Art doll

Man arrested after nailing Putin’s straw doll to sacred tree in Japan as part of death curse

A man has been arrested for nailing a straw doll bearing the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin to a sacred tree in Japan.

Mitsunobu Hino, 72, was arrested on suspicion of property damage and trespassing the Mikazuki Shrine area of ​​Matsudo around 2 p.m. on May 19, according to police in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

Security cameras captured a man, believed to be Hino, placing what looks like a straw doll in his bag and walking up the stairs to the shrine.

Hino is said to have hammered two holes measuring 1.6 inches deep into the sacred castanopsis tree, known as the shinboku, nailing the straw doll to it. The doll too came with a note which read: “Vladimir Putin, born October 7, 1952. Pray for his extermination.

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Similar Putin straw dolls have also been found at more than 10 shrines in Matsudo since May, according to police. They believe the act was committed by the same perpetrator due to the similarity in the sizes of the dolls and the handwriting on the dolls’ accompanying notes.

Straw dolls, called “wara ningyo” in Japan, were historically used to ward off evil.

They are also used as part of a supernatural ritual to wish death or harm on a person. Called “ushi no toki mairiwhich translates to “visiting the shrine at ox hour,” the curse requires the doll to be nailed to a tree at a Shinto shrine between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida previously convicted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I can understand the feeling of wanting the war to end… But please stop doing such things to the sacred tree,” Yukihiro Tajima, an official at Mikazuki Shrine, told NDTV.

Featured image via @wow