crime

Serial Tree Killer on the Loose in Western Japan, 14 “Sacred Trees” Poisoned So Far

Scattered across the landscape of Japan are Shinto shrines of various shapes and sizes.  In many of the larger shrines you’ll find one or more especially old trees known as Goshinboku which means “sacred tree.”

Sacred trees are usually massive in size and centuries old with some reportedly over 1,000 years old.  You can usually tell them from the shimenawa wrapped around their trunks. A shimenawa is an extremely thick rope which encloses something holy and wards off evil from outside.

These age-old trees are beautiful specimens of nature’s strength and longevity and add an extra level of serenity to their shrines.  However, in the past month someone or some group has been killing off these sacred trees of shrines in 5 separate prefectures in Japan’s mid-west.

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A Tale of Two Sex Crimes, Kanagawa Home of Back to Back Kinky Criminal Mischief

It looks like people are getting their freak on in Kanagawa Prefecture these days. In the past two months a couple of truly unconventional sexually natured crimes took place that left police scratching their heads and going “huh.”

Our first tale involves a gay robber arrested on 13 November who slipped sleeping pills up the rumps of his victims.  This incident was quickly followed by the 14 November arrest of the manager of a rub & tug parlor for women which I guess would be a rub & rub?

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US Sailor Arrested in Yokohama, Admits Peeing on the Floor but Denies Nudity

A US Navy sailor has been arrested by Japanese police after wandering around naked and urinating in a manga cafe near Yokohama station, Kanagawa prefecture last Friday.

The incident comes just weeks after the US Military imposed a curfew between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. after two soldiers were arrested for the alleged rape of a woman in Okinawa, causing outcry in the Japanese media.

According to reports, the sailor admits that he urinated in the cafe, but absolutely draws the line at the despicable act of stripping off in a public place…

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Osaka Politician Busts Man Peeing Against His Campaign Poster, Tweets the Outcome

I’m sure we all have politicians whom we’re not especially fond of, and, while most of us would never go as far as taking a leak against one of their campaign posters, the thought of making our feelings known through… unusual… means might have occurred to us on more than one occasion. My own dear uncle, for instance, was once temporarily barred from entering the US after writing a particularly heartfelt letter to former president George W. Bush during his tenure. But that’s another story…

On Sunday this week, a 40-year-old man in Osaka decided that his strong dislike of politician Kei Yamamoto needed to be expressed physically, and, spotting the politician’s face on a poster down a quiet countryside road, decided to let rip with a golden shower of contempt.

Unfortunately for him, who should be cruising by at that exact moment but the politician himself…

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In relatively violent-crime-free Japan, there was a shocking case this year where a woman in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture was stalked and murdered by an ex-boyfriend, who then killed himself. That’s tragic enough on its own, but new information has come to light that it may have been the police themselves who enabled the ex to track her down. Read More

Most Patient Bank Robber Ever Arrested in Fukuoka, Foiled by Courteous Staff

On the morning of 2 November a man armed with a kitchen knife entered a bank in Munakata city, Fukuoka Prefecture.  Upon seeing the man, the clerk asked “What can I do for you?”

“Hand over the money.” he said quietly.

Then the clerk summoned all her years of training and experience as a bank employee and dealt with the intruder the best way she knew how.

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Japanese Man Arrested for Using Novelty Cash, Clerk Tipped off by Laughing Yukichi

Japanese paper currency is printed with the faces of various prominent figures.  However, rather than past or present leaders, like many countries do, the yen banknotes are decorated with writers and a scientist.

For example, the 10,000 yen (US$124) bill has the likeness of Fukuzawa Yukichi, a highly influential writer during Japan’s transition from the feudal system to modern government.  He is also known to have never smiled in a photograph, which is why when one man attempted to spend a 1,000,000 yen (US$12,400) bill with a picture of a grinning Yukichi, the clerk’s suspicion was aroused.

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Man Enters Woman’s Apartment, Demands Underwear at Knife-point

A 32-year-old man in the town of Hino, Tokyo, was arrested late last week on suspicion of having entering a woman’s apartment and demanding that she hand over her underwear.

According to an FNN News report, the man crept into the premises before brandished a knife and telling the resident to surrender her panties, but was apprehended soon after.

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Cloud Crime: Man Arrested for Taking Up-skirt Photos Released on Bizarre Technicality

On 10 September, a 34-year-old businessman from Kagawa prefecture, Japan, was arrested by airport police for suspicion of taking illicit photographs of a female flight attendant during a domestic flight.

The man was arrested soon after his arrival in Tokyo and taken into custody, with a search of his home being carried out soon after, revealing compelling evidence.

