Carpenter attacks neighbor with hatchet over noise


Police said Saturday they have arrested a 59-year-old man who attacked his neighbour with a hatchet due to a noise complaint in Mitaka on Thursday night.

According to NTV, the suspect, identified as Yoshihisa Sakamoto, is alleged to have attacked his 26-year-old neighbor after becoming enraged at noise coming from his apartment at around 10 p.m.

Police said that Sakamoto, who is a carpenter by trade, climbed onto his neighbor's balcony, smashed a window and entered the apartment where he cut the man's leg with a hatchet.

The victim sustained an injury which doctors say will take two weeks to heal. Police said the weapon had a 17-centimeter blade, NTV reported.

Sakamoto was quoted by police as saying that his neighbor was always noisy and that he couldn't take it anymore, NTV reported.

Police are investigating whether complaints or altercations between the two had taken place prior to the attack.

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We have the same solutions to this problem up here. Seems that normal communication before a crisis is difficult to manage.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Safety japan?? I don' think so. Love to see one of these nutters try it on with me, i'd hammer them down with speed.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Yeah, I hear the 'safety' mantra over and over here. Whilst I do think it's a lot safer as a woman walking around in the evening here, there does seem to be a lot more nutcase jobs roaming around and weird random violent acts. Always try to be prepared for the unexpected!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ms Aso; The best thing for ladies is to show strength and confidence in yourself. he cowards usually pick on those the see as weak. Japan is safe but a few simple techinques can help with confidenec and as a deterrent. All female members of my family have alarms they can use if they feel in danger.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I guess I am fortunate enough to live in an area where my nearest neighbours are sheep and foxes, but have also lived in towns and cities where on occasion I have had noisy neighbours. No fun when you have to get up at 5am and a stereo is going full blast until 2am. I do not condone the assailants extremely violent response to noisy neighbours and yet I do understand sleep deprevation and the consequences of it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I say bravo to this carpenter! He could not take the noise from this younger idiot, went bezerk, the loud idiot is lucky to be alive. I wonder if this fool will keep being noisy there in Mitaka etc..when everyone is alseep?? But the police in Mitaka to are to blame, they can not ride around on their little bicycles and HEAR that this fool is bothering his neighbors?? I had a similar incident in Hachioji, were most of the police are almost useless, only come and see what is happening after it is too late. Time for safety Japan to be more strict on idiot fools who make too much noise say after 10pm?? Some of the above comments are bizzare, nutter? The carpenter is a hard worker, must wake up early to go off to work, if you are a early bird and you have a loud neighbor, this will only drive anyone mad, I hope the police are lenient on this hard working old chap.

1 ( +7 / -5 )

there does seem to be a lot more nutcase jobs roaming around and weird random violent acts.

And how many scars have you got to show for it? Those who said Japan was "safe" were either misquoting or crazy, most likely misquoting. Japan is safer than most of our countries, that is the true and offical line, and no, "safer" does not necessarily mean "safe". Nor does a daily story of nut case violence 365 days of the year amount to a hill of beans in a country of 127,000,000. Anyone who thinks it would, has no clue of math or the exponentiality of number places.

In this case, I need more details. How loud was loud? Had complaints been communicated? There exist some people who deserve a hatchet to the leg. In fact, some people seem to be begging for it. But most are not like that to be sure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder how many times the fella was asked nicely to quiet down? on the Homefront ,My wife threw a pot of hot water out the window to get rid of the nimrods playing "Rap" out in the street-They Never came back! We're with the Carpenter ,that's for sure!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The carpenter did the right thing. I also feel sorry for all those people doing nightshifts who have to sleep during the day. People should be more considerate about making noise.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I'm glad the victim's wife and child escaped in time from the entrance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I once tried to talk to a neighbour above me who played loud music and electric guitar at THREE IN THE MORNING (never mind 10 p.m.). When I knocked on his door he turned the volume up louder and began to pound on the floor. I then took it to the next level and asked the superintendent to talk to him and instead she suggested I move into another apartment (meaning I would have to change my address, get everything cancelled and reinstalled, go to the local city office and have everything changed, etc.), and when I mentioned that perhaps I should call the police she just laughed (I didn't know at the time the police do nothing about this kind of thing). Occasionally I saw the guy -- a lanky kid in this 20s -- and tried to approach him and he ran away, one time kicking a hole in my front door later (okay, a dent). Fortunately he moved a few weeks later (as a side note, the land-lady was dragged to his apartment later and was shocked by the holes in the wall, how dirty it was, etc., and she had to redo the whole place.

