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RT Doc: Dying Alone: Kodokushi, Japan’s epidemic of isolation

March 24, 2019
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RT Doc: Dying Alone: Kodokushi, Japan’s epidemic of isolation

Lonely deaths, or kodokoshi, are on the rise in Japan. Thousands of elderly people die in their homes without anyone knowing. Sometimes corpses remain undiscovered for weeks or even months, so companies devoted to cleaning up the homes of the dead are increasingly in demand. RTD’s Artyom Somov went to Japan to ask elderly citizens if they’re afraid of solitude. He also meets a man working in the macabre kodokoshi industry to find out how he feels about cleaning up after the dead.

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Kodokushi (孤独死) or lonely death refers to a Japanese phenomenon of people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time.[1] The phenomenon was first described in the 1980s.[1] Kodokushi has become an increasing problem in Japan, attributed to economic troubles and Japan’s increasingly elderly population.[1][2] It is also known as koritsushi (孤立死) and dokkyoshi (独居死).

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