‘Exorcism’ kills Japanese girl by drowning

A 13-year-old girl in Japan was suffocated by her father and a monk who were trying to expel an “evil spirit”.

AFP says

The girl died after she was strapped down and doused with water, Japanese police and media reports said yesterday.

The two men, 56-year-old monk Kazuaki Kinoshita and the girl’s 50-year-old father Atsushi Maishigi, were arrested on charges of inflicting injury resulting in the death of Tomomi Maishigi in Kumamoto in the country’s south.

“The two are suspected of having conspired in what they call ‘waterfall service’… They allegedly strapped the victim to a chair with belts and doused her face with water,” on the night of August 27, a local police spokesman said.

According the the Mainichi Daily News:

Tomomi Maishigi, 13, was confirmed dead at a hospital in the predawn hours of Aug. 28. Kazuaki Kinoshita, a 56-year-old priest, and Tomomi’s father Atsushi Maishigi, 50, were arrested by police on suspicion of causing her death by pouring water on her as she was tied to a chair, drowning her. Kumamoto prefectural police say that the girl was similarly bound to a chair and doused with water multiple times in the past.

Police see it as very likely that Kinoshita led the attack, while Maishigi followed his guidance. […]

Atsushi and his wife reportedly sought the advice of Kinoshita in March of this year because Tomomi had an ailment that would not heal. Kinoshita said that the water rite could exorcise her and cure her, and subjected Tomomi to it around 100 times since then.

Police say a belt and adhesive tape were used to bind a struggling Tomomi to the chair, and Atsushi held her head and forced her to face upwards so it would be hit by the water, while Kinoshita recited sutras next to them.

Reportedly, Kinoshita normally insisted that believers stand during the water rite, with the water hitting their back or elsewhere.

A spokesperson for the Nakayamashingoshoshu’s main temple in Kiyama, Saga Prefecture, said, “The water rite is done to bring one’s wishes to reality, but of course you cannot exorcise with it. We also do not instruct to bind the arms and legs when doing the ritual.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday September 29, 2011.
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