Chief priest, two others killed in Tokyo shrine stabbings

Lloyd Doyle
December 8, 2017

A frenzied attack triggered by a family feud over succession at a Tokyo Shinto shrine left three people dead, including a chief priestess stabbed with a samurai sword by her brother.

Police said that Nagako Tomioka, the 58-year-old head of Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, was attacked as she got out of her auto Thursday night.

Shigenaga Tomioka had once served as a priest and the siblings had long quarrelled over shrine affairs, according to local media.

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, who reviewed the area's security camera footage, the man and his wife lay in wait behind a nearby building for the priestess to arrive by auto.

While Shigenaga was assaulting his sister, another woman - reportedly the attacker┬┤s wife - pursued Nagako┬┤s driver with a sword.


After slashing the priestess, Shigenaga Tomioka then stabbed a younger woman he was with to death with a sword, before killing himself, police said. Authorities reported that both of their bodies suffered injuries to the chest and abdomen.

The police are now trying to establish the exact motive for the attack, but the family feud, spurred by issues related to the priesthood at the shrine, is well documented. At least one blood sword and two survival knives were found near the scene, Japanese media said. His father returned to the role before passing on duties to Nagako.

Torii, or shrine gate is seen at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Japanese media said he is the victim's brother, but police would not confirm that.

Sumo wrestlers also pay visits to the shrine, which had hosted tournaments in historic times.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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