The phenomenon and problem of ‘lonely deaths’ in Japan

Kodokushi (or lonely deaths) refers to a Japanese phenomenon of people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time. First described in the 1980s, it is reported that more than 40,000 Japanese die alone in their own homes every year. It’s an increasingly common phenomenon in a country with an ageing population, more elderly people living on their own and fractured connections. However, Kodokushi is not limited to elderly people.

The New York Times, “A Generation in Japan Faces a Lonely Death”, 30 November 2017.

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