Thursday, 18 November 2010


I found this video really interesting, It's a short documentry, made by Vice Magazine about Aokigahara forest in Japan, which is a popular destination for suicide attempts.

It really makes you contemplate not only why people commit suicide but why do people choose the same place that so many others have chosen before them? Is it a final attempt to connect with society?

In the video the most interesting things he says are that people kill themselves because they can't adapt to society or feel they can't. He also says that the way we live in society today has become more complicated, face to face communication used to be vital but now we can live our lives being online all day. However the thuth of the matter is; we still need to see each others' faces, read their expressions, hear their voices, to co-exist.

What i also find interesting, is that people supposedly kill themselves because they feel they are outcasts, yet even in death we treat them as outcasts. In history they have been buried differently, away from the rest of society. Here in Aokigahara they lay in the woods for months (the woods are only swept for bodies once a year), sometimes they might never be discovered. It is a very different death.


  1. Hi Laura,

    Fascinating film. It's interesting

    that he hinted that a Samurai warrior

    committing suicide was heroic,

    but not so if an ordinary citizen

    does it. I've personal experience of

    a loved one committing suicide

    and it's something I've thought

    about in terms what would be the

    best way to do it - my favourite

    is flying on a spaceship at light

    speed straight in to the sun :-)

    I also love that Beck song - Volcano

    which is about a true story of a

    japanese girl throwing herself into

    a volcano - which I think is very

    romantic. I also love the fact that

    there is no rotting corpse.

    That disgusts me.

    I would like to leave in a flash

    of dust, with no remains.

    Blowing my brains out is just

    too messy ...

    I think too, that there should be

    a suicide institution who have a

    variety of exciting ways to die,

    and for a small fee they will 'take

    care of everything'.

    If I suddenly found out I have

    cancer and only a limited time to

    live, I'm not sure I would choose

    chemotherapy spending the rest

    of life wasting away with more pain

    and suffering.

    This is an endless theme to discuss.

    Thanks for posting.



  2. I agree Mark, he does seem to hint at that, I think it's about honour. The samurai warrior is facing his fear but the ordinary citizen is running away from his fears.

    The volcano story sounds painful! I think if i was going to go it would be drowning or something. I would never do it though, I like being alive too much, it would take something pretty big to happen to make me do something that drastic.

    I have watched someone suffer through cancer and although there is pain, there is a lot to numb the pain and when you are that ill and you know you are going, you bond with people on a whole other level, it would be a shame to loose those last moments with loved ones.

    I plan to do further work on this theme so look out for it :)

  3. Dear Laura,

    My grandfather died of cancer,

    he was at home, his pain was of

    course alleviated by meds, but

    he was so drugged up, he spent

    the last weeks barely conscious

    and developed nasty bedsores.

    I didn't feel it was a dignified

    way to go. Other members of

    the family were comforted by being

    able to sit with him, to talk to

    him even though he never responded.

    I was there when he received

    the last rites.

    I never had the chance to say


    I don't think that hanging oneself

    in a forest is any more dignified

    but for some the tranquility,

    being out of sight of prying eyes

    acts as a kind of anaesthetic,

    and bolsters their intent.

    The scenes of the skeleton were

    sad and haunting, and I was amazed

    thinking about this charming

    geologist who now roams the forest

    like an angel trying to save a few

    lost souls.

    It was heartbreaking, yet inspiring.