Aliens in Aokigahara forest and Dyatlov Pass

Let's venture into a world of supposed mysteries. Could alien interference be behind the reputation of Aokigahara Forest, or as some have named it, "The Suicide forest," and the tragedy at Dyatlov Pass?

In Digging up Ancient Aliens, our host Fredrik uses his background in archaeology to discover what is genuine, fake, and somewhere in between in popular media such as Ancient Aliens.

This time we're looking into episode ten from season three, "Aliens and evil places." Or rather, we look into two of the sites brought up in the episode, Aokigahara Forest and Dyatlov Pass.

Aokigahara Forest has been called in popular media the "Suicide Forest," and we will look into the reason behind this. By investigating Japanese culture, history, and the area itself, we will try to find the reason for the forest's reputation. While I don't go into any gruesome details, the topic of suicide will be discussed in the episode. I've collected some resources below if you need help or someone to talk to.

Then we're off to Russia and will dissect the Dyatlov Pass incident. What happened that night when nine hikers died, and what does the Disney movie Frozen have to do with the answer?

In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s # is 1-800-273-8255. Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting HOME to 741741 (US), 686868 (Canada), or 85258 (UK).

For international listeners, you find an international collection here

In this episode:

Aikogahara Forest 3:10

Japanese Culture and Suicide 5:15

History of Seppeku 8:34

Different versions of Seppeku 12:10

Mount Fuji 17:00

Werner effect 20:45

Dyatlov Pass 24:01

Events on February the first 27:20

Slab Avanache 29:50

The Disney connection 32:00

Radiation 34:06

Does it exist sites so evil that people who go there never come back?

Could the origin of this power be connected to extra-terrestrial experiments? 

Probably not, but let's find out.

Hi, hello, and välkommen to Digging Up Ancient Aliens. This is the podcast where we examine strange claims about alternative history and ancient aliens in popular media. Do their claims hold water to an archeologist, or are there better explanations out there? 

I am your host, Fredrik, and this is episode 35, and it will be filled with mystery and evil places. Well, not really, as it turns out, but we will look into parts of the Ancient Aliens episode "Aliens and evil places," from season three, episode 10. As noted, the quality of the alien claims has steadily gone downhill this season. So while the first half of the episode did offer some exciting things to talk about, the other half was a bit more vague and loose. So I decided to focus my effort on two of the mysteries in this episode, Aokigahara Forest, or as some have named it, "The Suicide forest" in Japan. So we will talk about suicide in this episode; while there will not be anything graphic, I can understand if some might want to skip ahead. You will find the time stamps in the show notes of this episode. If you are struggling with the thought of suicide or self-harm, please ensure you are ok and talk to someone. I've linked as many places to get help in the show notes.

After our stay in Japan, we will venture toward the Ural Mountains and look into the Dyatlov pass incident. Could it be that nine experienced hikers met evil aliens? Or does a more plausible solution involve General Motors and Disney's movie Frozen?

The other topics, such as the Black Mountain in Australia and the giant copper cauldrons in Russia, we will return to another day. 

Remember that you can find sources, resources, and reading suggestions on our website, There you also find contact info if you notice any mistakes or have any suggestions. And if you like the podcast, I would appreciate it if you left one of those fancy five-star reviews I've heard so much about. 

Now that we have finished our preparations, let's dig into the episode.

Aokigahara forest 

As you step into the forest, the noise and the alarm from the modern world slowly disappear. You make your way deeper into the woods. You start to hear the song of a Japanese white-eye, the chatter-like singing of the bush warbler, and the familiar greeting of a coo-coo bird. A fox seems to be calling on its mate in the distance, and while you enter the forest alone, there appear to be living creatures all around you. As you made your way toward the forest, the owner of a lakeside café stopped you and asked a couple of questions. Not too strange if you have the forest reputation in mind.

The trees block most of the sun, but it's not dark. You step out of the trampled path, trying to head deeper into the forest. The ground is covered in soft, spongy moss, and fallen leaves crunch beneath your feet. The smell of damp earth enters your nostrils, and the soil seems still wet from last night's rain. Staying on the trail is encouraged, but you can't help yourself.

