Tokyo’s ‘Oldest Man’ Died 30 Years Ago

A family hid the mummified body of a relative in his bedroom for 30 years to keep his title of Tokyo’s oldest man.
Police visited the home of Sogen Kato only to find his corpse after previous attempts to meet him were rebuffed by his family.

On previous visits, officials were told by family members that Kato wanted to be a living Buddha and refused contact with outsiders.

The body of Kato – who would have been 111 – was discovered wearing underwear and pyjamas and covered with a blanket.

“His family must have known he has been dead all these years and acted as if nothing happened,” said Tokyo metropolitan welfare official Yutaka Muroi.

“It’s so eerie.”

The police broke into his home at the request of ward officials who had been updating their list of centenarians ahead of Respect for the Elderly Day in September.

Relatives are now being investigated over claims they fraudulently received around £70,500 pension money, Japan Today online newspaper reported.

“Grandpa was a very scary man. So, we couldn’t open the door,” Mr Kato’s grandchild was quoted as telling the police.

“He shut himself up in the room without food or water.”

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