… how Aokigahara was described in Wataru Tsurumui’s bestselling book The Complete Manual of Suicide. (1) A dense, dark forest bordering Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is infamous throughout Japan as a popular spot for those taking their final journey. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within it, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998. By May of 2006, at least 16 new suicides had already been found. (2) More than a few of them were even carrying copies of Tsurumui’s book. No one knows how many bodies go undiscovered. Signs emblazoned with messages such as “Please reconsider” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” are nailed to trees throughout the forest. However, the woods have such a reputation that these minor deterrents do little to stop the determined. Local residents say they can always tell who is going into the forest hunting after the macabre and who is planning never to return.
Part of the appeal is dying at the foot of the sacred Mt. Fuji. Part of it is the foreboding nature of Aokigahara, so dense and thick that from just a few kilometers inside it no sounds can be heard other than those produced by the forest itself. Aokigahara is considered the most haunted location in all of Japan, a purgatory for yurei, the unsettled ghosts of Japan who have been torn unnaturally soon from their lives and who howl their suffering on the winds. (3) Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from centuries of suicides. They don’t want you to go back out. (4)
Forestry workers rotate in and out of shifts at a station building in Aokigahara, and occasionally they will come upon unfortunate bodies in various states of decomposition, usually hanging from trees or partially eaten by animals. The bodies are brought down to the station, where a spare room is kept especially for such occasions. In this room are two beds: one for the corpse and one for someone to sleep next to it. It is thought that if the corpse is left alone, the lonely and unsettled yurei will scream the whole night through, and the body will move itself into the regular sleeping quarters. (5) — Zack Davisson, seekjapan, jp
The Complete Manual of Suicide（Japanese:完全自殺マニュアル) is a Japanese book written by Wataru Tsurumi. It was first published on the 4th of July, 1993 and sold more than one million copies. This 198 page book provides explicit descriptions and analysis on a wide range of suicide methods such as overdosing, hanging, jumping, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc. Moreover, this is not a suicide manual for the terminally ill. There is no preference shown for painless or dignified ways of ending one’s life. The book provides matter-of-fact assessment of each method in terms of the pain it causes, effort of preparation required, the appearance of the body and lethality.
Tsurumi covered 11 categories of suicide methods:
Slashing the wrist and carotid artery
All chapters begins with a graph assessing the method in question in terms of: the pain it causes, effort of preparation required, the appearance of the body, the disturbance it may cause for others and its deadliness. Each of these matters is also rated by skulls, with 5 skulls indicating the highest rating.
In 2003, Fukutani Osamu, inspired by the book, made the movie ‘The Suicide Manual.’
the complete film (in French)
the complete film (in English) VOD here
Suicide Forest in Japan (Full Documentary)
Ghost Radar, by Japanese Technology, catches Ghost in Aokigahara!
‘You can search Ghost using Baketan! Simply, push the button. Then it starts searching for Ghosts! It keeps blinking for about 10 seconds. If the circumstance around you is normal, it ends blinking (shortly, it blinks 3 times in the end.) oh, you can feel ease =) HOWEVER! if something unusual, it cautions you by blinking in red continuously with some buzzer sounds!!
It’s in danger!! Get out of the place you stand! Or if you have to stay there, keep pausing the button for some seconds, then, BAKETAN safe mode starts to expel some Ghost out of your body! Go out in Aokigahara midnight and find Ghost but beware of being posed by Ghosts or Devils!! Once you find something untouchable horrible existence, push the BAKETAN and protect by its safe mode.’
‘Walking into the forest to take photographs (see: below), we found a long piece of string; someone’s previous path in and out (we hoped). My mobile phone, while working at the car, no longer had signal – its GPS menu not working also.
‘We took an extra handheld GPS unit to ensure we could return. It often stopped working when we went low into some rocks. We would climb out and it would tell us to walk in one direction, and off we would go. Loosing satellites as we again went down into the rocks. Once again we would acquire some satellites and it would tell us to head off in a different direction. Or was it?
‘After an hour of trying to get out we came across our own footsteps in the snow. While not panicking, I was concerned now. Another 30 minutes of trudging up and down the snow covered rocks, we came upon a snow-bound tennis court. Backing into Aokigahara, it was on side-street off the path where we had parked the car… We never saw the string again.’ — Urban Exploration Resource
SUICIDE STATISTICS FOR JAPAN IN 2019 *
GAS POISONING 1,059
EDGED TOOL 613
JUMPING(FROM HEIGHT) 2,210
THROWING(INTO TRAIN,ETC) 1,188
* source: Japan National Police Agency
El Torres & Gabriel Hernandez Walta The Suicide Forest
‘Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan… which is also the most famous suicide spot in the entire world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming—haunting deep in those ancient woods. This series from the creators of the acclaimed The Veil examines the lives of Alan, an average worker from Tokyo and his rather unhealthy relationship with Masami, and Ryoko, a forest ranger who recovers the suicide victim’s bodies from the woods. We discover that behind Ryoko’s unconcerned surface lies a secret, and these three lives will be forever changed by the darkness waiting for them in the Suicide Forest.’
Desiree Bressend & Ruben Gil Call of the Suicide Forest
‘The sequel to the acclaimed graphic novel! Portia, an American student overwhelmed by her life, prepares to commit suicide in Japan’s notorious “suicide forest” of Aokigahara. The living and dead who make this forest their home will begin a struggle not only for Portia’s life… but also for her soul! Every issue of this miniseries features a connecting cover by Toni Fejzula!’
Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazaki The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
‘Five college grads decide to create an company that gets involved with the supernatural as well as the last wishes of the recently deceased.’
El Torres Tales From the Suicide Forest
‘The immense forest of Aokigahara lies in Japan, impressive in its beauty – and scary because of its legends and the many horror stories it harbors. This book contains two horrific ghost stories, complementing the graphic novel “The Suicide Forest”.’
Trailer: The Forest (2015)
Trailer: THE SEA OF TREES (2016)
Trailer: Suicide Forest Village (2020)
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