Man severs real estate agent's arm with katana

TOCHIGI —

Police said Saturday they have arrested a man after he seriously injured three people in a rampage with a katana at an Utsunomiya real estate agent.

According to police, Hifumi Kuwada, 63, from Fuchu in Tokyo, attacked the president of Daikyo Home and two other employees with a Japanese sword just after 3 p.m. Friday, NTV reported. The 65-year-old company president’s left arm was severed in the attack, police said.

Kuwada brought the sword into the office, hidden in a golf case to avoid attracting attention, police said. He had been involved in a dispute with Daikyo Home over repairs to his apartment that was damaged in last year’s March 11 disaster, NTV quoted police as saying. 

Japan Today

  • 1

    mitoguitarman

    Yeow! Some people just take their problem seriously!

  • 11

    Maria

    Oh the por guy whose arm was cut off. I can, however (and I should be ashamed of myself for admitting to this) understand the fury and feelings of impotence which the guy must've felt. When you've been treated badly, and people won't acknowledge it and try to make amends, you do have the urge to lash out.

  • 2

    showmethemoney

    It sure would be nice to know the details of that dispute. Not that it will excuse his actions, but it just might spread the blame. If they drove this man to the end of his rope...well, let that be a lesson to people who drive others to the end of their rope! Naturally disregard that if the man himself was in the wrong in the dispute.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    "The last samurai!" - There are some seriously troubled old folk in this country!

  • 1

    USNinJapan2

    Sounds like gramps here knew had to wield a katana...

  • 0

    calm down

    Me too,Maria !

  • 1

    JoshuYaki

    What did the guy think was going to happen? Wow, I was going to deny your claim but now that you have hacked off my arm I have had an about heart mr.customer.

    Perhaps the president didn't have time to whip out his katana?

  • 1

    OMGhontoni

    Oh the por guy whose arm was cut off. I can, however (and I should be ashamed of myself for admitting to this) understand the fury and feelings of impotence which the guy must've felt. When you've been treated badly, and people won't acknowledge it and try to make amends, you do have the urge to lash out.

    Whats to be ashamed of Maria - any normal human would feel the same - as per some comments above. To feel emotions - even negative ones - is to be human. Wouldnt recommend you grab a sword though - maybe a pillow??!

  • 3

    Nessie

    It sure would be nice to know the details of that dispute

    With Japan's defamation laws, this is not likely.

  • 4

    kurisupisu

    Why can't they just go to court like any normal people?

  • 0

    Al Stewart

    So is it normal to just walk into a real-estate office with a golfcase? i need a pic of this golf case. craziest news this week.

  • 0

    Christina O'Neill

    Horrificly violent act, people need to vent their frustration with legal proceedings, no excuse for such a vicious attack

  • -2

    ExportExpert

    Some force needed to severe an arm through the bone, must have been swung with a considerable amount of force, it doesnt matter how sharp the katana was, bone does not slice like cheese.

    Katana in a folf case, used to be a machine gun in a violin case once.

  • -1

    ExportExpert

    folf = golf

  • 5

    Balefire

    I certainly can't condone the criminal's action, but for those suggesting going to court as an obvious response, litigation can be very long and expensive here, starting with the revenue stamp (inshi) that must be bought and affixed to the claim by every plaintiff. There's a sliding scale for how much this is, and it's not cheap. Neither are the services of a lawyer. Then there's the time required for court appearances, in a system where settling out of court is very strongly encouraged, and quick solution of torts in the courts is not.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that one should violently attack people, either. It merely means that litigation is neither quick nor inexpensive, and not affordable to everyone.

  • 3

    FightingViking

    kurisupisuMay. 20, 2012 - 09:39AM JST

    Why can't they just go to court like any normal people?

    You'd be surprised by the unwillingness of a couple of lawyers I contacted about our previous landlord, himself the president of the Real Estate Agency - who would do NOTHING about the leaking bathroom, the leaking ceilings, the rat infestation and the vermin the rats brought with them... Legal help is apparently not very helpful where "Real Estate" is concerned - at least, not for the "renters"...

  • 0

    pointofview

    When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it!

  • 3

    Franchesca Miyara Yang

    kurisupisuMAY. 20, 2012 - 09:39AM JST

    Why can't they just go to court like any normal people?

    Because we all know Japan Inc. will never lose?

    That said, I can't imagine what was going on through this old man's head to make him chop off the other geezer's arm, but by the 1 or 2 details in this half baked article one can just wonder...

  • 0

    scoobydoo

    Some times these guys need to be put straight but cutting off an arm is a little over the top but this story has no details as to weather the man was pushed too far or what so who knows.

  • -1

    scoobydoo

    that should be whether

  • 1

    tmarie

    The pres of Daikyo homes?? Wow, whatever the issue was it certainly must have been large enough to have the pres attend a meeting. The guy had probably wasted countless of hours in pathetic meetings with low level managers and kicked up enough of a fuss to finally get it to this level. No doubt in my mind (yes, assumptions I know) that this company made some serious errors, weren't owning up to it and all of this was costing this guy a fortune. This guy was fed up and well, wanted to company to pay. Perhaps if Japan actually had a decent system in place for consumers to get the help they need in cases, this could have been avoided? Lord know I have wanted to smack some people a few times when it came to purchases but nothing like an apartment. Sorry pres, seems you should have done a better cost analysis.

