KyoAni Arson Victims Remembered 4 Years on

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People gather for a memorial ceremony at the ruins of Kyoto Animation Co.’s No. 1 studio in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, on Tuesday.

KYOTO — A memorial ceremony was held Tuesday to mark four years since the deadly arson attack at Kyoto Animation Co.’s No. 1 studio in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, in which 36 people were killed.

During the ceremony at the former site of the studio, about 160 people, including bereaved families and employees of Kyoto Animation, better known by anime fans as KyoAni, offered silent prayers for the victims at around 10:30 a.m., the time when the incident took place.

The ceremony, held in a tent, was closed to the public.

The company limited the number of participants to the ceremony during 2020-22 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but it dropped the size restriction this year.

“I believe that continuing to create KyoAni productions allows us to pass on what you did to future generations. I hope you will watch over us fondly,” said Kyoto Animation President Hideaki Hatta, addressing the victims.

Shinji Aoba, 45, has been indicted on murder and four other charges in connection with the attack, which killed 36 people and injured 32.

The first hearing of his trial will be held at the Kyoto District Court on Sept. 5. The trial will be conducted by lay judges, and a ruling will be handed down on Jan. 25.