You find a clearing and have a bit of rest beside a growth of Maianthemum dilatatum. Or maybe more commonly known as the "false lily of the valley." For a bit, you contemplate the signs that are put up at the entrance of the forest. Strangely, such a beautiful place has become a synonym for suffering and death. While sitting down, having some water, and basking in a few sun streaks, you can understand the name of the forest. Aokigahara-Jukai, translates to Blue Tree Meadow and Sea of Trees. But just like the woodland, there is something darker here. Mount Fuji, an old volcano, looms over the area. So does the name the forest is associated with, the Suicide Forrest. 

The Aokigahara forest is indeed known to be a place where desperate people come to end their life. And I find it utterly vial that the Ancient Aliens proponents trying to blame this on aliens or extra-terrestrials. Mental health is one of those topics where pseudosciences need to keep their greedy hands out. As I mentioned above, we will deal with the topic of suicide, and if you struggle with these thoughts, you should pause here and go to the show notes, where I've linked places that offer help. Remember, it does get better.

The number of people who have died by suicide has been high in Japan for a long time. But it's been declining rapidly in recent years, and the government is working hard to lower these numbers as much as possible. In 2021 the government of Japan created the first minister post dealing with loneliness and suicide prevention, and the post went to Tetsushi Sakamoto. 

Before we deal with the claims regarding the Aokigahara forest, we might want to look into why Japan has so many deaths by suicide. This is not an easy question, and there is no single answer. Several things are in play here, and several studies have been done on the topic. One of the things that stick out is the cultural aspect of suicide. Japan does not have the same cultural stigma surrounding death by suicide as, for example, Europe or North America. Well, all countries under Christian influences tend to view suicide as wrong due to the religious connotation that suicide is a sin. This religious influence has not, of course, been part of the Japanese culture in the same way. Some also attribute this acceptance of suicide to a concept referred to as amae, an idea discussed by psychoanalyst Takeo Doi about a need, unique to Japan, of depending on and on and being in good standing with others. The behavior is, according to Doi, highly Japanese. In a society where the expectation of emotional dependence is strong, individuals who cannot fulfill these expectations or feel overwhelmed may experience shame, guilt, and failure. As a result, some individuals may view suicide as a way to escape these societal expectations and avoid burdening others with their perceived inadequacy.

In Japan, the group is often put above the individual, and if you misbehave, the group might use social isolation and shaming as a punishment. This type of punishment can be very far-reaching and include more than family and peers, as Russel et al. points out in PCN. One of the more extreme forms of restoring one's social standing within the society is to perform what's in Japan known as kakugo no jisatsu. Or suicide of resolve, an act of trying to correct one's mistakes by killing oneself.

Historically we see a strong tradition connecting suicide to mostly honor and the military. The method of death by suicide is most known as Seppuku. The earliest instance of this method is in the text "Chronicle of the Geography and Climate of Harima," written in 716 CE. According to this text, the first Seppuku took place close to Lake Biwa by a goddess due to a marriage dispute. It would reappear in 1219 CE in the work Story of Ancient Matters vol 2. That time, it was a son from a noble family who turned into a life of thievery. Upon being cornered by the police in 989 CE, he died by Seppuku. 

As the lordly rule in Japan started to disintegrate and was taken over by the emerging Samurai class in the 10th century, Seppeku increased. This is due to the idea of valor within the class. Rather than being captured, they would die by their own hand instead. A famous incident involving Seppeku involves Tametomo of the Minamoto clan in 1170 CE. According to the legend, if you are squeamish skip 30 seconds ahead. Upon being besieged and close to defeat performed Seppeku while standing and then proceeded to throw his entrails towards his enemy. The practice grew and became part of the Bushido code and inspired the "aesthetics of death" among the samurai class.

The practice grew, and a new tradition formed as time passed, referred to as junshi or "suicide to follow one's lord to the grave." Samurais connected to a Lord would show their dedication and honor by killing themselves by Seppuku. These numbers became so large that there was an attempt to ban the practice. But even that could not stop this from still going on. The most famous example of junshi is, at least in the West, the story of the 47 Ronin. Yes, it's a movie starring Keanu Reeves, and I'm not sure why, but I kinda liked it.

Seppuku became such a large part of Japanese high society that it got six voluntary variations. Jiketsu, when it was in battle, Inseki when it was to own up for mistakes you might have committed. Kanshi is a form of protest against the misconduct of your lord, Memboku, when you were accused of something and wanted to prove your innocence. Then it was a sacrificial version offered by generals to save their families, and men would be spared after a defeat. Lastly, we have junshi, which has six subcategories ranging from an advanced Seppeku in anticipation of the lord's death to something referred to as "ronbara." This was when you committed Seppuku to save your honor because all your peers had done it, so it was peer pressure. Then you have three forced versions intended as a sort of punishment. 

