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Parents sue funeral firm over use of plastic shopping bag on 5-month-old son's remains


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If you have been in business for some time you should have in place, various protocol and work ethics, if you know that various body parts might leak fluids, i would of thought that you use a sealed container designed for such events, does any one make a water tight container specially made for such events? how about verious sizes of fibreglass containers that have spring clips and a seal, and they could be tastefully decorated as to not look industrial. but to put this childs head in a carrier bag is unforgivable, its just not fitting or dignified, well done to the Kitano family bring it to the media attention . I hope that ALL of the funeral homes in Japan sit up and take notice.

11 ( +26 / -15 )

It's certainly not a crime, but talk about insensitivity...

8 ( +25 / -17 )

Bad PR for them, maybe an opportunity for their competitors... assuming there are some.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

I am looking at their picture.... I also see that their child's sudden death was unusual enough to warrant a police autopsy. I don't know the details, but 2.2 million yen is an awfully small and specific amount to ask for being traumatized. Seems unpleasant all around.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Having attended several autopsies, just knowing one had been done on someone I love would be traumatic enough. I don't think the plastic bag would have mattered at all at that point. I wonder if the parents have any idea what happens during an autopsy

14 ( +21 / -7 )

I see nothing wrong with using a sealable container (a plastic bag) as part of the bandaging following an autopsy.  My guess is that it was not a convienience store bag (with advertisement), but instead a simple white bag of the same material.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Just to say for this judicial case, the parents seeking 2.2 million yen in damages suit is too much. I know that the parents discovered this funeral company unbelievable procedure fault but that suit price requested is equivalent to buying an entire grave portion in Buddhist temple, and I don't think they have spent even a half of that amount for their baby funeral. I don't only blame the funeral company or the parents, but this news is too private concern to disclose, to be a news or a column to be described.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

At home, after they removed the bandages around the head, they discovered that a plastic shopping bag from a convenience store was used in wrapping the head.

IF this is true, and while it's not a crime, it sure is callous to say the least. BUT is it worth 2.2 million yen?

I don't know, and I grieve with the parents for their loss, that money is not going to bring their child back, and it sound like they want something from someone to help with their grief.

15 ( +18 / -3 )


I think its the notion of a combini plastic bag thats upsetting them.

I am quite sure that most people would be upset in MOST nations and cultures about this.

It’s not so much the bag but more that clearly they did not show the proper respect that should be shown. That being said, a store bag wrapped a dead infants head is absolutely disrespect. In some cultures what was done here would be considered way way worse.

Any place that deals with the deceased should well know that at this emotional time you shouldn’t do some things. Even an untrained newbie would know that.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )


-3 ( +9 / -12 )

There are right ways & wrong ways to go about things, CLEARLY the funeral home was negligent in the treatment of the infants body while in their care!

To give you sort of examples with pets, I have had 2 pets pass while undergoing treatment at vets:

One came back to us in a nice box with a window top & our pet covered in a nice NEW towel, sad day but the vets thoughtfulness helped.

2nd time a different vet brought out our pet AS IS with the towel that was in the cage, NOT clean, rigor had set it & it was awful trying to put our pet into our carrier, bad experience.

Again the funeral parlour got it WRONG!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

poor baby, may he rest in peace

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Disgraceful behaviour by the undertaker. Too cheap to buy the proper items needed to treat a body with dignity. Shame on them.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

for all of you saying its not a big deal, just take into account the pain these people were in losing their baby then seeing the dead fetus in a plastic bag. There is no excuse. People in this industry should be mindful and respectful of the deceased and their families at these times.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

for all of you saying its not a big deal, just take into account the pain these people were in losing their baby then seeing the dead fetus in a plastic bag.

While I agree with the sentiment of this comment, it wasn't a fetus.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Wrong on so many levels. The whole thing was handled in an unemotional and (overly) matter-of-fact way.

Parents shouldn't have to 'collect' their dead child's body at the local police station. And supermarket plastic bags shouldn't be used in such circumstances (opaque green/blue plastic bags used in hospitals would have been a much better option).

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Reading the comments, I hope many of you are NEVER parents. Your lack of empathy makes you COMPLETELY unsuitable by any stretch.

