May 27, 2022

Japan: Over 50% of Public Library Networks Stock Controversial Book on 2016 Sagamihara Massacre

From The Japan Times:

A controversial book about the 2016 massacre at a care home in Kanagawa Prefecture for people with mental disabilities can be found at public libraries in 25 of the country’s 47 prefectures, a Jiji Press survey has found.

The book, criticized by some as containing discriminatory content, includes notes by the accused, Satoshi Uematsu, 29, who has been indicted on charges including the murder of 19 residents of Tsukui Yamayuri En in Sagamihara. Twenty-four other people were injured in the knife attack on July 26, 2016. Residents who survived the assault have been moved to other care facilities.


The libraries in the 25 prefectures said that the book met their selection criteria. An official at one of them said the facility holds the book to “guarantee users’ right to know.”

“We found it important to make the book available to users as the incident posed serious challenges to society,” an official at another library said, noting that the book sincerely discusses questions related to the incident.

The book, “Akerareta Pandora no Hako,” which can be translated as “A Pandora’s Box That Was Opened,” was released by Tsukuru Publishing Co. in July last year.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.