Samurai sword bloodbath: Head priestess butchered at religious shrine

Samurai sword bloodbath: Head priestess butchered at religious shrine

Published time: 8 Dec, 2017 15:57

A family feud escalated into an apparent murder-suicide in Tokyo when a man launched a violent samurai attack at a religious shrine, killing three including his sister, a chief priestess and his wife.

The brutal attack, which took place on Thursday night at the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, was captured on CCTV and showed head priestess Nagako Tomioka, 58, being attacked by her brother, Shigenaga, 56, and her brother’s wife, Mariko,49, according to Kyodo News.

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After attacking his sister, Shigenaga apparently turned the sword on his wife and fellow assailant before then taking his own life, reports the Japan Times, citing the Metropolitan Police Department.

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Nagako’s driver was also injured in the attack, which was launched as the priestess exited her car, but he survived. Mariko reportedly chased the driver for 100 meters before slashing his right arm and chest.

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Authorities suspect a family fued between the siblings over Nagako’s appointment as chief priestess was the motive behind the attack.

The famed shrine, established in 1627, is known for hosting one of Tokyo’s major festivities from the Edo period, the annual Fukagawa Hachiman festival.

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