Skip to comments.Japanese authorities concerned about 'lonely deaths'
Posted on 02/25/2012 3:37:36 PM PST by BfloGuy
The discovery of three bodies that lay unnoticed for up to two months in an apartment in Japan has raised concern over so-called "lonely deaths".
The three people, believed to be from the same family, were discovered on Tuesday in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
Electricity and gas to the house had been cut off, there was no food in the house and just a few one-yen coins.
Despite being the world's third richest country, Japan has seen a number of similar cases in recent years.
Such deaths are referred to as "kodokushi" - lonely deaths.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
It is believed they were a couple in their sixties and their son in his thirties who died of starvation. The alarm had been raised by the building's management company.
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper said that the family had asked a neighbour for help, but had been refused and instead advised to contact the welfare authorities.
The family did not do so, a move some local media outlets have put down to feelings of shame.
Asahi Shimbun quoted lawyer Takehiro Yoshida as saying: "Some people have a resistance to going on welfare and are reluctant to consult with authorities.
It's very sad, of course, but do you remember when it was shameful in America to go on welfare or even accept Food Stamps? In the seventies, people would go shop in another town to avoid the stigma of having friends and neighbors know of their shame.
Now, it's a point-of-pride for many to let everyone know you're getting yours from the system.
Japanese are even more stuck on image than the Western world is. They probably have a ritual for starving to death in poverty in a Zen way.
Whatever one thinks of food stamps and food pantries, there is no real excuse to starve to death in America.
These kinds of deaths most likely occur with greater frequency in America.
How often I’ve read articles of people’s bodies being found in their homes weeks or even months after they’ve died...
True, and yet... very few if any produce reports “the person starved to death.” Usually it was a heart attack or other “natural” death and nobody checked for weeks, months, or years.
It’s partly because fertility in Japan is low —in the 1930’s it was VERY common to have 5 or 7 kids. Now it’s basically just ONE, and Japan has no real immigration to speak of, like the US does.
Also Japanese find it hard to reach out for help —ya lose face, and it’s like you’re foisting your petty personal problems onto the group. Folks in Japan REALLY don’t like to do that.
It’s seen as selfishness.
This happened in the UK also —one lady was found mummified and in cob-webs, sitting in a chair in front of the TV (which was STILL on) after TEN YEARS.
The mail spilled from the slot, all over the floor, and somehow they kept her power on.
Oh dear. This contradicts so much what I read after the Tsunami disaster, which was that the Japanese really see themselves as a big community and are always willing to pull one another up by their bootstraps, so to speak.
Even in Japan not everyone will be successful. And as the other poster said it is a very high “self-image” society. Very sad to think this family’s neighbor wouldn’t help them.
RIP lonely Japanese family, I’m sure you are in a better place now.
Had one here in NJ - elderly man seemed to “disappear”
Nobody saw him at local diner, mail not collected, grass
not cut, etc
Found him dead - estimated been dead over a year
So it does happen here....
The system plus--EVERYBODY owes you.
Obviously you're just speaking for yourself....There's probably hundreds of thousands of people living alone here in the U.S. who won't be missed when they die until their mailbox is full.........
Family...what is better? Nothing.
Well, unless you are raised by a grandfather and mother who hook you up in a meth business and get you arrested at 18.
Sorry, that family Meth story just tears me up.
I can see this becoming more common, as time goes by. If you can’t find work and have lost hope, just drink lots of water, forego food and watch a lot of tv.
Mmmmmm. I have a job and do that now.
Add some kool-aid to the water, so it tastes good.
Happened in the Great Depression - very famously.
Thanks, good idea. Oh, and I’ll get a color TV set, too.
Bet a big screen tv and try and get some movies thrown in for free.
What is that about?
The U.S. Doesn't have, "Immigration".
It has an endless flood of millions with no skills, cab driver mentalities, Muslims and many others with absolutely no desire to assimilate.
All while tens of millions form a lawless conga-line and enter illegally when they fell like it, as they jam our hospitals, jails, schools and choke off social services meant for legitimate Americans, costing the tax payers hundreds of billions.
This happened to my uncle when he retired from teaching at The Browning School in NYC and bought a house in FLA. whom he shared with my Grandmother . After she died at 100 , he was all alone more or les with the exception of another uncle who lived in another part of FLA., and discovered the decomposed body weeks after he had died .
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
Some towns/cities have a daily calling system for solitary seniors if there is no family to do it.
Many seniors are too proud to do it but it should be done.
That sign was in N.O. La (’victims)
I just personally find that sign and attitude repulsive.
Ah. I agree with you.
We live in an apartment set among four different units of about fifteen apartments each. We lose about four or five people a year like this. One man over 90, was sitting on a chaise by one of the pools (we have four) not too long ago. He had been sitting there for nearly eight hours before someone noticed he was in trouble. When my son found him, my son called the paramedics, and notified the office. Turns out the man had lost his daughter last year in the Japanese tsunami. She had gone to visit. She was his only living relative in America. As far as we know, the local social welfare authorities are still keeping him in a care facility.
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