'Samurai sword' homicide leaves three dead at Tokyo shrine


A violent attack with Japanese swords and survival knives at Tokyo's famed Tomioka Hachimangu shrine has left three dead - including the chief priestess and her brother - in an apparent family feud that turned deadly.

After slashing the priestess, Shigenaga Tomioka then stabbed a younger woman he was with to death with a sword, before killing himself, police said.

A female accomplice also died in the attack, and the priest's driver was injured, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said.

Nagako Tomioka, the 58-year-old head of Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, was attacked as she got out of her vehicle Thursday night.

Shigenara is then believed to have killed the woman before committing suicide.

After receiving emergency reports of a rampage with a blade, police rushed to the site and found four bleeding people near the shrine in the Tomioka district of Tokyo's Koto Ward.

The man's wife, in her 30s, first attacked Ms Tomioka's driver - stabbing him with a sword. The injuries to his shoulder and chest were not life-threatening.

Shigenaga Tomioka, 56, and an accomplice were hiding behind her house, police said.

A bloodied Samurai sword was reportedly found at the scene.

During those years, the suspect is said to have sent threatening letters to his sister and was arrested in 2006. However, he was sacked in 2001 and their father returned to the position as main priest, installing his daughter Nagako Tomioka as the second-ranked in the shrine.

Mr Tomioka had himself been chief priest of the shrine having taken over from his father in the 1990s, Jiji news agency reported.

The almost 400-year-old Tomioka Hachimangu shrine is known for its close ties to sumo and holding one of Tokyo's three big Shinto festivals. The shrine left the association on September 28 this year.