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The phenomenon dubbed "lonely death" or kodokushi (孤独死) is a growing occurrence in Japan. The term translates to "lonely death." Their bodies lie in places undiscovered for long periods of time, and because of this, thick, dark stains (the residue of liquids excreted by a decomposing corpse) shaped like a human body are left where their bodies once lay.  Kodokushi has become a nationwide problem in Japan.
Workers in Japan who move furniture for grieving families are reported to have come into contact with many cases of kodokushi. One privately owned company estimates that as many as 300 out of 1500 of the jobs they take are kodokushi-related.
Most cases occur in untidy men who are in their fifties. This is likely due to the relationship between being messy and not having many social contacts. In 2008, more than 2200 people over the age of 65 died lonely deaths, according to statistics from a city’s Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health. The family picture of three generations living together in Japan has become outdated; now it is more likely to find a man or woman living alone in an apartment.
There are also a greater number of part-time, temporary, and contract workers these days--almost triple the amount seen in 1990. Many men and women who are included in this workforce never marry and simply perish within their homes, unknown to anyone.
Some districts in Japan have begun campaigns and movements to raise neighborly awareness to prevent lonely deaths. Some prevention methods include trying to give out newsletters to the elderly and checking if their trash has been taken out or not.
The Japanese generally have a cultural trend toward trying to ignore death instead of confront it. Many Japanese traditions involving being directly face-to-face with death, such as seeing the head display of a slain samurai, attending a festival for a passed relative, or attending public burials, have been discontinued, which may be contributing to the drastic increase in lonely death.
It is believed by some that there is a much larger psychological aspect attributed to kodokushi. Some Indian psychologists say that social apathy and life stresses are possible reasons attributed to kodokushi's greater incidence rate. Many people choose to perish alone in their apartments seemingly because they no longer have any reason or desire to communicate and socialize. Some even prefer to avoid other people all together. Many psychologists believe that the stress from work and social expectations cause these avoidance behaviors. Similar habits have been documented in many cases of “hikikomori”, which are groups of people who completely isolate themselves from society for months or even years at a time. 
Statistics show that the odds of elders living alone have increased over the past 20 years. Men who live alone have grown from approximately 190,000 in 1980 to 1.05 million in 2005. For women, the numbers are 690,000 in 1980 to 2.81 million in 2005. Most seniors in Japan would prefer to live in their own homes as opposed to senior care facilities. This creates the ideal situation for a lonely death.
Based on a World Value Survey conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that asked the respondents about their social contact, Japan was among the loneliest countries in the world. The Japanese seemed to have the least amount of contact with friends, coworkers, and other acquaintances.
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- Pradesh, Uttar. "Noida sisters' case: It's 'kodokushi' in Japan!". News. Zeenews.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.