Every year, dozens of bodies are found in Aokigahara ‘sea of forest’ or ‘suicide forest’, located in the skirts of Mount Fuji.
If I step into the forest under the sunlight filtered by trees, I can easily find human trace marks.
Plastic ropes put for routing so that they can get out of the forest, camp fire site and white human bones.
I decided to photograph those things and the scenery of the forest to understand the mind process of those people who come in, stay for a while, and make irreversible decision in the forest.
The main way of suicide in the forest is hanging. It takes 10 seconds to get unconscious, after they hanged themselves. I exposed same time and tried to trace the image that they may see at the last moment.
After started shooting, little by little I felt like the border between life and death became a blur.
This project is finding the relationship between ‘I’ and ‘shi'(‘death’ in Japanese).
In Japanese, ‘ishi’ has several meanings: mind, remains of human, and death by hanging.
By Taro Karibe