Japan Today

Couple in their 80s found dead in apparent murder-suicide


An 87-year-old man and his 84-year-old wife were found dead Saturday in their apartment in Tachikawa, Tokyo, in an apparent murder-suicide, police said Sunday.

According to police, the couple's oldest son, a man in his 50s, discovered the bodies of his father Fujiya Hirahara and his mother Masako at around 1:40 p.m. in their 4th-floor apartment and called police, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Police said the couple had been dead for one or two days and that it appeared Hirahara had beaten his wife to death with a blunt instrument and then stabbed himself in the stomach in another room. Beside his body was a knife and note in which he said he was worn out from looking after his physically disabled wife.

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Beside his body was a knife and note in which he said he was worn out from looking after his physically disabled wife.

There is the sad truth of Japan's ageing society.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I have no words to describe the deep sadness. RIP.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's a shame that most governments won't poke euthanasia with a ten-foot barge pole as it would allow many people to end their lives in a dignified manner and avoid the sort of trauma that this family are now suffering

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Euthanasia? How about they poke aged care instead? Most of the aged in Japan are slaves to their ailing partner or, in the case where both are ailing, it is their children that become slaves to their care. Japan has one of the highest rates of health insurance premiums and pension deductions in the world, but both systems are failing and people are getting ripped off blind!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Wow, beaten to death. That's just awful, on top of tragic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

note in which he said he was worn out from looking after his physically disabled wife.

If you are a caregiver, and you reach that point, there's no shame in admitting it. If that was me, I'd bring her to a hospital, and disappear, better than murder/suicide

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Like I have been saying for ages, we will be seeing more & more of this type of thing!

The worst is when the "kids" who could be in their 70s or 80s are talking care of their parents who are in their 90s or over 100.

There are next to no options for regular people & when you toss in stubborn old folks who refuse to re-think their living arrangements & where they live..........it puts more than tremendous stress & guilt on family.

There needs to be an active discussion that its ok consider ideas more suited to these times instead of sticking to the old, well outdated ways that are still too common.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The way he killed himself indicates that he felt that he was atoning for the sin he'd committed, but that he felt he had no choice but to take the action he had.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So his answer was to brutally kill her? This is not a problem with society or nation, this person had mental issues, period. There are plenty of elderly Japanese people that go around killing their wives.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

A growing problem in a lot of Asian countries... We should all sit down and discuss peace ..so that we can spare resources for community support...instead of building weapons..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oldman 13

you need to start paying more attention to whats been going on in Japan, the number of THESE types of murder suicides are going to skyrocket, and there are probably a LOT more we never hear about.

The carnage reflects badly on society at large, Japan is a cold place, it is in dire need of some warmth, understanding & some REASONABLE options for real people, so they don't turn on each other as IS currently happening too often!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That's funny GW.

According to HelpAge International’s 2015 Global AgeWatch Index of 96 countries, Japan ranked number 8 for best country in the world to grow old (above the United States which ranked #9).

You need to do a lot better than use broad terms such as Japan being a cold place, needing warmth, understanding, and reasonable options for real people.

You provide no statistics or evidence to back up any of your claims. I stand by my original post, this has nothing to do with any society, but an individual with issues that decided to murder his wife and commit suicide. It happens everywhere around the world.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Perhaps a story that should be pasted near every "happy wedding" ad. Good God, what misery!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oldman 13,

First off comparing Japan & the US doesn't do much for you, the US is NOT something to be emulated, the opposite in many ways.

Here is a link that sums up Japan & its elderly quite well


Here is a quote from above which sums up the countries poor support systems, the fact that:

The health of the aged receives a great deal of the society's attention. Responsibility for the care of the aged, bedridden, or senile, however, still devolves mainly on family members, usually daughters-in-law.

That most of the care for elderly in Japan is to fall onto its daughters is a disgrace! For sure family needs to help, but FAMILIES also need help & this is where Japan does very poorly. Anyone living here who interacts with people say 40yrs & older you will hear TONS of stories of people having to quite work to take care of parents/in laws. This is causing tremendous damage/stress to care givers & their immediate families.

The govt for the most part does precious little & this is why the man in the article did what he did out of sheer desperation........... and there are 100s of thousands like them & their numbers are growing.

So like I often ask, do YOU wanna grow old in Japan?? The reality is NOT pretty!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unfortunately, we will continue seeing incidents like this as the population continues to age. Things will get worse not better.

First off comparing Japan & the US doesn't do much for you, the US is NOT something to be emulated, the opposite in many ways.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's sad ... but were their children helping taking care of the mother? It's not a nice thought that I see and heard that old folks were just forgotten things of the past and their children never looked back.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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