10-year-old boy detained for torching Nagoya temple

NAGOYA —

A 10-year-old boy was detained by police on Tuesday after he set Nagoya’s famous Saishoji temple alight, burning the building to cinders and injuring two women who were in the area at the time.

According to police, a local resident saw the boy inside a barrier at the temple watching the fire with a happy expression on his face. Police said the boy has admitted to lighting the fire himself. He was quoted as saying: “I wanted to see things burning.” There was no one inside the temple at the time of the fire.

The fire burned about 800 square meters around the temple, including part of a nearby nursery school, and took about seven hours to extinguish. Saishoji is located in the center of an area of small, winding roads, making it difficult for police to access the fire and temporarily putting nearby homes in danger.

Saishoji is a temple of the Otani sect of Shin Buddhism, and the temple building itself was constructed in 1487.

Wire reports

  • 0

    Hurtado

    Well that kid will have a lot of stories to tell when hes older at school

  • 0

    chotto

    It goes inline with temples in Kyoto.

    Such a historical waste.

    Lock him up for a year or two.

  • 0

    diggerdog

    blimy, i didnt realise that there were young delinquent arsonists here too. If he feels no problem with doing this as a kid what will he try to do as an adult?

  • 0

    spudman

    obviously it is working. This young lad is a typical pyromaniac. Diseased, not criminally motivated. Treatment folks.

  • 0

    30061015

    Make him rebuild it, even if it takes his whole life.

  • 0

    Molenir

    I agree, the kid should have to rebuild it.

  • 0

    pathat

    Brings back memories of reading Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

    I hope there aren't some copycat incidents around the corner.

  • 0

    sirgamble

    What an @sshole...

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Institutionalise the boy in a children's home so he can't do it again.

  • 0

    bokudayo

    Forget prison. Shave that boy's head, put him in robes and make him live with the monks for the next couple of years.

  • 0

    bobbafett

    his parents are gonna get hit hard in the pocket.

  • 0

    beowulf

    The kid has been reading too much Mishima.

  • 0

    GG2141

    Nice parenting job.....

  • 0

    Feekalmatter

    You in a whole heap 'o trouble boy....

  • 0

    hanadecaka

    Give him chance to reback in society few months keeping in some secret place.Tecahing what shoul do or not?

  • 0

    TokyoGas

    Wow.

    The fire burned about 800 square meters around the temple...

  • 0

    PleasureGelf

    I liked to burn cardboard boxes in my teenage years but this boy is a different kind of creature. I'd say he'll be telling his stories at the psychiatric ward where nobody listens anyway.

  • 0

    northlondon

    The witch burners are out in full force this morning. Can't believe some of the rubbish I have read (make him rebuild it ? at 10 years old ? send him to a childrens home ?). Despite the severity of this kids problem, he is only 10 years old people.

  • 0

    eigonosensei

    All this fuss about a Buddhist temple.. Isn't life all an illusion to Buddhists, anyway? Perhaps the boy is an incarnation of the Buddha and this is his comment on materialist spirituality. I think a little boy burning down a temple is beautiful (as long as nobody gets hurt).

  • 0

    mrhog123

    Put him jail with adults. After a coule of days he won't be able to sit.

  • 0

    Altria

    Burning down a Buddhist temple is like, totally bad karma, little dude.

  • 0

    northlondon

    "Put him jail with adults. After a coule of days he won't be able to sit."

    I guess the 10 year olds pyromania dreams are much healthier than your paedophilia dreams mrhoq123.

  • 0

    cadmium

    Scratch this temple out of your guidebooks people, it'll take a while to rebuild.

    This kid just earned the wrath of most people in Nagoya, when he grows up either he'll have to move or he'll be an outcast in Nagoya, homeless probably.

  • 0

    thethudelh

    Will the temple be able to be saved?Such beautiful architecture should be enjoyed not torched. I hope they lock the brat up.

  • 0

    Makun

    "What did you do today honey?" " burned down a 500 year old temple, just to watch it burn. That's how I roll. Now where is my juice box woman?"

  • 0

    cow76

    Japanese Buddhists don't believe in Karma or reincarnation. They're not real Buddhists at all so you can't really apply Buddhist beliefs to this situation, eigonosensei and Altria.

  • 0

    telecasterplayer

    LOL, like a ten year old can possibly fully comprehend what he's (allegedly) done. I just watched the NHK noon news, this wasn't mentioned.. Don't recall seeing it on "Ohayo Nippon" either

  • 0

    cow76

    So an ancient and famous temple burning down isn't big news. Here's a thought. What if it was burnt down by a 10 year old tourist? Haha, it would be slightly bigger news then, wouldn't it?

  • 0

    terebiko

    It is news, it was on the news. Maybe they are trying to play it down because they don't want any copycats doing the same thing. I do wonder what kind of punishment, if any, will be involved.

  • 0

    Maria

    Hey, Mod: is it Saishoji or Seishoji?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Too much Mishima for this boy, though of course Mishima himself was writing about the actual burning of the Golden Pavilion in 1950. Anyway, lock the kid up in juvey, and make the parents pay for the entirety of the costs.

  • 0

    namabiru4me

    Kids at 10 act on their impulses, for the most part, without concern or forethought of the consequences of their actions.

