Mamoru Takuma

Mamoru Takuma (宅間 守[a], Takuma Mamoru, 23 November 1963 – 14 September 2004) was a Japanese mass murderer who killed eight children in the Osaka school massacre in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture on 8 June 2001.[1]

Mamoru Takuma
Mamoru Takuma.jpg
Mamoru Takuma (宅間 守)

(1963-11-23)November 23, 1963
DiedSeptember 14, 2004(2004-09-14) (aged 40)
Osaka, Japan
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Criminal statusExecuted at 8:16 am on 14 September 2004
Criminal penaltyDeath
DateJune 8, 2001
10:15 a.m.
Location(s)Ikeda, Osaka, Japan
Target(s)Ikeda Elementary School
WeaponsDeba knife (blade length about 15.8 cm)

Takuma had a long history of mentally disturbed and anti-social behavior, and an extensive criminal record including a conviction for rape.[2] He stabbed to death eight students and seriously wounded fifteen others at Ikeda Elementary School in a knife attack that lasted several minutes.

Takuma was convicted in August 2003 and executed on 14 September 2004.

Early lifeEdit

Mamoru Takuma was born on 23 November 1963 in Itami, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. As a child, he displayed unusual and anti-social behavior. At the age of three, he rode his tricycle towards the center of a highway, causing traffic jams; as well as wrapping cats and other animals in newspaper, and would ignite them, eventually killing them. From elementary school to junior high, he bullied other children, all the while he was being bullied himself. From an early age, Takuma had envy and jealousy for the "highly educated and high-income elite." Takuma's father was violent against the whole family, and Takuma grew up being abused by his father (it seems that he was also left alone to grow up). Takuma recalls that he hated his violent father and even thought of stabbing him with a knife while he was sleeping. In February 1979 he enrolled in high school in Amagasaki, but dropped out in March 1981. Takuma worked part-time at a gas station for several months until enlisting in the Japan Air Self Defense Force at age 18 at the end of 1981, but was discharged in January 1983 for boarding a girl who ran away from home and having sexual intercourse with her.[3] After he was discharged his relationship with his parents worsened, and there were incidents in which his father repeatedly beat Takuma with stones.[4] Takuma told his parents when he had a fight, "I'll use a yakuza to mess up your life" and "I'll suffer until I die".[5] In 1984, Takuma and his mother left his family house and purchased an apartment, leaving his oldest brother and father by themselves. They lived together for a year and a half, until his father came back for his wife.[6] In February 1999 his brother died by suicide in his early 40s by slashing his neck with a knife. He was distressed by the existence of his bankrupt brother. His mother also suffered from mental illness for a long time, stayed in a mental hospital for more than several decades, and died at the end of 2016. His father was hospitalized due to drunkenness after the incident, but according to Takuma in detention center, he said, "I wanted him to commit suicide like Tsutomu Miyazaki's father."[7] His father died in April 2020 at the age of 88, and his parents' house in Itami, where he lived alone, was demolished in September of the same year. As of June 2021, the site is vacant.[8][circular reference]

Criminal historyEdit

On 21 November 1984, Takuma raped a woman while collecting rent for a condominium management company. After the incident, believing the woman had filed a complaint to the police, Takuma consulted a psychiatrist with his mother on 12 December and he complained about hearing hallucinations, "feeling that he's plunged into someone" and other complains. The hospital initially diagnosed him with anxiety, but later stated it was schizophrenia in the medical certificate and in response to police inquiries. Takuma, who was placed in a closed ward was dissatisfied with his hospitalized life. On 4 January 1985, he jumped from the roof of the 5th floor to the roof of a nearby garage to commit suicide, and was seriously injured, fracturing his mandible and maxilla. Takuma later wrote to his mother that he was hospitalized to avoid being pursued by the police in a rape case and jumped off the fifth floor to "harass his parents".[9][circular reference] After being discharged from the hospital Takuma decided to commit even more crimes for "revenge on the world," Later, the doctor in charge of the psychological examination during discharge pointed out that this may have strengthened his resentment towards society.[10][circular reference]

