A man survived a heart attack in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo. in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo. The words of a 64-year-old man who survived a suicide in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo.
“I was living on welfare. I was living on welfare, but my income was not enough and I had been in a dispute with my wife. At that time, my housing assistance was cut by about 5,000 yen. I felt that there was nothing I could do and that there was no point in living, so I killed my wife and tried to die myself.
The number of heart attack incidents that occurred in fiscal year 2008 is as follows In fiscal year 2008, there were 46 cases of suicide by suicide nationwide. 46 cases In fiscal year 2008, there were 46 such cases nationwide. 101 people. NHK According to NHK According to NHK, almost half of them were suicides caused by the corona disaster. October October to According to NHK According to NHK, nearly half of the suicides were concentrated in the three months from October to December, when the number of suicides skyrocketed due to the corona disaster.
As the corona disaster is widening the gap in Japan, how does economic deprivation drive people to suicide? I would like to consider this question from an actual case.
An encounter 33 years ago
Hiroto Yoshioka (pseudonym, same name as above) At the time of the incident 64 years old years old at the time of the incident) was married to his wife, Koeda (62). (age 62) at the time of the incident. (age 64 at the time of the incident) married his wife, Koeda (age 62 at the time of the incident). It was 12 years ago. It was in 2012. At that time, they were both around 60 years old. They were around 60 years old at the time. It was about three years before the incident occurred.
There was a complicated reason why they got married so late. The first time they met 33 years ago. 33 years ago. In 1982. In 1982. Hiroto was 31 years old and married. years old and married, and Koeda 29 years old. Hiroto was 31 years old and married, and Koeda was 29 years old and married with two children. Hiroto was the picture of a cutthroat, while Koeda was a free-spirited alcoholic. Hiroto probably fell in love with Koeda, who was the complete opposite of him.
Soon after they met, they had an affair and eloped from their home. The fact that Koeda left her youngest daughter at home when she was only nine months old shows how impulsive her actions were.
They tried to get married, but Hiroto’s wife did not agree to the divorce and could not register the marriage. Hiroto must have felt sorry for her, so he indulged Koeda.
As she had always been a wild person, Koeda went shopping, ate and drank a lot. To make up the shortfall, she borrowed a lot of money. Even so, Hiroto never criticized Koeda.
Such was their relationship. 10 years After about ten years of such a relationship, Koeda suddenly disappeared. She left for Aomori with a man. She must have gotten fed up with Hiroto.
Later, Hiroto’s wife finally agreed to the divorce, but she had already lost contact with Koeda.
About 20 years later 20 years have passed since then. About 20 years have passed since then. During this time, Hiroto remained unmarried and continued to pay the alimony demanded by his wife and the debts left by Koeda. This was the price of infidelity.
On the other hand, after Koeda broke up with the man in Aomori, her inactivity took its toll on her and she suffered from physical and mental illness. She contacted her family in Tokyo to ask for support, but they refused, and she began to live on welfare.
“She received many silent phone calls.
There is an episode that illustrates her loneliness. Her daughter, who was nine months old when she eloped, was raised in an orphanage. When she was one day in her teens. One day when she was in her teens, she suddenly received a call from Koeda, who was supposed to be in Aomori, asking her to meet her.
When they went to a family restaurant to meet, Koeda kept bad-mouthing her ex-husband. The daughter’s distrust of him only grew.
This is what she said.
“After that day, I received many silent phone calls. Once, without thinking, I said, ‘Is that you, Mom? I heard a voice on the other end of the phone say, ‘Yes. Then the call was cut off.
She must have been unable to bear the loneliness of living on welfare while fighting the disease, and kept making silent phone calls to the daughter she had abandoned. She was also at the bottom of her life.
In 2009 In 2009, Hiroto was living on welfare in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo, working part-time as a janitor of a bicycle parking lot.
Then he received a phone call. It was from Koeda.
“Hiroto-san? I’m Koeda. …… It’s been a while. Do you want to meet up?”
Koeda was so lonely that she contacted Hiroto.
Hiroto had been harboring feelings of unrequited love for Koeda for a long time, and when he heard her voice on the phone, it was as if a light had shone in his dark life.
Twenty years had passed. For the first time in 20 years, Hiroto met Koeda. Her face was the same as before, but her health had deteriorated considerably. Hiroto described his impression of her at the trial.
“She seemed to be having a very hard time, and was taking a lot of medication for diabetes and psychosis. She was taking a lot of medication for diabetes and mental illness, and she could no longer drink alcohol, which she loved so much. When I saw her, I wanted to take care of her. I was also on life insurance, but I was strong enough to work. Twenty years ago, I couldn’t get married. I also felt that I wanted to marry her properly this time since I could not get married 20 years ago. I also thought that she would be healthier if we became husband and wife.
Both Hiroto and Koeda must have thought that starting over here would be a great way to add flowers to the final chapter of their lives.
This is how it happened. 12 years Twelve years October In October 2012, they got married again.
Their new home was a 1DK apartment just a few minutes’ walk from Kameari Station, but they made ends meet on welfare and part-time work at a bicycle parking lot. The breakdown of their income is as follows.
Part-time job 100,000 yen Around 100,000 yen
Public assistance 8 100,000 yen 100,000 yen 10,000 yen
Total Approx. 18 Total 200,000 yen About 180,000 to 200,000 yen
Strictly speaking, livelihood assistance is 110,000 10,000 9,200 yen In addition to this, housing assistance ( 60,000 99,800 yen Housing assistance The amount of housing assistance (69,800 yen) added to this is the full amount of the public assistance expenditure ( 180,000 Total (189,000 yen). However, since he has a part-time job, the difference between the two is deducted and the amount is shown on the right. A couple in their 60s It should be enough for a couple in their 60s to make a modest living, and I am sure that is what Hiroto was calculating.
Hiroto also stated that
“She was someone I needed, someone I could live with and get along with. When I came home from work, there was food in the house and she would say, ‘Welcome home, do you want a drink? Do you want a drink? I was grateful for those moments. Married life has been a lot of fun. Watching TV and eating together at home. Every day was fun.”
However, instead of being cured, her spending habits were getting worse. If I gave her money for living expenses, she would buy more vegetables and meat than she could eat every day, filling up her refrigerator and letting much of it go bad. He would go to karaoke every day. Frequent attendance at popular theater that costs thousands of yen per ticket. …… I’m not sure what to do.
Despite Hiroto’s repeated warnings to be careful, Koeda refuses to listen to him. Instead, she repeatedly goes through manic and depressive phases due to her mental illness, and sometimes collapses on the street after taking a large amount of sleeping pills and is rushed to the emergency room.
In Part 2, I will describe in detail the dark turns in Hiroto and Koeda’s lives, and the “sad ending” they chose after all their suffering.
Interview and text： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. Graduated from Nihon University College of Art. He is active in reporting and writing about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "The House of the 'Demons': Parents Who Kill Their Own Children," "Forty-three Killing Intentions: The Depths of the Kawasaki Jr. 1 Boys' Murder Case," "Rental Child," "Kinship Murder," and "The Social Map of Disparity and Division.
Photo： Naho Yoshizawa/Afro