AKB48 Members Maimed in Saw Attack

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A saw-wielding maniac has attacked AKB48 members at their latest handshaking event, severely injuring Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama along with a staff member.

According to police reports, a 24-year-old unemployed Aomori prefecture man arrived at an AKB48 handshaking event taking place at an Iwate prefecture venue, and entered the handshaking event tent.

Once in the tent the man launched into a bloody rampage using the saw he was carrying, inflicting severe but not life-threatening wounds on 3 people – two AKB48 members, 19-year-old Rina Kawaei and 18-year-old Anna Iriyama, and a male staff member.

The perpetrator was rapidly overpowered by staff and handed over to police as they arrived at the scene, and was immediately arrested on 3 counts of attempted murder.

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Initial reports indicate that apart from the omnipresent minders who oversee the actual handshaking, security at the event was rudimentary at best – attendees were able to enter the venue and approach the girls without any check of their possessions.

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The three victims were taken to hospital, and though the extent of their injuries is not clear, they were all said to be conscious and in a stable condition.

Details of exactly what injuries were sustained have been vague enough to prompt macabre speculation – Kawaei’s right thumb was subjected to “lacerations” and “fracture” severe enough to prompt emergency surgery, as was Iriyama’s right pinkie (she also suffered a head wound), causing some to wonder if the attacker managed to saw off the appendages in his frenzy.

Online there has been sympathy for the victims and condemnation of AKB48’s management for allowing such an incident to come to pass – though tellingly, with it being widely understood that their business model relied on bilking the mentally unbalanced, not much criticism of the perpetrator:

“They’ll have to stop the handshaking events now, surely?”

“Will they cancel the general election?”

“This must be the end of it all… there’s no way such a greedy and sordid business can continue forever in the face of stuff like this.”

“So one of their otaku victims finally broke after being exploited a little too far.”

“Their entire fanbase is basically comprised of people who could potentially end up like this. At least check their bags, guys.”

“A saw? What a grudge he mast have had.”

“The police really ought to shut AKB down now.”

“If they can no longer do handshaking events AKB48 are finished.”

“Imagine what will happen to CD sales if they cancel them.”

“From now on handshaking events will take place with the girls wearing stab-proof gloves.”

“The lack of details about the injuries is suspect – did he sever something?”

“Open fractures can result in amputation so this could be pretty dire.”

“Must be. Lacerations and fractures don’t sound severe enough to prompt emergency surgery.”

“Ghastly. He was charged with attempted murder as well, he must have gone there to kill them.”

“The trauma inflicted on them is no laughing matter either.”

“The injuries may be something they can recover from but I doubt their mental condition will be.”

“A saw is not going to leave these girls with scars they can just paper over with makeup…”

“Only the staff member who got mixed up in this has my sympathy.”

“This is the obvious end result of Akimoto’s shameful business model. It was only a matter of time before one of the fans did something like this.”

“What were the security guards guarding when all this went down?”

“Not even a check of their bags as they went in, really?”

“Since it is now obvious to everyone that there is no security at all at these events they have just got quite a bit more dangerous.”

“So much for this show.”

“I always though it would end up like this.”

“He didn’t try to saw off their hands and take them home, did he?”

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152 Comments

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  • rainbowkouji says:

    Has anyone even considered that it might not be a fan?
    The Korean government, with its vested interest in profiting from Japanese culture, appropriating Japanese intellectual property and stealing Japanese territory, has proved itself willing to sponsor terrorism at least once before (the May 2013 Osaka stabbing). It would just be too good to be true for the chons if Japanese idol groups were to be hit by several major incidents in a suspiciously short span of time and thus leaving only the Korean “idol groups” to profit, wouldn’t it?
    The current heiwaboke government wouldn’t dare to release the identity of the culprit, but I’ll bet a fair sum that he’s zainichi. These incidents are too concentrated, too uniformly beneficial to the Korean government and uncannily light on the information.

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  • Anonymous says:

    Regardless of the talent differences between AKB48 and American pop stars/idols, I think we can be thankful this took place in Japan. Because if it were America, someone would be bringing in an AR-15 and shooting dozens of people, claiming a “Stand Your Ground” defense against the theft of all the cash AKB’s marketing scheme had bilked out of them. And then the online right-wing Koch-paid pull-string trolls would come to his defense, saying that AKB’s whole existence was a Big Government overreach and UN Agenda 21 conspiracy designed by Harry Reid to create stealth taxes on music fans.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can respect the hard work Japanese Idols put into their performances, it’s really impressive, I just wish they didn’t do anything stupid like scandals to increase their idiotic popularity.

