The Tokyo Reporter

Tochigi shaman gets 14 years for telling couple to withhold child’s insulin

Hiroji Kondo

TOCHIGI (TR) – A judge sentenced a self-described shaman to a prison term on Friday in the murder of a diabetic boy by telling his parents to not give him insulin since it is “poison.”

The Utsunomiya District Court handed Hiroji Kondo, a 62-year-old resident of Shimotsuke, a prison term of 14 years and 6 months for preventing Shun Imai, 7, from receiving insulin for diabetes in April 2015, reports Nippon News Network (Mar. 24). The boy died later that month.

Kondo told the child’s parents that “insulin is poison” and chanted what he claimed were spells in such forms as “God of Death, disperse.” He pleaded not guilty in previous hearings, claiming that “all the evidence has been fabricated.”

The court said that Kondo “recognized there was a high risk of death if insulin wasn’t administered, but nonetheless ordered the parents not to administer [the insulin],” TV Asahi reported (Mar. 24).

“There was considerable suffering for Shun, who gradually weakened and died, and this is none other than cruel,” the court said.

In November of 2014, the boy was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus Type 1. The parents consulted with Kondo the following month. Kondo had previously told the boy’s mother that he could cure incurable diseases.

Shortly after the boy was released from the hospital in February of 2015, Kondo instructed the parents to stop with the insulin treatments.

The parents accepted the ruling, saying that “the trial is over now, but we would like to carry on with our lives as we pray for our son’s soul.”

In the ruling, the court said that “an attitude of reflection cannot be seen, in light of [Kondo] making irrational excuses and mocking Shun’s parents.”

Kondo was ejected from the courtroom during a previous hearing after shouting that the trial was “rigged” and that he was “a descendant of Taira no Kiyomori,” a military figure from the Heian period who died in 1181.

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