Japan Today

Woman stabbed, seriously injured on Tokyo street


Police said Saturday they are searching for a man who stabbed a woman in Tokyo's Meguro Ward on Friday afternoon.

According to police, the attack took place in Kami-Meguro at around 5:40 p.m. TV Asahi reported. The victim, a 27-year-old woman, contacted the emergency services to tell them she had been stabbed by an unknown assailant while walking along the street.

Paramedics found the woman crouched in the street, having sustained a stab wound to the right side of her chest. She was taken to hospital where doctors described her injuries as serious, TV Asahi reported.

The victim was quoted by police as saying the assailant came up behind her without saying a word. She described him as an older man, wearing beige pants and a white sweater.

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"Toorima" are random passer-by slashings on crowded streets. This phenomenon is not new in Japan.

It may have something to do with the lack of individual consciousness. An attack on a person is an attack on the body of society, a dull protest and a subconscious cry for help. In this sense it doesn't matter who you stab; anyone will do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have written to Professor Komiya (whose opinion it was that random attacks are increasing) to ask if he has data. There seems to be a few cases every year but I wonder if this really represents an increase or an effect of the media, in the face of the dramatic decrease in and extremely low levels of violent crime in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What's the cause of such attacks? And how come no one saw this and why didn't the crowd react to this? I'm sure it was obvious what happened, at least when the woman started bleeding. Or did everyone pretend they saw nothing and it was not their business?

I feel bad for the woman, hope she recovers soon. Piled up frustration again, huh? It's funny how for 2432434324th time it proves that the Japanese don't value life, neither their own nor others'.

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@Cos Good comment. Murder as a whole has decreased a lot in Japan and it is now one fith for men, and 2/5 for women of its 1955 level. http://www.ceacb.ucl.ac.uk/cultureclub/files/2004-2005/CC2005-07-07-Hiraiwa-Hasegawa.pdf I have been unable to find data on random incidents. In view of the great overall decrease, I find it hard to believe that it is increasing, although there is that impression in the press http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008080717_japan30.html and this appears to be shared by one research (quoted in the article).

@danalawton1@yahoo.com There are words for this sort of incidient in Japanese: colloquially 通り魔 touri-ma (”passing fiend”) or formally 無差別殺傷事件 musabetsu-sasshou-jiken but it is not limited to stabbing random killing and wounding. This is the wikipedia page http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%80%9A%E3%82%8A%E9%AD%94

@Bogi many young people are taking exams to become public employees, or to join companies around now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In most countries, normally incidents happen like this later at night when it is dark. As Maria said It is worrying the random time of attacks even during the day and the attacker being a stranger, I must agree. Someone mentioned unless you are Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan you can't defend against these attacks. Let me tell you as a martial artist myself even I wouldn't be prepared for a random attacks like this and neither would Bruce and Jackie.

Knife attacks are difficult to defend against without getting hurt. If someone comes at you with a knife and you think you can outrun the attacker, then run to a safe area. I am thinking that the 27 year old woman may have out run the older man. Most people carry bags, use the bag as a sheild from the attack, while beating the crap out of the attckers legs until he goes down, then run to a safe area.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This attack happenned during the daylight hours, yet the girl had to call the emergency services herself and the paramedics are reported to have found her. Where was everyone else???? Didn't anyone see this happen? was there no one around to help her? I just don't understand how so many people live here yet no one sees anything, or is it just me that thinks this.

We must look out for each other to help reduce these attacks and the severity of the outcome.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

didn't know about this ..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

God..I am sick of these mentally ill idiots roaming the streets

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Its that time of year, exams, stressed job market, older people hitting the boiling point and can't handle things.

What exams?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

psychopath needs to be apprehended and incarcerated...

but maybe this is one type of scenario that the 70,000 minimum welfare payment policy was aimed at preventing.

what did the guy in osaka say? "...no job, no prospects", etc. just looking to take out his problems on some vulnerable person because they are leading a more productive life.

the safety net would seem to be going from being frayed to being torn asunder.

the hollowing out of the manufacturing industry due to the high yen is putting a lot of strain on an already stressed system...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is a shame when folks take out their frustrations on people who have nothing what so ever to do with it. Like stabbing someone they don't know takes care of everything.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan is so much stressful maybe thats why lot of crime here...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Its that time of year, exams, stressed job market, older people hitting the boiling point and can't handle things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since there, unfortunately, has been a few of these incidents recently it is about time that the Japanese coin a cute short word to describe this type of crime. Its all about categorizing it and making it fit nicely. They'll probably combine a couple of foreign english words to give it a foreign flavor and not something that could be possibly be born of Japan alone.

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It has been shown that most of the persons who mimic crimes seen in the media (especially news and violent movies) have in most cases prior criminal records, prior severe mental health problems or histories of violence suggesting that the effect of the media is indirect (more affecting criminal behaviour) rather than direct (directly affecting the number of criminals).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some people just want to watch the world burn.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No way to protect yourself from a random attack unless you are Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, since most of us are NOT Kung Fu experts, better to be alert and if we think somebody is a ticking time bomb, well try to KEEP AWAY as much as possible, if all else fails, RUN LIKE HELL!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let me guess... no reason. Probably jobless, and just wanted to 'kill someone'. Seems to be increasing even more than the ridiculously high level it already is. I hope the woman recovers completely, and needless to say I hope the scumbag is caught.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Must be something in the water

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You know, I used to feel comfortable on my annual Japan holidays that I would be able to walk around the streets safe in the knowledge that I was in the safest country in the world. Fast forward to May when I joined JT... and all I read about are random stabbings, loonies in the streets and cars used as weapons. Either I was completely ignorant (I used ANN for my Japan news) or this site is like a tabloid and only reports the horror stories. Either way it seems I will need to keep my wits about me in November... very sad.

I hope they catch this scumbag soon and I really hope the woman recovers quickly.

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4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's as if the Japanese hear about this stuff on the news and go "hmm...I think I'll try this. I'll show em how it's done."

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Ahhhh Stabby Summer has arrived. Don't act suprized folks, Stabby Summer is almost traditional here in Japan.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Care in the community in Japan? Are these people not taking their meds, then?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Very sad and scary indeed!! I hope this idiot fool criminal is apprehended ASAP!!!!!!!! Also pray this young lady fully recovers fully too!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

WHY this kind of a behavior is increasing...

Is it increasing ? Or just more reported. More frequent in Japan than elsewhere ? Each case is always shocking, but if there are 5 per year for the whole Japan, constant number of decades... I can't tell. We'd need stats.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Every summer this is a spate of these kinds of attacks. As much as Japan is still a lot safer than other countries, I know that in Australia you can pick a person that will give you trouble, but in Japan it could be anybody.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan needs to wake up... they need to investigate WHY this kind of a behavior is increasing...

Many Japanese people are like ticking time bombs... this pressure-cooker society is getting dangerous...

6 ( +11 / -4 )

Another one!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A few days ago there was a question put to readers on JT, about awareness and safety. It's this kind of random blade attack (of which there have been quite a lot, in different parts of Japan, over the years) that makes me most nervous. As a woman, I have naturally always had to be aware of what and who is going on around me, and realised a long time ago that being constantly aware is stressful, exhausting, and extremely unhealthy . Public transport, especially trains and subways, was always the worst, as well of course as simply walking alone on the streets in the evenings. But now it's just random - any time, any place, anyone... Nightmare.

10 ( +13 / -4 )

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