Miyu Kojima’s room box of a home where a solitary
death occurred in a bathtub. A rapid change in body temperature while
taking a bath can lead to a stroke or heart failure, especially among
elderly people. (Naoko Kawamura)
Messy miniature room boxes built to shed light on solitary deaths
One miniature room model is cluttered with garbage strewn across
furniture. Another tiny room box contains layers of trash and bottles of
The miniatures symbolize solitary death sites where the bodies of occupants are often not found for extended periods.
Miyu Kojima produces such room boxes from memory.
The 26-year-old works for a Tokyo-based cleaning service provider
that specializes in sorting and disposing of belongings left by the
A room box of a trash hoarder’s apartment room, produced by Miyu Kojima (Naoko Kawamura) Kojima said she creates the miniature rooms, each of them based
loosely on a number of cases, not to shock people but to generate
feelings of compassion.
“I would like many people to know the reality,” she said. “I want
people to stop thinking that solitary deaths have nothing to do with
them. I hope people will think about what they can do to prevent
Over the past few decades, an increasing number of elderly people,
and even relatively young single people, have been dying alone at their
homes. Their bodies are often left to decompose because there are no
people around to check up on the occupants.
Kojima said clients, who are usually relatives of the deceased, often
express shame or embarrassment over the messy conditions of the rooms.
Snack packages, empty beverage cans, magazines, and plastic bottles and
bags containing urine are among the items covering the floor of a room
of a hoarder. Amid the trash was a resume for job hunting. (Naoko
She said she hopes the miniatures will show people that dirty or cluttered homes are “nothing special.”
“I don’t want people to be worried, thinking their (relatives’) homes are the only ones that are so messy,” she said.
Kojima said that hoarding, the compulsion to collect things
excessively and the refusal to discard belongings, can afflict anyone.
“What if we lose someone close, or have psychological stress, and
don’t feel like doing anything for days?” she said. “What if the
situation gets out of hand before anyone else notices?”
Miyu Kojima produced this room box to show that clutter is nothing special. (Naoko Kawamura) Her room boxes are based on such themes as “solitary death” and “trash-hoarders’ room.”
At her work sites, she has seen piles of notices left by delivery
drivers whose calls at the front door went unanswered. At one home, the
body of the lone occupant was not discovered for months.
Kojima creates the miniatures by herself at the company’s office
after finishing her cleanup work. For the room boxes, and based on her
memory, she stains wallpaper bought from a hardware store and uses
photocopiers to downsize packages of real products.
It takes about a month for Kojima to complete one room box.
She first publicly displayed her work at an industrial fair for funeral and burial-related businesses in 2016.
A resident's body was found on futon a few months after the solitary death. (Naoko Kawamura) Kojima said people usually shy away from looking at actual photos of
the sites of death, but she notices that they stare intently at her room
The top view of a room box of another trash hoarder’s home (Naoko Kawamura)
Miyu Kojima’s room box of a toilet (Naoko Kawamura)
BERN – Lysergic acid diethylamide
was labeled a “problem child” by the man who discovered its
hallucinogenic properties in 1943. As it turns 75, the drug known as LSD
may now be changing its image.
The late Swiss chemist Albert
Hofmann famously learned of LSD’s psychedelic effects when he
inadvertently took a small dose while doing lab work for the
pharmaceutical company Sandoz.
He wanted the drug to be medically researched, convinced
it could be a valuable psychiatric tool and lead to a deeper
understanding of human consciousness.
But through the 1960s, LSD became synonymous with counterculture and anti-authority protests.
the early 1970s, it had been widely criminalized in the West, prompting
Hofmann to publish his 1979 memoir, “LSD: My Problem Child.”
book, in which Hofmann sought to reassert LSD’s potential medical
benefits, is featured in an exhibition at the Swiss National Library in
the capital, Bern, to mark 75 years since the discovery.
Hofmann died in 2008 at the age of 102 but he likely would have been pleased by a series of recent developments.
decades as a medical outcast, LSD has attracted renewed clinical
interest, and there has been evidence that it can help treat anxiety and
Such developments were what Hofmann was hoping for at the time of writing “My Problem Child.” “If
we can better understand how to use it, in medical practice related to
meditation and LSD’s ability to promote visionary experiences under
certain circumstances, then I think that this ‘problem child’ could
become a prodigy,” he wrote.
He had discovered LSD while working
with a fungus called ergot, which attacks cereal grains like rye and had
previously been used for a variety of medical purposes. At the time,
Sandoz was using it to make migraine medication.
unknowingly created LSD when he combined the main active agent in ergot —
lysergic acid — with diethylamide. After accidentally ingesting a trace
of LSD, he began to feel strange, and later on deliberately took larger
amounts to better understand the drug’s effects.
best-selling book published in May, “How to Change Your Mind,” the
renowned American author Michael Pollan notes that LSD was the subject
of widespread experimental research through the 1950s and 1960s and
attracted the interest of leading psychiatrists.
But the situation changed.
Hofmann published his book in 1979, LSD was completely prohibited.
