Japan Suicide Forest: Is A Novel To Blame For Hundreds Of Deaths?

 @AmandaTVScoop on April 10 2012 1:38 PM
Mount Fuji
At the foot of Mount Fuji is Aokigahara forest, a "popular suicide spot." REUTERS/Michael Caronna

Japan's Aokigahara forest has a chilling history. At the foot of Mount Fuji, authorities remove around 100 bodies a year from the forest -- all victims of suicide.

One theory of why hundreds choose to kill themselves at the popular suicide spot is based off the novel Kuroi Jukai. The novel is about a young lover who commits suicide in the forest, reports Vice.com.  According to the site, anywhere from 50 to 100 people a year end their lives in the same forest.

A film crew followed geologist Azusa Hayano into the Aokigahara forest, as he gave a little insight to the suicide forest. Abandoned cars occupy the parking lot, as their owners entered from here and never came out, says Hayano.

The geologist explained that suicide was viewed differently years ago, with suicide formerly being known as a samurai's act. They weren't killing themselves because they couldn't adapt to society, Hayano explained of the current suicides.

Your life is a precious gift from your parents, reads a sign to stop suicidal people. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don't keep it to yourself. Talk about your problems. Unfortunately with the sign and suicide hotline number, deaths still take place.

Those who go to the forest to commit suicide venture off the public paths. According to Hayano, he's found at least 100 bodies in the forest in the past 20 years. But he doesn't believe that everyone who ventures off the path has come to die. Some are indecisive he explains, as he shows the camera tape that they use so they can find their way out. People struggling take a tent out to the forest where they spend a few days here figuring out if they want to die or not.

In the Aokigahara forest, the most common form of suicide is through hanging. The next would be sleeping pills, says Hayano. Through his journey through the forest, viewers witness bodies found dangling from trees, abandoned tents and lost personal items.

While it is suggested that the novel Kuroi Jukai could draw people to the location, it is still a mystery why so many people choose to kill themselves in the Aokigahara forest.   

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