An apparent murder-suicide involving a samurai sword at a Tokyo religious shrine has left the head priestess dead, along with her assailant brother and his girlfriend.
A man stabbed his older sister and girlfriend to death before committing suicide at a shrine in Koto Ward on Thursday, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Police, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 8).
Also, a woman aged in her 30s who was with Shigenaga Tomioka attacked and stabbed the driver of the vehicle with another katana, police said.
Her driver reportedly has also been wounded.
Shigenaga and the other woman, who was his girlfriend and believed to be in her 30s, apparently ambushed Nagako after she got out of a vehicle on the grounds of the shrine in Tokyo's eastern ward of Koto.
Shigenaga Tomioka, 56, and an accomplice were hiding behind her house, police said.
The attacker was the chief priest of the shrine more than a decade ago, but was demoted from the post and succeeded by his sister.
The accomplice attacked the driver with a samurai sword and pursued him as he ran out of the temple grounds and about 300 feet down a road, police said. He received injuries not considered life-threatening, police said. He then slashed his chest in taking his life, police said.
At least one blood-stained sword and two survival knives were found near the scene, Japanese media said. After he left the post of chief priest in 2001, he sent a threatening postcard to his sister in January 2006 in which he wrote, among other things, that he would send her to hell.
The Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, established in 1627, is known for its Fukagawa Hachiman summer festival and its golden portable shrines.