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Aokigahara - Suicide forest

It isn't like me to post something creepy and sad with pretty much no hint of "cool" or "funny." But this is bizarrely riveting, and, initially, scary enough to make "The Blair Witch Project" look like the silly little joke that it is. As the clip's info explains: "The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year."


So. These are two segments of a short Japanese TV documentary, each about 10 minutes. (Warning: not highly graphic, but certainly disturbing content.)

When I watched the first section -
- I was mostly just creeped out.

But after moving on and watching the second section -
- I settled down to a general sadness, and a great fondness for the kindly geologist with this strange and vital job of sweeping the forest to prevent suicides when he can, and find the ones he couldn't prevent.

Since we're on the subject, I'd like to share the wise words of Ed Chigliak from "Northern Exposure":
"Suicide's not the Indian way. Don't go where you're not invited. Know what I mean?"
A good rule. Make it yours too, my friends.

Edit: For further reading, this blogger traveled to Aokigahara and wrote a detailed account of his journey, complete with some photos and videos. A very chilling and sobering place indeed, and a brave traveler.


Jun. 2nd, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
A quote (from memory, may not be precise) from a Zenna Henderson book that I've always loved: one of the characters describes suicide as "going back into the Presence with the weight of unfinished years dragging at your feet".

I like it because it conveys the sense of sorrow and loss, the waste of time that was gifted to the person, all the things that they could have been and weren't; but it never doubts that they will, indeed, be back in the Presence.
Jun. 4th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
(Oh hai LJ, finally notifying me about these comments!)

Ah, powerful quote. I agree with it, and yeah, I never liked the idea of assigning suicides straight to hell (whether or not one believes in the existence of hell). That doesn't seem fair, for although suicide is definitely a bad policy, it's an act that calls for some compassion.