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Three dead in Tokyo shrine stabbings

08 December 2017

The priestess, named in Japanese media as 58-year-old Nagako Tomioka was on the way to the shrine and was attacked when stepping out of her auto.

A Shinto priestess was killed on the grounds of a famous Tokyo shrine by a man wielding a traditional Japanese sword who then killed another woman before committing suicide, police said today, in what local media described as an apparent family feud.

While Shigenaga was assaulting his sister, another woman - reportedly the attacker's wife - pursued Nagako's driver with a sword.

The 58-year-old Nagako was later pronounced dead with a "deep" stab wound to her chest along with a laceration to the back of her neck.

The attack began around 8:25 p.m., when Shigenaga Tomioka attacked his sister with a Japanese sword as she exited her vehicle on the shrine grounds.

The driver escaped but suffered deep cuts to his shoulder, arm, and chest, police said.

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"We believe the male suspect (Shigenaga) stabbed the woman before stabbing himself", the spokesman said, adding that they both died, bringing the total fatalities to three.

Police said the attacks had been captured by nearby security cameras and that two survival knives and two Japanese swords had been left at the scene.

The attacker was the chief priest of the shrine more than a decade ago, but was demoted from the post and succeeded by his sister.

Founded in 1627, Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine is located about 300 meters from Tokyo Metro's Monzen-Nakacho Station.

Tomioka Hachimangu found itself in hot water with the Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines) in 2010 over the appointment of the shrine's chief priest.

Three dead in Tokyo shrine stabbings