Grisly Murders in Japan

This is a couple of weeks old now, but it serves as a reminder that Japan’s underbelly is seedy indeed:

Japanese police have found nine mutilated bodies hidden in containers with their heads cut off and flesh stripped in a suburban Tokyo flat, media reported Tuesday.

Tokyo police have arrested 27-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi who reportedly confessed to hacking the flesh off the bodies and throwing it out with the trash, then sprinkling cat litter over the remains in an effort to cover up the evidence.

According to local media, Shiraishi told police he had chopped up the bodies in a bathroom, while a saw was found in his room.

For some reason, I have always remembered the name of Lucie Blackman, a 21-year old British woman who went missing while working as a hostess in a bar in Tokyo in 2000. Two years later, an extremely wealthy and well-connected businessman named Joji Obara was charged with her rape and murder after this discovery:

On February 9, 2001, Blackman’s dismembered body was found, buried in a shallow grave under a bathtub in a seaside cave at Miura, Kanagawa, about 30 miles south of Tokyo, just a few hundred metres from Obara’s apartment. The body had been cut into eight pieces. Her head had been shaved and encased in concrete.

Obara was acquitted of murdering Blackman after a trial in 2007; however, he was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of eight rapes and the rape and murder of a 21-year old Australian model. A timeline of events can be seen here.

I remembered the case because Blackman’s father effectively had to travel to Japan and do the investigation into his daughter’s disappearance himself, having found the local police all rather uninterested. The Japanese pointed out that Blackman was working illegally, and if her father had any remarks to make about his daughter working as a semi-prostitute in Tokyo he kept them to himself, but his efforts made the news in the UK and Tony Blair got personally involved. When Obara was finally arrested, they discovered:

His collection of pornographic videos, 4,000 to 5,000 of which were recovered by police, led police to believe that Obara may have raped anywhere from 150 to 400 women. A recreational drug user, he was reported to have an obsession with western women and developed a sex fetish for molesting unconscious women (to whom he had administered drugs to render them unconscious), targeting both Japanese and Western women. Police found over 200 sex videos showing Obara molesting women in this manner, sometimes wearing a face mask, and they reported that his extensive journals made reference to “conquer play”, a euphemism describing his sexual assaults on women who he wrote were “only good for sex” and on whom he sought revenge, “revenge on the world” drugging them with chloroform.

My guess at the time was that this man’s behaviour was well-known and the police had received numerous complaints, but due to his wealth and status in Japanese society, particularly his Yakuza connections, they simply declined to investigate or move to prosecute.

I don’t think it’s any great secret that beneath Japan’s ultra-polite and organised society there lies a very nasty element centred around weird sex and violence. When I was in Tokyo the first time I observed:

There seems to be some schoolgirl fetish thing going on in Japan. Okay, all the actual schoolgirls were dressed in short tartan skirts and knee-socks, but so were the women handing out flyers on the streets and the girls on more than a few advertising posters. It seemed to be a recurring theme.

If you think Russians like their female popstars young, take a look at Japan. I saw a poster advertising some top Japanese star’s latest single.  She looked about 12.

And the second time:

We also wandered into a sex shop which suggested that perhaps all is not well in the gloomier corners of Japanese society. Eerie dolls of what looked to be 12 year old schoolgirls, umpteen devices combining latex, gels, and mysterious liquids into which male members can be poked for sexual pleasure, machinery for men and women which made me wonder where they recruit the designers from, and an impressive selection of DVDs through which ran the common theme of the action being slightly, and sometimes not so slightly, forced. Then there were the pornographic comic books which lined shelves in their thousands, many of which depicted various bodily fluids deposited by what must have been a firehose rather than a human being. Very strange indeed, but seemingly no less popular for being so.

And if alleged sexism in computer games was enough to upset the SJWs and launch Gamergate, consider what I wrote in 2010 about Japanese computer games:

If you want a computer game filled with wanton violence, buy an American one.  If you want a computer game filled with wanton violence and a healthy dose of child porn, buy a Japanese one.

The legislation also applies to dating-simulation video-games, in which the goal is a graphic sexual conquest. One, RapeLay, lets players choose their victims, of any age.

I loved Japan for the two short trips I was there, but this latest story of the nine mutilated bodies serves as a reminder that beneath the surface all is not as well as it seems.

I just hope Andy in Japan didn’t order his Gyoza from this guy.

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28 thoughts on “Grisly Murders in Japan

  1. I must admit that when I am up there that I do succumb to impure thoughts when I get close to those civilian Jap birds that are decked out in the Lolita gear. Whats not to like?

    Although chopping them up and scoffing them never entered my mind.

  2. And it’s particularly grisly cases like this that are why Japan retains the death penalty (and the govt makes sure that the cases are well-publicised to ensure that the support remains, to the point of apparently scheduling executions for older crimes to coincide with said publicity).

