Junko Furuta’s Murder


Junko Furuta was taken captive and tortured to her death for 44 days by Hiroshi Miyano, Nobuharu Minato, Kamisaku Jo, and Yasushi Watanabe in 1988.

During her captivity, she was subjected to sexual and other abuse 500 times; furthermore she was beaten, starved, hung upside-down and thrown into the air countless times.

What Happened?

Junko Furuta was an ideal student who excelled academically while abstaining from alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances. But that all changed on November 25, 1988 while riding her bicycle home from part-time work.

On the way home, Hiroshi Miyano saw an unknown boy cause her bicycle to tip over. Hiroshi approached and pretended to assist.

In reality, he abducted and raped her in an abandoned warehouse before calling three of his friends to boast about it.

Over the course of 44 days, Junko was brutally mistreated and tortured by her captors. To punish her they used lighter fuel to set her feet ablaze with fire; burned her eyelids with lighters and hot wax; and broke all of her fingers.

She was so severely beaten that her brain shrunk and her eardrums were injured, with wounds that leaked pus and smelled of rotting meat oozing pus from them, rendering her incapable of walking for days and incontinence being such an issue; even her features became obscured due to swelling.

Why Did They Do It?

Junko Furuta was only 16 when she was brutally raped and murdered by four teenage boys from her hometown, Misato, Saitama. This act has become known as “shocking, atrocious and callous.”

Men used their power and authority to exert control over her, forcing her into sexual acts that satisfied more their desire than pain. Their methods included rapping her, ripping off her genitals, burning her eyelids with cigarettes lighters or hot wax and rapping.

Even while being subjected to severe physical abuse, she managed to pull herself up off of the floor and try calling an emergency number; but before she could speak or get to dial it they caught her and shut off the phone before it could even connect.

At trial, three boys found guilty of her murder were given shockingly light sentences. Youth may have played a factor, though many believe their connections to yakuza also played a part.

What Could Have Been Done?

Hiroshi Miyano’s capture of 17-year-old Junko Furuta could have been prevented had she not already been injured with a blood clot in her nose and inability to walk. Due to this poor state, it took Junko over an hour just to reach a bathroom.

As time passed, she was subjected to more and more acts of sexual exploitation – being slapped, beaten, thrown against walls and having lighter fluid poured on her legs before finally being set ablaze with fire.

Torture became so intense that she lost strength in her body, becoming incapable of digesting food properly and throwing up. When she sought assistance from the boys they never responded or returned her calls – instead stealing away her phone in response.

After 44 days of agony, they took steps to end it for good using only their hands. Wrapping her in blankets and placing her inside a suitcase before placing her inside a 210-liter drum filled with concrete before disposing of her body at sea was their strategy for death.

What Happened After?

Junko Furuta was an esteemed high school student, known for obtaining top grades while remaining free from alcohol or illegal substances use. She resided with both of her parents as well as two brothers.

On November 25, 1988, she was riding home from her part-time job when Shinji Minato assaulted her and tried to push her off of her bike. Hiroshi Miyano happened to be present and offered his services as protection – thus offering to take her home instead of assaulting her further.

He led her to an abandoned warehouse where he sexually assaulted her before inviting three of his friends, Kamisaku Jo, Nobuharu Minato and Yasushi Watanabe, over to boast about their victim.

After 44 days in captivity by these men, she was ultimately murdered by them. Hiroshi Miyano received the harshest sentence among them while Shinji Minato, Jo Ogura, and Yasushi Watanabe received relatively short ones that reflect their youth at the time.

As a result, these boys continued their crimes after they were released from prison, with all but one having since been found guilty of more offenses and hurting more people.