Police say three people have died in the stabbing attack on Thursday night at the prominent shrine, including the head priest and the attacker, who apparently took his own life.
Shigenaga Tomioka, 56, is suspected of having attacked his 58-year-old sister Nagako Tomioka, the chief priest of the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, the Metropolitan Police Department said.
At around 8:30 p.m., the police received an emergency call saying there was a person holding an edged weapon and they found a samurai sword and two survival knives near the attack site.
Her driver reportedly has also been wounded.
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Authorities suspect a row between the brother and sister over the shine's chief priest position had prompted the apparent murder-suicide.
The priestess, named in Japanese media as 58-year-old Nagako Tomioka was on the way to the shrine and was attacked when stepping out of her auto. At a spot about 100 meters away from the vehicle, she slashed his right shoulder, leaving him with a non-life-threatening injury. The driver's injuries were not life-threatening.
The two attackers then moved to the shrine premises, where the Shigenaga Tomioka stabbed his accomplice in the chest and stomach and then stabbed himself in the left side of the chest multiple times.
Also, a woman aged in her 30s who was with Shigenaga Tomioka attacked and stabbed the driver of the vehicle with a Japanese sword, police said.
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A man visits the controversial Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo on December 5, 2017.
The almost 400-year-old Tomioka Hachimangu shrine is known for its close ties to sumo and holding one of Tokyo's three big Shinto festivals.
The four victims were believed to be associated with the shrine. The shrine left the association on September 28 this year.
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