One man learns the hard way that dabbling in the dark arts does not pay.

On the morning of 26 September in Tokyo, schoolchildren on their way to a day of learning and play at Edogawa Elementary School were crossing a pedestrian land bridge. However, hanging from the rail was a little doll made of straw along with a note which read “All you f***ing brats jump from here and die.”

In Japan, straw dolls (waraningyo) are used in a somewhat similar fashion to a voodoo doll, in that they are both effigies used to summon a curse upon people. Judging by the note, it would appear that someone had intended to make the children to jump to their own death through the power of the straw doll.

▼ Here’s an example of a straw doll in super-spooky action

That someone is believed to be 41-year-old Takeshi Inaba who lives near the school. According to the Tokyo Metro Police, Inaba confessed to inflicting the curse saying “Those kids running wild in the park are too noisy.”

Inaba is facing charges of criminal intimidation which, considering his supernatural method, seems a little excess.

If I were his attorney, I would argue that traditionally, the doll is made with hair or some possession of the intended victim and then nailed to a tree or wooden pillar to really get the magic flowing. By not including any personal effects or even nailing the doll, the defendant was pulling off a pretty half-assed attempt at spiritual assassination.

On the other hand, if I were the prosecutor, I would counter that he could have been adhering to Hell Girl logic in which removing a red string from the straw doll causes a demon girl to appear and devour the souls of those from whom revenge is sought.

Sure Hell Girl never showed up in this instance – most likely because she’s fictional – but that doesn’t erase his culpability.

While it’s debatable whether this incident is technically a threat, it certainly is creepy and a public nuisance. It should be noted that Inaba is also suspected of several cases of graffiti which read “Kids are too noisy!” on benches and the toilet of the local park where students are known to play.

He is also believed to have sent over 30 letters to staff and parents of Edogawa Elementary bad-mouthing them about their inability to control those “noisy kids.” So while he probably won’t get hit with the full force of the law, the suspect may have a date with a mental health examiner in store.

Really though, the guy should have just given them some money and told them to go play at a game center or ice cream shop or something. Sure it would have set him back some yen, but it seems like a small price to pay considering the mental anguish he seemed to have experienced.

And in doing that, everyone would have been satisfied with the result. Take that, people who say money can’t buy happiness!

Source: Jiji Tsushin, Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Yousuf Ali