Sunday, April 3, 2011

Aokigahara-Jukai: Forest of Suicide

I came acrossed a magazine article with "The most beautiful place to die". Looking into this I discovered it is the words of the 1953 Author that targeted the Aokigahara-Jukai forest, making it the number one place in Japan to commit suicide. Located at the foot of Mount Fiji over a hundred bodies are recovered each year, and even more are never found. The locals tell their children that the forest is a scary place, and never to enter. There are trails marked by authorities where the public is safe from getting lost. Some say they can hear the whispers and screams of those who have entered the forest with no plans to leave. The ropes that separate the public from the off limits, stop individuals from more than just getting lost, but from seeing those who have lost everything. There are numerous markings made (ribbon, string, or rope) that lead the indecisive back to the safe ground. Never-the-less there will always be something that will be found on the other side, a body or evidence of what was an individual lost and in debate with their selves. In Japan the meaning of suicide has gone from samurai's act to a families loss. Authorities have placed numerous signs to help  prevent the suicide rates from increasing after the 1993 book The Complete Manual of Suicide, which stated that the forest is the best way to not be found and hanging is the most painless way to die. Through decades of tragedy and thousands lost this forest, Aokigahara-Jukai, has became my number one place to investigate. I am looking to discover why someone would be pushed to take their own lives. Ultimately I seek the answers to the world that is between ours and theirs.

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