Kodokushi - The Lonely Death in Japan

Dying alone is the last thing anyone wants. It is also the last thing we want to happen to someone close.

In this article, we’ll talk about this phenomenon called kodokushi (孤独死), which means “Lonely Death”.

This phenomenon occurs mostly with the elderly.

On the one hand, you see a country that, culturally, has an obligation to respect and help the elderly and that, even, there is a holiday dedicated to the elderly.

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On the other, you see elderly people dying alone in their apartments and their bodies being discovered after days, weeks, months, even years.

Kodokushi is a phenomenon that has been happening in Japan since the 1980s. You hear about cases where the elderly die alone in their homes, but the younger generation is also subject to this.

Kodokushi - the lonely death in japan

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Kodokushi - Why does this happen?

There is, in Japan, something called gaman.

It is the way to face problems without complaining or resorting to any type of assistance.

Because of this, people do not come into contact with relatives because the person is expected to carry the weight on his or her back, without disturbing others with their own problems.

Another factor that increased these cases of solitary death was the bursting of the economic bubble in the 1990s that weakened Japan's economy.

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Many who worked for corporations retired early.

The growth of unemployment and middle age, hardly found a job.

And the fact that many were divorced or never married did not help their situation.

If you connect Kodokushi with Hikikomoris but there are few cases where they end up like this.

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Kodokushi - the lonely death in japan

What is Japan doing to combat this?

The most that has been done so far has been campaigns and movements to prevent elderly citizens (who are the majority of Kodokushi cases) from dying alone.

However, efforts are in vain as this still persists and will affect young people since marriage, every day, only tends to decrease and they tend not to have children.

What do you think of this phenomenon called Kodokushi? Have you ever met someone who died a death like that?

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