Takuma was sentenced to three years in prison in November 1986 and was imprisoned until 11 March 1989. While in prison, he jumped out of the hospital ward, breaking his bone, explaining in a letter to his mother that he did it because she would not cooperate regarding his discharge. He demanded from his parents to take responsibility and pay for his living expenses after his release. However, the father refused him. Because he did not show remorse, his father told him that he would hand over the money he traded in for his personal belongings to disown him.[11][12][circular reference] After his release from prison, Takuma moved to Ikeda and found work as a bus driver, garbage truck driver, semi-trailer truck driver and dump truck driver. Takuma's coworkers described him as a quiet and unremarkable man, but a bit of a loner who did not like dealing with customers.[6]

In addition, Takuma testified in a later psychological examination that he was involved in 2 fatal car accidents when he was a dump truck driver and a semi-trailer truck driver after he was released from prison. While working he needed to carry industrial waste driving dump truck in the mountains, he drove his dump truck in front of another truck, and then suddenly pressed the brake pedal on a downward turn, the dump truck began to rotate and collided with an approaching truck. All the passengers of the truck died the next day. In this case, he lied about stepping on the brake pedal and told the police it was their fault. He was not indicted on any charges. Also, while driving a truck near the Metropolitan Expressway, the other car collided with the side wall and the driver died. He left the scene immediately, so he never revealed it as an incident.[13][circular reference]

In September 1993 he was arrested for rape. In 1998, Takuma was fired after assaulting a passenger over the smell of her perfume. Takuma found a new job as maintenance man at Itami Elementary School, 6 kilometers away from Ikeda. In October 1998, Takuma was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his ex-wife.

On 3 March 1999, Takuma dissolved some of his own tranquilizer, temazepam, into the tea served in the teachers' room at Itami Elementary School, sending four people to the hospital for three days. Regarding the tranquilizer contamination incident, Takuma said, "I was ignored by the teachers and did not go well with my family, and I wanted to relieve my anger due to human relationships." Takuma was arrested, however, Takuma was not criminally punished as was found "not responsible" (due to mental illness). In November 1999, Takuma was arrested on suspicion of burglary of a private house, but the charges were dropped. Takuma managed to get a job as a taxi driver in September 2000, but was fired on 16 October after he assaulted a hotel bellhop in Osaka and broke the bellhop's nose. In November 2000, he got a job as a truck driver at a construction materials sales company in Ikeda City. He was fired in February 2001 due to problems such as kicking a car that cut in front of him. Takuma was also kicked out of several apartments for, among other things, throwing his garbage out from the balcony. On 23 May 2001, Takuma voluntarily admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital for depression, but left the next day without treatment.

Out of dozens of companies, he had only remained with two for more than a year, the Air Self-Defense Force and part-time local government employer. In all others he resigned or was dismissed within few weeks to half a year. In addition, except for the rape case of the first offense, he was arrested 15 times, but all cases have been dismissed due to mental illness. He experienced four divorces and suicide attempts. Takuma was also arrested for driving his car in reverse gear on the Hanshin Expressway but released after he was found mentally unfit.


On 8 June 2001, the day of his court hearing for the bellhop assault case, Takuma went on a murderous rampage in the Ikeda Elementary School which he wanted to enter in boyhood. Takuma began to attack students and staff with a kitchen knife until he was wrestled down by staff. In the quick attack, Takuma killed eight students (seven 8-year-old girls and one 7-year-old boy) and seriously wounded thirteen other children and two teachers. Takuma was described as being in an extremely confused state when arrested, at first repeating "I went to the elementary school", and then saying "I went to the train station and stabbed 100 people with my knife. I did not go to the elementary school." Takuma stated he "drank ten times the medicine" immediately after his arrest and a subsequent medical examination was performed on him. The medicine in question turned out to be three types: the antipsychotic Seroquel, the antidepressant Paxil, and the benzodiazepine drug Lormetazepam. Even in the instance all of these medications are taken at ten times their standard prescribed dose, they are more likely to cause somnolence or sedation, not psychotic behavior.[14]

Takuma also stated:

Nani mo kamo iya ni natta. Nankai mo jisatsu wo hakatta ga shi ni kirenai. Tsukamaete shikei ni shite hoshikatta.
"I've become disgusted with everything. I've tried to kill myself several times, but couldn't. I wanted to be caught and be given a death sentence."[16]

