The mass murderer of Ikeda Elementary School, who stabbed 8 first- and second-grade students to death and wounded 15 others.

Born in 1964, Takuma dropped out of high school and was disowned by his father. He entered the Japan Air Self Defense Force (Koukuujieitai). but was soon discharged due to undisclosed problems. He moved to Ikeda and found work as a bus and garbage truck driver. He was described by coworkers as a quiet and unremarkable man, but a bit of a loner who did not like dealing with customers and preferred working alone. However, after assaulting a passenger over the smell of their perfume in 1998, he was fired and got a new job as maintenance man at Itami Elementary School, 6 kilometers away from Ikeda. In October of the same year, he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his former wife.

On March 3, 1999, he dissolved some of his own drugs into the tea served in the teachers' room, sending 4 people to the hospital. He was arrested as a suspect and packed off to a psychiatric hospital, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but after one month's treatment was judged to be "capable of taking care of himself" and released.

The assessment proved to be overly optimistic. Takuma was in and out of the hospital. In November 1999, he was arrested on suspicion of entering into a private home, but charges were dropped. He managed to get a job as a taxi driver in September 2000, but was fired on October 16th after he assaulted a hotel bellboy in Osaka and broke his nose. He was also kicked out of several apartments for, among other things, throwing his garbage out from the balcony. On May 23, 2001, he was again committed to the hospital, but he left after one day and did not return.

On June 8, 2001, the day of his court hearing for the bellboy assault case, he intentionally took a 10x overdose of his psychiatric drugs and went on a murderous rampage in the Ikeda Elementary School. He 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." Later, when interrogated, he stated:

Nani-mo ka-mo iya ni natta. Nankai mo jisatsu shiyou to hakatta ga shi ni kirenakatta. Shougakkou wo abarera tsukamatte shikei ni shite ga hoshii.

"Anything and everything has become unbearable. Time and time again I tried kill myself but I could not do it. I figured that if I went on a rampage in the elementary school, I would be arrested and get the death sentence."

At time of writing, Takuma remains incarcerated pending trial.

Perversely enough, Takuma Mamoru means "protect the home". (Yes, the first kanji in Takuma is the same as in otaku.)

Collected and translated from various Japanese media sources.