crime

Woman, four children found dead in Aichi home

59 Comments

The bodies of a woman and her four children were found in their apartment in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, on Friday. Police said they are investigating the case as one of murder-suicide.

The bodies were found by a police officer at around 2 p.m. The woman, identified as Maiko Matsubayashi, 35, and the four children -- three girls aged 15, 12 and 10, and a boy aged 9 -- were lying on futons, Tokai TV reported. There were no external injuries on the bodies, but a barbecue gas range with traces of charcoal in it was near the bodies.

An acquaintance of the woman was quoted by police as saying that he had spoken with her on the phone on Thursday night and that she had hinted at committing suicide. She also told him that it would be terrible to leave her children behind. The man contacted police who visited the apartment and found the bodies.

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59 Comments
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The man contacted police who visited the apartment and found the bodies.

Contacted the police when and how long did it take them to check? It's not like J-cops have a whole lot of real policing to do on a daily basis.

Sad and no mention of a husband/father.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I have a broken heart.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Here we ago again...a mother killing her children for stupid reasons. Its officially a trend now.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Can't comprehend...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"It would not be terrible to leave her children behind."

9 ( +9 / -0 )

For the love of everything precious!! I can deal with BB King passing away at 89 years old. I can't deal too well with 4 children with their lives still ahead of them having their lives intentionally taken. By the very person who is supposed to protect them and take care of them! A complete betrayal of their innocent and instinctive trust!

Such sadness and anger. May you rest in peace, young ones.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Oh no, there's no problem with infanticide and child abuse in Japan - it's the same in other countries. Have. to. keep. telling. Myself.

Where is the outrage!?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

My prayers go out to their loved ones.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You people, can only judge! You have no idea what the mother was thinking about, what she was fighting with. You really think it was easy decision to kill their own children which she loved?? She felt responsibility. She didn't want to leave them here. Yes. It was wrong decision, but why you are so cruel and don't understand at all??

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

@Alena - The cruel one is the one who killed her kids. I am tired of this nonsense where people give the killer leeway and say that we dont know what she was going through. We all go through drama. That is just making excuses. She could have killed herself and let her kids live the lives they should have. Horrible, horrible woman who did not want to die alone and took her kids with her. It is selfish as hell. There is no excuse for killing your kids. None whatsoever. RIP Little ones.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Alena: "You really think it was easy decision to kill their own children which she loved??"

She did it, so yes, I think it was an easy decision for her.

"She felt responsibility."

Obviously she did not. She was a selfish woman who snuffed out the lives of four innocent children with their whole lives ahead of her. "Responsibility" would have started with her not murdering them. FURTHER responsibility would have been not killing herself, and actually taking care of the children -- either herself or getting help from people who could. So, yes, she made the 'easy decision', and the very, very wrong one. Why are we cruel? Geez... I don't know... do you usually like to defend mass murderers? Would you be asking us to be kind if it was the dad?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

She did it, so yes, I think it was an easy decision for her.

That's a non sequitur.

yes, she made the 'easy decision', and the very, very wrong one.

I don't agree with her decision whatsoever, but I also can't think it's the easy decision.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Strangerland: There's a reason they call it 'taking the easy way out'. For posters to suggest that she "felt responsible" and so killed her children is utterly ridiculous (I'm not saying you said that, but Alena did). And yes, it was easy for her to do -- the hard thing would have been to live and actually try being responsible for the children and her own life.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

There's a reason they call it 'taking the easy way out'.

That doesn't mean 'they' are right.

yes, it was easy for her to do -- the hard thing would have been to live and actually try being responsible for the children and her own life.

There's not always an 'easy' way. Sometimes all roads are hard.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Financial trouble not doubt. The 5 of them crammed into a small apartment. Times are tough, especially with 15, 12, 10 and 9 yr olds and no mention of a father.

-Knowbody Knows?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why is suicide the solution for the problems ? I have undergone many a time to go for suicide. I thank God, I didn't do anything like that. Realizing now, I think how stupid I should have been to think of such a shameful decision. The time will surely change. Can always expect a new turnings in our life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am so terribly sad to hear this news with tears welling up. Incomprehensible is the only comment I can make at this point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NHK News said the police popped around the day after being warned.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I know it was not an easy decision for this woman to make and nobody should suggest such a thing. Strangerland is right on this one, "Sometimes all roads are hard". It is a very sad thing that happened. I do wish she could have received some counseling. Can't stomach the decision she made. I do wonder if there were people around her who could have helped and that is something that we have not heard about. Mental illness should not be taken lightly. I know that I was very aggressive towards her in my last post and I still feel that way. What she did was as wrong as wrong could be and I don't want to hear any excuses for her killing her kids, but still, I do wonder if she had any support system at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

NHK News said the police popped around the day after being warned.

