crime

Man arrested for leaving father’s ashes in toilet at Tokyo Station

43 Comments

Police have arrested a 53-year-old man on suspicion of improperly disposing of his father’s remains after he left his ashes in a toilet at Tokyo Station on the Marunouchi subway line.

According to police, Hiroaki Hishijima, a company employee, has admitted to leaving the ashes of his father, who died last September at the age of 83, in a toilet cubicle at the station in November, Fuji TV reported Saturday.

Police said Hishijima lived with his mother after his parents divorced. When his father died, he was cremated and the ward office contacted Hishijima and asked him to come and get the ashes.

Police quoted Hishijima as saying his mother told him not to bring the ashes home because she didn’t want to be bothered with burial costs and procedures. Hishijima said he didn’t know what to do with the ashes, so he left them in the toilet at the subway station.

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43 Comments
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How can he have been so stupid as to have left behind any identifying documents...

I don't think there was anything in the pot of my dad's ashes that would have identified who he was.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Drop the ashes into the unwanted baby box. Surely if you can put an unwanted live child in there you can put an unwanted dead old man?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Or be a little creative. Put the ashes into a plain bag and go to the beach when it's deserted. Dig a small hole, add the ashes and build a sand castle. Let the tide do the rest.

Or find a little used pathway and scatter them under the shrubbery,

Or leave them in an open tub on the balcony and let the wind carry them away.

Or take them home, stick them in a flower pot beside the house and lie to your mother.

People have so little imagination...

22 ( +24 / -2 )

thats kinda ridiculous, the whole of it, 53 year old living with mom not knowing what to do in difficult situations

that said, city office aint much better .. if its a divorce child not knowing the dad since youth.. why would the burden of burial fall on him?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

philly1, japan doesnt cremate fully.. there are quite a few bone leftovers... leaving it on a balcony would be quite gruesome

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Got to ask some questions on this one. When the guy was handed the ashes, did the city give him instructions on what do with them? Also why didn't the guy just refuse to receive the ashes?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Reminds me of the black comedy, "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seems neither of them wanted to be bothered with the ashes, there are much better ways to make them disappear!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

japan doesnt cremate fully.. there are quite a few bone leftovers

I used to think this. Then I learned that they do cremate fully. The fine powder you get in other countries is because they put the ashes and bone bits into a grinder. Understandably, this part of the process is not often mentioned.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a son !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dude, just go to the beach, river or lake and scatter his ashes there and say a proper goodbye or prayer. A toilet stall has got to be one of the most disgusting and disrespectful places to "dump" your father's ashes.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It seems Japanese crematoriums don't employ a cremulator thus the bones remain largely intact.

The laws pertaining to the responsibility of a body and the funeral industry need an overhaul. They don't cater to the needs, wishes or budgets of a huge number of people.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

real manly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps this would be a good time to let your family know what you'd like done after death? The son would know exactly what was to be done if the father had told him. My Dad was very clear. So was Mom.

I've been clear about my wishes to my family. Open bar at the funeral. Hawaiian shirts, mandatory. Spread my ashes on the roadside of Tx-71 near Bastrop - being sucked out the back of a pick-up truck going 80mph would be ideal.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is it that hard to figure out how to spread ashes? Here's another way:

Go to the day camp bbq area and dump with the other ashes. Done!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

He could have flushed them...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hishijima said he didn’t know what to do with the ashes, so he left them in the toilet at the subway station.

Hmmm, how could you possible dispose of a pot of ash? I mean even if the only possible solution you were able to come up with was 'leaving them in a public toilet at a train station', once in said public toilet would it never cross your mind to just flush them?

It baffles what goes through some people's minds sometimes. Bury the urn in the garden, take it to the beach, scatter the ashes in a river or forest, add them to a planter etc. Don't just leave them in a public toilet in Tokyo. Come on dude. Seriously?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I could understand if the ashes were given to a kid to deal with but a 53 year old should have EASILY been able to deal with the ashes in a more dignified manner.

Just give him a stern talking & send him on his way......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese "ashes" actually means selected bones of the deceased and not the "dust" from western cremations. Japanese cremations are fired at lower temperatures to preserve the bones which are then placed in a family grave. Many people just keep them at home in a box or cupboard.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some mourners at a cremation consume some of the ash in water. For an additional fee the cremation service will grind up the bones.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Police quoted Hishijima as saying his mother told him not to bring the ashes home because she didn’t want to be bothered with burial costs and procedures.

