Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Suicide Forest

(Above: A scene from “Destination Truth” doing research in the Suicide Forest. I think this was one of my top 5 favorite episodes.)

Aokigahara or “Sea of Trees” is a forest that lies at the foothills of Mt. Fuji in Japan. Popular culture has associated this forest as a “popular” place for young people to commit suicide. Because of the dense forest and the lack of wildlife within, it is eerily quiet and still. This volcanic land and thick woods are marked by plastic tape where volunteers search for more bodies.

It is the second most popular suicide spot with the Golden Gate Bridge being number one. It averages about 30 per year. However, in 2003, the rate rose to 100 and the government quit giving the statistics, hoping to play down this popular spot as a destination for those determined to kill themselves.

This location is believed to be haunted. Personally, I am not a person who disbelieves haunted land. In fact, living in a mining state, I do believe land can certainly be haunted. Given that Mt. Fuji is a volcano and the land is littered with volcanic rock and geological changes, it seems nearly certain that with that much anguish and death, it would be an ideal haunted spot. Many of these young people come and camp before killing themselves, performing a kind of life review and bonding with nature that makes this seem like an almost peaceful place to pass on. Often times, they choose this spot far away from home and get rid of their ID, hoping that shame will not be put upon their loved ones.

The concept of walking into these woods that are so thick that people regularly get lost, and finding a quiet spot to end one’s life is a tragic and intriguing concept. Intriguing because, as a pagan, the concept of being one with nature is bonding. You are part of all the living things around you. What if you shed your blood there and affect the forest? It’s definitely something chilling to consider…

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