crime

3 people dead, 1 injured after knife, sword attack at Tokyo shrine

68 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

68 Comments
Login to comment

Maybe I'm just sleepy, but I had to read that three times before I understood it.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

The shrine is called Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine. But I did not know the shrine is owned and inherited by the Tomioka family. The shrine, one of the largest shrines in Tokyo, is a family business. Actually, many small shrines and Buddhist temples all over Japan are family inherited businesses. They are financially responsible for their shrines and temples. Also, small christian churches in Japan are owned and inherited by families. What about the situation in America? Please let me know.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

So a man and his girlfriend stabbed the man's sister. Then the sister stabbed them back. The man ended up killing his sister, then his girlfriend, then himself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sounds a little chaotic with murder and suicide as well as a family feud in the mix.

Also, carrying a samurai sword and slashing a priest?

Right wing, yakuza, Shinto priests?

Sounds like fiction....

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Chicanoinjapan

No, the man killed his girl friend and himself after killing his sister. The driver was slashed by the girl friend.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Not sure where the confusion is? The brother and his gf ambushed and killed the sister, the gf chased the driver and injured him, the brother then killed his gf and then himself.

Quite the psychotic couple and glad they are gone. Poor sister

6 ( +9 / -3 )

No, the man killed his girl friend and himself after killing his sister. The driver was slashed by the girl friend.

So the man and the driver are the same person, correct?

I'm confused because in the beginning of the story it says that both the man and his girlfriend ambushed the sister. After attacking the sister why would the girlfriend turn on her boyfriend? The only logical reasoning is that the man and girlfriend made a pact to kill each other after having killed the sister.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

It appears that there was some kind of family feud between Shigenega and Nagako

haha ya think?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Also, carrying a samurai sword and slashing a priest?

When they say katana in the news I always assume its like an 80 cm katana but apparently, those small knifes (30 cm blade) also fall in the category katana.

I wonder what the feud was about.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No, the driver is a chauffeur of the chief priest sister Nagako. The girl friend of the man (Shigenaga) chased the chauffeur with a sword and slashed. According to Japanese TV, the man inherited the shrine as a first son only for one year. He was a troublemaker and he was dismissed and Nagako inherited the shrine. The man's son was also dismissed and the man came to hold a grudge against his sister.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Crazy evil man and accomplice!

It’s like something out of a movie, with the sword murder and double suicide.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nutters.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Sounds like a fight over money! I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the brother and his sugar baby wanted a piece of his family's tax free money. The older sibling said no probably because he doesn't really do anything to deserve it.

I suspect that the girlfriend didn't know of the man's plan to kill her. She was probably just as surprised as the older sister.

Does this mean that the man's dismissed son will inherit the shrine again?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I wish we could use GIFs here so I could better explain the confusion of this situation. I had to read this over to wrap my mind around it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sounds like a fight over money! I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the brother and his sugar baby wanted a piece of his family's tax free money. The older sibling said no probably because he doesn't really do anything to deserve it.

With an imagination like yours, so needs facts?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A family feud that escalated to its inevitable outcome. These people are not evil (evil is just a concept) they just simply diverged away from their humanity. There are factors that lead to such situations and family can often be a tinderbox.

The loss of life was unecessary and regrettable. I'm sure more details will come to light.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

i wonder if the gf knew that the bf was going to kill her, too. but what a bizarre pair. this really does sound like a quentin tarintino movie with the samurai sword. who uses that to kill nowadays?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yes, it is all money. If the shrine is a small one, there was not a trouble. Today, many small shrines and temples all over Japan have succession problems. Their children do not inherit the shrines and temples due to financial problems. Decreases of population - decreases of believers are causing problems to maintain the shrines and temples.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

wow, thats not what i expected to read first thing in the morning!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't believe this geezer was dating someone in her 30s.

And why did they go after the driver? He had nothing to do with the family spat. Leave the driver alone!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Thank you for the clarification Schopenhauer.

Also, it seems that new information was added later to this article. So it's a lot more clearer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hard to find the exact lengths of the survival knives and the 'katana' blade, but the latter is being reported at 30 cm, which puts right it on the dividing line of 1 shaku, making it a long tanto or a short wakizashi. I guess the use of the all-inclusive word katana is to distinguish it from the other blades which do not fall under the swords and firearms registry laws.

Certainly a dramatic incident and worthy of a movie script, but I am surprised that the younger brother was able to influence this woman not only to join him in this pact, but to run after the chauffeur and cut him down like that, and then come back and allow herself to be stabbed to death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Evil, evil people.

