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.