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The suicide forest of Japan

United Kingdom,Human Interest/Society, Wed, 11 Apr 2012 IANS

London, April 11 (IANS) An evergreen forest at the foot of Japan's Mount Fuji is being dubbed a "suicide forest" because up to 100 bodies of people who kill themselves are found there every year.


The Aokigahara forest is so dense that it is "too easy to disappear among the evergreens and never be seen again", the Daily Mail said in a report. Each year, as many as 100 bodies are found hanging at the spot.


As to why so many people choose to end their lives in the forest, the answer still remains a mystery.


The report said the first suicide there was inspired by a novel set in the forest.


Geologist Azusa Hayano said he himself has stumbled across more than 100 bodies in the past 20 years. He recently took a film crew inside to shoot a documentary.


In the documentary, he speaks about how clues left among trees can indicate what went through people's minds in the moments before they took their lives.


A car is found abandoned on the edge of the forest, with a road map lying open on its front seat.


"I'm assuming the owner of the car entered from here and never came out. I guess they went into the forest with troubled thoughts."


There is also a sign urging would-be suicide victims to think again.


With contact details for the Suicide Prevention Association, the sign reads: "Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think about your parents, siblings and children. Don't keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles."


The geologist said suicide has become a symptom of an increasingly impersonal and lonely way of life that emerged with the internet.


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