  3. Japan is weird. My theory is, it’s the crowding. When population reaches a certain density, people seem to freak out just as rats do.

  4. I used to think that about Japan until I started to fly around the place and look out of the window and noticed that it’s remarkably undeveloped peaky woodlands, with thin slivers of development at low lying flat land next to tributaries and river outlets on it’s coastline.

    Its not as densely populated as most people think it is.

  5. I’d heard of this case from a student, but didn’t realise it wa in Zama- just one town over from where I lived when I first arrived here!

    It’s true that there is a lot of creepy stuff here, and attitudes to sex and race are a bit backward. On the other hand they don’t give a crap about cultural appropriation or any of the other crap the Left obsesses over in the West.

    @Bardon- it’s true that there is a lot of empty places (mainly mountains), which is why the cities are so crowded.

  6. On the other hand they don’t give a crap about cultural appropriation or any of the other crap the Left obsesses over in the West.

    Indeed. The occasional grisly murder aside, there is much to like about the Japanese.

  7. “it’s true that there is a lot of empty places (mainly mountains), which is why the cities are so crowded.”

    They may be crowded and busy but as urban areas go they aint big hitters on the population density score as much as people think they are.

  8. I just read that Japan has the LOWEST murder rate in the world! Is this true? If so, an article about a few scum-bag loonies is irrelevant, no?

  9. I was in Tokyo for Halloween this year so we (boss & I) wandered over to Shibuya to see what was happening.

    It was boggling.

    I posted some pictures on the book of faces – https://www.facebook.com/mas.gramondou/posts/10213551279243987

    One thing that occurred to me was that everyone was amazingly polite etc. despite the (at some points literally) heaving crowds. I’m pushed to think of anywhere else in the world where you could get thousands of people in such close proximity and not have some dickheads being loud and obnoxious and ruining it for everyone.

    Personally I much prefer the rural bits of Japan, which is why I live out in the sticks and only visit Tokyo when paid to do so

  10. “Personally I much prefer the rural bits of Japan, which is why I live out in the sticks and only visit Tokyo when paid to do so.’

    France well behind you now, can you say where you live and also what it is like to live there, I cant open your photos as I aint on FB.

    Also that is quite an interesting point on the polite bit. I was involved is some final negotiations with the major Japanese steel mills in Tokyo on behalf of Exxon Mobil and the politeness in business negotiations was striking.

    There were a few points in the discussions where we would say to them that we “have read your response to …. and wish to confirm the answer for the record” this would be presented with the statement from us the buyer that we think you really meant to say no to this point and that this is actually okay if you say so, and that you wont opt out by saying no. The 10 guys in suits would nod their heads up and down and acknowledged that they understood what we were saying and no they couldn’t meet the requirement but the answer was still yes!

  11. Japan’s ace and the Japs are a good lot. I reckon it is the most civilised place in the world. Just been in Tokyo for a couple of days actually (just work, no fun). Everything works, everywhere is spotless, everyone is unfailingly polite.

    Plus Japanese birds know how to rock thigh boots and hot pants.

    I’ve travelled round the country a fair bit and have enjoyed all of it. The rural hilly bits are very pretty. I can see why people don’t like Tokyo – I love it and know a few people there through work but found people friendlier elsewhere. Osaka is a great place to visit if you’re on your own as people speak good English and are really friendly.

    First time I went to Japan, I was out for breakfast on a Saturday with friends who lived there and noticed quite a few young blokes in suits asleep in doorways. My mate said these chaps had been out on the piss and missed the last train home. Cabs are expensive but it’s so safe you can just kip in the street and head home in the morning.

    Of course there are nutters and arseholes in Japan, but either there’s not so many as most other places or society keeps them in check.

    As I am generally woken each morning by Chinese people shouting at each other (in Cantonese so idle chat and a fight sound the same), I find Tokyo is a pleasant change.

  12. “I don’t think it’s any great secret that beneath Japan’s ultra-polite and organised society there lies a very nasty element centred around weird sex and violence. ”

    Going by what I’ve heard concerning Westminster, Washington, Hollywood (and non-elite places such as Rotherham), I’d say a fair number of societies have a very nasty element centred around weird sex and violence just under the surface.

    Cheers

  13. I just read that Japan has the LOWEST murder rate in the world! Is this true? If so, an article about a few scum-bag loonies is irrelevant, no?

    You are correct.

    There is a certain baseline percentage of human beings who just turn out wrong, so no society will be free of grisly crimes. But Japan has an incredibly low violent crime rate. Explanations abound; a greying population, a kind of suicidal pacifism borne out of post-WWII conditioning by the US occupation, a legacy of a highly stratified social order where being impolite could literally get you killed.

