Wednesday, February 27, 2008

THE DARK SIDE: Infamous Japanese Crimes and Criminals

By Chris Tsubamoto

Take a walk on the other side with some of Japan's most notorious serial killers

Author: Mark Schreiber
Kodansha America, 224 pages

Spanning from 1603 to the present, “The Dark Side: Infamous Japanese Crimes and Criminals” takes a deep deep look into the mind of some of Japan’s most sickest individuals. The who’s, why’s, and how’s are carefully and meticulously explained to the readers, so one could almost understand the reasoning behind their murderous rampages.

Although some of the earlier criminals didn’t seem too interesting to me, the more modern ones did. Surprisingly, there are also tales about female serial killers… here’s an excerpt from one I found fairly intriguing…

O’Matsu’s modus operandi was certainly scary enough. Stunningly attractive, she would wait along the bank in the lower reaches of the Oiwase River in Aomori Prefecture where it flows into Lake Towada, and accost samurai traveling alone. Claiming to have a stomach ailment, she would implore the samurai to carry her across the shallow rapids.

Agreeing, the doomed man would gallantly invite her to climb on his back. She would wrap her legs around his torso and extend her arms around his neck. Stepping carefully to maintain his footing on the slippery river bottom, the samurai was no doubt further distracted by the sensation of warmth from her slim, young body and voluptuous curves. And thus paid little attention to the movements she made - right up to the time she pulled a knife from her bodice and, with a bloodcurdling scream, slit his throat. She would then steal whatever funds he carried and allow the rushing waters to sweep away the corpse.

Ugh… she went on to kill about forty-eight men this way, until number forty-nine became suspicious and gutted the bitch. Cool stuff!

Anywhoos, if you’re into death and murder and want to delve into the mind of a serial killer (Asian ones to boot!), then I highly recommend this book. It’s a decent read and hopefully it’ll give you a few ideas, umm… I mean stimulate some intellectual conversation next time you’re at a party. 

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