Fourteen extremely old Shinto “sacred trees” or “hinoki” have been killed recently by a person or persons unknown. The weapon was a herbicide, administered by stealth through holes drilled all around the trunks.
Obviously, I’m not in favor of worshipping trees.
But on the other hand, it’s obviously not a St. Boniface running around boldly opposing tree worship. St. Boniface didn’t sneak. This seems more like the work of some kind of vandal who just wants to do damage and then preen himself.
However, the best guess of law enforcement is that the vandals were picking trees in isolated areas, planning to kill the trees and then come back, cut them down, and steal the rare wood; or otherwise, to “encourage” the locals to sell them the rare wood at some cut-rate price.
All old trees are worthy of a certain amount of respect and care. This is disgusting.