    Hard work yes, scandals no.

    And yet these past few years were pretty much filled with scandals, and people wonder why this happens ?

    Terrible thing happened but did they really NOt deserve it by treating fans as they do ?

  • Anonymous says:

    This is unforgivable.
    This is not like the usual creepy otaku hijinks, those can be disgusting but they are harmless and even funny.
    But attacking the people that selflessly provide so many the happiness and joy of their overcomercialized performanes?
    That is wrong.
    What a fucking piece of shit.

  • Anonymous says:

    From NHK

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20140525/t10014715071000.html

    Translation from another source:
    According to the theater manager, Kawaei fractured her thumb of the right hand, and got slashed on her right arm. Iriyama also fractured her pinky finger of the right hand, and got slashed on her head area and right arm. Both of them received surgeries to join the edges of the wounds.

    The theater manager also revealed that those two are able to have clear conversation, and they looked calm right before the surgeries.

    Along with the two members, there was a male staff member who also got injured, but none of them are life-threatening.

  • dang thats just so wrong. Idk if people forget these are just girls. Like normal girls and really young girls at that. This caught my attention. I hope they are okay. I know they said no life threatening, but i hope they don’t have any life changing injuries. especially on their face or anything cut off. Reason i say face is because especially in today’s world that’s gonna be a real emotional problem, especially girls considering how much pressure is put on them by media, society, etc. Hope they up the security. This kind got me thinking. I went through zero security at events like comic con and gen con. :\ glad no one was mortally wounded and it wasn’t a lot of people. Hopefully the girls quit IF they don’t make amazing strides in upping the security. Not safe work environment. Thought that was more mental til this article.

    I do hope people don’t make light of this. This shit could of went way way way worse really fast

    • Anonymous says:

      More likely he was strapped for cash and hatch what he thought was no doubt a brilliant scheme, to sever the much vaunted hand of an idol and spirit it away to later be sold in an internet auction.

      He must be thinking right now, “I was so close! If it weren’t for that damn staffer. I’ll never forgive you!”

  • The defendant called Satoru Umeta, after being arrested and has admitted attempted murder at the two idols. Umeta’s mother has responded to questions from the press saying that your child has done something horrible and that it is appropriate to apologize too. When asked about whether or not it was Umeta fan of AKB48, the woman said she has never seen CDs or tickets to the event at home. The suspect lives with his mother and three older brothers. Since graduating from the institute he has held several part-time jobs in Towada, and let the last one in December. Since then, he has been unemployed with trends to stay locked up at home.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Since graduating from the institute he has held several part-time jobs in Towada, and [left] the last one in December.”

      Geez, it’s an awful time making a living everywhere these days, isn’t it?

      • Anonymous says:

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  • Anonymous says:

    how the hell he managed to bring a saw inside a handshake event? last i heard there’s a security check before they entered the room.

    there’s at least 3 people injured from what this article said; meaning that the assailant most likely injured one, then brandish the saw around hurting the other two. question is, what’s the security personnel doing? send only one person to deal with him (hence an injured staff)?

    and more importantly, what did the other so-called ‘i-will-do-anything-for-you-my-idol’ fans did? watch from the sides and take videos of their idols getting hurt?

    he’s using a saw; not a katana, not a machete, not a zweihander. he can’t inflict much damage just from swinging it around. the guy can easily be apprehended if there’s at least two or three people with enough balls to quickly blitz rush him; one to hold his weapon hand and the rest knock and pin him to the ground.

  • As insane as this sounds, does this even begin to match the level of gross exploitation from idol management companies? It’s unfortunate that the girls had to get caught in the middle of it, but I don’t think they’re completely oblivious to what they’re doing, either.

    I mean, what did they expect would happen? The only people who would spend that much money just to touch a girl’s hand is someone who’s borderline sociable.

    Honestly, I’m surprised some insane otakus haven’t started up a rape gang or something and hijacked an idol transport car.

  • Anonymous says:

    well there’s bound to be people with mental issues who will be going to these events. And given the mental states of AKB48 fan articles posted on this site I’m not surprise.

  • Anonymous says:

    Quote: “He didn’t try to saw off their hands and take them home, did he?”

    This was my very first thought. Dude tried to take their hands. I have a little sympathy for the girls, some for him but mostly for the staff member (who was probably injured trying to stop the guy).

