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Nagoya court orders forcible clean-up of ‘garbage house’

39 Comments

The Nagoya District Court this week approved an ordinance enabling authorities to forcibly dispose of items piling up inside and outside a gomiyashiki in Naka Ward after the owner refused to do so.

Gomiyashiki (literally "garbage houses") belong to people who engage in compulsive hoarding. They can be easily recognized by the disorderly overflow of various items, ranging from rusting scrap metal objects to automobile tires, etc, that fill the balcony, entranceway and in some cases spill out onto the sidewalk and street.

The three-story house in Naka Ward is one of Japan’s most well-known gomiyashiki. After the court ruling on Monday, workers began removing items on Tuesday against the wishes of the 62-year-old resident of the house, Hideyuki Aizawa, Fuji TV reported. Aizawa’s mother owns the property and has been renting it to her son since 2000.

The floor space in the house is approximately 180 square meters. Bags filled with empty cans alongside piles of cardboard boxes, furniture and other items had overflowed onto the sidewalk. Authorities estimate it will take at least three days to haul the items away. Aizawa has also been ordered to vacate the house by July 18.

Aizawa has had a stormy relationship with his neighbors who have filed numerous complaints about his hoarding over the past 10 years. After Aizawa repeatedly refused to clean up the house, he was sued by neighbors in November 2017 and the court ruled in their favor in January.

The ordinance came after Aizawa refused to comply with the court’s ruling. But on Tuesday, he told reporters “While I don’t agree with the court’s decision, it can’t be helped,” and he was even seen helping the waste collectors remove some of his belongings.

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39 Comments
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How long has this been going on for, 17-18 years? thats some rubbish, and this guy thinks that its acceptable? I am sorry but the courts have got this one right its a tip, and not only its a health hazard! god knows what its like, cockroaches, mice, rats, cats, smell and heath hazard, the poor neighbours must be happy/ecstatic! and is Aizawa san being evicted afterwards? if he's not, is there a court order stipulating that he can't return to his old collecting ways again? if not this will start all over again.

Moderator: He must vacate the house by July 18.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fire hazard and blight. This guy is a textbook case of hoarding behavior.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That's absolutely disgusting. If I even let one bag of garbage hang out too long in my house, or have a couple of bad vegetables around the amount of flies and stink is absurd in this humid environment. And even spraying periodically I get cockroaches or centipedes. Can't imagine how disgusting this house would be

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't understand how anyone can live like this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All that stuff might be worth a fortune.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

wow that's my neighborhood! hooray! at last!!

I'm gonna pay them a visit! I thought the action had been triggered by the intense winds and the rain...Japan is such a clean country that it really perplexes me when these "glitches in the matrix" occur hahaha...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That guy was on TV years ago! It was resolved now?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Gees! It only took the better part of two decades to get some action. Hoarding is a serious mental illness. I've seen many houses around my area with hoarding issues and it's nearly always garbage. In this case, he has been ordered by the courts to clean it up four or five times on previous occasions and he has been fined. No doubt the clean up bill will run into the tens of millions of yen, but he cannot pay for it. There is no mention of any counselling or help for his mental illness. It's all about the crime and not the cause.

I have 17 custom built guitars. I might have hoarding issues too. :O

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So.....once he leaves, will he do the same thing in another place? I hope they don't find a corpse. It has happened before in other cases of hoarding.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't understand how anyone can live like this.

It's a mental disorder opposite of germaphobia ocd. The court should force him to undergo mental treatment like any other person with OCD.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

My wife is probably going to use that picture against me. See, this is what our house is going to become if you keep buying shoes and records.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@DaDude - My wife is probably going to use that picture against me. See, this is what our house is going to become if you keep buying shoes and records.

And, bringing home treasure from the roadside garbage. :D

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hoarders are the most difficult kind of neighbors to confront because the symptom is connected lots of times to mental issues. The hoarders must deal with their issues first before they can acknowledge the hoarding which is a symptom.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I bet he took his shoes off at the 玄関先

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I had an uncle who had a somewhat similar situation. He was extremely overweight and slept sitting up in a chair. He was unable to clean up after himself because of his size. It seemed he had given up, and began just to throw his trash on the floor of his apartment. It was knee-deep in his apartment when he died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism. The mayor of that town let us borrow a large dump truck, and we had to clean his place up ourselves. The truck was full when we were finished. And while not typical hoarding behavior, it is an illustration of how mental illness, in this case apparent depression, can affect people's actions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My neighbor, an elderly woman who rents the house, is a hoarder of the type that refuses to discard garbage, letting it accumulate in the house instead. I have offered to help her, but she repeatedly vehemently rejects my overtures. Mental issues definitely are an issue here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's a terrible sickness people!