Some people are simply born evil.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Schopenhauer

No, the driver is a chauffeur of the chief priest sister Nagako. The girl friend of the man (Shigenaga) chased the chauffeur with a sword and slashed. According to Japanese TV, the man inherited the shrine as a first son only for one year. He was a troublemaker and he was dismissed and Nagako inherited the shrine. The man's son was also dismissed and the man came to hold a grudge against his sister.

If this could have been in the article, it would have been clear.

I wonder if he held a grudge against those who dismissed him and his son. The sister might have been asked to refuse or some request but did not comply.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Certainly a dramatic incident and worthy of a movie script

for mouthbreathers who will literally watch anything put before them, yes

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I have several knives some advertised on this site, a reverence to skill, but never described as a katana. I know the 30cm rule. These people were obviously a tad angry and a tad bat crap crazy. Can't stop them as they feed off each other, if you have encouragement then all actions are ok, if you're Sane never ever is stabbing a human OK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cricky, remember the words Kogatana and Chiisagatana? Any blade of this shape 刀, long or short, has been called a katana for over a thousand years, even a Tachi 太刀, so they are correct in the larger sense.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe I am dumb, but even after reading the article several times, I only see it mentions one woman being killed. Who is the other one?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can only hope that the girlfriend didn't go quickly and was left to suffer and really understand the consequences of her actions. Total scum.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Sounds like a twisted samurai horror movie!!

have to re-read this a few more times!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The boyfriend killed his gf, then himself.

Ritual suicide.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is my Japanese family's local shrine. We take part in the big summer mikoshi matsuri and where we go for hatsumode. If you had any idea how many people attend over New Year, buying New Year goods plus all the yatai owners paying rent (loads of yatai), along with other matsuri throughout the year, then you can imagine how much revenue is involved.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I thought all Samurai swords were illegal in Japan? I guess there are some still lying around in attics and crawl spaces?

What a tragic story. I as well had to read the story here on J.T. and in Japanese media to get my head around it. Just Bizzaro.

As I was reading I wonder if he followed the Japanese Sepukku tradition and all ceremonial stuff?

Unreal. 2017 in Japan has been wracked with all out mind blowing and baffling crimes. I hope 2018 will

will be a better year for the Japanese people. Still shaking my head in disbelief.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beautiful Shrine used to walk past it when our head office was located close by.

Their 2 portable shrines on display are worth a visit.

This Shrine and Zen Bhuddist Temple next door get way busy over New Year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Swords are legal in Japan but have to be registered with the Police and usually can't be taken from the property.

Myself own a few Jian, etc which I use for my CMA training, everytime I go to train I take the weapons and registration cards along.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

WilliB, the two women mentioned in the first line were the guy’s older sister, (the principal target, ie the priestess who had taken over from him), and then the central perp’s g/f in a sort of energetically assisted suicide.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also, small christian churches in Japan are owned and inherited by families. What about the situation in America? Please let me know.

It's my understanding that most Catholic churches are owned by the diocese and that the Roman Catholic Church is among the top five landowners in the world, and near or at the top in the USA.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

May all their souls RIP. I will pray for them over Christmas/New Year

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The facts they are changin'. 80 cm? Did the blade break from the force of the attack?

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/nnn?a=20171208-00000021-nnn-soci

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These people had a chauffeur? HAH, rich people problems. Why would the driver even get out of the car? Some nut is running around with a sword, you step on the gas and get out of there real quick!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

From the BBC

According to local media, the murders were sparked by a longstanding succession feud between the priestess and her brother, named as Shigenaga Tomioka.

Mr Tomioka had himself been chief priest of the shrine having taken over from his father in the 1990s, Jiji news agency reported. However, he was sacked in 2001 and their father returned to the position as main priest, installing his daughter Nagako Tomioka as the second-ranked in the shrine.

During those years, the suspect is said to have sent threatening letters to his sister and was arrested in 2006.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Nobody is born evil. What happened here seems to be a culmination of several factors; including familial discord and readily available weapons.

There's also the unverified posibility of money issues, jealousy and who knows, maybe even alcohol.

It's an all too familiar scenario played out all over the world, just with differing locations and inhabitants.

A tragedy in that it encapsulates the human condition when pushed to the extreme.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

wait...I like the twist at the last part.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nobody is born evil.

A tragedy in that it encapsulates the human condition when pushed to the extreme.

