Man arrested for vandalizing statue at Buddhist temple in Osaka

Mainichi Shimbun, June 13, 2008

OSAKA, Japan -- A man accused of vandalizing a Buddhist statue at a temple here has been arrested on suspicion of destruction of property.

Arrested was Hideo Okada, 64, a resident of Osaka's Nishinari-ku. He has reportedly admitted to the allegations against him, but has not discussed his motives.

Okada is accused of pushing over and breaking the Seitakadoji statue, which stood on the right side of another popular statue called Mizukake Fudoson at Hozenji Temple in Chuo-ku, Osaka, between about 12:50 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. on June 3. He also allegedly stole the bulbs of two lanterns nearby.

In the summer of 2006, Okada got into trouble for selling incense in the grounds of Hozenji Temple without permission, and his name remained on a memo recorded by a police officer.

Police tracked down Okada using security camera footage filmed in the temple grounds.