I won't be graphical here, but let's discuss how the Seppeku was performed since we're pretty deep into this now. If you happen to be a bit squeamish, you might want to skip ahead a couple of moments. Seppeku translates to "cutting belly," so to perform the Seppeku, you took a blade and cut your lower abdomen from left to right, not more than 7 cm deep. If just slicing your belly was not painful enough, you would usually also hit organs, increasing the pain. This process could take several hours to die from, and in the beginning, you were intended to sit through it with honor and courage. Later you would add a second who cut off your head, after you had cut the abdomen, in one true strike. If they failed, that shame would fall upon them and their family, creating a new need for Seppeku. There were also three ways to cut the abdomen: in one motion, in a cross pattern, and in the last version, there were two horizontal and one vertical cut. 

So suicide has for centuries been a part of Japanese culture. But the reason for suicide has, of course, shifted throughout the years. I think it's not too much of a stretch to say that there are as many different reasons as people. But there are, of course, some reasons that occur more often than others. In a study by Masahide Koda et al. in 2022, they looked at suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic. The leading identified cause among men to kill themself by suicide was unemployment, followed by relationship distress, workplace relationships, and the Werner effect. Among women, it was a bit different. The leading cause was alcoholism, followed by schizophrenia, caregiving fatigue, and economic problems. Of course, these change throughout the year, but as we note, there is not an easy answer to Japan's suicide rate. We can see not only mental health issues but a combination of multiple things that need a multipronged solution.

So armed with some background on the suicides in Japan, let's return to the forest. The alien proponents are trying to portray the area as mystical and evil as possible. Giorgio Tsoukalos, for example, say, quote.

"There is no question that according to tradition that there are places that over time, have become evil but there's some type of mystique going on there that is not good nature, but rather evil."

They don't give any excellent reason for why the forest would be evil or why aliens would cause it. Instead, they focus on death and gore, and we see what is supposed to be believed to be the remains of people killed by suicide and clothes or other belongings some have left behind. They don't at all really explore the area's history and instead focus on the number of people who kill themselves here. Suppose there were interested in telling a real story. In that case, there is one to be said about the Aokigahara forest if they had decided to talk with some real experts instead of Giorgio and Bill Birnes. Because there is an excellent documentary that could be done here based on reality.

Aokigahara-Juka forest lay in the shadow of Mount Fuji, an old volcano responsible for the volcanic rock that the forest has as a floor. It is also part of the answer to one of the show's questions.

"Like the Bermuda Triangle off the coast of North America, Aokigahara Forest is also said to contain high levels of electromagnetic energy. If so, might numerous recent sightings of UFOs near Mount Fuji be an indication that some sort of dimensional time-space portal might exist here – as Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe?" - Narrator

Since magma flowing out of a volcano tends to contain iron, lava has a natural magnetism. The level of which varies depending on the iron level in the ground will affect the compass. An issue here is that the iron concentrations are relatively low within the area of Aokigahara, so to affect the compass, you need to keep it directly on the ground. It will point towards the magnetic north if held at an average height. Due to the lack of infrastructure in the area, the army of Japan has some of its training in the forest. 

Mount Fuji has a special place within the Japanese religion, both within Shinto, Buddhism, and other minor cults. Several deities are associated with the mountain, such as Sakuya-Hime, the goddess of Mount Fuji and volcanoes. The mountain is an important religious pilgrimage to this day, and some 400 000 people do the spiritual climb to the top of the volcano each year. Within the spiritual setting, we find the first recorded instances of suicide in the forest. In 1340 a Buddhist monk named Shohkai killed himself in the act of Nyujoh. This is a practice where an ascetic monk goes on a diet of salt, bark, nuts, roots, and tea. The diet is supposed to help preserve the body as a natural mummy after death. They are then closing themselves in a rock chamber underground, where they meditate until they die. They believe that through this practice, they will save the sinful world and its people.

Bill Birnes claim something rather strange about Mount Fuji. He says quote "Mount Fuji in Japan is called world navel. It's one of the many places on planet Earth where according to legend, the earth meets the sky. /.../  People go to Mount Fuji for the express purpose of committing suicide to release themselves from this life to pass through the axis mundi – the world navel – into the next life, into a higher plane. And that would explain the high level of suicides at Mount Fuji."