However, just two days later, the man walked free after Tokyo metropolitan police struggled to pinpoint the exact geographical location where the crime was committed, and were unable to prosecute.

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Man with Dachshund Exposes Wiener (the privates not the dog), Still at Large (the man not the wiener)

Thanks to Hyogo Prefecture’s “Security Net” the public can easily access reports of crime occurring in their communities as it is reported. Earlier it had alerted local residents to a suspicious person resembling and acting like a motorcycle cop.

Now an odd case of indecent exposure involving a middle-aged man, school girl and a dachshund had occurred in Hamanomiya Park in Kakogawa city.

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Japanese Thieves Steal Thousands of Lottery Tickets, “Hardly Won a Damn Thing”

For those of you who enjoy playing the lottery, here’s a story that should help put your odds of winning in perspective.

Last December, painter Shigeru Aikoh was arrested from robbing a Kushikatsu (deep fried snacks) restaurant in Settsu, Osaka.  However, prefectural police later discovered he was a part of a four man group responsible for a year-long crime spree around the prefecture totaling 4.5 million yen (US$572,000).

However, much to Aikoh’s dismay a fair chunk of that loot had turned out to be totally worthless.

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Japanese Couple Arrested for Stealing $300 in Hotel Amenities

One of my favorite things about staying at a hotel is all the complimentary stuff they let you take home. From toiletries to beverages, bathrobes to coffee makers, each visit to a hotel is like a smorgasbord of free everyday items—the only limit is your suitcase!

Some people claim that not everything in the hotel is free. That aside the cheap toiletries  everything in the room is hotel property and taking it home is “stealing.”

Yeah, sure. Even if that is true, what are they going to do, call the Hotel Gestapo?

No, but they will call the police, as one Japanese couple found out after being arrested for stealing nearly $300 worth of hotel amenities.

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【Noodle Theft】 Petty Thief Shows Us Where the Line Between “Gutsy” and “Idiotic” Lies

When I was a kid, there was a period of about a week in school when everyone became obsessed with making “jokes” using “What’s the definition of…?” set-ups.

As well as failing to make anyone laugh, they rarely made much sense and were always both immensely long-winded and contrived…

Allow me to share an example:

“What’s the definition of ’cheeky’? Throwing a brick through someone’s window, then knocking on the door and asking for it back!”

Oh my sides….

Thankfully, though, a 16-year-old in Wakayama prefecture, Japan has done us all a favour and made an example of himself, putting an end to the eternal mystery “what’s the definition of ‘stupidity’?”

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Japanese Men Arrested for Murder, Confess to Making Curry From Victim’s Dismembered Remains

After more than three years of searching, Tokyo police thought they had finally gotten a lead on the whereabouts of Kazuyuki Kobayashi, a male restaurant owner who suddenly went missing in May 2009, when an investigation led them to three men who were said to be acquainted with Kobayashi before his disappearance.

The men, who had been arrested on separate charges of fraud earlier this year, were brought to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department for questioning on Sept. 27 and were immediately suspected of murder after it was found that Kobayashi has come to them demanding the repayment of an unspecified amount of money he had lent them earlier.

The case then took an even more gruesome turn when, on October 1, two of the suspects confessed that they had stewed the pulverized remains of Kobayashi in a pot of curry.

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Korean Yoga Master Escapes Jail by Squeezing Through Food Slot in Cell

In the United States, some prisons have looked to yoga over the past few years as a way to help lower the country’s incredibly high recidivism rate—67% within three years as of 2006—and thus alleviate overcrowding.

The idea is that yoga and meditation can provide inmates with the emotional tools to stay calm and rational in stressful situations, hopefully preventing them from doing something that will land them back in the pen.

One South Korean man, who had been practicing yoga during 23 years of detention, gave support to the assertion that yoga really can help get inmates out of prison when he slipped through a 15-centimeter-high, 45-centimeter-wide (6 x 18 inches) food slot in the bars of his detention cell last week.

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Police Reported of Suspicious Person Fitting the Description of Police

Sadly these days, we see more and more stories of crimes committed against young children.  That’s why reporting anything out of the ordinary can help save lives.

However, on the Hyogo Prefectural Police operated online crime prevention board, “Hyogo Security Net” a suspicious person report was posted that made several people stop and scratch their heads.  The police seem to have an APB out on themselves.

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Japanese Man Pulls Knife on Teenagers For Littering, “I Just Wanted to Warn Them”

Japan is known for being one of the cleanest countries in the world, surely a point of pride for many Japanese people. But is it enough to pull a knife on someone for littering?

Last month, Tokyo police arrested a 60-year-old man for threatening a female high school student with a knife after they threw their trash on the ground of a public park.

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