Japan · Massacres/Mass Murder

30 killed by man upset his advances were rejected

May 21, 1938
Kamo, Empire of Japan
Mutsuo Toi (都井 睦雄) kills 30 when local women reject his sexual advances

Toi had been a hikikomori (a recluse or shut-in) earlier in life, but became very sexually motivated. Along these lines, he displayed an interest in Sada Abe and had begun to write a novel about her. To satisfy his sexual appetite, Toi took advantage of a rural Japanese tradition called Yobai, in which men would sneak into a woman’s bed in hopes the woman would consent to sex, finding many willing partners in this manner.

When Toi was discovered to have tuberculosis, a fatal disease at the time, he believed many of the women in the area treated him coldly. Because of this perceived mistreatment, whether accurate or imaginary, Toi grew angry at women. The village, concerned with Toi’s anger and fearing violence, limited the sale of firearms and his gun license was revoked. However, Toi was able to obtain weapons in secret.

On the evening of May 20, Toi cut power to the village. He began his massacre in the early morning hours of May 21 beginning by decapitating his grandmother with an axe. He claimed in his suicide note she was murdered so she wouldn’t have to live with the stigma of being a “murderer’s grandmother.” Afterwards, Toi crept into his neighbors’ houses and murdered them with a shotgun, katana, and axe. By morning, 30 people were dead from age 5 to 86. Toi committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

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