Aokigahara Suicide Forest

Vice World traveled to Jukai, Japan and created a 20 minute documentary based on Aokigahara Forest where the highest rate of suicide is currently taking place. They follow a Geologist Azusa Hayano, where he normally studies volcanic eruptions around Mt. Fuji. Yet, after living in the district for 30 years he noticed the high rate of suicides and became a part-time suicide guard. The crew follows Azusa in a days trip to discover what the area consists of…

The film is rather brief because of the one days worth of footage but Mr. Hayano describes the history and culture behinds the deaths of the forest in a short span. Encountering what’s currently taken place is rather powerful and yet very real; describing the circumstances of what our current society deals with.

As we follow the fellow Geologist, we run across a corpse surrounded with flowers from friends, family and Azusa states, “You think you die alone but that’s not true. Nobody is alone in this world. We have to coexist and take care of each other. That’s how i feel.”

Personally, I’m not sure how much longer he can continue to be a suicide guard but with such a natural calm persona; he shows a true passion that’s full of integrity.

Traditionally the forest is place that can easily allow visitors to get lost so as a result they put strings or strands of plastic to follow their travels. Just in-case if the travelers want to get back, they can gather it’s footsteps. “If you follow the tape you can find something at the end…”.