A US artist has penned a moving explanatory tribute to Japan's 'Suicide Forest' of Aokigahara in the wake of a sick stunt by YouTube star Logan Paul's in which he zoomed in on a suicide victim.
Writing via a series of tweets, 25-year-old Californian artist Libby reveals fascinating, tragic details about the infamous forest.
She explains that the area is known predominantly for the people who go there to commit suicide.
Libby's series of tweets read as followed:
So some of you who've been following me for a while know i'm enamored with aokigahara. it's an incredible piece of japanese history along with it's current culture; lemme throw some facts at ya.
Aokigahara (aka the sea of trees, jukai) is a massive forest at the base of mount fuji known mainly for the fact that thousands of people have wandered past the designated trail to end their lives, usually one of two ways: hanging or overdose.
There are several signs along the main trail pleading with hikers to consider their loved ones before they take their lives and to stay on the path, bc Japanese officials are more than aware of the problem. there are decades of remains just off the trail and they're hard to miss.
Once you leave the trail you'll come across messes of tangled ribbon, tape, or string leading paths around and through the trees. these act as markers for the suicidal individual walking deeper in so that they can find their way back should they change their mind.
Because compasses and gps devices don't work in the forest due to the highly magnetic volcanic rock @ the base of the mountain. the trees are also incredibly dense so it's easy to get lost; it's said that once you walk in deep enough you can't hear a single thing from the outside.
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Some volunteers have said that a person bringing tape/string in to mark a path, along with a tent or other camping supplies, is more likely to change their mind. a person determined to die will simply walk into the forest, as deep as they feel is right, and end it w/o hesitation.
Often bodies won't be recovered for years after the person disappears. Walking through the forest you might stumble across gifts or offerings the family brought to the place where their loved one ended their life.
There are lengths of rope everywhere, left behind from those who hung themselves and were cut down from a tree by one of the volunteers. It's also not uncommon to come across a hanging body either, some left to decompose for weeks, months or years. Or, even more likely, you'll find items left behind by those who've left us. shoes, clothing, camping gear, books, bottles, etc.
Generally speaking, the forest is a place to be respected and feared. Japanese citizens living in the area often don't let their children play anywhere near it, some worried that the land itself is haunted by the thousands of saddened and bitter people who died quiet and alone. (It's also said that back in war times families would bring their elderly into the forest to die when they became a burden, so that only adds to the superstition of vengeful spirits.)
ANNUAL BODY SEARCHES are held to this day because it's a known fact: people are going to walk into this forest specifically to contemplate suicide, attempt it, and/or succeed in taking their own life.
With all that said, here goes:
Logan Paul, a wealthy white American man, walked onto hallowed ground to film a vlog and bank off the ~spooky~ suicide forest, and then laughed as he traipsed through what is essentially a renowned mass grave, even as he came across a human body.
It's IMPOSSIBLE to look into visiting the forest without stumbling across a picture of human remains. IMPOSSIBLE
when you google "mt fuji forest" the first page is nothing but articles about how many f**king human beings END THEIR LIVES there. Those people, real people, are DEAD.
Men and women who had parents, siblings, and children of their own. people like you and me walked into that forest feeling as though their lives truly weren't worth living, feeling so broken down by the world that they couldn't go on, and killed themselves.
The fact that Logan Paul followed in their steps for a vlog to make money, on top of the many millions he already has AND LAUGHED at the sight of a dead person, who was feeling so low that they KILLED themselves.
It's deplorable. It is DESPICABLE.
This man holds more privilege and opportunity than ANY of the people who walked into that forest before him. when unemployment skyrocketed there was a higher body count because people were losing their jobs and unable to care for their families; they didn't see a way out.
Logan Paul could retire today and NEVER face that terrifying situation, relying on nothing but earned income & investments. He has NO idea how much these people must have suffered to have taken actionable steps to kill themselves.
As someone who has tried, it's not EASY.
You truly have to be feeling so empty, so tired, so sad, and so SICK of life that you can stomp down your survival instinct, dismiss the VERY powerful fear of death that we all have lingering inside us, and DO IT because absolutely nothing can make life okay again.
It breaks my heart that a person, any person, could walk through those trees lined with ribbon strung up by tired hands, soil stained rope, and shoes abandoned by their owners, and laugh as though he just watched someone trip. It's not okay.
Logan Paul won't learn his lesson though. He'll apologize, state that the video was never meant to be disrespectful (he's already said "this was supposed to be a fun vlog"), and his fans will continue to defend him until the next big story buries this one. We know the routine.
The fact that so many young people DO jump to his defense in this situation is incredibly concerning but it says something about the work that we need to do through 2018 and beyond, encourage empathy, embrace understanding & use your privilege for GOOD. Don't be like Logan Paul.
And now for anyone else who would like to take a look at this incredible forest, I'm gonna leave some interesting vids and articles here! I highly recommend you take the time to check them out; you won't regret it.��
first and foremost, this 20 minute mini-doc by vice is a brief but insightful look inside the forest. geologist Azusa Hayano is one of the many volunteers i mentioned earlier and his compassion is incredible to witnesshttps://t.co/U4YZ8mjOLb— libby (@flavordays) January 2, 2018
in this three minute video you'll see a woman caught on camera as she wanders deeper into the forest. her identity & current whereabouts are unknownhttps://t.co/y53I7OfgjQ— libby (@flavordays) January 2, 2018
a great article that delved a little deeper into the general perception of the forest, also mentions directions https://t.co/e3M2YmKi2f— libby (@flavordays) January 2, 2018
Alright, that's all for now! thank you to anyone who took the time to read the thread all the way through. it means a lot that so many people cared enough about the forest & those we've lost to it to learn more.
Have a great night guys ily ��