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The Shimonoseki Station massacre took place on September 29, 1999, when Yasuaki Uwabe, then aged 35, drove a car into the Shimonoseki Station. Exiting the car, he proceeded to stab passers-by at random until apprehended at the scene. As a result of his actions, five people were killed and 10 others were injured; Uwabe was arrested at the scene, and later was sentenced to death. He was executed in 2012.[1]

Shimonoseki Station massacre
Shimonoseki stn070520.jpg
Shimonoseki Station, East Gate
LocationShimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan
DateSeptember 29, 1999
4:25 pm (JST)
Attack type
Mass murder, stabbing
WeaponsCar, knife
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorYasuaki Uwabe



On September 29, 1999 at around 4:25 pm, Uwabe, who was still working in the transportation industry, drove a rented car[2] into the east entrance of Shimonoseki Station. Driving through the first platform floor,[2] Uwabe hit at least seven people, two of whom died at the scene.[3] As the car got stuck, Uwabe got out of the car and progressed up to the second platform on the second floor, brandishing a knife. After using the knife to stab a further seven people,[3] Uwabe was overpowered by local police and arrested at the scene.[4]


Yasuaki Uwabe

Yasuaki Uwabe (Japanese: 上部康明) was born in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi. After graduating from Kyushu University in 1989, Uwabe left one job in 1991 and another, at an architectural firm, due to his social phobias. Uwabe married in 1993 and opened his own architectural firm, but quit in 1997 due to his phobias. As he ran out of money, he received a loan to buy a truck and began work in the delivery service industry. At the same time he began to isolate himself. He got a divorce in June 1999. On September 24 the same year, his truck was lost in a flood due to a typhoon, and his loan was recalled. He asked his parents to pay for the loan but they refused.[5] Looking back on his early life, Uwabe described how, after graduating as a first class architect from a national university of Japan he found it hard to open his own design office and began to blame his parents and society for his frustration. He says he was also motivated by another crime three weeks earlier when a 23-year-old man stabbed to death two people and injured six others in Ikebukuro.[6]


After his arrest, Uwabe said that "No matter what I did, it never turned out well, which made me bitter toward society". He also stated that he decided to use a car in order to "kill more people".[7] He was judged by the Yamaguchi District Court and was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to death. He was executed by hanging on March 29, 2012.[8]


  1. ^ Rick Halperin. "Death penalty news----worldwide". Washburn University School of Law/Japan Times. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "99年下関駅無差別殺傷、上部被告の死刑確定へ". Asahi. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  3. ^ a b ワッと泣いた・気持ちの糸切れた…刑執行で遺族 (in Japanese). Yomiuri Online. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  4. ^ "Three hanged; executions are first since '10". The Japan Times. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  5. ^ 민사조정신청서 (in Japanese). 시모노세키 주오 법률사무소. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  6. ^ "Ikebukuro killer insane, lawyers say". The Japan Times. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "Famous Murders in Japan". Facts and Details. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  8. ^ "Three hanged; executions are first since '10". The Japan Times. Retrieved March 30, 2012.