Aokigahara Suicide Forest25 Oct 2010
This video comes with a mature content warning, but you probably knew that from the subject line. (Begins with 15 second ad)
The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently
Japan has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, with societal expectations and the pressures of high density, high pace living often given as reasons. Park ranger and geologist, Azusa Hayano, serves as an impromptu counselor on his patrols of the region. “I was curious as to why people kill themselves in such a beautiful forest. I still haven’t found the answer to that.”
Japan really needs to hear the gospel – God’s revealed himself in creation, but as Romans 10:14 puts it, “how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (ESV) Pray that the word of life goes out in Japan and many people are saved from suicide and also an eternity apart from God!