Mummified corpses found in Japan

TOKYO, Japan (AP) — Police in western Japan are investigating five badly decomposed human bodies found lying in a house, apparently because of a belief in resurrection, officials and a news report said Wednesday.

Police in the Fukuoka prefecture (state) city of Omuta discovered the bodies on Tuesday at the home of Shigeo Nagae, city official Hirohisa Tanaka said.

They were sent to investigate after a welfare worker alerted the city that he had been unable to contact Nagae for a long time, Tanaka said.

Police official Goichi Tokunaga said investigators were questioning relatives, neighbors and others and attempting to establish the identities of the corpses. They had not yet been able to determine the ages or genders of the deceased, he added, while refusing to offer further details.

Kyodo News agency, citing unidentified investigators, said the bodies are believed to be those of Nagae, born in 1908, his wife Fumiko, born in 1915, and their two daughters and a son.

Nagae’s eldest son told investigators Wednesday he laid the bodies out in accordance with his parents’ beliefs in resurrection, Kyodo said.

“I always heard my parents say ever since I was a child that ‘people always come back to life even once they die.’ I have kept their last wish and laid their bodies to rest in their rooms after they died,” Kyodo said the son told investigators.

The son and two other daughters reportedly told investigators the five family members died four to 20 years ago, Kyodo said.

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AP, via CNN, USA
Apr. 4, 2007

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This post was last updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 10:22 AM, Central European Time (CET)