Japan Today

Man stabs 5 people to death in 2 houses on Awaji


A 40-year-old unemployed man fatally stabbed five people at two houses on a farmstead in the city of Sumoto on Awaji island, Hyogo Prefecture, on Monday morning.

The alarm was raised by a 32-year-old woman who rang police to say her parents had been stabbed at around 7 a.m. Police found the bloodied bodies of a man and a woman, both aged around 80 years, in the main house on the site.

Two unconscious women, aged around 60 and 80 were discovered in another building, while a badly-injured man in his 60s was found outside. All three were rushed to hospital where they were later confirmed dead.

Japanese media identified the suspect as Tatsuhiko Hirano. He was apprehended near one of the houses, with his clothes covered in blood.

Hirano, who lives in the neighborhood with his father and grandmother, was quoted by police as saying he will not say anything until he speaks with a lawyer.

Locals told Jiji Press that he rarely leaves his home and has largely been isolated from society since his school days.

A Twitter account that appeared to be run by the suspect had been used over the past month.

Tweets included one with the address of the homicides and a map of the scene. Other tweets appeared to be about telepathy and stalking.

Media descended on the usually quiet island, with helicopters hovering over the farmstead where the five were slain.

Sumoto has a population of about 44,000.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I´ll be first among the armchair detectives: Family feud.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Cases like these could have been prevented if only parents or members of the family seek professional/psychological help for their "sick" loved ones.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This multi-murder is right up there with that loon that cut loose in Akihabara a few years ago, but I haven't seen a similar media outrage over it. I'm wondering what the motive and connection between the victims is. Is it a family murder? Was someone feeding stray cats? Or, did this loon just wake up in the morning and decided he wanted to kill someone? All these are familiar scenarios in Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I found the suspect's social media accounts. He's an anti-Semite loon who thinks the Japanese government is conspiring with the US and Israel to control people with electromagnetic waves. The victims might be family members. A day or so ago, he posted google maps satellite images of the same house on a terraced farm.

Second BoyNextDoor's call for greater access to/faith in psychiatric help for people like this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wow, this story really brought out the extremism with soon to be deleted comment(s).

I always thought that the people whose only posts on JT are to advocate guns in response to murder stories have some sort of financial interest in the world's third largest economy allowing handgun sales. You can almost hear these salivating Jabba the Hut types all the way across the Pacific. The strategy of trying to change Japan's gun laws by appealing to the 1% nonvoting foreigner population is never going to work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

details are slowly coming out, but once again.....someone who was mushoku!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder how many walking time bombs like this man move among us every day. Everytime I read a story like this, I become much more attentive to people around me when I am out and about. That's why I never listen to music or use a smartphone when I am walking along or waiting on a train platform.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan Times calls him a hikikomori (social recluse), reporting that Hirano lives with his father and grandmother, and "has largely been isolated from society since his school days." History of hospitalization is not reflected in their article.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This guy needed regular help, but seems he was hiding away indoors (or the family hiding him away) because it's simpler in this society than trying to get help for mental illness. And of course, he popped, as a growing number of hikkikomori are doing. RIP to the victims. Lock this guy up -- if not in prison, then an asylum -- for the rest of his life, and let's start trying to get help for people BEFORE they resort to this kind of thing.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ugh, Awaji Island! I am not surprised. I visited a few times because one of my students owned a holiday home there. Nice place, but outside of the bessouchi, full of disgusting inbred rednecks (who kept following me around in the local supermarket). This particular nutter sounds like he was kept under lock and key by his family. Typical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The best way to live life is in a joined family system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Classic paranoid schizophrenic

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Blood is pretty thick with some island dwellers here in Japan and families like to keep their problems to themselves, while everyone in the neighborhood KNOWS that this or that person is a "bit-off".

Sadly there is no way to forcibly put people like this into treatment unless they have committed a crime or self-inflicted injury.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It appears that so many Japanese people have become so dissatisfied, that they too would like to kill or die to be free

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a warped society. This guy never got out, mingled, happily employed, dated etc . . .what a waste of life-

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There's this old and sad saying of the rooster coming home to roost. In other words what goes around comes around. For so many years many japanese families had trie to hide the shame of ones family. In past years this was accomplished through a complete family system. Japan like most modern and economically control countries had or losing that solid family foundation. Now as family tries to hide their problem away vice seeking professional health some one dies. More and more people here must realize that a family member with mental issues no longer reflect negative sterotype feelings.Its a known fact this in this ever pressing fast world, we all got issues in one way or the other. I can only say please if you do love someone with mental issues, then let it be tough love and get them the help they needs. May the 5 RIP knowing that there are those that did not know you but feel the pain of your deaths.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

was quoted by police as saying he will not say anything until he speaks with a lawyer.

No lawyer is going to be able to save you from this one buddy...you're a dead man walking

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They said on the news last night that the family knew he needed hospitalization, they had tried to get him a place after his last discharge, but were unsuccessful. They had a standing agreement with their neighbors that if any of them saw him outside, they were to call 110, no questions asked. He must have got out in the middle of the night, because when he stabbed the last people at 7 am, the people he killed earlier were in the early stages of rigor mortis.

His parents needed a lot more help than they got.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As long as the government keep marginalizing mental health care this will keep happening from time to time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Weird - like a Japanese horror movie. And, not to make light of this but Hirano, who lives in the neighborhood with his father and grandmother, was quoted by police as saying he will not say anything until he speaks with a lawyer.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, the murder case has been crowding Japanese television news programs within the last few days. Although the truth still remains to be seen, stabbing 5 people to death is graphically telling how the suspect was bursting a blood vessel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wakarimasen - you should never say anything to the police after been arrested without your lawyer being present. He's not so crazy not to understand this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

you should never say anything to the police after been arrested without your lawyer being present.

Having a lawyer present during questioning is not a right that suspects have in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Did anyone ever give thought to the nine times that this poor people went to the police for help after the killer posted hate mail on his twitter account? The cops didn't do anything to stop this loose cannon. They thought it enough only to patrol the area even thought there was a obvious case of danger to these people. What do the police think now?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What would you have had them do differently? He hadn't done any crime for which to be arrested.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How sad.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So sad,40 yrs old (maybe due to depression) simply snapped and go on rampage. RIP the deceased...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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