The forest of hope and despair

VBS.TV has a short poignant documentary on the Aokigahara forest in Japan, which has become one of the world’s most popular locations for people to commit suicide.

The film is from the perspective of the warden who discusses why people are drawn to the forest and how people spend some of their most difficult moments.

The popularity of the location has been attributed to a best-selling novel in which two people end their lives there and the fact it was featured in the controversial Japanese book The Complete Manual of Suicide.

The 20 minute documentary is by no means gratuitous although does have a few difficult scenes. Mainly though, it is one man’s philosophical reflections on the beautiful but troubled environment that ultimately ends on a note of hope and optimism.

An understated but quietly powerful film.

Link to streamed documentary on Aokigahara.

3 thoughts on “The forest of hope and despair”

  1. My name is Ciara. I have had bipolar disorder since childhood, and I’m the writer of was wondering if you could do a blog about a contest CABF (Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation)is in. If they win they get $250,000 in grant money to help kids with bipolar disorder and depression. The contest is based on how many votes they get so people have to vote everyday for them to win.However, people have to know about it before they can vote. For all the information on it go to It’s a really good cause that everyone with bipolar disorder should be supporting. I wrote one on mine and I’m trying to get more bloggers to post so more people will see. If you could blog about it that would helpful. It’s a great cause that deserves to win. Thanks very much!

  2. So tranquil.


    My grandfather hung himself in a beautiful wood; his father before him ended his misery via hypothermia in a burn.

  3. dosent sound that good why go and kill yourself life is a battle i wounder what makes it so popular if we were ment to self destruct we would have a button on us to destruct us live the life hard as it may seem

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