As I am sure many of you have heard by now, on January 2nd, Logan Paul (a popular YouTuber for those who may not recognize the name) received widespread backlash about a video he posted in which he filmed a corpse hanging from a noose while exploring Japan’s Aokigahara. The Aokigahara is referred to as the “Sea of Trees” and it’s more popularized nickname, Suicide Forest, since it is the second most popular place in the world for one to commit suicide in.
Aokigahara is located at the base of Mount Fuji and is irrefutably intertwined with its reputation for being the site of hundreds upon hundreds of suicides dating from decades ago to today. People who wander off of the Aokigahara trail take the huge risk of getting lost in the forest for good especially since beyond a certain point, thanks to the magnetic volcanic rock at the base of Mount Fuji, compasses and gps’s no longer work.
Along the trail, police have spread signs encouraging potential suicide victims to consider their loved ones because the majority of people who wander around in this forest have the intent of not coming out.
It is often regarded as a mass grave site because of the dead bodies sprinkled all throughout. Police have stopped keeping track of how many suicides take place in Aokigahara in order to prevent popularizing the place. It is merely impossible to research Aokigahara without finding out that it is very possible to find corpses, body parts, or things left behind by those who died there.
Back to Logan,
his now deleted vlog showed him and his friends wandering through the “spooky” forest. When he spotted a dead body, his response was a little more than disturbing to many.
Logan’s immediate response was laughter and cracking a few jokes. A little bit later, now being out of the forest, he humorously starts to swing back some japanese alcohol claiming he “needs to be drunk” for the experience. Saying it was the worst thing he has ever experienced/seen. He then notes that in no way does the way he is responding reflect the weight of the situation and that everyone responds to things differently. This is the way he responds. Humour.
I actually understand this.
Everyone does respond to things differently. I can’t sit here and pretend that I know exactly how I would have reacted to such a sight. I can tell you one thing though. If I had known exactly where I was going and what I might see there, I would not have intentionally blithely filmed my experience claiming “suicide awareness” (which is what he did in a nutshell). Knowledge would inform people of the Aokigahara. Wisdom would have granted Logan (and his friends) good judgement as to how to combine a message of suicide awareness with showcasing the Aokigahara.
But this isn’t about bashing Logan.
Logan Paul is a human, who has a life story all his own. He is growing and learning just as much as any of us are. The last thing I want to do is jump on the “hate Logan” bus. Plus, he isn’t the first one to film a vlog in Aokigahara. While his decision and casual manner towards it was unfortunate and undoubtedly concerning as far as his conviction is concerned, I think one statement perfectly sums up the entire situation. It is what Logan so clearly proved in his vlog: the easiest way to trivialize wisdom is to laugh at it.
“Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly”
– Proverbs 15:21
What do you guys think about this statement? Do you feel Logan’s decision to raise suicide awareness in the manner he did was wise?