Noriko Hayashi/Panos Pictures

Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

The workroom in an apartment that was home to an elderly couple. The husband died, and his wife lived alone until she died after spending two years in hospital. Two months later the couple's son hired a specialist cleaning company to clear out the apartment.

'Clean-out' businesses are booming in Japan, aligned to its population of the elderly and childless. 30 percent of the properties that are cleared by professionals involve a so-called 'lonely death'. While 'ghost houses', abandoned by ageing owners, account for a further 20 percent. The industry is also closely linked to the country's growing secondhand market which makes up more than 10 percent of all clothing sales.

Part of story
Object Name
Noriko Hayashi/Panos Pictures
Kanagawa Prefecture
Max size
High Resolution
7360 x 4912 pixels
62.31 x 41.59 cm (300 dpi)
24.53 x 16.37 inch (300 dpi)
28.2 MB size on disk
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