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Japan’s Suicide Forest

by Jack Guy

Feb 22, 2020

ID 148326017 © Wothan777se | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Asia

Aokigahara Forest is found at the base of Mount Fuji, about two hours from Tokyo.

 

It’s a beautiful spot, but it’s also a place where thousands of people have chosen to end their own lives. Known as the Sea of Trees, Aokigahara has had its morbid reputation for decades.

 

In 1960, Japanese author Seicho Matsumoto wrote a book in which the main character ends her own life in the forest, and more than 100 people did so in real life 2013–2015 alone, according to Japanese government statistics.

 

It is thought the forest became a popular place to end a life due to the book and media coverage, as well as the feeling that those who die there would not die alone as many people had already chosen to do so.

 

Local authorities tried to reduce the number of suicides using trained volunteers who talk to visitors, police patrols at entrances and working to discourage the portrayal of a “suicide forest” in the media.

 

However, the forest shot to fame around the world in 2017 when YouTuber Logan Paul posted a video from the area showing a suicide victim. He later apologized after receiving huge amounts of criticism online.

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