On Sunday May 25, 2014, two members of the all-hot girl group AKB48 were attacked by a man with a saw during a fan event in Takizawa, Iwate-ken.
The saw is a folding saw, which looks quite ominous, but luckily for the two women: Kawaei Rina, 19, and Iriyama Anna, 18, they only suffered cuts to their heads and fingers - which isn't to say they were minor injuries, only that it could have been much worse.
Still, the women underwent emergency surgery at the Iwate Medical University Hospital in Morioka, and (exhale) the surgery was successful, and are now in stable condition, possibly able to leave on Tuesday.
The special meet-and-greet event allows fans to meet members of the group in person, allowing the fans to enter the tents individually to shake hands or possible pose for photos with the group members.
|Iriyama Anna, AKB48|
The singers were standing at the entrance to a tent, and were immediately set upon by the 24-year-old attacker, Umeta Satoru (image at the top), who said later that he was not trying to specifically kill anyone in AKB48, but rather, just wanted to kill anyone.
Sounds like someone has some major mental health issues going on, which doesn't excuse the crime, but does indicate that Umeta needs some help rather than just straightforward jail time.
What's interesting, is that even though Umeta says he just wanted to kill someone - only no one in particular, still the police want to know what his motive was.
His motive? He was not in his right mind. Mental health issues! There's no legitimate motive… just someone who's messed up and doesn't know he's messed up.
Umeta snuck his folding knife in a bag to avoid detection.
|An example of a folding saw, open and closed - it can do some damage if used violently.|
There were no bag checks at this event—fans say even then AKB48 events don't have much in the way of cursory checks anyway—which has many calling for tighter security.
Knee meet jerk. There's nothing wrong with having tighter security, but in this day and age, it should have been implemented long before anything like this had to happen.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… there are few guns in Japan and excluding turf wars between alleged gang members or other gangster-related activities, violent crimes are rare in Japan.
But here's the thing… for some reason - perhaps because of a larger range of media - there seems to be more violent crimes committed by people with mental health issues. I'm not just talking about Japan. No - pick a country - any country, and you'll see someone snap and behead someone on a bus.
You don't need a gun to be violent. Knives work well, as do swords. Where could someone get a sword in Japan? Any damn place you want. How about the sword shop down by the corner. It's not like the sword shop owners are checking to see if the purchaser is in his or her right mind…
|Kawaei Rina, AKB48|
Here's the thing… most people will never be able to tell if someone is suffering from some sort of mental/chemical imbalance.
They look and act perfectly sociable, but in their head, it's another matter as whatever it is that causes the thoughts is telling them to be socially 'bad'. They might even know that what they are doing is wrong, but the brain is convincing them that it needs to be done… and for whatever reason, they do it.
Afterwards, they might feel guilt over it, some might not. Some might feel the thrill of having done something bad, and will want to do it again. Some might not even recall doing what they did.
I've been told that they feel that it wasn't them doing these bad things, that it was someone else - which I understand as a concept, but don't buy as an excuse.
Umeta did do what he did, but because of a possible mental health reason, is he responsible for his actions?
It's a grey matter, if you'll pardon the pun.
While medication may not be the panacea for everyone's mental health problems - someone people are born with a defective brain - it might help.
I do think they are guilty, and may need to be segregated from society, but not in jail… perhaps in healthcare facility where their mental issues can be closely examined and hopefully treated.
Anyhow, even though I'm not a fan of AKB48's music, I am a fan of hot Japanese women, and am glad their injuries were not severe.
Needless to say, after the incident, many of the AKB48 events have been canceled.
PS: No… I do not suffer from any sort of chemical or mental imbalance. Yes, I do know quite a few people, including some in my family, who suffer from it… everything from depression, social anxiety disorder (afraid to drive on the highway or at night, or afraid to go into a store in case the clerks realize you don't know how to apply make-up), bi-polar (manic-depression), schizophrenia (as an example, hearing messages from the dog, or secret color coded messages from the television) - oh yes, I've come across those first hand.
… and though no one has physically hurt anyone (that I am aware of), the mental and emotional scars they leave behind on others are every bit as painful as what they (the ones with the chemical imbalance) suffer. Yes… it's a sore subject.
It makes me wonder. Growing up, I never saw anything like this. But, in my 20s… there it was. In my 30s, now I see more of it. In my 40s, it seems like more people than not have some sort of mental issue.
Is there an epidemic? Is it something social, societal, something with our diet? Or again, is it just a larger population means more issues, even though percentage-wise it's still the same as it was 100 years ago? Or, are we just hearing more about it thanks to instant media? Or are people talking about it more because the social stigma isn't as damning as it was before? I said "as damning", implying that it still is damning…
PPS: As for my sensational headline, it was meant to create a sensation. For legal reasons, let's say the attacker is an "alleged" maniac.