The video sparked wide backlash for its allegedly tone-deaf treatment of suicide and mental health in a country where suicide rates are higher than most in the developed world.
"It's not surprising to find a body there," she said. "But there's a degree of outrage that a foreigner would choose to trivialize or monetize it through YouTube."
The 'suicide forest'
The Aokigahara forest, also called the Sea of Trees, sits right along the edge of Mt. Fuji, roughly a two-hour drive west of Tokyo.
At the entrance of the forest, a sign reminds visitors that "life is a precious gift" from their parents.iPhone transfer software
"Quietly think once more about your parents, siblings or children," the sign says in Japanese. "Please don't suffer alone, and first reach out."
A sign at the entrance of the Aokigahara forest urges suicidal visitors to reach out for help.
Aokigahara's dark reputation has been around for decades. In a popular 1960 novel by Japanese author Seicho Matsumoto, a heroine heads into the forest to take her own life. More recently, in a 2016 American horror film, "The Forest," a woman goes there looking for her twin sister, who mysteriously disappeared in the woods.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Yoshitomo Takahashi, believed that movies and media reports may have also played a role. Some may have traveled to the forest from other provinces because they wanted to "share the same place with others and belong to the same group," he wrote.
Nakamura sees a potential parallel to the thought process surrounding the forest: "Many people have committed suicide at Aokigahara, thus you won't die alone."
'That's why I went there'
CNN previously interviewed one man who attempted to end his life in Aokigahara.
Taro bought a one-way ticket to the forest, having been fired from his job at an iron manufacturing company. He lost any sense of financial stability.
"You need money to survive," he said.
When he got to the forest, he cut his wrists, but the wounds were not fatal. He collapsed and nearly dead from dehydration, starvation and frostbite, but was found by a hiker and saved.
Over the years, there have been some attempts to curb suicides in the forest and nationally. Local authorities posted security cameras at the entrances of the forest, hoping to track those who walk inside, according to Imasa Watanabe of the Yamanashi Prefectural Government.
Lost items are scattered on the ground of the forest.
Suicide in Japan
That figure sits above most developed nations, including the United States (12.6), the United Kingdom (7.4) and Italy (5.4), but below several others, such as Belgium (16.1) and South Korea (24.1).
"One of the terms for suicide is 'jiketsu' -- which means to decide for yourself," she added.
Some experts have called attention to cultural differences, saying that doctors need to be aware of them in order to offer mental health care that's inclusive of Japanese communities at home and abroad.
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But when it comes to the now-viral YouTube video, the story is less about what sets Japan apart and more about how it's often perceived as "other" by Americans, like 22-year-old Paul, according to one anthropologist.