A male shut-in was arrested after authorities found he had left his mother’s corpse in the house for weeks after she passed away without reporting the incident.
Called “hikkikomori” in Japanese, the shut-in, a 49-year-old and unemployed male, had been living with his 76-year-old mother in the same house. The elderly woman’s corpse was discovered by the man’s younger sister when she dropped by for a visit on Nov. 4, reports Kyodo via SoraNews24.
Authorities believed the mother died due to natural causes or sickness rather than any form of homicide, after they took into consideration the psychological condition of the man. The body also did not show any physical wounds.
The man apparently found his dead mother collapsed on the kitchen floor. Unsure of what to do, the man carried the corpse and placed it on the bed in his mother’s room. The man said in a written statement, “I couldn’t do anything [after my mother died], so I decided to wait until the next time my sister came.”
The topic of hikkikomori in Japan is a serious social issue. While some shut-ins are content in not leaving the house, more extreme cases refuse to leave their room. Parents of hikkikomori are then faced with the responsibility of caring for their shut-in children regardless of their age.
The man may have been a hikkikomori for some time as authorities found he was almost incapable of conversing with other people when they arrested him on Nov. 5.
Individuals who become hikkikomori are sometimes driven into the lifestyle due to social pressure.
Authorities charged the man with corpse abandonment, but his current psychological state may get him a more lenient punishment.
Without a parent to take care of him, the 49-year-old man will face a difficult transition to once again integrate into the society he had removed himself from to become a self-sustaining individual.