    Regardless, it doesn’t matter. Japan is so far down the low-birth-rate hole they can’t logistically pull out before they go extinct. Tim’s observations ca. 2008 are trenchant compared to the current state of affairs. Schoolgirl porn is largely moribund due to an inability to find talent. The largest and fastest growing niche? MILF porn.

  14. ” Explanations abound; a greying population…”
    A few years ago, the story goes, the Japanese Justice Minister was asked by an American reporter why the crime rate in Japan was so low compared to the USA. The Minister replied that there were many factors, but the major reason was that there weren’t many Blacks living in Japan.

  15. If you were to take the number of murders committed by non whites out of the American statistics then they would be on par and in some cases lower than European rates. The call it the 80/20 rule whereby 80% of white killers kill whites and the ratio is reversed for non white killers.

  16. I live here (Japan). A small town in Tohoku. We don’t lock our front door (otherwise how would visitors be able to enter?).

    I generally leave my car and motorcycle keys in the ignition when I go to shop. As my wife says “why would anyone be that much stupid to steal your vehicle”.

    It’s very different from Australia and the west (in general) where theft, particulaly car theft, is a national sport.

    Nutters apart (in a nation of 120 million there are always going to be a few) Japan is a very civilised and safe nation.

  17. Japan is so far down the low-birth-rate hole they can’t logistically pull out before they go extinct.

    Is that really true? I heard a Japanese government boffin speak a couple of years ago and he said they think the population will stabilise at 90-100m. The problem is not extinction, but lack of taxpayers once the population drops below 100m.

  18. Japan is so far down the low-birth-rate hole they can’t logistically pull out before they go extinct.

    Why would they go extinct? If population can grow, why can’t they shrink? The population of Japan is 127 million, does it really matter if there are only 80 million of them?

    Besides, I think they’re playing it right: best to let their numbers decline and (possibly) let their culture die slowly than to replace their culture with another in order to maintain national population numbers, thus making certain their culture will die slowly and miserably.

  19. AFAIK the usable land in Japan is about one sixth of the country.
    Thus any calculation of population density is realistic if you first divide the area by six.

    The remainder (majority) of the country is apparently too steep to use. Due to there being half a dozen earthquakes per day, or something, makes it out of the question to use all that near-vertical real estate they have.

  20. “Thus any calculation of population density is realistic if you first divide the area by six”

    And even after doing that you will find that on an urban area or city population density ranking, Japan still isn’t a big hitter.

  21. “let their culture die slowly than to replace their culture with another in order to maintain national population numbers, thus making certain their culture will die slowly and miserably”

    I don’t think its culture is at risk for now. As some of the resident posters have remarked, low crime, orderly and clean places, polite people even in major crowded in their biggest cities. Thanks to their appreciating currency the Japanese have been worldly travellers for some time now including working and studying overseas. Yes, they may be envious of some other nations raw materials and their stunning large continental size but as far as I can see they don’t want to import any foreign concepts into their own nation.

    Citizens of communist countries during the cold war knew that the State was their enemy and not their friend, this was common knowledge, citizens in the West are now and at long last beginning to realise that this is true of the situation in the West as well, maybe the polite Japanese don’t discuss this but quietly say no to importing it. Nor have they bought into this “we must have immigration at all costs” argument that every white nation has succumbed to and neither have China, Korea and Taiwan while we are at it. Japan has a strong nationalist identity which by default means a very racial purity level and cultural homogeneity. No doubt the Japanese culture was faced with some major, violent and sudden changes that would have been imposed with the surrender of their divine Emperor and what was seen then as the death of Shintoism due to their defeat by the Christian West in the Pacific War.

    Its way beyond me to comment on what this has meant for current day Japanese culture or advocates of Shintoism but as an outsider looking in they do as far as culture goes appear to have endured it for the better. Does anyone remember all those 64 years after Hiroshima website and news articles that came up last decade, wouldn’t it have been inserting to compare these shining examples to comparable cities of the victors such as Detroit, Buffalo and Baltimore.

    “Why would they go extinct? If population can grow, why can’t they shrink? The population of Japan is 127 million, does it really matter if there are only 80 million of them?”