I hope these parents win and can only imagine the horror they suffered.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

It seems some people are not understanding the article. The baby's body wasn't handed over in a Family Mart bag. The head had to be cut open during the autopsy. They simply used a plastic bag with no markings underneath the bandages to help keep fluids from leaking out. The article clearly states that the plastic bag was underneath the bandages.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

For a small child, a heavy duty plastic trash compactor bag would be better. I always take a few on my travels because they won't rip, are light and tough, but are handy for all sorts of uses.

Plus they won't have "7-Eleven" on the side of the bag.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I see what you mean mikehunt. Someone even mentioned a fetus being handed over. I'm curious what was the cause of death.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As a parent, I wouldn't want to undo the bandages to see the cuts from the autopsy. That would be pretty bad.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

theFu proves my point exactly. I hope you never have a family member suffer like these parents. And you are one sick, disgusting excuse of a human being.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Some of you need to reread the article, the baby was not in a plastic bag, there was a plastic bag underneath the bandage around the baby's head

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I'm confused. Has the article been re-written since the last comments? Some people are saying that the plastic bag was not from a convenience store, but the following line:

At home, after they removed the bandages around the head, they discovered that a plastic shopping bag from a convenience store was used in wrapping the head.

would indicate otherwise. Am I missing something?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The body of a dead baby should be treated with respect, the one who disagree have no empathy at all, poor parents!

They had to “ collect the body of their dead son from the police” and then at home take the bandage of the baby head, for sure because they want to see the little face for the last time and the find a disgusting plastic shopping bag underneath the bandages......for God sake people !

Plus the amount of money they ask is nothing! The ones who say it is to much are totally wrong, the police and the funeral company deserve a much severe punishment for the careless disrespectful way they treated the little body of a human been.

RIP little one, I’ll pray that your parents suffering easy with time.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It should be a lesson to funeral firm. Since they are in professional service they should have some kind of thier own sealers in these cases instead of using shopping plastic bag.

They should to sue police as well for negligence.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

MJ & MH, you both need to re-read the article, it wasn't a plain bag it was a:

A couple in Kobe filed a damages suit on Monday against a funeral company for wrapping their son's remains with a disposable plastic shopping bag after an autopsy, saying the action caused them emotional distress.

Notice the key word SHOPPING in there

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The feedback to the comments is priceless. May the parents find peace.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There is too much missing from the story, and since the company being refused to comment, it's hard to truly decide if this is justified or not, the lawsuit that is.

I feel for the parents, and I hope they find peace, but lashing out against the funeral parlor because you have no answers as to why your child died, is not going to bring the child back.

If the parents truly are worried about the practice itself, IF it happened, and if this is her reason;

he boy's 36-year-old mother, Megumi, said at a press conference that they decided to file the lawsuit out of concern that similar practices were being carried out in the funeral business industry.

Then I hope you donate any money you may get to any NPO that handles issues related to death here in Japan.

I will reserve my comments on what I would say about you, until after the trial, if there is one, and if there is any type of follow up here....I wont hold my breath, that's for sure!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Imagine going to the Koban to pick up the deceased body of your autopsied child and there is a note of the door saying Patrol Chuu! Disgusting. Why not the hospital?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@ GW - do you ever go shopping in Japan? Stores from 7-Eleven to Don Quixote all use playing plastic bags. Don't get wrapped around the axle about the word shopping. What do you think it was something from the Louis Vuitton store

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Plain plastic bags

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"the couple collected the body of their son from a local police station" Seriously?

A few years back , a kindergarten classmate of my daughter drowned at a beach. After collecting the body from the hospital, the family had to drive back to where they lived. I can't imagine driving a car in this situation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )


I believe that the police do all autopsies in Japan - hospitals being for the living.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I read the article and all the comments, and i still can't decide which side I'm on...

One question, when they say "head" ard they including facial features? (Eyes, mouth, nose)

This is a make it or break it detail for me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

An autopsy of an infant would involve removal of the cranial cap and extraction of the brain to look for bruising - a sign of a shook baby. The bandaging would only cover the top and back of the skull. I highly doubt that the face was covered.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So insensitive!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A funeral home that doesn't know how to transport a body with respect...SMH

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I guess being 2018 people will complain about anything. I would think that the fact their child is dead would be the source of emotional distress. Would they be upset if the bandages were soaked in body fluids?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why would they want to pick up the body in the first place? That's kind of strange.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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