Well she has a lot more to be bothered with now!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We still have two urns for the wife's brother and sister because we need to travel to the family grave which is near Fuji. Probably this year we will take them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" just go to the beach, river or lake..." All illegal in Japan - he'd potentially have faced the same charge, but less embarrassment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You can bury the urn at sea but I think permission is required?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the dustbin ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's as if this idiot wanted to be caught. How about scattering the ashes somewhere, like a park or the sea? Nobody can see.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps this would be a good time to let your family know what you'd like done after death? 

They can do whatever they want with mine. In this case, though, the father was estranged and the family is obviously somewhat dysfunctional. I am surprised it was such a serious offense to warrant arrest, though.

As others have said, he could have dumped them almost anywhere. Why leave them in a toilet where they will soon be found?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lol. Makes you wonder why you bother providing and caring for your family now. With a story like that we must be mugs for not abandoning the lot of them now and get on with sorting ourselves out. Then it wouldnt matter if they used my ashes for a cat litter box! Funny I know but there is some truth in there somewhere!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@elephant200

What a son !

What a wife!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A toilet stall has got to be one of the most disgusting and disrespectful places to "dump" your father's ashes.

Coulda just flushed them whilst he was there,no? Clearly no love for his father either.

What a wife!

I'm sure she had a valid reason for feeling that type of way. I wouldn't want my father's ashes either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When his father died, he was cremated and the ward office contacted Hishijima and asked him to come and get the ashes.

Why didn't Hishijima attend the cremation? Couldn't be bothered? I'm pretty sure he could have got off work for that. We know why his mother didn't receive the ashes:

his mother told him not to bring the ashes home because she didn’t want to be bothered with burial costs and procedures

When the guy was handed the ashes, did the city give him instructions on what do with them?

Of course not. They're not required to do that.

Also why didn't the guy just refuse to receive the ashes?

That would have looked pretty bad being as how his mother refused to receive them.

I like philly1's low cost ideas. Burial costs at cemeteries are high.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I see that I will need to have a chat with my son before my number is up. Please don't leave me in a public toilet.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When I go my instructions are to put me in a bag and leave my body in the burnable gomi area on a Wednesday or Monday.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Youre supposed to flush the toilet. Geez, some people have no consideration.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hishijima said he didn’t know what to do with the ashes, so he left them in the toilet at the subway station.

Why would he just leave them in a toilet? He could have just dumped them in a bin somewhere.

his mother told him not to bring the ashes home because she didn’t want to be bothered with burial costs and procedures. 

That's just cold!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cracaphat, “Coulda just flushed them whilst he was there,no?”

No, actually. Skulls and other bones don’t generally flush well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would suggest go watch a final movie with Dad and just leave the goods behind with no evidence of identity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Educator60:

Unless theres some discount unlicensed bubba cremating, there are only ashes - no bones whatsoever.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

juminRheeToday  10:33 pm JST

Educator60:

“Unless theres some discount unlicensed bubba cremating, there are only ashes - no bones whatsoever.”

Apparently you’ve never attended a Japanese funeral, nor know anything about them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I see that I will need to have a chat with my son before my number is up. Please don't leave me in a public toilet.

You'll need more than a talk with your son, you'll need to make out a will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

2 things: -Don't know whether J cremations are high or low-fire, but ashes and some bone parts are both leftover. Special 'chopsticks' are used by parallel lines of attendees to put the bone parts in a container; that's why handling a food morsel to someone, say at home or restaurant, by chopsticks is bad etiquette.

The Japanese have an unwritten (rule? law?) that the family has responsibility for their family members, whether deceased or alive. My b-in-law's brother had some significant debt when he died, and the police called my b-in-law to pay it. In other countries, one's individualism and responsibilities are recognized as being separate, but not in Japan.
1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, of course some of the suggestions for disposing of ashes are illegal in Japan and elsewhere. However, it's possible to be creative and dispose of ashes illegally without being noticed in the act. But be aware of surveillance cameras and be discrete.

One mother wished to have her ashes strewn in Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada. When her son asked permission it was denied. It's strictly against their policy. So he put her ashes in a 2 liter pop bottle, attached a wide hose with a clamp which he fed under a pair of baggy pants and a large jacket. He walked casually around the garden leaving little bits of her ashes in all her favourite spots, and no one ever knew. How did I find out? It was part of a CBC radio documentary on how people dealt with the ashes of loved ones in which he was an anonymous participant.

As for bones being gruesome, Alex Einz, they're no more gruesome than chicken bones. Once the ash has blown away they could go in the compost along with other bones routinely picked up on garbage collection day since neither the mother or son had any feelings of respect for the deceased man. The only difficulty in my proposal in that instance is the possibility that the ash could blow onto someone else's laundry.... You need to pick your spots carefully.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Funny at the old man that got arrested & comments that the news attracted

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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