  • 0

    Dan Joseph

    Wouldn't be Japanese summer lead up without a few knife crimes!

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    @USNavy

    Sounds like gramps here knew had to wield a katana...

    Hmm, I would say no. Unless it was his intention to only injure the president and not kill him, and the others, I would say he does not know, unless he has some kind of disability. It's possible considering his age.

    Without knowing how cramped the office is, it could be that a shorter weapon would be better also. I feel sorry that the katana was misused like this.

  • 5

    the-grouch

    Well this article is so short given that the articles in Japanese newspapers give more details of the motive to the attack. By the way, his whole arm was not severed, only his hand a little above the wrist. And the other two office workers were stabbed in the torso and the buttoks. The reason for the attack was more than just not repairing his mansion. It was constant phone calls being hung up by the president of the company and office personnel not calling back, no repairs, broken promises and breach of contract due to failure to repair his apartment. If you or anyone is pushed enough and you feel so angry because the promises are not being made.... I'm sure anyone will go to extremes. I don't condone his actions but this will set an impact to all realtors not to make empty promises and not piss off customers. What I do feel sorry for is the man who lost his arm. He did get it reattached but it's not the same. Next time he carries a grocery bag with that hand it will be a long time from today. Too bad that office workers claim to workers compensation doesn't cover this type of injury. In Japan he will have to sue the perpetrator. Needless to say, if the perpetrator is not wealthy, he will have to do time for his crime. If he does happen to be wealthy, he's not wealthy anymore.

  • 4

    the-grouch

    By the way, for people out there thinking that going to court was gonna fix this, let me tell you. By the time it actually goes to court and a settlement is done, it would have taken a couple of years, a lot of money and countless energy and frustration. The Japanese court system is not helpful, useful but not helpful.

  • 1

    Aliasis

    I can't tell if JT purposely reports only crackish stories and makes them seem even more crazy with the headlines they choose... or if Japanese crime is actually that freaking weird.

  • 0

    oberst

    If the attacker is any good, it should be a clean cut and the hand most likely can be re-attached with some loss of function ...............

  • 2

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    If any of you have ever dealt with some of the shady characters in the real estate biz, you would also know a great many are connected to the yakuza, directly or indirectly. Given that, getting reasonably satisfactory customer service can be very difficult. In this case, it seems the man may have been pushed over the edge. There's also the possibility that he may also have been making unreasonable demands. The Japanese news articles probably have much more detail than this JT blurb.

  • -1

    Iowan

    I should think that his intention was more than cutting off an arm.

  • -1

    Shinjuku 108

    Must have been Hattori Hanzo steel..

  • -2

    lycanth

    Everyone seems to be missing this: the dispute was over damages CAUSED BY THE EARTHQUAKE! I fail to see where the company could possibly bear any responsibility.

  • 1

    Suginamiguy

    You'd be surprised by the unwillingness of a couple of lawyers I contacted about our previous landlord, himself the president of the Real Estate Agency - who would do NOTHING about the leaking bathroom, the leaking ceilings, the rat infestation and the vermin the rats brought with them... Legal help is apparently not very helpful where "Real Estate" is concerned - at least, not for the "renters"...

    Good point. The Japanese legal system is hardly the fairest in the world, ask anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of dealing with it. No excuse to chop someone`s arm off, but I think I can understand the events might have led up to this incident.

  • -1

    Marion Wm Steele

    Maria and calm downj: What you wrote leaves me with nothing but agreement..........

  • -1

    Marion Wm Steele

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought there were two knives in the Har'aki'ai action; one was the katana (A short knife used to disembwel and a long Samur'ai sword that was used by the aide to cut off the head) - this is of interest to me as I am writing on this subject at this time.

  • 1

    oberst

    @Marion, Katana is the long sword worn by the samurai in Edo period, wakazashi is the medium length sword worn as a companion to the long sword ( katana ) forming a daisho. Tanto is the short sword ( used for suicide ).

    Tachi is the long sword worn with cutting edge down.

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    so now jidai geki (samurai) shows will be banned?

  • -1

    tamanegi

    Egads!

  • 0

    Greapper1

    wonder if they can reattach it...

  • 2

    hoserfella

    Everyone seems to be missing this: the dispute was over damages CAUSED BY THE EARTHQUAKE! I fail to see where the company could possibly bear any responsibility.

    lycanth - read the story again. The dispute was over REPAIRS DONE AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE. Goodness gracious..

  • 0

    tmarie

    Everyone seems to be missing this: the dispute was over damages CAUSED BY THE EARTHQUAKE! I fail to see where the company could possibly bear any responsibility.

    They have a responsibility to repair damages in such cases - and more so when the issue is from repairs they have done. The problem here is that most people in this country will bend over and take crappy customer service (all while claiming that Japan has the best service in the world) and WILL pay out more to get things fixed that should be done for free - and quickly. A few others and I were talking about this today and everyone felt sorry for the guy WITH the knife as we've all had experiences of crap service that made you want to snap - I couldn't imagine the feeling if it was my home and I'd already paid a fortune for it. Hanging up, skipping meetings... like I said, perhaps they should have fixed the problem and not tried to get out of it. I hope more people stop being pushed around and take action - though perhaps not exactly like this.

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