On May 21, 1938, a 21-year-old man from Japan killed 30 people and injured 3 more using a Browning shotgun, a katana sword and an axe. After all the murders, he killed himself with two bullets on his chest. It was one of the wildest nights to remember, the night of the Thuyama massacre.
Mutsuo Toi was born on March 5, 1917, in Kaio village, Japan, next to the Tsuyama town. As a son of two wealthy parents who eventually died of tuberculosis when he was still a baby, Mutsuo had everything he ever wanted except for the parental love that his sister and grandparents tried to provide him with. Unfortunately, they should have tried more.
After a happy childhood and adolescence, Mutsuo felt betrayed and miserable for the first time because, in 1934, his sister left their grandparents’ home to marry the man of her dreams. Mutsuo Toi was devastated and all he did was trying to find the time to write a novel inspired by the true story of Sada Abe, the prostitute that strangled her lover in 1936. At the same time, he started participating in Yobai.
Yobai is one of the weirdest ancient customs in Japan, mostly practiced by young men and women, in order to get to know how sex works. During night, and while the girl was asleep, a young man would sneak into her room to allure her in the joy of sex. After spending the night together, the young man left in silence, leaving the girl’s family behind, pretending that nothing ever happened. Yobai was not a rape, it was a condescending sexual action with deep, ancient cultural roots.
In addition, the custom had a “step-by-step guide” getting young men to take all of their clothes off, sneak into the girls’ houses, make no sound, and teach them the secrets of love. The reason why the male participants got naked before entering their love interests’ houses, was because there was always the danger of getting caught -and no one wanted the other residents to believe that they wanted to rob them. After 3 or 4 nights of “Yobai,” the couple usually dated openly and got married, but, today, the custom is not that popular. However, people in Japan still get aroused by its concept, making it one of the most requested fantasies in the country’s pornography and sex industry.
Let’s get back to the fatal night. On May 20, 1937, Mutsuo Toi, after plunging Kaio village into darkness, killed his grandmother cutting her head off with an axe. After putting two flashlights on his head, he started wandering around the village breaking into his neighbors’ houses and killing them. That night, Mutsuo Toi killed 29 people while three more suffered severe injuries. The weapons he used were a katana sword, an axe, and a Browning shotgun. In dawn, he killed himself using his favorite shotgun.
The killer had left multiple suicide notes behind, and what is believed to have triggered the murders is the fact that the village’s women kept turning him down as their Yobai lover, due to his health condition; because Toi was sick of tuberculosis, just like his parents were. As a result, he started feeling alone, blocked by people of his age, and he decided to take charge and plan his revenge.
Ηis first attempt, some nights before the tragic one, did not bear fruit because the people he had talked to about his plan called the police authorities. The area’s constabulary confiscated a gun he had in his possession, and Matsuo Toi never talked about his plans again. Of course, he bought new weapons, but this time, he let no one know.
In one of his notes, he wrote that he was sad because he had no time to kill some more of his neighbors. However, the most shocking letter of all was the one in which he explained why he had killed his grandmother. You see, according to Matsuo Toi’s criminal mind, he couldn’t leave her behind living with the “killer’s grandmother” stigma for the rest of her life.
Until the 1982 mass murder by Woo Bum-kon, a South Korean policeman who killed 56 people and wounded 35 others in several villages in Uiryeong County, South Korea, this incident was regarded as the second-worst massacre by an individual in modern history, behind the 1927 killing of 45 people by Andrew Kehoe. All of the murderers above killed themselves.
In 1983, the Japanese movie “Ushimitsu No Mura” (“Doomed Village”) was released. The story was based on the true events of the Mutsuo Toi case. This is the synopsis:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uWVsmUTlAI&w=420&h=315] [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhUUfyKoPVc&w=420&h=315]
An emotionally distraught young man goes on a violent killing spree after his tuberculosis keeps him from serving in World War II and is frowned upon by his fellow villagers.