For the starter, no, this doesn't really explain anything, as we will know for sure at the end of this. But the navel part is just bizarre for several reasons. Mount Fuji is not referred to as the navel of anything, and it would not make sense in Japanese culture. There are descriptions of caves within the mountains where stones are referred to as umbilical cords. This makes more sense since there is an idea that the umbilical cord can tell the child's future. Birnes have just taken the Inka idea of the navel being referred to as the center of the world and then just made some stuff up around it. 

So there are some historical and religious ties to the area, but is this why many people are killing themselves here today? The connection to Mount Fuji does have some link to it, but a large part of, this is not really the best word, its popularity could be attributed to popular media, journalistic reporting, or the Werther effect. In 1774 Goetes' novel "The Sorrows of Young Werther" was published, and it was not long after young men would be seen brooding in yellow pants and a blue jacket. Some would, as the young main character Werther kill themself in a similar manner. As for Aokigahara, there is a famous Japanese novel that might have inspired some of the death. In 1961 the novel Nami no Tō, or Tower of Waves, written by the author Seichō Matsumoto was published. It had been published in serial form in the 1950s before that. But the novel deals with the love between a married woman and a young prosecutor. The novel seems to deal with taboos within modern Japanese society. Unfortunately, the book is not officially published in English, but in the end, the woman goes to the Aokigahara to die by suicide. The story has become a best seller in Japan and has birthed nine different TV dramatizations. So it undoubtedly has a special place within Japanese culture, and it would not be strange that some have found inspiration in it.

We should not forget that the media have a paramount role in reporting on self-harm and suicide. I have followed the organization Save's guidelines on dealing with the topic of suicide for this article. But describing the place as some sort of mystical horror forest where people go to die is quite untasteful for several reasons. And as we have seen, the reasons why people come here to kill themself are numeral, and the background of the forest cover centuries of history and culture. Blaming it on an outside force we can't control is not helpful and, honestly, quite predatory on people's suffering. Claiming that people coming here will die due to aliens, ghosts, or some unknown evil might make help efforts less effective. 

I think we now have a better understanding of the Aokigahara forest and the claims surrounding it. There's not one cause for its reputation, but we can improve it by changing how we speak about the forest. If you are struggling with mental health or thoughts about self-harm, there is help that you can get. I've added as many suicide hotlines as possible to the show notes, and there is other help to get out there. Depending on your country and location, you can get help with debt, work relations, or anything else you might struggle with. It does get better, it might take time, but it does get better.

Let's leave the forest, Japan, and this topic for now. We're heading east to the Ural Mountains in Russia. Could one of the most famous mysteries have been caused by a few ill-tempered aliens?

Dyatlov Pass incident

The Dyatlov Pass incident might be beside the Bermuda Triangle, Loch Ness, and Jack the Ripper, one of the most famous mysteries out in the world. Suggested explanations for what happened during the night of January the first, 1959, ranged from Yeti attacks and avalanches to UFOs. Can we find some answers that might give us some insight into what happened that night in the remote regions of Russia?

If you are unfamiliar with the story, the short version is that in 1959 students and people from the Ural Polytechnical Institute formed a group for an expedition across the Ural Mountains. The group was led and assembled by Igor Dyatlov and included nine other people. In total, there were eight men and two women within the group. They were all rather experienced hikers, and this was far from their first expedition; unfortunately, it would be their last. The goal was to hike from Sverdlovsk, a city today called Yekaterinburg, to the mountain of Otorten. The Ancient Alien proponents wrongly claim that the mountain's name translates to "Do not go there." The name is a play on another well-known mountain called Vot-Tartan-Syakhyl in the Mansi language. This would translate to "The mountain that blows wind" or "Wind mountain." The Mansi refer to Otorten in their language as Lunt-Khusap or Lunt-Khusap-Syakhyl, which can be translated to "Goose Nest" or "Moauntain of the Goose Nest." 

This is a bit of the issue with the Dyatlov incident, which occurred in Russia during the Soviet regime. First, we have a government that tends to classify everything, big and small, and still struggles with its openness. Add to this a language barrier; most sources are purely in Russian, and even if you're good with Slavic languages, they have a different alphabet, making translating any text rather complicated. Add to this 60 years of misinformation and popular science trying to sell the public a mystery, and we have the work cut out for us. To be honest, we might never know for sure what happened that night. However, there are some plausible theories out there. Then we have ideas like those we tend to cover on this show from Bill Birnes, for example.

