A broken man living on dreams pulls Japan into Syria hostage drama

By Teppei Kasai and Antoni Slodkowski

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Based on the article, his capture is no major loss. Japan may have even dodged a bullet by his capture. Sounds like he was a real psycho in the making.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This year for some reason we've been hearing lots of news about Japanese fantasists and liars (Obokata, that supposedly deaf composer, the wailing nutcase from Nishinomiya) but this guy really takes the cake!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I vote he becomes the poster boy for taking personal responsibility. Leave him to his Syrian friends and be done with it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

lost his wife to lung cancer, lost a business and his house to bankruptcy and been forced to live in a public park for almost a month...

Had my sympathetic ear up to this point.

....changed his name to the feminine-sounding Haruna, attempted to kill himself by cutting off his genitals and came to believe he was the reincarnation of a cross-dressing Manchu princess who had spied for Japan in World War Two.

Lost it at this point.

I'm all for reassessing life and doing something to forget your past by doing some globetrotting but his screw got a little too loose.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"In a blog post from October, Yukawa said his cheerfulness was something he learned from being bullied as a child. “I would pretend to be happy even if I felt lonely or in pain so that others couldn’t read my mind,” said Yukawa. “Hiding my true feelings became my second nature. It also came in handy in business later.” "

Finally, a Japanese tells truth about how most of them are culturally brought up, but needed personal and external "electroshocks" to happen. Syria is messy part of the world like any war places where real fife shows. Hope he makes it to realize he can indeed do something more valuable to people than cutting himself and losing his mind.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If "Haruna" really did cut off his own wedding-tackle as he stated - surely he has the dubious honour of being the first new-half involved in this civil war? His train-wreck of a life makes a case for the need for good psychologists. I'm sorry for his poor old dad.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As a psychologist, and a writer, I find this story fascinating

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many, many dead in that war who didn't have a choice about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A sad story for him and his family.

I hope he survives, returns to Japan and thinks about how to life positively.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Thanks, Sabrage and Jonathan, for your comments. Until I read that, it was pretty depressing to read the stream of callous comments above yours. The man never hurt anyone, and seemed like a decent, if disturbed, human being. Mental illness is not a crime. I hope he survives and manages to build a new life as well. The odds aren't good, though.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

His website is privatemilitary dot jp. He is trying to present the company as a multi-national security firm, but it is clearly just one guy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


I agree with you up to a point. The guy had no problem conning someone with his "security consultant" lie. Imagine if he did get a contract. Many people could have died from his total lack of experience.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When I first saw this guy on tv after his capture I thought something was odd. This country has a ton of mentally ill that they look the other way from. I feel sad for this guy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Confused man (possibly unbalanced) in over his head. I hope he finds his way back to Japan and finds help and peace.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Indeed he is a broken man. How can a man with identity crisis save others when he doesn't know how to save himself. He is simply a hopeless attention seeker. He wants to be famous to the detriment of the nation as a whole.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope he survives, returns to Japan and thinks about how to life positively.

Good luck, he'll need it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just a sad pathetic creature no direction in his life, only guided by where the wind takes him, and his poor father who has bail him out when he makes dumb decisions. Hope tax payers aren't on the hook for getting him out.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If "Haruna" really did cut off his own wedding-tackle

Jeezus, what more can the islamists do to him? He wanted a hardship course, well he's got one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Broken man living on dreams"?? The guy is a fool who thought he can impress his otaku friends by playing war games in a real, brutal, war zone. If they let him go, good. If the Japanese government spends my taxes to buy him back from AL Quaeda aka ISIS, I want my money back.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If "Haruna" really did cut off his own wedding-tackle Jeezus, what more can the islamists do to him? plenty more, like cut off his head!?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Would be a blessing for him at this point, wtfjapan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yikes. This guy will either come out stronger than Super Man, or in a coffin.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He'll come out as Iron Man!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I read the first part of the headline, "A broken man living on dreams" and straight away thought the article was about Abe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Send him here to Afghanistan, maybe he can win over some " Hearts & Minds ".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

i hope he comes back to Japan in one piece and get help from psychiatrist

1 ( +1 / -0 )

commanteer: "The man never hurt anyone..."

That we know of, and that's only LITERALLY hurting someone. He put the government here in a difficult position, and the nation as a whole as a result -- especially those still suffering from the massacre of Japanese contractors that took place last year in a hostage situation.

katsu: The guy declares himself a 'security firm', goes willingly into a war-zone where he puts many at risk (not just himself, unfortunately), calls himself a 'half-doctor', a woman, a photographer, and god knows whatever else, and all while holding a machine gun and then saying, "I'm no soldier". I felt a little sorry for the guy when reading about the loss of his wife and his house, but after he mutilated himself, lived in a park, then completely lost it and made up a security firm and went off to a war-zone, I lost any sympathy I had for the guy. He's being kicked while he's down because he put himself on the ground and asked people to kick him. The analogy to English teachers (self-proclaimed or not) is lame, by the way, as Tessa points out. Sorry, but the guy deserves what he gets -- you don't just march into a war-zone with suicidal tendencies and think you are being 'selfless' and 'helping others' or what have you, then expect to garner sympathy.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sorry, but the guy deserves what he gets

Unprecedented comment.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think after talking to him and noticing that he is a eunuch (if that is true) then his captors hostility will be somewhat abated and they will use him for ransom instead. Weren't eunuchs generally liked and trusted by all the power brokers in the Ottoman caliphate? Of course if their ransom demands are too high, he may be killed while negotiations are ongoing - several million dollars yes Japan would pay, 100 million there would be much air drawn through teeth, and "saaaa, dou desyou ka ne".

If he comes back, as I am praying for, I hope that his face book pal Tomogami will give him a good talk about the dangers of self indulgent romantic idealistic military adventurism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Weren't eunuchs generally liked and trusted by all the power brokers in the Ottoman caliphate?

Yes, they were. Until they came into power due to their perceived harmlessness and proximity to the Caliph. Then they were treated as less than human.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'Don't judge someone until you have walked a mile in his shoes' seems apt here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually I dont believe this guy is so strange, there are actually quite a few like him in Japan. Ever heard of Happy Science? Doesnt that guy also beiieve he is the reincarnation of a supreme spiritual being?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very strange. He sort of still has balls though. But will be pity if he is murdered in Syria. Sounds like he hasn't hurt anyone except himself (and his father financially).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like a real life anime character! I feel for the poor guy somewhere he lost his soul or sold it to the devil. The old saying is things just aren't the same when the hunter gets captured by his game.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yukawa tells them he is a photographer and “half doctor”.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With the sort of hard lives and expectations Japanese go through, I'm surprised others haven't joined him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sad to see a life spiral this far down

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He tried to cut off his what? Seriously though, I hope they will just let him go and send him back to Japan. He would fit in here far more appropriately than anywhere's else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good for him this trip, he learned a lot of things that ordinary japanese people has no idea at all! At least he knows what is war.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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