Woman Admits Writing Graffiti At Zenkoji Temple

Woman admits writing graffiti at Zenkoji temple

Police in central Japan are investigating whether a woman arrested on suspicion of vandalizing a Buddhist temple is also responsible for numerous pieces of graffiti found around Nagano City.

The 47-year-old woman was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of scrawling white X marks on the pillars of a pilgrims' lodge at Zenkoji temple. The police report that the suspect has admitted the charges.

The police say her statements appear to indicate that she is also responsible for writing the white X marks that were found at over 100 other spots--- inside Zenkoji, at a nearby shinto shrine, and at other sites. Among the targeted sites is the main structure of Zenkoji, which is designated as a national treasure.

The police say the woman was incoherent at times when she spoke.

They are analyzing security camera footage and other evidence to substantiate their case against her.

The official at Zenkoji temple announced at a news conference on Thursday that most of the graffiti found at the temple had already been erased.

He said the temple needs to get permission from the Cultural Affairs Agency before doing any work on the main structure of the temple, as well as on a storage facility for sutras, and on a gate, both of which are designated as important cultural assets.