According to Sports Hochi the man did not contact the police until the 15th, when he phoned from work to say that he 'could not get in touch with his mother'.

http://www.hochi.co.jp/topics/20150515-OHT1T50204.html

We learned when my mil's sister wasn't answering her door that the police are not allowed to enter private property, even when there is a suspicion of the person inside being ill or dead, except with the express permission of a family member, or a warrant. If the police were notified Friday morning and were inside before 2 in the afternoon, they were moving pretty quickly.

4 ( +7 / -4 )

@Alena Ogami Vesela: "understand" what?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You think she didn't try to solve the problem in a different way? Councelling, support, any help... I am sure she did.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I do agree with Alena, also people, please don't judge the mother with your western opinion, people here have another way of thinking. YES it is sad that it happened, yes the children should still live, but it is how some people think here.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Alena - I'm sorry, but we do not know one way or the other if she did. I don't want to assume that she didn't, and I won't. But still, there were other options. Unfortunately they might not have been there or she did not take them. We will have to see.

@Stephan - LOL Seriously? It has nothing to do with "western opinion". Yes, people have a different way of living here, but it is not a good enough excuse. It has nothing to do with western logic or Japanese logic. It is just LOGIC. She needed help. Did she try to get it or not? Anyway, there are no legitimate reason to kill your children. Let's not turn this into a cultural issue or a racial one. It is common sense one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Here we go with the mother sympathizers again..."oh that poor woman!" "Oh what she must've been going through"....its complete utter nonsense and a pile of knee high horse crap. WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS??? WHY DON'T YOU GIVE THEM SOME THOUGHT!! There are A LOT of people going through tough times who aren't killing their kids as an escape. And this is EXACTLY what this is: AN ESCAPE, because they suck at life and can't deal with reality.

three girls aged 15, 12 and 10, and a boy aged 9

at this age, the two older kids could have probably taken care of themselves and the younger kids with some government assistance. Sure, it wouldn't have been ideal circumstances, but its better than being snuffed out by a cowardly irresponsible parent

Councelling, support, any help... I am sure she did.

You are making an assumption based on NOTHING here. The fact is that more people don't go for the counseling and support that that you speak of. And as I said time and time over, these women think that the universe revolves around them and think that no one else can live if the can't live. It's absolutely selfish, and complete BS, and I am absolutely tired of reading the comments from the people who choose to side with and feel sympathy for the suicidal parent rather than the REAL victims...the kids.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe for those that can't understand or even comprehend you probably lack an ability to empathize with depression. The ones who criticize are probably the people who have no training or knowledge on mental health issues and are in some ways are part of the problem. Being Judgmental and stigmatizing,, and just passing on their opinions while knowing nothing about suicide at all. But I would say this, it is not western a eastern problem, it is a global problem. However,i wound say the western idea that suicide is somehow a sin and we are going to hell is different from the eastern view of suicide. So instead of being judgemental, as I'm sure you may judge others with mental health issues , try reaching out. You never know, you might be in the same boat one day, if not you, it may be someone you know and surely you would want them to reach out to you.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Alena cc sandiegoluv smithinjapan

The power of accurate observation is often called cynisism by those who don't have it. George Bernard Shaw.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Abe234

Maybe for those that can't understand or even comprehend you probably lack an ability to empathize with depression. The ones who criticize are probably the people who have no training or knowledge on mental health issues and are in some ways are part of the problem. Being Judgmental and stigmatizing,, and just passing on their opinions while knowing nothing about suicide at all.

You don't get it. No one gives a rat's flee infested behind what this woman chooses to do with her pathetic life. Its the fact that she felt the need to kill her kids is what the problem is. If she wants to die, then fine DIE then, but she has NO RIGHT to take others with her just because she thinks she's failure.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the mother seemed to have been incapable of doing anything for her family. Neighbours and school friends say that she was rarely seen outside, the children took the garbage out, and the eldest daughter did all the cooking. Mother also apparently said that she couldn't cope because she was too tired, and suggested to her children that they go to "heaven" together. Sounds like she really was ill, either physically or mentally (well, one thing usually leads to another).

How preventable was this sad situation?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is just so sad to know that there are non Japanese who were then product of illegal aliens like the Cordero's who are/were receiving welfare while real Japanese are dying on the street during winter or that some like this woman can't or haven't. Surely if she chose to die, her children won't be that destitute since the Jgovt has program for cases like that unlike in my own country where they'll be at the mercy of their next of kin. So pitiable for the dead children who might not have the sense they'd be having their last meal. So very disgustingly sad!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'm in NO way condoning what happened here but speaking for myself, I would have been ashamed for the rest of my life if I had had to admit my mother "committed suicide" - and I'm a Westerner... In Japan, it's FAR worse and (as many readers already know) "adoption" over here is NOT the norm... If all four children were from the same father, unless he's dead, I think he should have become more involved with his family (no details of his existence in this article). Bringing up, even just one child, alone in Japan, is NO "easy task" either believe me - I speak from experience...

