Thursday, April 19, 2012

Suicide forest


Hub Pages
Daily Mail
In the United States, suicides throw themselves off the Golden Gate Bridge. In Australia, they jump from the Gap into Sydney Harbor. In Japan, they hang themselves in Aokigahara (青木ヶ原) forest at the base of Mount Fuji. Geologist Azusa Hayano has been traipsing the area for more than 30 years, seeing the evidence of despair and intervening to save lives. He took a film crew from Vice.com into the dense forest (photos on Oddity Central and Environmental Graffiti), which is associated with demons in Japanese mythology and widely believed to be haunted (watch 21-min. video or 10-min. version). One source attributes the haunting not only to the suicides, but to the earlier custom of abandoning the elderly - Ubasute, which some practiced in Aokigahara. In a tradition known historically for the ritual act of harakiri or seppuku, today's suicides are attributed to social isolation and increasingly to the economy. "I think it's impossible to die heroically by committing suicide," says Hayano.

Thanks, Robert!
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