    When I was a kid I burned things all the time. Thank goodness nothing serious happened, but I was not thinking about that. I just wanted to make fire and watch it burn!

    Also, the story says the kid was "watching the fire with a happy expression on his face." I know that many Japanese have a "happy expression" when they are scared or nervous...and others because they are mentally unstable. I wonder what the true reason is in this case.

  • 0

    namabiru4me

    西照寺(さいしょうじ) Saishouji

    http://www.city.nagoya.jp/ku/nakagawa/machi/meguri/nakagawa/mae/nagoya00000735.html

  • 0

    Sarge

    Is this kid's parents going to have to pay for this?

  • 0

    Maria

    It is Saishoji, isn't it. Forgive the confusion.

  • 0

    dolphingirl

    Whoa! This kid has some serious mental problems by the sound of it. Hope he gets the psychiatric care he needs and he has to be held accountable for this somehow; community service perhaps. Time in juvie? Maybe, but he could come out even more messed up.

  • 0

    Mexicanish

    This kid sounds like a pyro! ... There's no fixing that really, except to teach him to control his urges. The fact that he is 10 years old is not an excuse. I knew full and well about consequences when I was 10. Is it b/c my mother used corporal punishment? Probably. I was terrified to do anything wrong...

    In any case all children should have some fear of doing bad things. He deserves to be punished and not just get a slap on the wrist b/c he's 10.

  • 0

    Kronos

    This kid is most probably a pyromaniac. Should get professional help.

    Shame about the temple. But the Buddisht monks should not get upset too much. After all, it is not about worldly belongings, right?

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    The monks won't get upset Kronos, we hope. It's you and me who are crying...

  • 0

    Icantbelieveit

    I hope the parents have to pay for this.  In accordance with Japan law logic...Let me see, oh yes...I am 50 percent at fault for the automobile accident I was in where a guy t-boned my car, because if I hadn't been on the road, the accident wouldn't have happened!
    Apply this logic to this case...if the parents didn't have a child, the temple would have never been burned down. Sounds right to me, break out the hanko!

  • 0

    bokudayo

    I don't know for sure, but he'll likely get off very easy - even for a kid. Apparently he is mentally handicapped.

  • 0

    thethudelh

    >

    "What did you do today honey?" " burned down a 500 year old temple, just to watch it burn. That's how I roll. Now where is my juice box woman?"

    HAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHH!

  • 0

    bushlover

    [“I wanted to see things burning.” ]

    So pour gasoline on this idiot and start flicking your bic. That'll teach him how nice burning things can be.

  • 0

    ca1ic0cat

    Pathetic kid. What do you do with somebody like that when they hit 21?

  • 0

    glycol57

    Interesting how there is an article in JT right now about the "self-centered zombie" generation .... those who just assume that their own immediate wants and gratification takes precedent over everyone and everything else. This kid wanted to see something burn, so he set it on fire. Why would anyone get upset ? HE is the center of the universe after all ... what HE wants comes FIRST, right ?

    What's he going to be like at 15 ... at 25 ? Rape robbery mayhem and murder ???

    Seems Japanese kids may be taking after their American counterparts. The USA is full of sociopathic little ME-monsters these days at every level of society. And yes it's rape, robbery, mayhem and murder every day in the news with a picture of some punk with that "Why are you messing with ME ?" look on his face. Perhaps there's something to be said for the application of a stout branch to the backside of errant narsissic youths - before they're too old to learn.

  • 0

    TheQuestion

    If I had done that my dad would have whooped my ass then have made me help rebuild it. No counciling, none of this understanding crap, just punishment and hard work. The human mind responds faster to negative stimulation than most psych stuff anyway, it may have turned me into an abrasive dickhead but at least I've never burned anything down or killed anyone.

  • 0

    mnemosyne23

    What the heck was a ten year old boy doing alone in such a place? What time of day was it? Even without deliberate intent, it's entirely likely he might have damaged something irreplaceable just by running around and bumping into things, something ten year old boys (and girls) are known to do. As it is, he deliberately burned this priceless building to the ground. I can't even imagine what a satisfactory punishment might be.

  • 0

    bdiego

    Well in ancient Japan he'd have gotten the death penalty. If you're old enough to burn, you're old enough to burn.

  • 0

    Infernus

    bdiego, I think it should happen that way.

    All this he's only ten crap. When I was ten I knew not to play with fire, as well as the difference between right and wrong. He obviously doesn't care and the fire could have spread even farther given the right conditions. Plus there was two women that were injured. As he gets older the crimes will just become worse. Its like trying to convince a weed in your garden to stop growing when its just poking out of the soil.

  • 0

    hypnotized

    A typical ten year old kid here has never even heard of Mishima Yukio, let alone read him.
    More likely a Beavis and Butthead fan.... Fire!!! Cool! Fire!!! Sugoi!!!

  • 0

    Laguna

    I should have invited him to my neighborhood. The local shrine mafia cut down a 200-year old zelkova that my late father-in-law had cared for during the decades of shrine abandonment just so they could build a useless 六角堂. What a waste. Don't pretend that all of these priests/monks care anything about anything but money.

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