|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
In-laws open dark closet to find mysterious mom's baby corpses 2006,01,10
Shukan Shincho 1/5-12 By Ryann Connell
I s'pose I must have just been built to have kids," Toshimi Yamamoto tells Shukan Shincho (1/5-12).
Yamamoto, a 49-year-old housewife from Wakayama, certainly had few problems churning out children, giving birth to at least six.
It was keeping the kids where she had trouble, and Yamamoto now stands accused of having left at least five of her offspring for dead.
Yamamoto's alleged neglect was only discovered by accident last month when her in-laws were cleaning up her Wakayama apartment and alerted the police to a find of what they thought was a child's body.
"Yamamoto, her husband and their 8-year-old son had lived in the apartment.
When the three of them were living together, she used her husband's surname of Yamada.
But her husband died in a car accident on Nov. 25 and she went back to calling herself Yamamoto," a reporter for a national daily tells Shukan Shincho.
"Yamamoto had a habit of suddenly vanishing.
Nobody knew where she'd been since the spring.
Her in-laws found the body when they went to clean up the apartment after her husband's death."
As it turned out, the gruesome find the in-laws had made in Yamamoto's flat turned out to be bodies, rather than a body.
Three, in fact, all belonging to infant babies whose badly decomposed corpses had been shoved into a plastic container stuffed into a closet.
None of the three children had lived longer than a few months.
Four days after the ghastly discovery, Yamamoto was picked up in an Osaka flophouse area.
Confronted with the accusation of killing her kids, all she could say was, "Ah, yeah.
Sorry 'bout that," according to the weekly.
Yamamoto's husband died age 40.
He was a builder's laborer.
They lived with their son in the two bedroom apartment that set them back just 40,000 yen a month.
"I never really knew what she did, because I never really saw her much," a neighbor of the area says.
"She was only about 150 centimeters tall, but pretty podgy, which made her look like a typical middle-aged woman.
Her husband used to get into his laborer's gear and head off to work every morning.
I never saw the boy go to school even once."
He did, in fact, attend classes, but extremely infrequently.
Every time Yamamoto went on one of her regular walkabouts -- there were times when she disappeared for a year or more -- she took the boy with her.
Every time the boy's worried homeroom teacher went to the Yamamoto apartment to inquire about his whereabouts, the father was unable to give an adequate response as he didn't know either.
Yamamoto, however, had more shocks in store.
While being questioned following her arrest, she revealed that she had also secreted away the bodies of another three of her children who had died.
Following her directions, they raided her ex-husband's home and unearthed the skeletal remains of another child.
The bodies of the other two kids are still unaccounted for.
A woman who knew Yamamoto shortly after she became a teenage bride recalls the turbulent marriage she had then.
"She had two boys and two girls, having them one after another.
We had kids the same age, but she never turned up to school events like sports days,
What I do remember about her, though, is that she was pretty short and had this whopping bust," the housewife tells Shukan Shincho, adding that Yamamoto's problems began after the birth of her fifth child.
"It looks like it wasn't her husband's kid.
Everybody had been talking about how the kid bore absolutely no resemblance to her husband."
Whether it was because of infidelity or some other reason, Yamamoto's marriage broke down around that time.
Her second husband was the man who died in the Nov. 25 crash.
She has admitted to the police that she did away with her children, the weekly says.
Her motive was simple.
"I had all these debts," Shukan Shincho quotes the murderous mother as saying.
"And I didn't think I'd be able to bring the kids up properly."
(By Ryann Connell)
（Mainichi Japan） January 10, 2006