Dying Alone: Kodokushi, Japan’s epidemic of isolation through the eyes of a ‘lonely death’ cleaner

 

Homo sunt. Nihil humani a me alienum puto.

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.