Aokigahara - the suicide forest
The soil of the forest is composed of lava. In 864, Fuji erupted ten days in a row, forming a large amount of lava. Every year, nearly 400 Japanese put their suicide in the forest. Statistics shows that in Japan every year, over 40,000 people commit suicide. We have created many legends about evil spirits that haunt the woods.
Called, "the perfect place to die," the Aokigahara forest has the unfortunate distinction of the world's second most popular place to take one's life. (The first is the Golden Gate Bridge.) Since the 1950s, Japanese businessmen have wandered in, and at least 500 of them haven't wandered out, at an increasing rate of between 10 and 30 per year. Recently these numbers have increased even more, with a record 78 suicides in 2002.
However, Japan is not first in suicides. The first place is occupied by Russia, followed by Belarus and Latvia.
Why Japanese choose this place to commit suicide?
Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara's trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the forest's depths. Complicating matters further are the common experience of compasses being rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area's volcanic soil.
In 1956, Japan was a real current, supported even by intellectuals, to die by suicide, a dignified death in
Forest looks bizarre. Sunlight does not penetrate inside the forest and the forest access roads are true mazes.
Japanese legends speak of spirits of the dead can be seen in the forest. Spirits of the dead by violence do not find peace nor can pass into another world. Spirits remain between the two worlds. In 1990, two guardians of the forests found the body of a hanged. They approached the scene and saw several ghosts that swirled around suicide. Residents of the area who argue that sank in the forest not find the way back.
The compass does not point north in the woods accurately. They say it's a difference of 90 degrees to the true position of the north. Many groups of tourists went in circles for hours, because compass does not work correctly. It took the intervention because these tourists can be recovered. Japanese experts have recognized that a strange phenomenon happens. It is the distortion of orientation to person, but the compass.
The plot apparently seems to be right. In fact, under vegetation pits are up to one meter deep, which is an impractical advance.
Aokihagara awakens a sense of fear among the Japanese. It is considered the most cursed place in Japan.
The evil spirits are called Yure and can come from anywhere. Sounds strange cries and that spirits can not leave the suicide, have made this a cursed forest. Nobody in Japan did not want to invest in this area, arguing that businesses would fail. Those who have ventured into this forest argue that there is a maximum voltage that marks the human body. Panic, exhaustion, headaches, all these experiences have made fewer Japanese to venture into such hikes.
This does not deter determined people from committing suicide in this dense forest. Annually about 70 corpses are found by volunteers who clean the woods but many are forever lost in the very thick woods. Japanese authorities discounted publishing exact suicide numbers in order to not make the place even more popular.
Contemporary news outlets noted the recent spike in suicides in the forest, blamed more on Japan’s economic downturn than on the romantic ending of Seicho Matsumoto’s novel Kuroi Jukai, which revitalized the so-called Suicide Forest’s popularity among those determined to take their final walk. (The novel culminates in Aokigahara as the characters are driven to joint-suicide.)
Locals say they can easily spot the three types of visitors to the forest: trekkers interested in scenic vistas of Mount Fuji, the curious hoping for a glimpse of the macabre, and those souls who don’t plan on returning.
What those hoping to take their lives may not consider is the impact the suicides have on the locals and forest workers. In the words of one local man, "It bugs the hell out of me that the area's famous for being a suicide spot." And a local police officer said, "I've seen plenty of bodies that have been really badly decomposed, or been picked at by wild animals... There's nothing beautiful about dying in there."
The forest workers have it even worse than the police. The workers must carry the bodies down from the forest to the local station, where the bodies are put in a special room used specifically to house suicide corpses. The forest workers then play jan-ken-pon—rock, paper, scissors—to see who has to sleep in the room with the corpse.
It is believed that if the corpse is left alone, it is very bad luck for the yurei (ghost) of the suicide victims. Their spirits are said to scream through the night, and their bodies will move on their own.
foto credit: google.com
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