This profound and final curtain call to life is a global disease and epidemic, knowledge is power, this article is written to enlighten every soul in hopes of helping the despondent.
Most people around the world have never heard of the Haunted Aokigahara Forest, and the bleakness that penetrates it’s earthy 13.5 square miles of forest that is known for two things, it’s breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and rising suicides. Due to the location at the base of the mountain, these organic twists and turns of this treacherous forest floor are a combination of the winding roots and uneven rocky ground, perforated with hundreds of caves and the combination of tricky terrain with a haunting feeling of isolation and stillness described as a “chasms of emptiness” by the Japanese as grim of a place you’ll never want to visit…Those who venture this one way journey are not locals…..
The “Aokigahara Forest” also known as The Haunted Forest and Black Sea of Trees.
This historical Forest is located on the Northwestern part of Japan’s Mount Fuji, known as “ghosts of the dead” known as one of the world’s most popular destinations for suicide, there are signs at the head of most trails urging suicidal visitors to think of their family members and contacting a suicide prevention association.
Among the Bodies, homemade nooses scattered about the forest, It is typical to read police administered signs reading “Your life is a precious gift from your parents” and “Please consult with the police before you decide to die”.
Aokigahara it is said to be the second most infamous places on earth where the emotionally disturbed find solace in ending their lives (the first place being the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Ca) It is confirmed that since the 1950’s, there have been over 500 suicides in this tree lined abyss called “the perfect place to die”.
In a trend started after Seicho Matsumoto published his novel called Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two lovers commit suicide there, hundreds of Japanese people have hanged themselves among the countless trees of this haunted forest, reportedly so thick even in high noon it’s hard to find places completely surrounded by darkness, mirrored by the darkness felt from within a hopeless existence…. Is Suicide becoming the new modern day reality?
Wataru Tsurumui’s controversial 1993 bestseller, The Complete Suicide Manual, is a book that describes various modes of suicide and even recommends Aokigahara as the perfect place to die. Apparently this book is also a common find in the forest, usually not too far away from a suicide victim and their belongings. Undoubtedly, the most common method of suicide in the forest is hanging. The suicide rate of Japan is one of the highest in the world with no sign of decreasing despite government intervention. The largest group of Japanese suicide victims are over age 60 for reasons of depression, debt and physical illness.
The vast unwelcoming forest is also mostly devoid of animals or any life and is eerily quiet. Hearing a bird chirping in the forest is incredibly rare. The area is rocky, cold, and littered with over 200 caves for you to accidentally fall into.
It is stated that the UN figures show that 24 in 10,000 people commit suicide in Japan, almost double the rate in the US. Among the G8 group of countries only Russia has a higher suicide rate.
“The person who completes suicide, dies once. Those left behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relive those terrible moments and understand … Why?” – Clark (2001)
The word “suicide” comes from two Latin roots, sui (“of oneself”) and cidium (“killing” or “slaying”)
Suicide is a universal crime committed against one self….It is a dark and taboo issue that is growing in proportion, especially among the elderly and veterans. This insidious act, knows no prejudice, as it’s victims are the same color of bleak inside and numb to life on the outside.
Consider the following:
– Monday’s appear to be the day on which most suicides occur. Saturday is the fewest
– Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States
– Depression is the number one contributing factor of suicide, with nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. attempting suicide each year, more common than AIDS, Cancer and Diabetes combined
– It’s interesting to learn that suicide rates are about 70% higher in regions 2,000 meters in geographical elevation
– During 2008, 140 American soldiers committed suicide, breaking all previous suicide records in the military. In the first four months of 2009, 91 soldiers committed suicide. If this rate continues throughout 2009, by the end of the year more than 270 soldiers will have killed themselves, leading some scholars to claim there is a suicide epidemic in the military
– Although the young people seem to make the news more often, the fact remains the elderly are more likely to take their own life than any other age group
– In China, someone takes his or her own life on average every two minutes. China accounts for nearly a quarter of the global total of suicides with between 250,000 and 300,000 suicides a year
– One in seven Canadians has seriously considered suicide, and more than 3,500 Canadians kill themselves each year. Canada’s suicide rate (currently 12.3 per 100,000) is consistently higher than the United States’ rate (currently 11.2)
– It is more likely someone will die from suicide than from homicide. For every two people killed by homicide, three people die of suicide
– Five to 10% of suicides take place in mental hospitals
– Caucasians tend to have higher suicide rates than African Americans
– Hanging is the leading method of suicide worldwide
– Although women attempt suicide about three times more often than men, men complete suicide about three times more often than women
– Four out of five people who commit suicide have attempted to kill themselves at least once previously
– Suicide is the leading cause of death for people with schizophrenia
– In America, someone attempts suicide once every minute, and someone completes a suicide once every 17 minutes. Throughout the world, approximately 2,000 people kill themselves each day
– Several U.S. state and national studies suggest that suicide attempts among gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students are higher than their heterosexual peers
For Further Insight:
Directory of AAS-Accredited Crisis Centers – Don’t see a local number? The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can connect you to a local crisis line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) www.suicidepreventionlifeline.