0 ( +2 / -3 )

This stuff is happening more & more it seems, sadly suicide & murder suicide don't seem to cause many here much concern. Japan should be able to EASILY help people in these situations

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm in NO way condoning what happened here but speaking for myself, I would have been ashamed for the rest of my life if I had had to admit my mother "committed suicide" - and I'm a Westerner.

I went to high school with a guy whose dad committed suicide, and whenever anyone asked/asks about his dad, he just says 'he left us', without elaborating.

2 ( +3 / -2 )

My uncle committed suicide.

While I don't condone or approve her actions too little info. Did she look for help with the local city office, school councilor, friends, etc.

The way I see it it is not a lack of available help from the government and NPO's but that people don't talk about their problems.

Either way good on the acquaintance that he took about suicide serious and called the police. Most suicides will send out a final call for help. Surprised also by the lack of concern and help by the neighbours.

RIP, to the Mother and Kids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe for those that can't understand or even comprehend you probably lack an ability to empathize with depression.

So should I feel sorry for the woman or her murdered children?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So she gassed everyone. Carbon monoxide. Wouldnt have been able to stab 4 children to death or jump with 4 children that age, so thats the only way. Yeah my Japanese wife says they take the children too because they dont want to leave them behind as a burden other relatives. Its not as if they do these things on impulse. It carefully thought out. Dont believe in the death penalty but really need to start giving these women life. The ones that survive anyways. Ok lets wait for the next episode. Tomorrow or the next day.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

no matter what her reason "a crime is a crime" Rest in Peace for them....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can understand the mother. Life can be very tough and you don't want to be a burden for the society. Sometimes there's no other way out.

-5 ( +4 / -8 )

Taking her own life maybe but 1st provide for the kids.

Most likely that way she also would still be alive and helped. We pay taxes so that we can be provided in case things hit rock bottom.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is easy to sit in judgement.

This was a tragedy for all concerned.

For the deceased, and for those who they left behind.

For the police who found their remains.

It was a tragedy. But to sit in judgement on those involved when one has no more knowledge of the matter than the information contained in this report is, IMO, not quite the right thing to do.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Wilke

Very well said ! I completely agree !

As for "help" from the gvt. it's only quite recently that they have started "allowances" for "single parent families", it didn't exist in my time.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Very sad! Given the number of victims along with children's age 15, 12, 10, 9 and their maturity especially two girls aged 15 and 12, I would suspect that it's a rare case even among many murder-suicide cases in Japan.

May their souls rest in peace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Once again no mention of a father figure. A sad problem in Japanese society.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is easy to sit in judgement.

Sorry for being so thick and not accepting that parents have a right of life or death on their children.

Councelling, support, any help... I am sure she did.

Alena, she was obviously dirt poor; In Japan, conselling and such are hip novelties, reserved for higher class people that can afford it, and I'd say that know that exists.

The way I see it it is no's t a lack of available help from the government and NPO's

I think it is. They do provide short term material support so these 5 were not going to starve or sleep outside in Winter. But there is no system of scholarship or whatever to allow poor kids over 16 to get education, and without it, they have limited chances to ever land a normal job and lead a normal life in current Japan. And well, there is nothing for people that go bonkers, and what that woman needed the most urgently was help for her mental issues.

no mention of a father figure. A sad problem in Japanese society.

The problem is not that she was not living with a husband but that everything in Japan turns around the patriarcal system with a male (husband, father or even brother/son) being the main family support... and all persons/families not following this pattern are not getting the proper support.

How preventable was this sad situation?

Difficult. That would require a real political project to change the deal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@pointofview. Father probably doing his 12 hours a day. Can u blame him for that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Steve Crichton, coskuri,

Not blaming the dad. I dont think you get it. We should have information on the other parent. Did she up and leave with the kids? Dad up and leave them? Different father for each kid? This mother has more rights than the father regarding children? The serious issue in Jland could then be looked at more closely. Dad goes to work so then mom has time to kill children?? Really? messed up society if thats ok with you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We should have information on the other parent.

Why should we?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe for those that can't understand or even comprehend you probably lack an ability to empathize with depression. The ones who criticize are probably the people who have no training or knowledge on mental health issues and are in some ways are part of the problem. Being Judgmental and stigmatizing,, and just passing on their opinions while knowing nothing about suicide at all.

Abe234 - You are making too many assumptions here and being judgmental and stigmatizing yourself. It is called hypocrisy and you just served up a big serving on our plates. Probably this. Probably that. No! I personally know well about this issue and do hours and hours of counseling every week on the subject. She needed help. She did not get it because she did not seek it or it was not given. We dont know which it is at all, so to assume is wrong. But the reality is that offing your children is condemnable.

