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Explosive seniors who erupt in murderous rages

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"More terrifying than Islamic State,” says Spa! (Sept 6). What can it possibly be? “Elderly suicide terrorism.”

It’s astonishing what loneliness and despair can do to us. One hot August day, a 68-year-old man tossed Molotov cocktails from his third-floor apartment in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward into a crowd of revellers enjoying a samba carnival, injuring 15. Then the man hanged himself. He’d been heard by neighbors grumbling about samba being noisy. He was retired and lived alone. His wife had died two years before.

In June 2015, a 71-year-old man doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire on a bullet train south of Tokyo. Perhaps he dreaded dying alone and wanted company. In fact, a fellow-passenger in the same car died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Twenty-six others were sickened from smoke inhalation. The man had complained of being in dire financial straits. His pension, he said, was barely keeping him alive.

Sometimes it doesn’t go that far. From a 37-year-old Tokyo-area mother, Spa! hears of a nursery school festival canceled because a nearby elderly resident had called the school to say, “I don’t know what I’ll do if the festival proceeds.” He, too, it seems, didn’t like noise. No responsible person would put children’s lives at risk in the face of such a threat and yet, said the mother, weren’t they in effect – unavoidably perhaps but still unfortunately – giving in to terrorism?

A 43-year-old man living in Saitama tells of an incident in which a number of bicycle tires were slashed in the parking lot of his apartment building. Security camera footage exposed the culprit – a man in his 70s, living alone. When arrested, he explained he’d been angry because everyone except him had been invited to a neighborhood meeting. Actually, no one had been invited. Posters advertising the event for all, however, were plainly visible. “The man seems to have had a persecution complex,” said the resident who told the story. It’s as good an explanation as any.

In Umizu, Gifu Prefecture in June, a 68-year-old man rammed a group of school children with his car, injuring eight, though not seriously. His arrest shortly afterwards interrupted his attempted suicide.

In Nagaokakyo, Kyoto Prefecture in June, a man, also 68, threatened a group of high school girls outside his home with a grass cutter. Their noisy chatter had roused him to fury. He also arrested.

In Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture in February 2015, a 73-year-old man furious over taxes deducted from his pension went to city hall armed with an ice pick, slapping a woman and injuring a man who worked there.

And so on and so on. Spa! sketches one incident after another, the inference being that old age is simply too much for some and a potential threat to the population at large. Police, preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, are busy preparing defenses against international terrorism. Maybe, the magazine suggests, they should focus as well on this spreading domestic variety.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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the inference being that old age is simply too much for some

Erm, surely the inference is that mental illness, poverty and loneliness are too much for some?

Police, preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, are busy preparing defenses against international terrorism.

By conducting secret surveillance of 72,000 muslim residents of Japan, including 1,600 children.

Maybe, the magazine suggests, they should focus as well on this spreading domestic variety.

Aum Shinrikyo and the Japanese Red Army were Japanese.

Everyone knows that Spa! magazine is little more than toilet paper but this really is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Maybe it's a baby boomer thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Some of these don't sound like "Explosive murderous rage" at all but planned ways of ensuring they are fed and taken care of in prison. Yes, some, like younger people and kids, lash out when pushed, and don't at all think, but in more cases than not with elderly I'd say it's less explosive rage than just indifference as to the consequences, if not a welcome invitation for them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is familiar. Generalization via anecdotes. One can stack anacdotes to "prove" and group of people are outstandingly violent. Stacking anacdotes with an absence of any sort rational research suggests the this was an article written purely for sensation. It unfairly singles out a particular age group for derrision.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this article.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The baby boomers really struggle no matter where they are in the modern world, very disappointing

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

so far foreigners are lucky as we have not been targets of violence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Because they have been forced to keep a lid on it and be all buttoned up for too long. when it finally blows it does so in style.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"In Mito, Ibaragi Prefecture in February 2015, a 73-year-old man furious over taxes deducted from his pension went to city hall armed with an ice pick, slapping a woman and injuring a man who worked there."

