June 09, 2008

‘dare de mo yokatta’ ! (Anyone was OK!)

Please forgive me for sharing a bad news once again.


Seven people died and 10 were injured, some seriously, in a stabbing spree yesterday in Akihabara shopping district of Tokyo. Akihabara is a famous market of electronic appliances and it is generally very crowded. The crowd yesterday must have been larger as it was sunday.


The heinous guy who did all this wasn't a Tokyo native. He lived in a neighboring prefecture called Shizuoka and traveled to the busy marketplace of Akihabara to kill people. He said that he was tired with this world and wanted to kill people. 'Dare de mo yokatta!'


'Dare de mo yokatta!' means 'Anyone was OK'. In many of recent crimes, the convicts are saying the same, 'Hate this world. Just wanted to kill people and anyone was OK.'


Something has gone wrong with the Japanese society and crime is increasing. While talking with my professors, Japanese students, colleagues or anyone in the train station or super markets, they say that Japan was much safer 15 years ago and they are worried by increase in crimes. I can also feel that way after living for more than 5 years here. But most of them blame the increasing number of foreigners for increase in crimes. Yes, many foreigners are also involved in crimes but majority are by Japanese themselves. If you look at 10 most recent major criminal incidents, 9 may be by Japanese alone. I may write one day about this 'blaming foreigners mentality'. 


Please read the news that appeared in The Japan Times.


Monday, June 9, 2008

7 killed, 10 injured in Akihabara stabbing spree

Kyodo News

Seven people died and 10 others were injured after a man hit pedestrians with a truck and then stabbed passersby Sunday in broad daylight on a street in Tokyo's busy Akihabara district.

Police arrested the man, Tomohiro Kato from Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the street and seized a survival knife he was carrying. The 25-year-old temp staffer at an auto component factory in the prefecture admitted to stabbing people with the knife, which had a 13-cm blade, from around 12:30 p.m., the police said.

"I came to Akihabara to kill people," investigative sources quoted Kato as telling the police. "I am tired of the world. Anyone was OK. I came alone."

According to the police and hospital officials, six of the seven who died were males and aged from 19 to 74. The other was a 21-year-old female. In addition to the seven, 11 people were taken to hospital after the stabbing rampage. Of these, eight were male, including a 53-year-old traffic police officer who was stabbed in the back while helping people hit by the truck, and two women. The remaining male had sustained no injuries but had blood on his clothing. Of the seven, at least six had been stabbed and two had been hit by the truck, which was rented in Shizuoka Prefecture.

According to eyewitnesses, a police officer at a nearby police box who noticed the incident hurried to the scene and found Kato wielding the knife. The officer initially failed to get hold of the suspect after hitting him with a baton a few times. But Kato put the knife down after the officer drew a handgun and issued a warning, leading to his arrest, the eyewitnesses said.

The Akihabara area was crowded with shoppers as Chuo-dori was vehicle-free for pedestrians. The scene was near the intersection of Chuo-dori and Kanda Myojin-dori streets, only a stone's throw from JR Akihabara Station.

A 19-year-old man from Tokyo's Ota Ward said, "The man (Kato) jumped on top of a man he had hit with his vehicle and stabbed him with a knife many times. Walking toward Akihabara Station, he slashed nearby people at random."

Shunichi Jingu, a 26-year-old self-employed man from Gunma Prefecture, who witnessed the incident, said, "It seemed that a traffic accident had happened. Then a man got out of a vehicle and began to brandish a knife."

Akihabara is a district of Tokyo known for its electronics shops and as a center of modern culture, including manga and animations, and attracts many visitors from both Japan and abroad.

There were similar street stabbing rampages earlier this year. In January, a 16-year-old boy attacked five people and injured two of them with kitchen knives on a shopping street in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward. A man wanted by police on suspicion of murder stabbed passersby with a knife at an entrance to a shopping mall in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, in March, leaving eight people injured, one of whom died later in hospital.

