Police in Kumamoto city said they have arrested three people for forcing a woman to drink excessive amounts of water in order to exorcise demons from her. The 51-year-old woman subsequently died.
According to police, the incident occurred on June 21. Fuji TV reported that police arrested Eiko Noda, 81, a self-styled exorcist, her sister Keiko Kitayama, 77, and the victim's husband, Kosai Fukuda, 52, who is an associate professor at Sojo University.
Police said that Noda led a ceremony to perform an exorcism on Fukuda's wife, Rie. During the ceremony, Rie was forcibly held down while large amounts of water were poured down her throat. The victim was denied a break and choked to death.
According to police, Noda has been performing exorcisms for the last 30 years, and reportedly visited the Fukuda residence several years ago to ward out evil spirits that had been lingering in the home.© Japan Today