Chief priest, 2 others dead in Tokyo shrine stabbings

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

Kyodo news agency reported there was some kind of confrontation between the priestess and her brother, named as Shigenaga Tomioka.

A female accomplice also died in the attack, and the priest's driver was injured, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said.

The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. local time at the Tomioka Hachimangu Shinto shrine in Koto Ward, Tokyo.

Authorities suspect a row between the brother and sister over the shine's chief priest position had prompted the apparent murder-suicide.

The priestess, named in Japanese media as 58-year-old Nagako Tomioka was on the way to the shrine and was attacked when stepping out of her vehicle.

The attack began around 8:25 p.m., when Shigenaga Tomioka attacked his sister with a Japanese sword as she exited her auto on the shrine grounds.

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Shigenaga's partner, meanwhile, chased down his sister's driver, who had tried to escape on foot, and attacked him about 100 meters away. The driver suffered injuries to his right arm and chest, though they were not life-threatening.

The head priest of a prominent shrine in Tokyo was ambushed and killed with a samurai sword, apparently by her brother, who then took his own life, police said Friday.

Shigenaga is believed to have later stabbed the woman's chest and stomach before killing himself at the shrine, located about 400 meters east of Monzennakacho station on the Tozai subway line.

A knife and a Japanese sword with blood on were found later near the site.

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. It is known as the birthplace of sumo.

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