The Akihabara rampage also occurred on the seventh anniversary of a stabbing spree by a man at Ikeda Elementary School in Osaka Prefecture on June 8, 2001. The attacker, Mamoru Takuma, was executed for killing eight children and injuring 15 others in that case.

Here is the link if you want to read in TJT home page.



  1. keshuvko.wordpress.comJune 9, 2008 at 11:20 PM

    a sociopath he should be

  2. When expert in US tried to figure out incidents at Columbine and Virginia Tech, they said something was wrong with America. They compared with Japan as Japanese too watch violent movies and videogames but there never was an incident before (of this scale). They now can't use Japan in comparison.
    Just imagine if that kid had an automatic gun instead of knife. In US, despite those horrific experiences in Columbine and Virginia Tech people still can't embrace the idea on gun control. Sorry scenario....

  3. घटना घट्नुमा विदेशीलाई दोष दिनु उचित देखिँदैन ।

  4. Thank you all.

    Prajwol, the crime rate in Japan is still much lower than that in the US but it is increasing.

    Most of these criminals are young people (males mostly) living alone. Crime is increasing among lonely young women too, but in another direction. Self-injury is high among them. While guys go and kill other people, these girls are 'content' on wrist-cutting and drug-abuse.

    Incidents like 'group suicide' are increasing too. People who don't know each other make plans through internet, get gathered somewhere and die together. Books and sites about suicide are very popular in Japan. Some such books are very highly rated best-sellers.

    What has happening to this world? Is development is really bad as it is not possible without competition and 'rat-race'? And large joint-family may not be a bad idea after all as having some one listen to you is more possible with it.

  5. I have heard of people who commit suicide when they are fed up with their life.But killing others who have done nothing to upset you, is not done. We kill someone because of hatred, jeolousy or revenge.And the things said by the killer- 'Hate this world. Just wanted to kill people and anyone was OK.' is just a lame excuse.If people have feeling where they want to kill people, they should go to consult some psychiatric instead of going out to the road with knife. That's horrible.

    If you can't help others, atleast don't harm others.
    -H H The Dalai Lama

  6. Thank you Nawang for your insightful comment.

    Sadly, the world is seeing such 'crazy' sentiment every day. There must be something wrong with the modernization or 'civilization'. A person is getting lonelier and lonlier. This has resulted into such frustration and criminal attitude.

  7. It's been a while I have not commented on your and other friends' blog. But I was reading.

    Regarding this Akihabara incident, I have feeling that in days to come these types of crimes will increase in Japan. May be I am wrong, but during my one year stay here, I sensed that something is missing in this society. When I talked to some of my colleagues about this incident (and two recent ones; Tsuchiura and Osaka), they seemed still indifferent about the real cause behind it. I can understand in one individual case a person getting mad and doing all this, but the way such incidents are in increasing trend, it should have been given a different thought. Also, I read at least one news in a week related to hydrogen sulphide cases and other people being suffered (and evacuated).

    I read news that govt is planning to work on knife sell restrictions. Still they are far behind hitting the real cause. This society seemed to be on transition from eastern culture to western, but not completely changed. As you pointed out ‘And large joint-family may not be a bad idea after all as having some one listen to you is more possible with it’, this society at one hand wants to live as westerners (with all the freedom) but on other hand still need family. Every young people I talked to are against living as joint family, but that could be their necessity (and they don’t know it or do not want to realise it).

    खै के हो, यहाँका मान्छेहरुको ब्यबहार, बानि सबै राम्रो लाग्छ तर बाहिर र भित्र भने आकाश पाताल फरक छ जस्तो छ। बुझेर बुझिनसक्नुको छ। फरक संस्कारमा हुर्किएको हाम्रोलागि त झनै बुझ्न गार्हो।

  8. Thank you Prof.

    Yes, it is laughable that instead of going to the real cause, they are 'concentrating' on banning the sale of daggers. A criminal will kill people with anything he can find!

    I agree with your views regarding Japan and Japanese society.