Kashiba, Nara -- The mummified corpse of an old man has been found in the home he had shared with his wife, a member of a cult that believes in reincarnation, police said Tuesday.
The wife, whose name has not been disclosed, had made no efforts to conceal the body, which she told investigators she believed would return to life.
"Dead people can always return to life," she told the police, quoting one of the tenets of the religion she follows.
Police said a fire broke out Monday night at the Kashiba home where the 72-year-old woman lives with her 36-year-old daughter.
Firefighters quickly quenched the blaze, but found the badly decomposed body of the woman's 73-year-old husband ceremoniously laid out in a tatami-mat room near the entrance to the home. He had been dead for at least one month and there were no external signs of injury.
Police continue to question the woman.