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The Akiba Massacre

We have all heard about the murders in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, Japan committed by Kato Tomohiro. What you may not have heard of are the debates or rationalization of why the incident occurred. Global Voices Japanese language editor, Chris Salzberg (writer/translator and graduate student living in Tokyo, Japan) has an excellent post on the Akiha Massacre: 

“When all the dust had settled and the knife rampage in Tokyo’s Akihabara district last Sunday, which took the lives of seven people and left at least 17 injured, had come to a close, many were left wondering what it all really meant. Some pointed the finger at video games, while others pushed for stronger net monitoring. But whilenews media commentators tried to ease anxiety [ja] that there might be deeper social forces at play in murderer Tomohiro Kato’s motives, bloggers offered less simplistic interpretations.”

Click here to read part 1 of his report.

In the second part of his story, Chris discusses citizen media and the Japanese reaction to the use of blogging and other forms of communication via social networks to document the incident in real time:

“In the last post, I summarized some of the many blog conversationsabout social background to the massacre in Tokyo’s Akihabara district on June 8th. Another aspect of the tragedy sparking many discussions was the way the incident was covered through the citizen media: through blogs, but also through Twitter [ja], and most controversially through the use of streaming video [ja]. As blogger Akihito Kobayashi pointed out [ja], while this was not the first case in Japan where a news story broke first through these new forms of media, it was a very clear sign that times are changing. EvenNHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, was apparently using pictures off the Internet taken with mobile phone cameras by people who just happened to be on the scene.”

Click here to read part 2 of the Akiba Massacre.

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