Mamoru Takuma

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Mamoru Takuma
File:Mamoru Takuma.jpg
Born (1963-11-23)November 23, 1963
Hyōgo Prefecture
Died September 14, 2004(2004-09-14) (aged 40)
Osaka Prefecture
Cause of death Execution by hanging
Occupation Janitor
Criminal penalty Sentenced to death
Date June 8, 2001
10:15 a.m.
Location(s) Ikeda, Osaka, Japan
Target(s) Ikeda Elementary School
Killed 8
Injured 15
Weapons Kitchen knife

Mamoru Takuma (宅間 守[a] Takuma Mamoru?, November 23, 1963 – September 14, 2004) was a Japanese janitor who committed mass murder of 8 people and wounded 15 others in the 2001 Osaka school massacre.[1] He had been convicted and imprisoned for rape before the massacre.[2]

Early life

Mamoru Takuma was born in Itami, Japan. From an early age Takuma had exhibited symptoms of the Macdonald triad. At the age of 12 Takuma had wrapped a kitten in newspaper and set fire to it, killing the kitten. He continued killing cats throughout his teenage years, throwing them into furnaces. During Takuma's sophomore year of high school he had reportedly attacked a teacher and ran away from home for months. Takuma dropped out of high school and got into a physical confrontation with his father. His father sought psychiatric help for his son after he had beaten him; but the hospital refused, and his father later disowned him. He entered the Japan Air Self Defense Force but was soon discharged due to having sexual intercourse with a minor. In 1984, Takuma and his mother left his family house and purchased an apartment leaving his oldest brother and father by themselves. They lived together for a year and a half, until his father came back for his wife.[3]

Criminal history

In November 1984, he was arrested for raping a woman[4] and sentenced to three years in prison.[2] Takuma had also been arrested for driving his car in reverse on the Hanshin Expressway and had been released after found mentally unfit. He had been arrested at least eleven times and had married four times before the massacre. After his release from jail, he moved to Ikeda and found work as a bus and garbage truck driver. He was described by coworkers as a quiet and unremarkable man, but a bit of a loner who did not like dealing with customers and preferred working alone.[3]

After assaulting a passenger over the smell of her perfume in 1998, he was fired and got a new job as maintenance man at Itami Elementary School, 6 kilometers away from Ikeda. In October of the same year, he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his former wife.

On March 3, 1999, he dissolved some of his own tranquilizer, temazepam, into the tea served in the teachers' room, sending 4 people to the hospital. He was arrested and sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He later jumped from the roof of the psychiatric hospital in an attempt to commit suicide but failed. After one month's treatment he was judged to be "capable of taking care of himself."

After his release from the psychiatric hospital he still continued displaying odd behavior, stating that he was a survivor of the Japan Airlines Flight 123 crash.[3] In November 1999, he was arrested on suspicion of entering into a private home, but the charges were dropped. He managed to get a job as a taxi driver in September 2000, but was fired on October 16 after he assaulted a hotel bellhop in Osaka and broke his nose. He was also kicked out of several apartments for, among other things, throwing his garbage out from the balcony. On May 23, 2001, he voluntarily admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital for depression, but left the next day without treatment.


Main article: Osaka school massacre

On June 8, 2001, the day of his court hearing for the bellboy assault case, he went on a murderous rampage in the Ikeda Elementary School. Wrestled down by staff within minutes, he was described as being in an extremely confused state when arrested, at first repeating "I went to the elementary school", and then saying "I went to the train station and stabbed 100 people with my knife. I did not go to the elementary school."[5]

He also stated:

Nani mo kamo iya ni natta. Nankai mo jisatsu wo hakatta ga shi ni kirenai. Tsukamaete shikei ni shite hoshikatta.
"I've become disgusted with everything. I've tried to kill myself several times, but couldn't. Give me a death sentence."[7]

Takuma also hated "elite" children, who attended the school he attacked.[8]

Trial and death

On August 28, 2003, Takuma was found guilty of multiple counts of murder and sentenced to death.[9] Takuma remained unrepentant, refusing to apologize to the families of the victims, and only asked for the sentence to be fulfilled as fast as possible. His statement was, "I should have used gasoline, so I could have killed more than I did."[10] On the last day of trial, Takuma still expressed no guilt or remorse. He continued to insult the family victims until the judge removed him. The sentence was carried out unusually quickly by Japanese standards (condemned prisoners in Japan usually spend many years on death row), and Takuma was executed by hanging only a year later on September 14, 2004.[11]


Kaoru Kobayashi, who had sexually assaulted and murdered seven-year-old girl Kaede Ariyama, considered Takuma as a charismatic murderer and sought speedy execution.[12]

Kobayashi said:

See also


  1. "Japan mourns school victims". CNN. 2001-06-10. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 付属池田小事件裁判傍聴記 殺人鬼の素顔とは (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 宅間守資料 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  4. "Takuma conceived of massacre in 1984". The Japan Times. 2002-07-26. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  5. "Motive for school stabbing unclear". Television New Zealand. 2001-06-13. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  6. ちゆ12歳 (2001-06-08). "教室に乱入、児童8人を刺殺". Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  7. "School massacre shatters Japan's sense of security". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2001-06-09. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  8. Ozawa, Harumi (2008-06-09). "Seven dead in street stabbing frenzy". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  9. "Death for Japanese school killer". BBC. 2003-08-28. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  10. "Quote Of The Day - I should have used gasoline, so I could have killed more than I did". Japan Today. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  11. "Japanese school killer executed". BBC. 2004-09-14. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  12. "Defendant admits abducting and killing schoolgirl in Nara". The Japan Times. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2007-11-23. 
  13. "Defendant admits abducting and killing schoolgirl in Nara". The Japan Times. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 

External links