My father was a terrible hoarder and it (among a variety of other things) caused a huge rift between us that was never mended! When he died my family rented a huge container that the big transport trucks take away...I think we filled it up five times to empty the house? (This is junk the junk...none of the "good" stuff that he hoarded too!) The house was FULL of junk...not just trash but ANYTHING he deemed too valuable to throw away...might have something to do with growing up after the war when all kinds of items we take for granted today were limited but it's just sick...I don't think any amount of counselling at that age can rehab these people...too far gone!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When we contemplate deeper, almost all of us are hoarders in one way or another.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japanese courts are loathe to infringe on property rights of individuals. I am happy for his neighbors, particularly the people who live next door, they have got to be thrilled.

How long has this been going on for, 17-18 years? thats some rubbish, and this guy thinks that its acceptable? I am sorry but the courts have got this one right its a tip, and not only its a health hazard! god knows what its like, cockroaches, mice, rats, cats, smell and heath hazard, the poor neighbours must be happy/ecstatic! and is Aizawa san being evicted afterwards? if he's not, is there a court order stipulating that he can't return to his old collecting ways again? if not this will start all over again.

The article doe not provide enough information to give an answer and just because you got this from someone here;

He must vacate the house by July 18.

Does not mean he can not move back in, as the article only states that he is being told to vacate, under the assumption that is for cleaning up the place just because he has been ordered to vacate does not tell the complete story.

Oh don't hold your breath for a followup.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think that he really needs psychiatric help. This mental condition is not uncommon and can be helped.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Simply... about time some one took the responsibility to clean up both for the owner and the community.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All that stuff might be worth a fortune.

It will not be. The term "garbage house" has never been more appropriate.

Cost more to cart it away than it is worth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fire hazard and blight. This guy is a textbook case of hoarding behavior.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He needs help. I think he should be put into the Psychiatric Hospital.

Why the authority has to wait for long time?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I would imagine the stench would make its way to the neighboring houses too. Feel sorry for the neighbors. This is a health hazard. Wow

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That is a lot of garbage! I wonder where the man will live being out of money? Will he become homeless due to his mental illness?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The court has made the right decision. I wonder if they could catch Anaconda there.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Collecting a lot of books, memorabilia, vinyl LPs and owning 17 custom made guitars is one thing but how can anyone stand to live in such a place with 18 years of trash - don't this guy even know where the wastecans are in his neighborhood? Does he even get out? All that rubbish, and the stenches and the roaches, ants, spiders, flies, etc. How can he take it? He needs serious help, and as for personal items of value - if this mess is that bad then he probably can't salvage anything out of this. A waste.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is crazy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The man needs someplace to live. Can he live in a monitored home?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hoarding in this way is a mental health issue. It's usually a symptom of depression, anxiety and low self esteem and other illnesses, or an illness in it's own right. Without treatment he'll just start hoarding again, where ever he lives.

https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsanddisorders/hoarding.aspx

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So it's his mom that actually owns the place. She's the one who should've kicked her son out of the place, in the first place, after the neighbors complained. Since her boy didn't listen to her and she didn't evict him, then she should be fined and charged for the cleanup along with kicking dumb dumb out of there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm pretty sure I lent this fool my vacuum 10 year ago. I'm gonna go back to collect!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I also saw this case on TV several times. If I recall correctly, he had taken to sleeping and eating among the overflow on the sidewalk as he could no longer get in and out of the building. I’m also thinking one program convinced him to let them help him clean up the sidewalk only to have it revert back after some time. (I could be wrong on that as I’ve seen so many programs about “gomiyashiki”.) I wonder where he got the money to pay rent to his mother?

Anyway for the sake of the neighbors I’m glad they’re finally getting some effective action taken.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who is paying for this mammoth clean up? tax payer? is it coming out of his pocket? and I bet the house prices in that area are going back up now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not nearly as bad as that but I need help and don't know how to get it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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