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Taeko Watanabe awoke one cold March night and found a trail of blood in the hallway, a bloody cleaver on her son Yuki’s bed and no trace of him in the house. Then police discovered a suicide note in his bedroom.

“They found him in a canal by the temple and wrapped him in a blanket. After an autopsy, he came home in a coffin. I fell apart,” she recalled, eyes welling up as she sat by a photo of Yuki and a Buddhist altar laden with flowers and Fuji apples.

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