There was no research,” said Hannes Mangold, curator of the National
Library exhibit, called “Problem Child LSD turns 75.”
interesting is that for the last 10 to 15 years, research has once again
been authorized and LSD as medicine has re-emerged.”
organization that has been at the forefront of driving the new wave of
research is the California-based Multidisciplinary Association for
Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in Santa Cruz. MAPS receives mostly private funding from large and small donors to support medical research into controlled substances.
Burge, director of strategic communications at MAPS, said that the
organization had raised nearly $30 million for further research to build
on a Phase II LSD study which, he said, found positive indications that
the drug can successfully treat anxiety.
MAPS funded the Swiss
psychiatrist Peter Gasser to conduct the Phase II study, which was
published in 2014 and was the first controlled study of LSD in more than
“We kind of brought it full circle, back there (to Switzerland),” Burge said.
said that in the early years following Hofmann’s discovery, Sandoz had
sent out batches of LSD to any interested researcher, hoping someone
would define a clear, marketable purpose for the drug.
“It was 1950s crowd-sourcing,” Burge said.
1970, the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon listed LSD as a
Schedule 1 narcotic, a classification given to drugs that Washington
considers highly dangerous with no medical benefit.
others have argued that the decision was more about politics than public
health; Nixon was interested in cracking down on various groups with
which LSD had — accurately or not — become linked, including hippies and
opponents of the Vietnam War.
But the effect of the Schedule 1
designation was to bring serious research on LSD to a halt, both in the
United States and among foreign laboratories worried about American
reprisals, Burge said.
Mangold said the LSD research landscape was
effectively dormant for nearly four decades and only began to change
following a 2006 conference in the Swiss city of Basel to mark Hofmann’s
Scientists from numerous countries left the Basel
symposium resolved to pursue new research and asked their regulatory
authorities for permission to work with LSD.
Burge said that a key
finding of the Phase II MAPS trial was that none of the 12 patients who
participated had adverse reactions.
Given the risks of taking a
powerful psychotropic in an unsupervised context, proving that LSD could
be safely administered by medical professionals was essential to
advancing further research, he said.
In the study, Gasser focused
on patients diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, who participated
in LSD-assisted psychotherapy during which they were guided in
confronting anxieties and painful experiences while under the influence.
qualitative results of the study showed participants experienced a
reduction in anxiety, but found that further research was needed to
define model medical uses for LSD.
“It’s still early, but it is now conceivable that LSD could make a comeback as a (therapeutic) drug,” Mangold said.
The Ground Self-Defense Force's amphibious troop unit conducts its first joint exercise in Japan with U.S. Marines on Sunday on the island of Tanegashima in Kagoshima Prefecture, as part of joint training for operations to retake control of an enemy-held remote island. | KYODO GSDF amphibious unit, U.S. Marines hold first drill in Japan to retake remote islands
KAGOSHIMA – The Ground
Self-Defense Force’s amphibious troop unit conducted its first joint
exercise in Japan with U.S. Marines on Sunday in Kagoshima Prefecture,
part of training for operations to retake control of enemy-held remote
The drill, held on the island of Tanegashima, was aimed
at strengthening coordination between the allies amid China’s growing
maritime assertiveness around the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands
in the East China Sea. The islands are also claimed by China, where they
are known as the Diaoyu.
At around 6 a.m., five boats carrying members of the
GSDF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade left the transport ship Osumi
off Tanegashima and landed on the island. The drill was open to the
Japanese and U.S. forces also conducted training to regain
control of an enemy-held airport on the island, with GSDF and U.S.
military personnel deploying from an SDF CH-47 helicopter.
The members, carrying unloaded rifles, acted out an engagement with an assumed enemy.
exercise, involving around 220 GSDF members and 10 U.S. Marines, was
the first amphibious drill conducted in Japan and follows one in Hawaii
this summer. The joint drill is scheduled to run through Friday.
improved our ability to conduct amphibious missions and the exercise
was satisfying,” Maj. Keisuke Komatsu, who commanded the Japanese
amphibious unit that conducted the drill at the airport, said in a
Speaking to reporters, Col. Mark Clingan, assistant
division commander of the 3rd Marine Division, expressed hopes of
deepening coordination with the Japanese amphibious unit.
SDF’s amphibious brigade started off with about 2,100 members and is
stationed at the GSDF Camp Ainoura in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture.
a recent thaw in Sino-Japanese relations, the two countries remain at
odds over the Senkakus, with China routinely sending government vessels
into the vicinity of the islets.
An IP proof of concept by the creators of True Skin and Pastel
Written and Directed by: Stephan Zlotescu (email@example.com)
Cinematographer: H1 (info@H1FILMS.com)
Produced by: Stephan Zlotescu, H1, Vlad Caprini, Steve Tzirlin
Associate Producers: Mihai & Adrian Pircalabu, Omar A. Said
Executive Producer: Patrick Jean
Music: Out Alive - by J-Punch and Dave Moonshine - j-punch.bandcamp.com/album/product-wars-short-film-soundtrack (mini series being developed by Blackpills) Production Companies:
Opticflavor VFX Studio