Takuma also hated elite children who attended Ikeda Elementary School.[17]

Trial and executionEdit

Takuma's lawyers argued that he was suffering from temporary insanity at the time of the attack, but the psychiatrist who had initially diagnosed Takuma as schizophrenic told the court he later determined that Takuma actually had paranoid personality disorder.[18][19]

On 28 August 2003, Takuma was found guilty of multiple counts of murder and sentenced to death.[20] Takuma remained unrepentant, refusing to apologize to the families of the victims, and asked only for the sentence to be fulfilled as fast as possible. In court, Takuma engaged in intentionally provocative behavior, including yawning, shaking his body, and staring at victims' family members. His statement was, "I should have used gasoline, so I could have killed more than I did."[21] On the last day of the trial, Takuma still expressed no guilt or remorse, and continued to insult the victims' families until the judge removed him. The sentence was carried out unusually quickly by Japanese standards (condemned prisoners in Japan usually spend many years on death row); Takuma was executed at the Osaka Detention House only one year later, on 14 September 2004.[22]


Takuma consistently hoped for the death penalty after the incident and was executed at an unusual speed in Japan. Since then, some people have committed crimes to be sentenced to death.

Kaoru Kobayashi, who sexually assaulted and murdered 7-year-old Kaede Ariyama in Nara in November 2004, considered Takuma to be a charismatic murderer and sought a speedy execution like him.[23]

Kobayashi said:

I want to be sentenced to death as quickly as possible, and leave a legacy among the public as the next Tsutomu Miyazaki or Mamoru Takuma.[24]

list of copycat incidentEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Japan mourns school victims". CNN. 2001-06-10. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" 付属池田小事件裁判傍聴記 殺人鬼の素顔とは (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2008-06-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "宅間守", Wikipedia (in Japanese), 2021-12-19, retrieved 2021-12-27
  4. ^ "宅間守", Wikipedia (in Japanese), 2021-12-19, retrieved 2021-12-27
  5. ^ "宅間守", Wikipedia (in Japanese), 2021-12-19, retrieved 2021-12-27
  6. ^ a b 宅間守資料 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  7. ^ "宅間守の生い立ち~母親は望まない子供で父親の現在や兄は自殺の闇". 生い立ち〜今 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  8. ^ "宅間守 - Wikipedia". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-19.
  9. ^ "宅間守 - Wikipedia". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  10. ^ "宅間守 - Wikipedia". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  11. ^ Okae, Akira (May 23, 2013). 宅間守 精神鑑定書 精神医療と刑事司法のはざまで [Mamoru Takuma Psychiatric Assessment Report: Between psychiatric care and criminal justice] (in Japanese). Aki Shobo. ISBN 978-4-7505-1310-2. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  12. ^ "宅間守 - Wikipedia". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  13. ^ "宅間守 - Wikipedia". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  14. ^ "Motive for school stabbing unclear". Television New Zealand. 2001-06-13. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  15. ^ ちゆ12歳 (2001-06-08). "教室に乱入、児童8人を刺殺". Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  16. ^ "School massacre shatters Japan's sense of security". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. 2001-06-09. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  17. ^ Ozawa, Harumi (2008-06-09). "Seven dead in street stabbing frenzy". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  18. ^ "Suspect may suffer from personality disorder". The Japan Times. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  19. ^ "Osaka massacre suspect Takuma not schizophrenic: psychiatrist". Kyodo News. March 28, 2002. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  20. ^ "Death for Japanese school killer". BBC. 2003-08-28. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  21. ^ "Quote Of The Day - I should have used gasoline, so I could have killed more than I did". Japan Today. Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
  22. ^ "Japanese school killer executed". BBC. 2004-09-14. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  23. ^ "Defendant admits abducting and killing schoolgirl in Nara". The Japan Times. 2005-04-19. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  24. ^ "Defendant admits abducting and killing schoolgirl in Nara". The Japan Times. 2005-04-19. Archived from the original on 2008-09-15. Retrieved 2008-02-11.

External linksEdit