Spirits Of Death In A Sea Of Trees - Japan's Suicide Forest


Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海) or Jukai, is a 14 square mile forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being exceptionally quiet and for the thickness of its trees. It is a twisting network of woody vines, and has a dangerous unevenness of the forest floor. It is rocky, cold, and littered with over 200 underground caves you could fall into accidentally. The forest is full of paradox and contrast. Its historic association with demons in Japanese mythology has long made it a popular place for suicides.

Japan has more than 30,000 suicides a year for over 14 years— one of the highest rates among industrialized nations. On average, someone in Japan dies by his own hand every 15 minutes, usually a man. The Aokigahara Forest is the most common place to commit suicide in Japan, and it is widely thought to be the second most likely site in the world, after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The reasons are complex.

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