    As far as the severity of their injuries, “Lacerations and fractures don’t sound severe enough to prompt emergency surgery.” is my thought as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      huh? if there are broken bones you don’t go through a surgery as soon as possible? you let them broken, in this case probably their fingers hanging just by skin for the time being?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not all broken bones require surgery. Trust me, I’ve broken enough bones and haven’t once required surgery. Just a lot of X-Rays, pain meds, splints and casts.

        If their fingers are ‘hanging just by skin’ then FUCK YES they require emergency surgery! But no where in Sankaku’s report is there mention of their hands being that bad.

        As far as the post, I’m not saying their injuries weren’t severe enough for Emergency Surgery. Just saying that the way it was described makes it sound as though their injuries are minor. Anytime you get cut and it draws blood IS a laceration and fractures usually don’t require surgery.

    • Anonymous says:

      I actually thought the insane dude was just super psychotic atm or drunk or something, or was one of the AKB48 haters who hated them enough to do this. Idk about wether the injuries should be treated immediately or not, cuz I just dun relly care as long as it’s taken care of/treated in the end

  • Anonymous says:

    Why would they not check the bags? On practically all events I’ve been to they’ve done that, and that’s even though I’ve been seated far away from any performer. You’d think security would be even tighter when the whole point is that people are supposed to walk up to them.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re forgetting who’s organizing this… Most likely they’d pimp out the girls if it didn’t make the fanclub go apeshit and burn the whole country. I really doubt they give a shit about the girls, just milk enough money before they get too old and then dump them to porn and milk again.

        • Anonymous says:

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        • Anonymous says:

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    • Anonymous says:

      sankakucomplex users are stupid bronies and they can suck my proverbial dick
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    • Anonymous says:

      sankakucomplex users are all dick suckers

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        • Anonymous says:

          21:22 26/05/2014

          22:13 26/05/2014

          21:22 26/05/2014

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        • Anonymous says:

          21:22 26/05/2014

          22:13 26/05/2014

          21:22 26/05/2014

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  • Anonymous says:

    In an ideal world they should put an end to the commercial exploitation that is AKB48, these girls did nothing to deserve being attacked, but the very existence of these idol groups will no doubt still attract someone mentally ill to do this. Short of upping security, it still might not be enough to avoid a repeat of this, they need to change things. Unfortunately I don’t know enough about Japanese culture to suggest something valid, someone else feel free to chime in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Otaku have gone too far for years now. The very second they started expecting seiyu to be virginal miko, just like their idols, otaku went too far. After which the occasional psycho began to surface, like this clown.

    • Anonymous says:

      Situation that was already expected some day, with so many people going bankrupt and losing family in exchange for a devotion that will never be repaid ..
      Spend all the wages in exchange for a handshake to someone who is there for ill will , even disgusted by certain fans ..

      People obsessed with a love that will never be, never ends well ..
      Still got lucky, for he choose such an absurd and difficult weapon to wield, or end up in more people werent injured and even killed ..

      Probably the blame goes to the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre ..
      And not that vote buying scheme ..

      • Anonymous says:

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      • Anonymous says:

        True.

        People don’t call Jack the Ripper a prostitute otaku or slashing otaku, doesn’t it?

        Otaku is a term used for someone with avid obsession on something of materialistic nature; be it manga, anime, guns, idols,collectibles, etc etc. A homicidal person, is in another category. Being homicidal/murderous is more of a strictly mental-based issue; jealousy, anger, obsession; more generally, emotions.

        Sure, there are cases where some otaku turned murderous due to being extremely obsessed but that’s due to their personal homicidal intentions taking over; which can happen to anyone be it they’re an everyday salaryman, a mechanic, a police or even president of United States.

        So, don’t simply throw the blame on otaku. It’s still unknown whether the suspect is an otaku or not and even if he is, he doesn’t represent the community as a whole; if a standardly normal person did something like this, we won’t lump all other normal person in this world as a homicidal saw-swinging maniac, no?

        • Anonymous says:

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        • Anonymous says:

          “Sure, there are cases where some otaku turned murderous due to being extremely obsessed but that’s due to their personal homicidal intentions taking over; which can happen to anyone be it they’re an everyday salaryman, a mechanic, a police or even president of United States.”

          You’re the faggot who can’t even understand jokes, lol

        • yuriphoria says:

          No, no, no. That’s too complicated. Let’s just say that if you are remotely different from the main stream you are obviously carrying a saw to hurt innocent girls with you. That’s easier for my little brain to understand.

        • No, it was coined for the socially inept who would use overly formal language (either improperly or as a joke.) The term got its black mark from Tsutomu Miyazaki, though that era really seemed just about forgotten. The Akiba knife nut really seemed to be its own thing, media-wise.