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The Sea of Trees


It's a beautiful place and the first thing you say is Hey, we should go there! And maybe you should just don't be surprised when you see signs in Japanese and English begging you to reconsider taking your life. After San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the Aokigahara Forest is known for the enormous amount of suicides that occur in this so-called "paradise".

The Sea of Trees lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. In many Japanese legends, the Sea of Trees is associated with demons and other supernatural creatures.

In 2002, 78 bodies were found. In 1998, 74 bodies were found. In 2003, the count rose to 100 bodies. The numbers grew at such a rate that the government stopped making the numbers public in order to preserve Aokigahara's reputation. In 2004, 108 bodies were found within the Sea of Trees. In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide but only 54 succeeded in actually taking their lives. The suicide numbers increased more quick than usual during March, the end of the fiscal year in Japan. In 2011, the most popular ways of taking your life was either drug overdose or hanging.

(You can read about the fiscal year here.)


Written with the help of Liza Petviashvili.


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