Thu, 10 Mar 2005

From: AFP

107-year-old found dead in kimono

TOKYO: Japanese police have found the mummified body of a 107- year-old man, who died up to a decade ago, wearing a clean kimono at his house near Osaka, an official said on Wednesday.

Lying face down in bed, the body of Kyujiro Kaneoka was discovered in Itami, 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Tokyo, after his nephew called police on Monday, the police official said.

"The body was wearing a clean kimono. He is believed to be dead for five to 10 years. We are talking to his family members why they kept him like this," the official said. Kaneoka lived with his three children in the house.

The cause of his death has yet to be determined, police said. An official with the Itami city hall said the city was considering asking Kaneoka's family to return gifts it had received since 1999 as a token of the man's longevity.

"Every year we gave the family 30,000 yen (US$288) and a cashmere blanket worth 20,000 yen. Although we requested a meeting with him directly, the family always turned it down, saying he was too weak and bed-ridden," the official said. AFP