Kegon Falls

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Kegon Falls
華厳滝 - Kegon Taki
Kegon Taki.jpg
The Kegon Falls
Location Nikkō National Park, Tochigi Prefecture, Honshū, Japan
Coordinates 36°44′17″N 139°30′09″E / 36.73806°N 139.50250°E / 36.73806; 139.50250Coordinates: 36°44′17″N 139°30′09″E / 36.73806°N 139.50250°E / 36.73806; 139.50250
Type Plunge
Total height 97 metres (318 ft)
Number of drops 1
Total width 7 metres (23 ft)
Watercourse Oshiri River

Kegon Falls (華厳滝 Kegon Taki?) is located at Lake Chūzenji (source of the Oshiri River) in Nikkō National Park near the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. The falls were formed when the Daiya River was rerouted by lava flows. About twelve smaller waterfalls are situated behind and to the sides of Kegon Falls, leaking through the many cracks between the mountain and the lava flows.

At 97 m high, it is one of Japan's three highest waterfalls. In the autumn, the traffic on the road from Nikko to Chūzenji can sometimes slow to a crawl as visitors come to see the fall colors.

In 1927, the Kegon Falls was recognized as one of the "Eight Views" which best showed Japan and its culture in the Shōwa period.[1]

The Kegon Falls are infamous for suicides, especially among Japanese youth.

Suicides[edit]

Death poem of Misao Fujimura.

Misao Fujimura (1886 – May 22, 1903), a Japanese philosophy student and poet, is largely remembered due to his farewell poem written directly on the trunk of a tree before committing suicide by jumping from the Kegon Falls.

The story was soon sensationalized in contemporary newspapers and was commented upon by the famed writer Natsume Soseki. This led the famed scenic falls to become a notorious spot for lovetorn or otherwise desperate youngsters to take their lives (Werther Effect).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Japan Ministry of the Environment, 日本八景(昭和2年)の選定内容 (Japanese); retrieved 2012-3-30.
  2. ^ Iga, Mamoru (1978). "Suicide in Japan". Social Science & Medicine. Part A: Medical Psychology & Medical Sociology 12 (4): 513. doi:10.1016/0271-7123(78)90118-9. PMID 734468.  p. 519

External links[edit]