Usually there's nothing like a Sunday afternoon in Akihabara. It's fun to roam through the many electronics stores to see the latest devices, or head into one of the anime shops to browse figures or doujinshi comics. The blocked-off street (known as "pedestrian's heaven") is so full of shoppers and tourists and fans in cosplay giving "guerilla live" street performances that it feels like a great big carnival. This happy image was destroyed on Sunday when a crazed man drove a rented truck into a crowd then jumped out and started attacking people with a large survival-type knife, eventually killing six men and one woman and injuring ten others before police could take him into custody. Although rare in usually-peaceful Japan, these bizarre knife attacks do sometimes occur, and they're called torima, roughly translated as "a devil who just happened to be passing by." Sunday's tragedy called to mind an attack on children in an elementary school by a deranged man in which eight children were killed, which in an eerie twist happened exactly seven years before this attack. All Japan is buzzing about the possible motives of the attacker, a 25-year-old temporary factory worker from Shizuoka Prefecture, who may have been set off by a mistaken belief that he had been let go from his company when this was not the case. All throughout the world and the web, people are expressing sadness over the terrible tragedy.
"Ich bin ein Akihabarer..."