Book by Japan man accused of killing Briton sells well

Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:49am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chiaki Kawase

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - A book by a Japanese man accused of killing a British English teacher in a 2007 crime that riveted Japan and how he evaded capture by police for years is selling well less than a month after publication.

Tatsuya Ichihashi is accused of killing Lindsay Ann Hawker in 2007, when she was found brutally murdered and buried in sand in a bathtub on the balcony of his apartment. He managed to escape arrest despite being interrogated by police about Hawker's disappearance, fleeing from them barefoot.

The gruesome nature of the crime, and his capture years later with an altered appearance, became a national sensation, but a book by a person accused of a serious crime is highly unusual in Japan, particularly if no remorse is expressed.

Despite having no pre-publication publicity, "Until I got Arrested: A Memoir of the Missing Two Years and Seven Months" has sold more than 100,000 copies since coming out on Jan 25, said publisher Gentosha.

"The book was published without warning, but we have been getting a lot of inquiries and the book has been selling pretty well," said Yoshikawa Nao, sales staff at the BOOK1st bookstore in Shibuya, an area of Tokyo popular with young people.

Ichihashi's arrest in 2009 ended a fugitive life spent, by his account, hiding in bathrooms, working as a day laborer, and even catching crabs, sea urchins and shrimp along the seashore on a remote southern Japanese island.

In the book's dedication, Ichihashi says he wants sales proceeds to go to either the Hawker family or charity.

But pop culture specialist and columnist Shunichi Karasawa says the account shows no other sign of remorse.   Continued...

<p>Tatsuya Ichihashi after being caught following more than two years on the run, during which he had plastic surgery. REUTERS/Gyotoku Police investigation task force</p>