Aug 19, 2012

What We Can Find in Japan's Infamous "Suicide Forest"

Maybe it's not a very appropriate topic to talk about (especially since this is my first post in a while), but I was really inspired by this one video about a "suicide forest" in Japan and I couldn't wait to share it.

I was bewildered when I found this video, because it came to the top of the results when I searched "Japan" on Youtube. Why the heck is this video doing at the top of the list? Is this what Youtube ranked as being the most related to Japan? Surely Japan has things that are less darker than "suicide forests". But results are results, and I  decided I should better watch this video since it was supposed to be so closely linked to my country. (or at least Youtube thinks so)

Honestly, I was just thinking it was some kind of video to give you the chills, one of the typical horror clips on Youtube. But i realized that wasn't the case at all once I got a few minutes into the video.

You gotta see the video to truly understand what I am going to talk about, but for people in a rush, here's a summary-

It is a documentary of the Aokigahara forest near the foot of Mt. Fuji where a lot of people come (around 100 per year) to commit suicide. It's a jungle of trees, so you can get lost easily. In fact, it's considered to be the most "popular" suicide destination in Japan. People come here from all over the country to commit suicide!!
This video follows a geologist who studies plantations and such in the forest, but he does often find bodies, some decomposing and some already skeletons, as he's researching.

It really made sad that so many people end up slowly decomposing in the forest just because they were unable to fit into the society. Of course there are many reasons for their commiting suicides, but it's just sad nontheless.
But what surprised me was his story about the time he actually encountered a man who already had his neck through the noose.
The geologist stopped him, and convinced the man to reconsider. He said that just a simple conversation seemed to cheer him up, and he was able to make the man realize thst he wasn't alone in this world, and they walked out of the forest together.
This should sound like a happy story, but what it really means is that most of the suicides that happen here (well, also anywhere else actually) can be stopped or prevented once they know they still have a chance.

I know I'm not an expert at all about these things so I have to be careful when I say it, but I do think these kinds of suicides are preventable with proper counseling.

So it's really depressing to know that people who still should have a chance to recuperate and take a second go at the society, still choose to take their lives in places like this forest with no one to stop them.

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