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JAPAN’S SUICIDE FOREST’S DARK HISTORY INSPIRES HOLLYWOOD

Image of The Forest Movie
Natalie Dormer (left) as Sara and Taylor Kinney (right) as Aiden in Jason Zada’s “The Forest,” a Gramercy Pictures release. 
Credit: James Dittiger / Gramercy Pictures

Dark and densely populated with leafy, towering trees, Aokigahara forest, or Jukai (Sea of Trees) as it is commonly known in Japan (aka Suicide Forest), is located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture. The forest is situated on 14 square miles of iron-rich volcanic rock and ash and because of the scantness of sunlight permitted by the closely growing trees, few lifeforms are able to adapt to its inhospitable conditions. Some Japanese believe it is no coincidence the place holds a mysterious allure to the desperately suicidal and many contend it’s the magnetic properties of the forest’s floor that draw them in. Whatever the attraction, draw them, it does…

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