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AOKIGAHARA FOREST, Japan (CNN) -- Aokigahara Forest is known for two things in Japan: breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and suicides. Also called the Sea of Trees, this destination for the desperate is a place where the suicidal disappear, often never to be found in the dense forest.
Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides, with approximately 30 suicides counted yearly.
In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs within the forest, urging those who have gone there specifically with the purpose of suicide in mind to seek help and not kill themselves. The annual search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers and attendant journalists, began in 1970.
After the first kilometer into Aokigahara towards Mount Fuji, the forest is in a much more pristine state, with little to no litter or obvious signs of human contact. On some occasions human remains can be found in the distant reaches of the forest, but these are usually more than a few years old and consist of scattered bones and incomplete skeletons suggesting the presence of scavenging animals.
Japan's Self Defence Force and the US Military regularly run training practices through portions of the forest, during which military grade lensatic compasses have been verified to function properly. Vehicles, GPS equipment, and other electronic devices function properly.
Originally posted by Nventual
While this is a dreadful amount of lives lost from depression, there's the other thousands of people yearly in Japan who jump in front of the commuter trains too.
Originally posted by johnsky
And then there's some that view suicide as noble, so long as you take down those who caused your suffering with you.
Originally posted by djvexd
reply to post by vox2442
Have you ever studied Shinto? While the countries suicide rate IS llower. The religion has nothing to do with it. It has more to do with the workload and pressure placed on most Japenese to succeed. As Americans alot of us can't comprehend the amount of pressure placed on a Japenese citizen to not just succeed but more than not survive. I know someone wilol try and twist my post as a veiled attempt at racism. This post is not that kind of post.
And YES i did just notice I used the word *post* way too many times. dammit.
[edit on 20-3-2009 by djvexd]