"All nine hikers died. They were discovered by Soviet troops, in various stages of what can only be described as being mutilated. Their bodies were burned. Some suffered radiation poisoning. In one case, a hiker's tongue was missing. They had prematurely aged. Their skin was orange, their hair had turned gray. What could've explained this?"

If we go back to February the first of 1969, things had not gone as the group had intended. They were supposed to have gone through the valley, and the plan seemed to have been making camp on the other side. Due to worsening weather conditions, poor visibility, and heavy snow, they seemed to have gotten lost and started to go westward, gaining elevation towards the top of Kholat-Syakhl. Another Mansi name translates to something like "Dead Top," likely due to the lack of vegetation and animal life on the top. After the incident, we start to see another translation of the name "Moauntian of the dead" or similar spookier versions.

The reasons why the group decided to make camp up there and not in the valley are unclear. Maybe the visibility had gotten worse, they were just too tired, or they felt that the shoulder of the hill offered a good amount of wind protection. When camping in the winter, a slope can be a good decision; what you want to avoid is a slope greater than 20 degrees due to avalanche risk. Pitching the tent higher might also be preferred even if the winds are harder since wind and snow drift are less perilous than an avalanche. There are other reasons why higher is better when winter camping, such as the cold accumulates in the valleys. So for a person who has not done much camping in the winter, the spot might seem strange, but with experience as the Dyatlov group would have, it looks less weird. The Dyatlov group also constructed a sort of Bivouac shelter, as we can see in one of the last pictures of the group. Adding some more perceived protection for the campsite.

One danger with snow is that it can hide the slope of a hill quite well. When Russia re-opened the Dyatlov investigation in 2019 after pleas from the Dyatlov Group Memorial Foundation, Andrei Kuryakov, the prosecutor in charge, made some new discoveries. Based on the photographs from 1959, recent surveys, and photogrammetry, it turned out that the location of the camp was in a steeper section of Kholat-Syakhl. This location is on a 30-degree slope and well within the range of avalanche danger. In 2021 Johan Gaume and Alexander Puzrin published "Mechanisms of slab avalanche release and impact in the Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959" in Nature's Earth and Environment. In this paper, they could show that it's plausible that the group was hit by a slab avalanche much smaller than your traditional avalanche. 

This would happen due to the Bivouac they created when setting camp, digging through the fresher snow into the more rigid slab and probably fracturing it higher up. Then the group passed the slab ultimately into a weaker layer and pitched the tent on the ground. Later in the night, a part of the slab started to slide on the softer layer into the tent. These layers were described back by investigators back in 1959. Gaume and Puzring postulate that this slab was most likely the size of an SUV or other car. This would explain some of the damages the hikers got and why they would abandon the tent as they did. 

Two of the hikers, Lyudmila and Alekseevich, were found to have severe chest trauma that was the most likely cause of their death, and Nikolai had severe head injuries. These damages Gaume and Puzring noted were in line with the injuries that would occur when getting hit by a slab of SUV size. To figure this out, they actually used data from General Motors, who, in the 70s, hit corpses with different weights and speeds. This was to calibrate seatbelts, though it turned out to be useful in other cases too.

A little tidbit I learned is that the researchers used Disney's help to figure this out. Or rather, they asked the animators of the movie Frozen how they got those snow animations to be so accurate. With the help of the specialist who had created the code for the animation, they could repurpose this to do avalanche simulations.

Something that often is repeated is that this was a group of experienced hikers. However you might have all the experience in the world, but if your tent is suddenly hit by a soccer mom's primary mode of transportation in the middle of the night, you might take off too. They could have also feared a larger avalanche and went downhill for alternative shelter. Even if they panicked, they took the time to help their severely hurt friends. Andrei Kuryakov's investigation could also show that the weather dipped down towards minus thirty-five degrees Celsius. The winds reached 104 kilometers an hour, fourteen more kilometers, and you have an official hurricane. It was not the best condition to venture out in, even with good equipment, equipment they had left in the tent. I can imagine that the group was too fearful of returning and getting their things. But in these conditions, they would quickly succumb to the cold. Frostbite starts to set in within ten minutes in these conditions. 

We see signs of hypothermia, such as paradoxical undressing, when the body, even if extremely cold, perceives itself as extremely hot. The cause of death for six of the group's members was hypothermia; the three others died from their injuries. 