Unfortunately your philosophy stumbles at the part where he turns on his own accomplice/ partner and murders her too despite the fact that she assisted him with his crime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ok, so now who will inherit this great money-spinning shrine?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Civitas, the damage done is considerable. There won't be many worshippers wanting to pray at such a shrine for their future fortune and good health. I heard that he killed himself inside the shrine, ending the story by passing bad luck to the shrine itself. It will be interesting to see how many turn out this New Year but I wouldnt want to pray there. The future of such a large historic shrine will depend on the land and building owning rights.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Perhaps no-one is born 'evil', but a percentage of the population seems to struggle against recurring murderous urges within them; some fail to control these, and some even entertain or nurture such urges.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately your philosophy stumbles at the part where he turns on his own accomplice/ partner and murders her too despite the fact that she assisted him with his crime.

The idea of "good" and "evil" is a philosophical one. It has no basis in science.

If it boils down to semantics - one could describe their actions as criminal and murderous.

I'm not trying to lessen the impact of this tragedy. Just opining aloud the juxtaposition of religious philosophy (the shrine and its unfortunate attendents) with so-called "moral" philosophy (the criminals and the crimes committed).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Toasted, I agree with your thinking. But when this guy murders his own accomplice girlfriend then one tends towards the thinking that evil was present for some time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You know, if the society cared more about other's well-being, priestess brother would have been locked up in 2006 and this insanity would have been avoided, hopefully. But even today police does not take those threats seriously. Wake up call, Japanese retards are not your prank and go retards found worldwide. There is sick Pride inside them slowly turning threats into reality.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is probably one of the strangest crime stories I've read on JT... bizarre.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if the society cared more about other's well-being, priestess brother would have been locked up in 2006 and this insanity would have been avoided

2006 was 11 years ago. You feel that his actions justified him for being locked up for 11 years? Life?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Love reading the Crime section in Japanese newspapers if it wasn't so serious its amusing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah I do. Both that imbecile and his sister would have been alive, and this disgusting stain on the history of humanity would have not happened. I'd himself spoon feed him in prison if only it meant he possessed no threat to the society. At least for 11 years. Hopefully, for life.

Police better start taking threats seriously. People are dying.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Good thing I mixed grammar up. Should be fed by the automations soon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Both that imbecile and his sister would have been alive, and this disgusting stain on the history of humanity would have not happened. 

So you’ve never made a threat? Or you’re ok with the fact that you should be locked up for life for having made that threat?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well, mighty duh. Decent people make no threats. And I am not a follower of the thought pattern where having cattle litter your beautiful landscape with themselves is that greatest of virtue. Okay let me try to attempt to be less extreme... He should have had a thorough talk with police explaining to him, as if he was a disabled child, that this kind of behaviour is inexcusable in civilized society and next time he does that he goes deep under the prison floor. Also monitor his messages and dealings through digital era devices. Would have hinted he gone insane and converted a distraught single female.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Decent people make no threats.

What? I know plenty of decent people who make threats. Have you never been in a car with a decent person? People make threats all the time, and almost no one ever does anything about it, or follows it up.

If you lock up everyone who ever made a threat for life, we'd all be in jail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shigenaga and his wife are thought to have ambushed Nagako as she got out of a car in the grounds of the shrine in Tokyo's eastern ward of Koto.

It says 'his wife'. Why do the comments say 'his g/f?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Family, religion, blood, and money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Presto345, it only became clear later that they were married. The earlier press reports all called her a female acquaintance or companion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Greed and religion, the cause of most of the worlds grief!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Samurai sword should be ban in public in japan. Its a very dangerous sword. I thought Meiji restoration has banned the sword

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Samurai sword should be ban in public in japan. Its a very dangerous sword. I thought Meiji restoration has banned the sword

I believe it is, as is stabbing people to death.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Swords can and are legally owned in Japan, highly controlled though.

Non-sharp replicas are easy to buy, sharpened swords need police registration, etc, etc.

Besides registration the swords have to be kept in a certain manner which the police can inspect at random.

Carrying a sword or large knife is illegal, but they can be taken between residence and training place in a special carrier(registration attached).

Importing/exporting Swords is also strictly controlled.

There still many swords-smith in Saitama, etc who make swords for kenjutsu, iaijutsu, etc practitioners.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is all straightforward: murder-suicide after a long running feud over the control of a shrine. The only question I have is who gets the shrine now that all the main characters in this business are dead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites