Aokigahara Forest

Are you creating a story that involves a forest and you need a spooky inspiration: try the Aokigahara Forest also known as the Sea of Trees.

Aokigahara-pathway

This forest of darkness was as inspiration to me for the creation of a forest in a sacred zone, one that has a distaste though for evil yet presented itself as forbidding where one misstep would be your death.

I know the forest I created hates evil, the roots recoil from evil’s touch, yet uses the instrument of killing which is an evil act in itself to repel an evil force. A bit of a dichotomy but it works in the alien environment where nothing is every simply black and white, all shades of gray exist.

So here is some information on the Aokigahara Forest. Take time to explore more your story will benefit.

The Aokigahara Forest is 14 square mile (3,500 hectares) in dimensions and located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji. The high density of trees quite literally blocks out the sun at high noon to complete darkness. The forest is unique in that there is a massive network of twisting vines and branches, leading to that spooky beware feeling.

The forest not only has this high density of trees but also houses over 200 rock or ice caves. And finally the forest is almost devoid of animals and is eerily quiet. Hearing a bird chirping in the forest is incredibly rare.

Aokigahara-sea-of-the-trees

I think what gives off that spooky vibe isn’t the filtered light, or the high density of trees but the association with Japanese mythological shape shifting demons that glide between the trees. That in the back of your mind would give the goose bumps rise and quicken a few steps.

Now add to the mix, that the ground is haunted by the Yūrei (angry spirits) of those left to die though the act of ubasute. Legend has it that long ago, families would abandon people in the forest during periods of famine. Those abandoned in the forest would die long, horrible, drawn out deaths due to starvation and now haunt.

By now I would be running and trip over all those roots. But as happens this sadness one would feel is the one reason that dominates the forest leading to a popular spot for: 54 committed the act in 2010. In response the Japanese government has put up numerous signs in Japanese and English, urging people to reconsider their actions. Unfortunately the most common method of suicide in the forest is hanging.

4084c4930ef9e59d0e_IMG_4533

 

Sources:
Aokigahara Forest
http://www.aokigaharaforest.com/

Aokigahara Suicide Forest
http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/aokigahara-suicide-forest

A visit to Japan’s incredibly creepy ‘Suicide Forest’
http://nypost.com/2016/01/07/a-visit-to-japans-incredibly-creepy-suicide-forest/

An Ethereal Forest Where Japanese Commit Suicide
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2017/02/aokigahara-jukai-suicide-forest/

15 Eerie Things About Japan’s Suicide Forest
http://mentalfloss.com/article/73288/15-eerie-things-about-japans-suicide-forest

Aokigahara
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aokigahara

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About jasterling

One part of my life is in the science of anthropology and archaeology where I did comparative work. My other life that I am now pursuing is writing along the lines of fantasy/sci fi fictional writing as my one way to stay sane in this other insane world. Please enjoy the selections you will find in my blog.
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