Tatsuya Ichihashi’s New Book

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    Tatsuya Ichihashi raped and murdered English teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in 2007, evading police for two years and seven months before he was finally cornered and arrested at an Osaka ferry terminal in November 2009. He is currently locked up in a cell, awaiting trial.

    Ichihashi is back in the news this week because he’s written a book about his life on the run, and it will hit bookstores across Japan tomorrow:

    While Tatsuya Ichihashi, who will likely face a lay judge trial this year, has said publishing of the book is an expression of “contrition” for what he did, he does not describe the details of the murder or his motives, the sources said.

    Ichihashi is hoping to give any royalties from the book to the family of the murdered 22-year-old English teacher or use it for public good, according to his lawyer.

    Publishing the book is “an act he decided to take after pondering sincerely about what he can do,” the lawyer said.

    A representative for the Hawker family has said they are “disgusted” to see Ichihashi, who has yet to stand trial, write a book and that what the family has only wanted is “justice for Lindsay.”

    In the book, he says he traveled around from the northern prefecture of Aomori through the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa by train and ferry after fleeing from police officers in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, in March 2007 until he was caught in the city of Osaka in November 2009.

    Although Ichihashi is claiming this is meant to show remorse for his crime, the Hawker family is understandably angry at the very idea that Ichihashi should be allowed to publish a memoir. Although some commentators on Japanese TV seem to agree, the amount of attention being given to the book is sure to make it a bestseller.

    One of the most surprising things revealed in the book is that Ichihashi fled to a nearly uninhabited island in Okinawa prefecture and survived for months by eating fish, snakes, and fruit:

    Investigative sources suspect that Tatsuya Ichihashi, 32, temporarily went into hiding on Ohajima, a small island off Kumejima in Okinawa. Chiba Prefectural Police have dispatched a team of officers to the island, and seized plastic bags and other belongings as part of their investigation into Ichihashi’s footsteps as a fugitive.

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    Police suspect that Ichihashi lived in a hut on Ohajima while catching fish to survive. The island, inhabited by four households, has a circumference of 2.7 kilometers, according to information on the Okinawa Prefectural Government’s website.

    According to FTV, Ichihashi brought an English language copy of a Harry Potter book to the island (Lindsay supposedly recommended the book). He apparently lived in an old concrete building that served as an observation post during the American occupation of Okinawa.

    The only resident of the island, an 88-year-old man, says that there are plenty of edible plants and that one can also eat the snakes that live on the island. The waters around the island contain a lot of fish, which could have been caught using the nets found in Ichihashi’s alleged abode. Drinking water could have been obtained from a nearby well.

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