In 2005, Sayano Horimoto
Horimoto Sayano, 1993 - December 10, 2005) was murdered
by a teacher, Yu Hagino (萩野
Hagino Yū, born 1982), at her juku.
The 12-year old, a sixth grader at Shinmei Primary
School, became uncomfortable around 23-year old Hagino, a teacher at a
cram school in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture and student at Doshisha
University. Sayano complained to her parents about the teacher when he
became suggestive around her. On December 10, 2005, Hagino sent the
other students outside. He then disconnected a security camera and
stabbed Sayano Horimoto to death.
Yu Hagino was convicted of injuring a man before
the murder. He went to a mental hospital in the autumn of 2003, but he
became worse after that, taking Fluvoxamine.
Because his crime occurred when the murder of Airi
Kinoshita made a panic in Japan, he was noted as a child killer by
Japanese people. Hagino received an 18-year prison sentence for his
crime on March 6, 2007. Prosecutors appealed, seeking a heavier
penalty. However, the Osaka High Court revoked the original sentence
and sentenced him to 15 years imprisonment on March 24, 2009.
Cram school teacher gets 18 years for slaying
The Japan Times
March 7, 2007
KYOTO (Kyodo) A part-time cram school teacher was
sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday for fatally stabbing a
12-year-old female student in 2005 at the school in Uji, Kyoto
The shocking incident led the
cram-school industry to review classroom safety and baselines for
Yu Hagino, 24, stabbed Sayano
Horimoto, a sixth-grader, with a kitchen knife in the neck and other
parts of her body while they were alone in a cram school classroom on
the morning of Dec. 10, 2005, the Kyoto District Court said.
"The cruelty of the crime is
beyond description," especially since it happened in what should be
considered a safe environment -- a student and teacher in a school,
presiding Judge Makoto Himuro said.
Himuro dismissed the defense
argument that Hagino was mentally incompetent at the time of the
crime, holding him fully responsible for his actions, which the court
concluded were premeditated.
The defendant had prepared the
knife used and pulled the plug on a video monitor to avoid being
interrupted by other students or teachers, the judge said.
The court, however, did not
accept prosecutors' demand that Hagino get life imprisonment. The
judge also noted that Hagino had surrendered by making an emergency
call to police.
The victim's father, Tsunehide
Horimoto, 43, told a news conference, "The sentence is too light."
After the defendant pleaded
guilty, his mental competency became a major issue during the trial,
but a psychiatric test cleared him.
During the proceedings, Hagino
told the court that he was upset by a complaint about his teaching,
filed against him by the victim's parents in May 2005. He claimed the
episode led him to hallucinate that the girl had attacked him with a
The court ruled Himuro, who was
fired after the slaying, was capable of separating illusion from
Teacher admits killing girl,
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Feb. 21, 2006
A 23-year-old former
part-time cram school teacher admitted during the first hearing of his
trial at the Kyoto District Court on Monday that he stabbed a
12-year-old primary school girl to death at the cram school in
Yu Hagino, who was
also a student of Doshisha University, said he regretted the crime. "I
want to apologize to the girl and her parents from whom I took away
the precious life of their child," he said. "I'll atone [for the
crime] for the rest of my life."
argued that Hagino has suffered from mental disorders, including
hallucinations and delusions, and could not tell right from wrong at
the time of the incident. The lawyer is likely to request in the next
hearing at the earliest that Hagino undergo psychiatric tests.
Hagino is charged
with murder and violation of the Firearms and Swords Control Law.
According to the
indictment, Hagino killed Sayano Horimoto, a sixth-grader at Shinmei
Primary School in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, by stabbing her in the neck
and other parts of the body at about 9 a.m. on Dec. 10 in a classroom
at Kyoshin Co.'s Uji Shinmei cram school in the city.
At the hearing,
prosecutors said Hagino had first approached the seated girl from
behind and tried to hit her with a hammer, but failed.
stabbed her in the neck, head and face with a knife more than 10
times. Hagino then pushed her to the floor and then stabbed her at
least three more times in the neck.
Hagino's relationship with the girl deteriorated after her parents
complained about the way Hagino had treated Horimoto when she had an
individual counseling session in May.
that an anonymous complaint in a cram school questionnaire that said
he was hard to understand came from Horimoto.
insists Hagino began harboring hatred for Horimoto because he thought
she was disrespectful.
The prosecution also
said Hagino had a murderous intent after the cram school excluded him
as an observer for student practical test on Dec. 1. Hagino
premeditated the crime by wrapping his knives and a hammer in a towel
so that they would not make a noise when he put them in a bag,
according to the prosecution.
planned to commit the crime on Dec. 3, an examination day for
sixth-graders, because there would be fewer teachers than usual at the
school. He purchased two knives the day before, but did not commit the
crime that day because Horimoto had already taken the test.
lawyer, however, insisted that
received psychiatric treatment and was taking an antidepressant before
he committed the crime.
The lawyer also said
that Hagino had hallucinations that the girl had attacked him with a
sword and had taken over his body. Although Hagino drew up a detailed
plan for the murder, he never thought how he could escape from the
scene and destroy evidence, the lawyer said.
At a press
conference after the hearing, the lawyer said
has stopped having hallucinations, but
from an altered mental state at the time of the incident and
needs psychiatric tests.
Teacher held over Japan stabbing
December 10, 2005
A teacher has been arrested in Japan and charged
with stabbing a schoolgirl to death in an argument.
Sayano Horimoto, 12, was killed in a classroom on
Saturday, becoming the third child to be murdered in Japan in the last
Japan's justice minister has warned of a chain
reaction of killings.
Serious crimes are rare in Japan but recent child
murders have prompted parents to demand increased security in schools,
our Tokyo correspondent says.
The shocking, inexplicable nature of the killings
has prompted many Japanese to ask if something is wrong with the moral
climate in their country, the BBC's Jonathan Head reports.
Yu Hagino, a 23-year-old teacher at a private
school in the city of Uji in Kyoto prefecture, has been arrested on
suspicion of killing the schoolgirl, police said.
"The suspect has said that he stabbed the student
after getting into a verbal dispute," a police spokesman said.
Local media said the suspect had told police the
girl had mocked him.
Police said the classroom's surveillance camera
system had been disabled before the attack, which was carried out with
a kitchen knife.
In two recent, unrelated incidents, the body of a
seven-year-old child was discovered strangled and taped inside a box
in a car park.
The body of another child of the same age was also
discovered, stabbed and left in a forest.
A Peruvian man was arrested over the first killing.
"This is truly sad," Japan's Justice Minister,
Seiken Sugiura, told Kyodo news agency, in response to the latest
"We need to prevent a chain reaction. I would like
to carefully study the incident and think of steps that can be taken,"
According to our correspondent, the minister's
warning appears unnecessarily alarmist, as there is no evidence that
violent crimes involving children are rising in Japan and no link
between the three latest murders.
But parents are calling for better security on the
long walk that customarily takes many children to school.
School uniforms fitted with global positioning
transmitters are being sold and some schools have fitted sensors in
their gates that inform parents their offspring have arrived safely.
Yu Hagino, a 23-year-old teacher.
Sayano Horimoto, 12, a sixth grader at Shinmei