Point is, you really have to be careful in this country when you try to confront someone, be it a neighbour about noise or someone smoking in a non-smoking area. They tend to snap and go insane, unable to see that MURDERING someone is not the answer to a mere questioning of their behaviour. In this case we have the opposite--a man who snapped because of the noise from another person, but the warning still holds true. It seems there is no first step to approaching a neighbour and asking them to do something to avoid bother others, and there's no second or third step (asking others to step in and help is not an option). Hence you have the usual 'gaman-until-snap' scenario.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I guess calling in noise complaints to the cops over the phone wasn't getting the job done quick enough?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ski mask, gloves and throw away shoes would have done the carpenter better.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )


Fortunately he moved a few weeks later (as a side note, the land-lady was dragged to his apartment later and was shocked by the holes in the wall, how dirty it was, etc.,

You mean he wasn't required to show the state of the apt to the landlady BEFORE leaving? I and my foreign colleagues have all had to show the landlords the apt before handing back the keys. Or does this not apply to Japanese tenants?

and she had to redo the whole place.

Same here, but the difference was that I left my apt spotless.Many landlords will rip you off, no matter how much they smile at you.

I was fairly lucky in my last apt where I spent several years surrounded by empty apts, although one guy two floors down once decided to play guitar and scream like a cat at 2am. Two of my foreign colleagues have had separate nasty incidents with neighbors below claiming that footsteps coming from their babies were loud. These scum were verbally abusive and very shady people. If anything, these are the people which landlords should refuse to take in. But instead, it's the usual 'gaijin dame' BS.

Elbuda is right, for once. I also blame the police for not doing squat about this. Whether it's these noisy neighbors, noisy rightwing demonstrators or noisy motorcycle riders. Absolutely useless and lazy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

l always ask my students if they know their neighbor's names and only one out of ten would say yes, and usually only cos they read it on their mail box. Japan is a nation of 130 million strangers, 30% of which have some sort of mental or emotional disorder. It is wise to meet your neighbors just to be sure you are not living next to a psycho like this loon.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Wow, it's ok with some of you to take a hatchet to your neighbor? I have no idea what went on here but I can't condone that sort of behavior. Give him a good thrashing with your hands if you have to.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

30% of which have some sort of mental or emotional disorder.

I hope this poster is harshly warned. I wish people with mental and emotional disorders could be prevented from posting so I don't have to read that sort of bold faced lie.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I guess calling in noise complaints to the cops over the phone wasn't getting the job done quick enough?

It works if you are gaijin and your neighbors are Japanese. I have seen many complaints from my work where Japanese have called the police on loud American neighbors. Some at night when it should be done, but I have seen a few where the Americans were in the yard cooking out during the daytime and the Japanese neighbors called the police.

I have been in Japan a long time, and it still amazes me at how sometimes doing the most simple thing can be the hardest thing to do. I can't tell from this article if the carpenter had ever asked the guy to keep the noise down, but just based on what I have seen from my time in Japan, I doubt that he has ever spoken to him to say hello let along ask him to keep the noise down.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pukey: "You mean he wasn't required to show the state of the apt to the landlady BEFORE leaving? I and my foreign colleagues have all had to show the landlords the apt before handing back the keys. Or does this not apply to Japanese tenants?"

Actually, he DID give the keys to the superintendent before leaving, and she scolded him on the state of the place (I was home and heard it, and felt a mild kind of retribution), but it was later that the actual landlady came and checked the place out and was utterly shocked.

