The oldest man “living” in Tokyo has been dead in his room for 30 years.
Police visited the home of Sogen Kato at the request of ward officials updating their list of centenarians ahead of Respect for the Elderly Day. Kato was born July 22, 1899, which would have made him 111.
Japanese welfare officials have tried to meet Kato since earlier this year, but his family members repeatedly chased them away, saying Kato was well but didn’t want to see anyone, said Tomoko Iwamatsu, an official at Tokyo’s downtown Adachi Ward, where Kato lived.
Police said the mummified body believed to be Kato was lying in his bed, wearing underwear and pyjamas, covered with a blanket.
Kato holed up in his room about 30 years ago after declaring he wanted to be a living Buddha, police and Tokyo officials said. They believe Kato died soon after that.