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On March 9, 2020, Tadashi Asano visited Urawa in an attempt to murder his wife, or second daughter. Expecting that his wife, Houyo, would come to report the transfer of their second daughter, he waited in ambush at the city hall from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but to no avail. He then changed his location to the Ministry of Justice staff quarters and staked out the area, where his second and third daughters showed up.
Tadashi followed the two daughters. They walked to Musashi-Urawa Station and entered a 100-yen store. Tadashi thought of stabbing the second daughter to death inside the store, but was unable to do so.
Tadashi told the court how he felt at the time.
“I followed them. I thought I could kill and stab her. But I couldn’t do it. I completely lost the desire to stab her, so I went back to my apartment in Koshigaya. I thought I had to change my inner self to be able to do so.”
Then, using the front and back of an A4 sheet of paper, he made a total of seven notes: “Check carefully to make sure you are not stabbing the wrong person,” “Stab the back. Stab in the back, then in the chest,” “Prepare a knife, hat, and mask,” “Lunch break is especially important,” “Stab repeatedly until someone stops you,” “Get arrested immediately and go to the police,” “You can kill someone else rather than killing yourself,” “Kill yourself after you get out of prison,” “The first shot is fatal,” “Kill yourself well,” “Kill yourself if you do not, another person will” He wrote, “At this point, it doesn’t matter if it’s my wife or daughter,” and so on.
Tadashi sat on the stand and answered questions from the defense, the prosecution, and the judge during the defendant’s questioning on May 24, 2022, and his tone was truly firm, especially when he described his own career as a psychologist.
In response to a question from the judge sitting in the left jury seat, Tadashi said, “When I killed my wife, I was in an extraordinary world. My wife and my second daughter are in the world of killing and being killed. I’m already going there. Then I won’t be socially condemned, I won’t be punished, and I won’t be arrested. So I will go to an extraordinary world. That way I can stab them. Even now, until I kill myself, there is still killing and being killed, and only when I kill myself does the extraordinary world end,” he replied.
When the presiding judge questioned the meaning of the statement, “Even though it is unusual, I am in an extraordinary world,” Tadashi responded.
Tadashi replied, “On the 9th, I couldn’t stab my second daughter, so I regretted it and wrote a note. From the 10th to the 12th, I was in an extraordinary world, so I didn’t have any more conflicts. After I finished writing this, I could not even think about my wife feeling pain. It is extraordinary because I am in a battle of killing and being killed.”
He then decided to murder his wife on March 16, 2020.
The most shocking part of Tadashi’s testimony that day was his statement, “I still feel anger toward my second daughter and the desire to kill her. I remember the time when we lived together happily, that’s when I have complicated feelings.”
In court on May 17, 2022, Tadashi testified that his second daughter “has feelings that cannot be expressed in one word” about her father, saying, “I thought she would be more hostile toward me. I can no longer suppress the feeling that I really want to kill her,” he said.
At the fifth hearing on May 26, Dr. Nei Nishikawa, who was in charge of Tadashi’s psychiatric evaluation, appeared in court. He is certified by the Japanese Association of Legal Psychiatrists as a psychiatric expert. Dr. Nishikawa repeatedly interviewed the defendant seven times, from April 8, 2020, 23 days after the incident, to April 16, 2020, May 13, 2020, June 24, 2020 and July 8, 2020, and from May 26 to June 8, 2020, he admitted Tadashi to Saiseikai Kounosu Hospital in Saitama, where he worked.
Interview and text by： Soichi Hayashi
Born in 1969. Passed the professional boxing test as a junior lightweight, but suffered a setback due to a left elbow injury. After working as a reporter for a weekly magazine, he became a nonfiction writer and educator, teaching at a public high school in the U.S. In 1996, he moved to the U.S. He graduated from the University of Tokyo's Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies in 2014. He is the author of "Minority Fist," "America Lower Level Education Site," and "America Problem Child Regeneration Classroom" (all Kobunsha e-books), "God's Ring," "The Door to the World: Forward! Samurai Blue" and "Hohoite to Nurture Coaching" (all published by Kodansha).