However,i wound say the western idea that suicide is somehow a sin and we are going to hell is different from the eastern view of suicide.

has nothing to do with this;

So instead of being judgemental, as I'm sure you may judge others with mental health issues , try reaching out.

I do applaud you for this though;

try reaching out. You never know, you might be in the same boat one day, if not you, it may be someone you know and surely you would want them to reach out to you.

and think that should have been all that you needed to say on the subject instead of going and doing the exact same thing that you criticized everyone else for doing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She did not get it because she did not seek it or it was not given. We dont know which it is at all, so to assume is wrong.

You're criticizing the making of assumptions, but you're making your own assumptions (that counseling was not sought, or not given). She may have received counseling, and it just didn't work.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Strangerland,

So fathers are irrelevant? I think mothers shouldnt have all the say regarding children but in Jland they do. When they murder them what becomes of it? Two parents no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So fathers are irrelevant?

I didn't say that. I simply asked a question - which you didn't answer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sandiegoluv. As a registered mental nurse, registered medical Nurse with 20 years plus working in mental health hospitals, and general Medicine including children units, adults, mother and baby unit, as well as community, I think most People here are condemning this woman, without fully understanding what patients are going through. The western and eastern comment was I reply to someone else who wished to make comparison about Japan and the west, I E European North American values. and as you said it has nothing to do with it but if I citizens anyone it was due to their judgemental view about this women,mental health and suicide, without ( probably)knowing anything about the situation. As a mental health nurse,we spend year educating not only patients but the public too and with some Of the views here I hope they may take some time to do some research about it. Sadly many won't but would rather judge or stigmatize people who have mental Health problems without knowing the condition or even the person.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Strangerland,

I think I did. They have a father, no? If she did have mental health issues, why nothing on the other parent and their absence? Because now someone doesn`t have 4 children (if one father). Cops, lawmakers and J media try to cover this stuff up so they look clean.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Strangerland - Yes, you are more than correct there. We can not assume a single thing about this issue at all. After I posted my comment I realized that I had missed the third option. JT needs an edit button so that you can go back and edit things once you have made a mistake in what you wrote. I could not clarify my post because I had to leave for a while and as you know you can not make successive comments. Thank you for pointing that out.

ABE234. Good for you. Here is my point. I have worked with mentally ill people for the past 25 years as well. And I DO KNOW what I am talking about having spent hours and hours per week in counseling with them. I know exactly what these people are going through. I really feel for them, including this woman. Like I said before, (Oh and one I forgot to mention) Maybe she was seeking help. I am kind of doubting it because too often times women in Japan do not due to the stigmatism that goes with it. Or maybe she was and it was not working. Whichever the case may be, there is a strong chance that someone knew about this. Or maybe nobody knew. It really is up in the air on this one. I do know this though.

The Japanese police and child services are extremely slow at removing children from dangerous homes.

Mental health is ridiculously still lagging behind the west.

There is a habit of Japanese mothers of taking their kids with them.

All three points are extremely sad and this is the result of them.

I was trying to say that we should not assume a single thing about the mother and the situation at all, because we really have no idea and even if she was seeking counseling it may not have worked. But here is where I draw the line. You just dont kill your children. Once that happens, my sympathy goes out the door.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think I did. They have a father, no? If she did have mental health issues, why nothing on the other parent and their absence? Because now someone doesn`t have 4 children (if one father). Cops, lawmakers and J media try to cover this stuff up so they look clean.

Those are reasons why you want to know about the father, but they don't answer the question of why we should know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I didn't write I agree.. I didn't write the mother was right. I only wrote, that you people only judge and see!! Now you judge me. I haven't done anything. I only wrote my opinion. And now so many people hate me :-) Oh my..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Alena, I don't think people hate you. I think some people love to debate things here and with the variety of personalities, sometimes the debates can get intense. Some people think they know everything, and some other people can be agressive because it's easy to be that way on-line with little or no consequences. Don't take it personally.

BTW, I can't say that I understand what this woman was going through, because I have never suffered depression of any kind myself, but I do believe that she should not be classified or judged in the same way as someone who killed some people out of spite or "just to see what it's like" and such.

With that said, on a very broad scale, if one really values life in general, then death should not be an option, no matter what. I think that's what many here are trying to say. Obviously, this woman didn't value life for what it is, and that's not being judgmental, it's the truth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alena Ogami Vesela and Strangerland are about the only people talking sense in this story.

Stop judging so harshly. People do what they think best at the time - it is only your opinion as to whether that is the right descision or not.

And, there are no such thing as rights.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's really sad news and heart broken for their families and relatives.

Dear PM Abe you need to find solution for to prevent that kind of suicides i future. Economy hardship and family problem may have lead to family suicide. If you brought Casino to Japan and then you will see such as tragedy more often than now. The tragedy was lost for their families and as well as nation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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