to die!" The locals can always tell the difference between who is planning a nature walk and those who are on a macabre journey to death.

Jyukai, The Sea of Trees Behind Mt. Fuji was made about the forest, by director Takinoto Tomoyuki. The film was based on four people who commited suicide at the forest. During production the director reported he found a wallet that had 170,000 yen ($3,760).  

Legends surround the land, one being that underground iron deposits can cause compasses to go haywire, trapping innocents along with the purposely suicidal. Spiritualits say that the trees are filled with malevolent energy built up from centuries of suicides. Aokigahara is considered the most haunted location in all of Japan, for the unsettled ghosts of Japan howl in the winds. Bodies have been found in various states of decomposition, usually hanging from trees or partically eaten by animals.

It is a place filled with the supernatural calling to the living, hopelessly ending their melancholy lives… it is believed to be very bad luck if the corpse is left along, for the "yurei" (ghost) of the suicide will scream throughout the night, and the body will move itself on its own.

"Aokigahara", Wikipedia. January 19, 2010.
Hawkins, Craig. "Aokigahara", MP Most Paranormal: Information & Resource. February 28, 2009.
"Aokigahara Suicide Forest", Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonder, Curiosities and Esoterica. 


Blood Milk said...

so strange and lovely. (?)

. c h o k l i t . said...

Incredible photos! Love this...

end of the game said...

Hey, I thought I’d comment as I recently visited Aokigahara forest and spent 6 hours exploring it with two friends and three cameras. I compiled most of the video footage + photos along with bits and pieces from my journal to construct the story of my experience there. Please check it out and let me know what you think! (follow the link)