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Sunday, November 5, 2006

Nevada-Tan: Japanese Schoolgirl Murder

Wikipedians write:

Nevada-tan ... is the name commonly used to describe an 11-year-old Japanese schoolgirl who was charged with murdering her classmate Satomi Mitarai ... The murder occurred on June 1, 2004 at an elementary school in Sasebo, Japan, and involved the slitting of Mitarai’s throat and arms with a retractable knife. It has come to be known as the “Sasebo Slashing”. The un-named killer has since become an Internet meme cartoon character. (...)

The 11-year-old schoolgirl murdered her 12-year-old classmate, Satomi Mitarai, in an empty classroom during the lunch hour at Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo. “Girl A” left Mitarai’s body at the murder scene and returned to her own classroom, her clothes covered in blood. The girls’ teacher, who had noticed that both were missing, found the body and called the police.

After being taken into custody, “Girl A” was reported as confessing to the crime, saying “I have done a bad thing” and “I am sorry, I am sorry” to police, though she initially gave no motive for the killing. Shortly afterward, “Girl A” confessed to police that she and Mitarai had fallen out as a result of messages left on the Internet. (...)

For reasons not fully determined, the Japanese web communities, primarily Futaba Channel and 2channel [huge Japanese web board], fixated on this story and “adopted” the girl. Her personal website’s popularity suddenly rocketed, and when it was taken down, mirrors were established. Copies of her artwork began circulating around the web, with other artists creating variations on the originals. Fan songs, such as “Cutie NeVaDa” appeared. In June 2005, the online store that sold the University of Nevada hooded sweatshirt reported it to be their best-selling item in the site’s online statistics; a few weeks later, the University temporarily removed the sweatshirt from their catalog. Cosplayers created “Girl A” costumes. Artists on 2channel soon turned “Girl A” into a cute “chibified” [super-deformed] character dubbed “Nevada-tan.”

[Original text published under the GNU Free Documentation License. Images collected from various sources.]


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