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    Arrest in Shiga stabbing

    The big news today is that there’s been another child murder. This time there’s no question of having watched out more carefully for a suspicious stranger:

    A woman was arrested Friday on suspicion of fatally stabbing two 5-year-old schoolmates of her daughter while driving them to kindergarten, police said.

    Mie Taniguchi, 34, has admitted she stabbed the children, police said, but she has been unable to respond to questioning.

    A passerby called police around 9 a.m. Friday after coming across a boy and a girl lying and bleeding in an area filled with rice paddies.

    Each child had been stabbed about 20 times, police said.

    The woman said Taniguchi was originally from China and apparently had trouble with the Japanese language.

    About a year ago, the woman said, Taniguchi complained that she could not mingle with the mothers of other children at the kindergarten.

    Obviously, there was more going on there than simple trouble with Japanese; foreign women marry Japanese men and adjust to life here–the initial distant reception for both them and their children, the difficulties communicating–without stabbing anyone. You have to feel sorry for the parents of the dead children, of course, but I’m most sad for Taniguchi’s own daughter.

    5 Responses to “Arrest in Shiga stabbing”

    1. Zak says:

      I always get infuriated when people on the news say things like “Police are still investigating motives for the stabbing of the two children”…

      Hello! There is only one possible reason, and that is SHE IS FUCKING NUTS. Anything that could resemble a motive as the word is normally understood does not apply.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Can you really be sure of that, Zak? It certainly seems that Ms. Taniguchi was probably not in her right mind, but the possibility that she was a sociopath and decided to take revenge on people he thought were giving her the cold shoulder (or whatever) has to be eliminated, however unpalatable it may be to think about.

    3. Zak says:

      All rests on definitions, I guess. To me, any useful definition of sanity would have “Stabbing two children twenty times each because s/he thinks they are giving my own children the cold shoulder” as a criteria for exclusion.

      Now, I hope they do find her sane so that they can extract the maximum punishment, but that does not mean that she actually IS sane, at least by what seems to me to be a reasonable definition.

      Same thing with Matsumoto. Of course he’s frickin’ insane. Maybe not by the definition the clinical psychologists use, though. Good, as I think he should fry too.

      Of course, the wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slowly. Sometimes I they’d just take these people back behind the court-house and shoot them, although I know that’s frowned upon. Rule of law and all that.

    4. Zak says:

      I meant to write that the wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slowly “in Japan.” The Matsumoto trial has been going on for how many years now? A decade, give or take?

    5. Sean Kinsell says:

      Yeah, he was arrested a few months after the subway attacks, so it’s been over a decade now.

      As far as the definition of sanity goes, given that citizenship in a free society is so dependent on individual mindfulness and autonomy, I think that the distinction is actually very important. However horrifying it is to think about, there is such a thing as a person in full possession of his mental faculties who purposefully commits murder. That’s a failure of moral fiber but not of sanity.

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