Japan · School Violence

Cram school teacher stabs 12-year-old student to death after argument

December 10, 2005
Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Yu Hagino (23, pictured left) stabs 6th grader Sayano Horimoto (12, pictured right) to death following an argument

Hagino was a part-time teacher at a cram school (a school dedicated to studying for entrance exams into high school and college, either to earn entry into prestigious schools or for students who had failed entrance exams and needed to retake their tests). During his time teaching, Horimoto and her family complained about Hagino, stating he mistreated Horimoto during an individual counseling session.

Hagino received an anonymous complaint claiming he was difficult to understand and assumed it had come from Horimoto. He began festering hate towards her which increased each day because he believed she was disrespectful to him.

On December 1, he wrapped hammers and knives in a towel to conceal any noises they would make in his bag. He planned to kill Horimoto on December 3 after an exam when fewer teachers would be in the school, but Horimoto was not in attendance as she had already taken the test.

On December 10, Hagino attempted to strike Horimoto on the back of her head with a hammer but failed. He then stabbed her in the neck, face, and head at least 10 times, pushed her to the floor, and stabbed her at least 3 more times in the neck.

Hagino was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison, though his sentence was reduced in 2009 to 15 years.

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