As for the police, which I touched on in my comment, they wouldn't do a thing until a crime was committed, and will often even pursue other charges against you instead of looking into what you claim, if nothing else than to let them off the hook and do nothing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Safety japan?? I don' think so. You're right

Love to see one of these nutters try it on with me, i'd hammer them down with speed. (well it depends on what place you live in before I lived in Bunkyo-ku, and the police there have the "you know what I mean mindset" I leave it that so I wont get censored.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can appreciate how this guy came to snap. Having been in a similar situation (or so it sounds) with noisy neighbours keeping up enough noise to deprive me of proper sleep for entire work weeks, repeatedly. In my adult life, few things have made me so angry or put more violent fantasies into my head.

I don't doubt the carpenter was failed by the options available to him, and repeatedly. The neighbours I got stuck with, usually college kids, would make all sorts of apologetic and accommodating noises, but when night came and alcohol was added, it was back to the old routine.

I am with you on the bliss of a quiet house, zichi. Bliss, indeed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It all depends where u live in Japan. The complete opposite of above posters has happened. Once a year, the police come to say im being a bit loud when havn a party. So many in my neighborhood know my dogs name. I also get the friendly ohayos.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can buy fairly comfortable ear muffs to prevent from having a neighbor drive you crazy. At your own risk you can turn your own music up very loud when you know he is trying to sleep. Don't forget to aim the speakers in his direction!

Ah, I remember the days! I have a house now and its fairly quiet. Just one neighbor who is close, and while their little boy was noisy, he has calmed down. And there was a bozoku who used to rev his engine down my road. But one night I waited for him, turned the car lights on just as he was passing and got right behind him. I did not make it seem like I was chasing him. He is probably wondering if it was coincidence or not. But I have not seen him or heard him nearby since.

But anyway, you got to think of something short of putting a hatchet to people, that is for sure!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think the guy who got attacked should be thankful the carpenter is apparently a bad aim. I mean, he chopped his leg with a 17cm blade hatchet and it'll heal in 2 weeks? He's lucky he didn't suffer any more damage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When I pass neighbors in my area we all greet each other, and often have some small talk. I know them all by name.

Ha! I bet you dont live in Tokyo! Am I right??!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nicky- exactly. please tokyoites and JT readers and writers, remember, tokyo is not the epitome of japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I became more conscious of my TV sound since I read this news. I'll never know who's going to slash my

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I had some friendly neighbours and some not so friendly neighbours in my time in Japan, but mostly friendly. What I don't understand, is that if there is a problem, why not get all of the friendly neighbours together and go do some J-style group ijime on the freaks? Luckily, I never had any problems with the folks I lived with, with the exception of some arse yelling "I will kill you" from his window while me and some friends were having a BBQ outside. It was a little before midnight, so I took the hint and we packed it up. Still, a friendly "Can you keep it down" would have been nice. I hope he wouldn't have come at me with an axe, not for the few occasions when we were loud. I imagine the carpenter here had more of a problem with the noisy clown. If it happened only once, and he snapped like this, then that is an issue. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Go Hatchet Man!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can understand being upset with noise, but whatever happened to giving the person a chance by asking him/her to keep the noise down? If they ignore you, or whatever, then involve the police. If, as one poster says, they won't respond to noise complaints, (a bit strange in my opinion) then you could claim that you heard a woman screaming or something.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are a few issues here.

First is split schedules. I work at home in the morning and from 2PM to 8PM at the office. Needless to say, I keep later hours. My next-door neighbor works at an izakaya. I almost never see him. The oldsters downstairs wake up with the sun and come back pleasantly drunk by 6PM. Under those circumstances, what seems like a reasonable hour to one person can seem unreasonable to another. After 10PM I use headphones. That seems reasonable to me.

The second problem is shoddy construction. Self-explanatory.

The third problem is unrealistic expectations. My building posts warnings against after-hours showers. This is a reinforced concrete manshon with heavy steel doors. I'm considerate of noise after 10PM, but if the sound of someone's shower going is enough to set you off, it's your problem, not the showerers'.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Notthesame - so I don't have to read that sort of bold faced lie.

