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Japanese priestess stabbed to death at shrine in apparent family feud

Japanese priestess stabbed to death at shrine in apparent family feud

The assailant, identified as 56-year-old Shigenaga Tomioka, attacked his 58-year-old sister sister Nagako Tomioka, the shrine's chief priestess, with a Samurai sword and killed her after she got off from a chauffeur-driven vehicle.

A Shinto priestess was killed on the grounds of a famous Tokyo shrine by a man wielding a katana, who then killed another woman before committing suicide, police said on Friday, in what local media described as an apparent family feud.

The almost 400-year-old Tomioka Hachimangu shrine is known for its close ties to sumo and holding one of Tokyo's three big Shinto festivals.

The male driver of the vehicle, 33, attempted to flee the scene.

The chauffeur of the shrine, who also got out of the vehicle, was chased by the woman who wielded a samurai sword. The driver suffered injuries to his right arm and chest, though they were not life-threatening.

A police officer walks near the scene of a stabbing attack at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo Friday Dec. 8 2017.
Eugene Hoshiko  AP  
AP
A police officer walks near the scene of a stabbing attack at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo Friday Dec. 8 2017. Eugene Hoshiko AP AP

At some point thereafter, Shigenaga fatally stabbed his girlfriend in the chest and abdomen.

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.

Thursday night's attack at the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, established in 1627, was captured by nearby security cameras. It is known as the birthplace of sumo.

A knife and a Japanese sword with blood on were found later near the site. Two tournaments were held in the Spring and Autumn at the shrine each year as dictated by the shogunate.

The newspaper reports: "Shigenaga Tomioka was arrested some 10 years ago for blackmailing his sister". "If there was a grudge, I can only imagine it was due to the dismissal", said the acquaintance.

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