A pure gold bowl worth around ¥10 million ($65,000) that was stolen last week has been found at a secondhand store in Tokyo’s Taito ward. It was taken at approximately 11:40 a.m. on Thursday, April 11 from the Dai Ogonten exhibition featuring several golden objects at Takashimaya’s flagship department store in the business district of Nihonbashi. The perpetrator sold the bowl to an antiques shop in Koto ward less than two hours later for ¥1.8 million. It was then resold to the store in Taito, where it was eventually confiscated.


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Criminal Initially Planned to ‘Drink Tea’ From the Stolen Gold Bowl

Masaru Horie, 32, was arrested for the theft on Saturday. He admitted to the allegation. “There is no mistake,” police quoted him as saying. “I have sold the tea bowl.” He told investigators that he was initially “going to drink tea with the tea bowl.” Changing his mind, he said that it was “better to sell it for cash” instead. Horie had around ¥1.3 million in his possession when he was arrested. According to investigative sources, he only found out about the event when he walked past the store on Thursday.  

The 24-karat gold tea bowl he stole was made by goldsmith Koichi Ishikawa for drinking matcha tea. It was displayed in a plastic case with no lock or alarm. Horie saw his opportunity and took it. He also had his eye on other items in the exhibition. “I went in and out of the exhibition hall several times thinking I could take other things,” said the suspect. After the tea bowl was found on Monday, the president of the company that sponsored the event confirmed its authenticity by checking its engraving and weight. 

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