It is not a lie! The report was released last year stating that 27% of Japanese adults a mental or emotional disorder.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

don't save face... face reality:


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry fellas, I take my opinion back, I just saw this morning on Japanese TV that the apartment where these people live is one of those typical, crappy wooden Japanese apartments, you blow a fart and the whole building will here it type of apartment, they interviewed the so called victims, young families with very small babies, scary, scary, they showed one young father who had his hands cut up by the crazy carpenter, but what I want to say is that Japanese wooden apartments are HELL ON EARTH! Sure, they may not kill you in an earthquake, great, but the NOISE, just people walking around above you will drive you crazy, and as for smith in japan, you are wrong. Here in Tokyo I had a stupid, idiot carpenter type young scum bag neighbor throwing parties 3 or 4 times a week with his buddies from his crappy construction job or what ever, I wanted well, to kill this this guy but my wife talked me into calling the cops, got this guy at 2 am with all of his drunken friends, the idiot went outside to try and fight, when he realized that there were about 10 young police men, ready to smash his brains in, he some decided to back down, the police shut down his loud party, made all the looser friends go home, NOT IN THEIR CARS but using that service where if you are drunk another guy drives your car for you, and that was the last time that looser tried to have his stupid parties in our neighborhood, and peace and tranquility came back and that looser could not take the quiet?? He moved the hell out, so if you have an idiot neighbor, too loud, beating his wife and kids etc.. CALL THE POLICE, let the police take care of it, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CALL THE JAPANESE POLICE, if you can not speak Japanese get a friend etc..who is Japanese and this will help you cut threw all the BS, IMHO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My building posts warnings against after-hours showers.

Don't you have walls to separate the rooms in your building?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I fear that Sakamoto-san has been severely misunderstood. Hasn't anyone heard the expression "bury the hatchet?" On the other hand, he probalby shouldn't have tried to bury it along with his neighbour.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hate noisy neighbors and call the cops. But they do nothing about it. Barking dogs are the worse when I am working at home.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Most cops(worldwide) won't do anything besides asking them to turn it down, further complaints they start acting.

Best is call the cops and at same time call the landlord and report your actions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Carpenter attacks neighbor with hatchet over noise

I first thought the subjects of the story were backwards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is a bit of an issue in a few places I have lived at, everyone lives very close here in tokyo but mostly people are quite courteous I would say, which is partly why it can seem a bit cold sometimes.. every just keeps to their own business, because you could see and hear most of the things your neighbours do if you wanted.

I have twice approached people about noise here in Tokyo, once by letter to everyone by letter in the apartment block regarding someone playing Justin Timberlake "Im bringing sexy back" loudly every morning at 4am (wake up song maybe) and one other time when the girl next door was doing her washing at about 3am. Both times they stopped immediately and have been fairly noise free thankfully.

The other one that wasn't so nice was when the GF and I decided we couldn't sit in silence any longer when the grumpy old guy next door had just finished verbally abusing his wife and daughter for hours on end for the 3rd night in a row, called the police.. they came over and actually said thanks for calling.. they knew the guy and he was trouble.

Anyway.. yeah noise can drive you quite literally crazy, but there are many many course of action before resorting to violence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it just remind me of my neighbour, but in contrast i was in opposite side

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JapanGal : Barking dogs are the worse

and that's because most dogs are kept OUTSIDE the houses in Japan. I was the only one - apart from a would-be intruder - to hear my dog barking at 3am... Had the dog been outside, he might have been offered a poison-laced tidbit and I might no longer be around... People should keep their dogs inside, it's safer for all...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Elbuda Mexicano, yes I agree with you. Call the police and not get yourself into hot water, injured or dead. The police can take care of the loud/annoying neighbor. About dogs they are of no help. The perps can silence them forever quickly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If his neighbor did it on purpose I understand why he wanted to chop him with an axe however he was merciful and only cut a leg off. I think he watched too much Saw

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If I had a hatchet I'd swing it in the morning I'd swing it in the evening All over this town . . . . . .

I need my sleep!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Had enough of living in apartments so like zichi I found a house with no visible or audible neighbours. Peace at last!

So many problems before, and hours and hours of thinking what I'd like to do to the neighbour(s) or Bosozoku.

The mad axeman carpenter could have left a brick outside their front door with a note attached: "Keep this up and the next brick comes through your window."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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