Police raid Pana Wave HQ over member’s death

Japan Today, Aug. 10, 2003

FUKUI — Police searched Pana Wave Laboratory’s headquarters in Fukui Prefecture on Sunday in connection with the death of one of the group’s members. The police launched the raid after finding bruise-like marks on the member’s back.

The police identified the member who died at the facility Thursday as Satoshi Chigusa, 40, an assistant professor at the Fukuoka University of Education. An autopsy found Chigusa died of a combination of traumatic shock and heat exhaustion.

Police said they suspect stick beating was a cause of Chigusa’s death. According to the police, one of the group’s customs was to hit each other mainly with wooden sticks with the intention of protecting their leader, Yuko Chino, and themselves from electromagnetic waves.

After traveling from one community to another around central Japan in a slow-moving caravan of white vehicles, Pana Wave members settled in May at their base facility in the city of Fukui.

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