Mamoru Takuma (宅間 守)
November 23, 1963
|Died||September 14, 2004 (aged 40)|
|Cause of death||Execution by hanging at 8:16 am on 14 September 2004|
|Date||June 8, 2001|
|Location(s)||Ikeda, Osaka, Japan|
|Target(s)||Ikeda Elementary School|
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. He had been convicted and imprisoned for rape before the massacre.
Mamoru Takuma was born in Itami, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As a boy, he used to set fire to cats. During Takuma's second year of high school, he reportedly attacked a teacher and ran away from home for several months. Takuma dropped out and got into a physical confrontation with his father, who tried to seek psychiatric help for him as a result. After the hospital refused, his father disowned him. Takuma entered the Japan Air Self Defense Force but was 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.
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In November 1984, Takuma was arrested for raping a woman and sentenced to three years in prison. Takuma was also arrested for driving his car in reverse on the Hanshin Expressway and was released after he was found mentally unfit. He was arrested at least eleven times and had married four times before the massacre. After his release from prison, he moved to Ikeda and found work as a bus and garbage truck driver. Coworkers described him as a quiet and unremarkable man, but a bit of a loner who did not like dealing with customers.
After assaulting a passenger over the smell of her perfume in 1998, Takuma was fired and got a new job as maintenance man at Itami Elementary School, 6 kilometers away from Ikeda. In October 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".[attribution needed]
After his release from the psychiatric hospital he continued to display odd behavior, stating that he was a survivor of the Japan Airlines Flight 123 crash. In November 1999, he was arrested on suspicion of entering 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 the bellhop's 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.
On June 8, 2001, the day of his court hearing for the bellboy assault case, Takuma went on a murderous rampage in the Ikeda Elementary School. He was wrestled down by staff within minutes and 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."
Takuma 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. I wanted to be caught and be given a death sentence."
Takuma also hated "elite" children, who attended the school he attacked.
Trial and death
Takuma's lawyers argued that he was suffering from temporary insanity at the time of the attack, but the psychiatrist who had initially diagnosed Takuma as schizophrenic told the court he later determined that Takuma actually had paranoid personality disorder. On August 28, 2003, Takuma was found guilty of multiple counts of murder and sentenced to death. Takuma remained unrepentant, refusing to apologize to the families of the victims, and asked only 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." On the last day of the trial, Takuma still expressed no guilt or remorse. He continued to insult the victims' families 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.
|“||I want to be sentenced to death as quickly as possible, and leave a legacy among the public as the next Tsutomu Miyazaki or Mamoru Takuma.||”|
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- (in Japanese) Takuma Mamoru
- (in Japanese) https://web.archive.org/web/20071228095650/http://gonta13.at.infoseek.co.jp/newpage203.htm
- (in Japanese) http://yabusaka.moo.jp/ikeda.htm