The strangeness some claim around the bodies is also easily explained in some cases. Birnes' mention regarding radioactivity could have been caused in two ways, either separately or in combination. Lanterns during the period often used a mantel made out of Thorium, a radioactive material, to create a white, clear, and long-lasting light. This mantel needed to be replaced and also gave out radiation, especially while being burned. Then the third largest Nuclear Powerplant accident happened in the region, the Kyshtym disaster, in 1957. The accident contaminated thousands of square kilometers of land with what is referred to as the East Urals Radioactive Trace. This accident was covered up and unknown outside Russia until the 1980s. But it turns out that one of the members worked at the plant and took part in the cleanup in the aftermath, Yuri Krivonischenko.

Some describe the skin's color as orange, but I also find descriptions that indicate it was more of a deep tan. A tan on the face would not be too unexpected, and every one of you who is skiing might know the struggle with goggle tan. The other claims usually brought up about "the mutilation," as some call it, are signs of human decomposition. Remember that the rescue team did not find them the next day. It was two months before someone came out that way. Two months are plenty of time for animals and natural processes to take place. As for the claims that the hair of the hikers had turned white or aged seems to be of dubious origins. If the Soviet government wanted to hide something strange, would they just not color the hair and put some makeup on? Paul Stonehill claims that there were some attempts to hide the bodies.

"At the end the bodies were buried in zinc coffins, I believe so no one would see."

The zink coffins did, in fact, make me think for a moment. But the issue is that the material zink is not known to be well isolating towards nuclear material or other radiation. Zink is mainly used for galvanizing steel and iron so it won't corrode and as a cheap ingredient for alloys. And it's in the last part where we find out why some of the hikers were buried in zink coffins. Due to the relatively cheap cost of production, Zink coffins have been and still are used in Russia.

There is a chance we will never for sure know what did happen that night so long ago. However, this does not mean we don't have a decent understanding of what the most likely cause might have been. We don't need a lost Yeti or evil aliens when reality offers a more plausible explanation. A slab avalanche happened due to how they constructed the camp; hurt, scared, and disoriented, they stumble out of the tent. They help their wounded friends to get out and away. But the elements soon took hold of them, and that's how the story unfortunately ended. The group might have been experienced hikers, but sometimes even the most skilled experts make mistakes. In harsh conditions, even small mistakes might have significant consequences. Even today, with all our gear and access to expert training, hundreds of adept climbers and hikers die or get injured.

Sources, resources, and further reading suggestions

Andrews, R.G. (2021). Has science solved one of history’s greatest adventure mysteries? [online] National Geographic. Available at:

Doi, T. (1981). The Anatomy of dependence: The Key Analysis of Japanese Behavior. Tokyo Etc.: Kodansha International.

Dunning, B. (2020). Mystery at Dyatlov Pass. [online] Skeptoid. Available at:

Fusé, T. (1980). Suicide and Culture in Japan: a Study of Seppuku as an Institutionalized Form of Suicide. Social Psychiatry, [online] 15(2), pp.57–63. doi:

Gaume, J. and Puzrin, A.M. (2021). Mechanisms of slab avalanche release and impact in the Dyatlov Pass incident in 1959. Communications Earth & Environment, [online] 2(1), pp.1–11. doi:

Gilhooly, R. (2011). Inside Japan’s ‘Suicide Forest’. [online] The Japan Times. Available at:

Koda, M., Harada, N., Eguchi, A., Nomura, S. and Ishida, Y. (2022). Reasons for Suicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan. JAMA Network Open, 5(1), p.e2145870. doi:

Preston, D. (2021). Has an Old Soviet Mystery at Last Been Solved? [online] The New Yorker. Available at:

Russell, R., Metraux, D. and Tohen, M. (2016). Cultural influences on suicide in Japan. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 71(1), pp.2–5. doi:

Save (2020). Best Practices and Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide. [online] Reporting on Suicide. Available at:

Sisask, M. and Värnik, A. (2012). Media Roles in Suicide Prevention: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(1), pp.123–138. doi:

Takahashi, Y. (1988). Aokigahara-jukai: Suicide and Amnesia in Mt. Fuji’s Black Forest. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 18(2), pp.164–175. doi:

Warren, K. (2021). Japan has appointed a ‘Minister of Loneliness’ after seeing suicide rates in the country increase for the first time in 11 years. [online] Insider. Available at:


“Folie hatt” by Trallskruv

Lily of the woods by Sandra Marteleur