Anniversaries

8 Jun

Today and tomorrow are the anniversaries of a few events in Japan.

One is happy and two are tragic. The bad ones are first. 😦

  • Today (2009 June 8 ) is the one-year anniversary of the shocking 秋葉原通り魔事件 (Akihabara attack).
    One year ago today, a 26 year old man drove his truck into a crowd of people in busy 秋葉原 (Akihabara, Tokyo) and then he got out of his truck and stabbed people with a knife.

    A number of people were killed or seriously injured by him. He is currently in prison on murder and attempted murder charges.

  • Today is also the anniversary of another tragic event in Japan.
    Eight years ago today, on 2001 June 8, was the 「附属池田小事件」 (Osaka School Massacre).
    A man in 大阪 (Osaka, Japan) went into an 小学校 (elementary school) and stabbed children at random.

    He killed eight children and injured fifteen.

    He was convicted of the crimes and executed five years ago.

  • Tomorrow (2009 June 9) is the sixteenth wedding anniversary of the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan.

    On 1993 June 9, 浩宮様 (Honorable Hironomiya*) married a commoner named 小和田雅子 (Masako Owada**), who was a diplomat who graduated from Harvard University.

    (* Overseas, the Japanese prince is often called by his birth name (Naruhito), but in Japan, he is only refered to by the respectful 「浩宮様」 (Honorable Hironomiya).)
    (** 小和田雅子 (Masako Owada) is now refered to as 雅子様 (Princess Masako).)

I came to Japan in 1990, so I was in Japan for all of these events and I remember them all well.

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10 Responses to “Anniversaries”

  1. naoko June 10, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    After that murder at the elementary school in Osaka, we can have the security guards in schools now and close the gates all day long. It gives me reassurance but I feel sad at the same time.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

      I remember after that tragedy that schools all over Japan got those long poles with the hook-type thing at the end for pushing intruders who may have a knife away.

      Like

      • naoko June 11, 2009 at 10:07 am #

        You must mean ‘sasumata’. http://www.sasumata.mg-goods.net/sasumata/use.html

        I doubt teachers could use it effectively…

        Like

      • tokyo5 June 12, 2009 at 2:55 am #

        Yes, that’s what I was referring to. “Sasumata“. Thanks.

        I hope if another sick person tried to enter a school like that day in Osaka, that the teachers would not hesitate to use the sasumata or anything else to stop him!

        Like

  2. cuteandcurls June 10, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    Such devastating news, I remember the Akihabara attack but not the Osaka murder tho .. im glad the murderer got executed already ..i just dont understand sometimes why insanity can make a person do such a thing to rob away the lives of innocent people.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

      Yes, it’s unfortunate that there are people in the world who hurt other people!

      Like

  3. bartman905 June 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Yes, I remember the Akihabara attack last year – it was big news here since it is unusual.

    I didn’t know about the attack in Osaka 8 years ago – it certainly is a coincidence that both are on the same day.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 10, 2009 at 12:19 am #

      They were both big news here.

      Like

  4. Mom June 9, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    That is some very interesting news…my question is what is the penalty for murder in Japan? Did the person who killed the children get the death penalty and what was it?

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 9, 2009 at 1:32 am #

      Depending on the circumstances (ie: was it murder or manslaughter? etc…), the penalty could be time in prison (up to life) or the death penalty.

      The death penalty in Japan is administered by hanging at the gallows.
      And, unlike in America, the inmates on Japan’s “death row” don’t know their execution date until the morning of. So, everyday could be their last.

      And, yes, as I wrote in the post above, the man who stabbed the school children in Osaka received the death sentence and was executed in 2004.

      Like

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