    The other major change since their defeat by the West was that their banking and monetary system were forced to adopt what was then the Western fiat money system. The Bank of Japan which is a member of the BIS Bank of International Settlements (the central bank of central banks, ie the ultimate lender of last resort) is the reason why they are locked into everlasting economic growth which by definition means everlasting inflation. As the Japanese bankers know well, it is near on impossible to manufacture perpetual inflation in a declining population which is the reality for the culturally proud indigenous Japanese nation. They may have survived cultural oblivion but they are very much entangled in the banking system which is easily the biggest risk to their nations survival. By all accounts that despite their economic crash in the nineties and the resultant lost decade, the actual folk on the ground continued doing what they do, sure there were some massive haircuts and 10 million % mark down on assets, but in all reality, this is merely electronic digits on a bankers ledger. That could well have been a warning shot across their bow that this is what we can do to you if you fuck with the Wongs. So how do they combat this, can they simply opt out of the international cartel and forgive their absolutely off the scale and eye wateringly impossible world record level of national debt to GDP, in some kind of Japanese Debt Jubilee? Yes, they could and history tells us that it is a very real solution. But in doing so are they prepared to be immediately entered onto the list of nations that form the Axis of Evil and wear the consequences of this change of status, I don’t think so.

    So, sorry Japan socially, culturally, and productivity wise you may be the envy of the western world but you are very much beholden to our bankers and increasingly so, at best you can continue and only then if you toe the party line and we may ask a favour of you from time to time.

  22. France well behind you now, can you say where you live and also what it is like to live there, I cant open your photos as I aint on FB.

    I live in Izumo, which is a town in Western Japan. Basically on the Japan Sea coast almost due north of Hiroshima. Izumo has a famous Shinto shrine and the ancient Izumokuni is where a number of the founding myths of Japan are situated.

    Regardless, it doesn’t matter. Japan is so far down the low-birth-rate hole they can’t logistically pull out before they go extinct. Tim’s observations ca. 2008 are trenchant compared to the current state of affairs. Schoolgirl porn is largely moribund due to an inability to find talent. The largest and fastest growing niche? MILF porn.

    Dunno about the MILF porn, but the claim that they’ll naturally go extinct is silly. Firstly because even if the rate is 1.0 children it would take centuries to reduce the population of Japanese women to 1. Do the sums. Assume 3 generations a century, and 30 million currently fertile women and girls who can therefore produce a (single) child. In 30 years there’ll be 15 million new girls, in a century there’ll 3.75 million, in 2 centuries you’re at a bit under half a million etc. There are masses of “Ethnicities” today that have a lower number of fertile women than half a million.

    Secondly what we are seeing in Japan and many other places is that some women have 2 or more kids others have none and still others have just one. The key question is the proportion of mothers who have more than one child and whether their daughters do the same. I suspect this depends a great deal on the availability of space. In the little cul-de-sac where I live almost every family has two children, and at least one has three. My brother in law and his wife have two children and so on. The common factor here is that these larger families live in the less crowded parts. What I think we’ll see is a reduction from the current 120ish million to perhaps 40-60 million but that the population will probably stabilize at that lower level. And I think we’ll see similar things all over the world, Japan is possibly a leader in the trend (along with Italy and S Korea IIRC) but birthrates everywhere from Iran and Bangladesh to the US are dropping

  23. the claim that they’ll naturally go extinct is silly.

    As of 2017, Japan’s birth rate was 1.41/woman. Replacement rate is 2.1. They can’t pull out of that nosedive (every fertile Japanese woman has to have one *more* child, right now, and live to do it), and they won’t allow immigration.

    It’s not going to happen overnight, but there’s essentially no way of returning to a stable replacement rate.

  24. “Izumo has a famous Shinto shrine and the ancient Izumokuni is where a number of the founding myths of Japan are situated.”

    Thanks for the update, and this amused me.

  25. I spent almost 20 years teaching English in Japanese universities before giving up being overpaid and underworked to become an electrical engineer. One reason I left was the shrinking number of freshmen and dropping student quality from taking the best 3,000 applicants of an ever-shrinking pool; the closing schools and universities concerned me as well. When you have no students, who pays the instructors?

    That said, I loved Japan. Though no fan of big cities, Tokyo was nice in offering so many things with exceptional safety and orderliness. I once lost a wallet with around $100 in it on a Tokyo train; some typically honorable soul returned it Mitaka Station, where I later retrieved it, everything there. I recall one university sending a text notice to all students because one kid’s backpack, left unattended in a classroom with all the others’ during the lunch break, was opened and something taken from it. Sapporo was a good couple of years, but I preferred my provincial capital on Shikoku. A backwater, it was large enough, not expensive, and had a high quality of life (at least for me).

    While my engineering studies were winding down and applications were going out, I did find it odd that very few of the Japanese firms to which I applied showed interest. Toward the end of my time there, THE nightly news fellow was Kume-san, who once made a comment about—the nuances of his statement probably corrupted in my memory over the years—he didn’t care for foreigners who spoke Japanese well. American firms seem interested in my Japanese ability, whereas it seems almost detrimental with Japanese ones.

    I very much liked Japanese being Japanese and, happily, they like it too, as they should. When I meet Japanese here in the US, I enjoy clobbering them with my decaying Japanese and helping them out if I can.

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