A man in Japan was arrested on Wednesday after defacing a local shrine’s tree when he hammered down a straw doll with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s face on it in hopes of bringing bad luck to the Russian strongman.

Mitsunobu Hino, a 72-year-old elderly man, was arrested by the local Matsudo police in the Chiba Prefecture after security footage caught the old man on the premises of the shrine where the straw doll was left, according to The Asahi Shimbun.

Hino was reportedly caught with a straw doll that contained Vladimir Putin’s face in it, and the doll had a note on its breast wishing bad luck and death to the Russian leader. He reportedly nailed it to a sacred tree found in Matsudo’s Mikazuki Shrine, South China Morning Post reported.

The act of nailing a straw doll into a shrine tree in Japan is one that wishes ill on what the straw doll represents, and the act reportedly puts a curse on the subject and even potentially kills them.

This is not the first Putin doll to be nailed on a sacred tree to be found by local authorities recently: the Matsudo-Higashi police force claims that over 10 Putin dolls have been found in sacred trees in the Japanese city since May and that Hino is believed to be the single perpetrator for this crime in the area.

The people in charge of maintaining the shrine, which has a history dating back over 800 years, have been critical of Hino’s act of nailing a straw doll into the sacred trees, largely due to the 1.6 inch-holes that was left in the trees due to the act.

“It’s unthinkable that someone would nail down something like this in a place where people come to pray for good health,” Nobuo Shibuya, a lay representative, said.

Hino will be charged with trespassing, defacing a sacred tree, and damaging property.

Putin Straw Dolls Japanese
An elderly man in a city in Japan was arrested on Wednesday after he reportedly nailed down a straw doll of Russian President Vladimir Putin to a shrine's sacred tree, causing property damage to the shrine. This is a representational image. Valery Tenevoy/Unsplash.

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