Would that more citizens did this. Perhaps then governments would respect us more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am really glad that Spa is reporting this because, you know, cranky old people are such a new phenomenon.

I think I saw an episode of Dragnet from the late 1950s that dealt with a cranky old guy who did some crimes. I think everyone called him "Pops." I am pretty sure Adam 12 did something in the 1960s. And the Simpsons have done it over and over.

Anyone could list 10 reasons WHY older people are likely to explode in rages like this, but I have a new take. First of all, idle hands do the devil's work. After people retire, what else do they have to do but create misery? Secondly, criminal behavior usually requires motive, means and opportunity. Old people have all of these things right at hand. All it takes to spark all those resources into a crime is a cruel streak or a bad mood.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

All those who can not relate to the annoyance of the old man, give me your address and I'll arrange an annoying event every year beside your house. Let's see how you will feel after that.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

All those who can not relate to the annoyance of the old man, give me your address and I'll arrange an annoying event every year beside your house. Let's see how you will feel after that. annoyance or not doesnt give you the right to attack innocent others. If you dont like the noise buy some earplugs itll all be over in a couple hrs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

dcog9065 baby boomers really struggle no matter where they are in the modern world

Sorry, I'm a baby boomer and have pretty much enjoyed my life and still do. These excessive reactions have more to do with individual character, poverty, mental illness and may be a desire for free care and food in prison because it is a better alternative than their current lives, which is an indictment of the system for care of the old/impoverished.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More terrifying than Islamic State,” says Spa! (Sept 6). What can it possibly be? “Elderly suicide terrorism.”

Seriously?? even if it's for sensacionalistic purposes, this is pathetic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In Nagaokakyo, Kyoto Prefecture in June, a man, also 68, threatened a group of high school girls outside his home with a grass cutter. Their noisy chatter had roused him to fury. He also arrested.

Out of all the assumed reasons and inferences made with the other examples, THIS one I can empathize with and will admit had dreams of doing myself. BUT, I like my freedom too much to waste it on actually doing it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Out of all the assumed reasons and inferences made with the other examples, THIS one I can empathize with and will admit had dreams of doing myself. BUT, I like my freedom too much to waste it on actually doing it!

I TOTALLY concur!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A few examples to try and make a sensationalized story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A few examples to try and make a sensationalized story.

Yep. But to many JT readers, stories like this prove how Japan is not a safe country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yep. But to many JT readers, stories like this prove how Japan is not a safe country.

Indeed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Ibaragi Prefecture "

It's Ibaraki.

Aside from the problem of taking some fairly isolated incidents and running away into generalization, I wonder how many of these incidents involved alcoholism? And how many of these guys were alcoholic tyrants in the home, but we didn't know about them until they lost it in a very public way?

Moderator: Thanks for pointing out the typo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Happens here in America too. I saw many seniors and most were having fun at the park. But I was aware of brooding solitary seniors as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just another anecdote but just saw on news something about a 61-year-old woman who phoned one of the ward offices in Tokyo to tell them she'd go there with a knife to kill someone. Apparently she is receiving welfare and has some kind of dispute with the welfare department about a medical related payment. Fortunately she was arrested and no one was hurt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, are all elderly people subject to these rages? Human life is a matter of horses for courses - there are youngsters who commit violence, adults who steal from employers, men and women commit sexual assaults, and there are many homeless people around this world who crack-up and commit pathetic crimes in order to have a stay in prison. It's no use picking om one section of a community in order to make a 'story'. The results can be out of proportion to the realism of human life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Extreme anger and extreme depression are common effects of Alzeimer's. Don't know if that had anything to do with it, but it wouldn't surprise me if there were undiagnosed cases here and there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Young adults have to be more kind to their parents. People are too selfish towards their parents. Most people forgets that they will be aged parents too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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