Junko Furuta was a 17-year-old Japanese girl who was tragically kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and tortured for 40 days before her death on January 4th, 1989. This occurred on November 25, 1988.
After subjecting Junko to their brutal treatment for 40 days, the four perpetrators of this heinous crime disposed of her body by placing it in a drum filled with concrete and dumping it at a construction site. The murder of Junko Furuta is infamously known as the "Concrete-encased high school girl murder case" and is considered one of the worst crimes in human history.
Junko Furuta was born on January 18th, 1971 in Misato, Saitama, Japan. She was a well-liked and attractive student at Yashio-Minami High School in Saitama Prefecture in Misato.
Junko, a teenager, was both a student and a part-time worker during after-school hours. She lived with her parents, an older brother, and a younger brother. Before being abducted, Junko had accepted a job at an electronics retailer and intended to work there after graduating.
The Concrete-encased High School Girl Murder Case – 40 Days Of Hell
Although Junko was not involved in the party scene, her charming beauty caught the attention of Hiroshi Miyano, a high school bully. He asked her out on a date, but Junko, taken aback by his invitation, politely but firmly declined, as his arrogant demeanor and reputation did not appeal to her. This rejection enraged Hiroshi.
Unfortunately, Junko could not have imagined that her refusal to go out with Hiroshi would lead to her slow, brutal death over the course of 40 days (or 44 days, according to some sources). She became one of the worst-known victims of rape and murder in history.
Before Junko, nobody had dared to say no to Hiroshi, especially not someone like Junko Furuta, whom he saw as insignificant. This was because Hiroshi had connections to the Yakuza, a violent and powerful gang in Japan, which instilled fear in others.
Determined to take revenge on Junko for rejecting him, Hiroshi set out to ruin her life in any way possible. Despite his efforts, he was unable to do so for several days. However, on November 25, 1988, Junko left her home and never returned.
One night at around 8:30, Hiroshi and his friend Nobuharu Minato were wandering around Misato, looking to rob and rape local women. They saw Junko Furuta cycling home after finishing her part-time job and seized the opportunity. Minato kicked Junko off her bicycle and fled the scene at Hiroshi's command.
Hiroshi, pretending to be a Good Samaritan who had witnessed the attack, offered to walk Junko home safely. She accepted, not realizing the danger she was in. As they walked, Hiroshi led her to a nearby warehouse and revealed his connections to the Yakuza. From that moment on, Junko was subjected to 40 days of grotesque torture, unbearable pain, and suffering.
Hiroshi repeatedly raped Junko in the abandoned warehouse and a nearby hotel, threatening to kill her if she resisted. After the rape at the hotel, Hiroshi called Minato and his other friends, Jō Ogura and Yasushi Watanabe, and boasted about the attack. Ogura allegedly suggested that they keep Junko captive so that more gang members could sexually assault her. The group had a history of gang rape and had recently kidnapped and raped another girl, who was later released.
At around 3:00 AM, Hiroshi took Junko to a nearby park where Minato, Ogura, and Watanabe were waiting. They had obtained her home address from a notebook in her backpack and told her that they knew where she lived and that Yakuza members would kill her family if she tried to escape. The four boys overpowered her and took her to a house in the Ayase district of Adachi, where she was gang-raped. The house, which was owned by Minato's parents, became their regular hangout and the site of further repeated rape and humiliation of Junko.
On November 27, Junko's parents contacted the police to report her disappearance. In order to prevent further investigation, the kidnappers forced Junko to call her mother and say that she had run away but was safe and staying with a friend. They also made her ask her mother to stop the police investigation into her disappearance.
When Minato's parents were present, Junko was forced to pretend to be the girlfriend of one of the kidnappers. However, they eventually realized what was happening and did nothing to stop it. The kidnappers eventually abandoned this pretense when it became clear that Minato's parents would not report them to the police.
The Minatos later claimed that they did not intervene because they were afraid of retaliation from Hiroshi's Yakuza connections and because their own son had become increasingly violent towards them. Minato's brother was also aware of the situation but took no action to prevent it.
The kidnappers had already raped Junko more than a hundred times. They kept her naked and starving, and subjected her to daily beatings and humiliations that became increasingly inhumane. Other gang members also came to sexually assault her.
During the Japanese winter, when temperatures dropped well below freezing, the kidnappers often made Junko sleep naked on the balcony. They also forced her to sit for hours in a freezer.
The kidnappers inserted skewers of grilled chicken into Junko's vagina and anus, causing bleeding.
Junko almost managed to escape on one occasion when she reached the telephone, but Hiroshi caught her just in time and ended the call before she could say anything. When the police called back, Hiroshi told them that the original emergency call had been a mistake.
As punishment for trying to escape, the kidnappers taunted Junko with a candle flame and then doused her legs in lighter fluid and set them on fire.
The convicts later claimed that they believed that the woman's convulsions were faked, and in response, they set her feet on fire once again before extinguishing the flames. Despite this, she managed to survive the ordeal.
The woman's hands were tied to the ceiling and her body was used as a punching bag, causing damage to her internal organs and leading to the blood flowing from her mouth. At one point, the woman's nose became so congested with blood that she could only breathe through her mouth.
She had been malnourished and dehydrated due to extended periods of starvation. During this time, her captors made her eat cockroaches and drink her own urine as well as forcing her to masturbate in front of them and their gang member guests.
The severe burns on her legs and badly bruised muscles left her unable to walk. One of the defendants in the case later testified in court that her hands and feet were so badly damaged that it took her over an hour to crawl down the stairs to the bathroom, and eventually, she was unable to make it in time.
The torture she endured was so severe that she lost control of her bladder and bowels and was beaten for soiling the carpets as a result. She was also unable to drink water or eat food and would vomit after each attempt. This not only kept her dehydrated, but it also angered her captors, who would punish her with more beatings.
Her captors continued to severely beat her on numerous occasions and would forcefully hold her face against the concrete ground and jump on her. They also inserted foreign objects, such as a bottle, burning cigarettes, an iron bar, and scissors, into her vagina and anus.
In addition to these cruel and inhumane acts, her captors inserted a still-lit hot light bulb into her vagina and punched her abdomen until it exploded inside. They partially burned her body with cigarette lighters and set off fireworks in her ears, mouth, and vagina. The explosion ruptured her eardrums, causing hearing loss that only seemed to make her captors more angry.
The damage to her internal organs and genitals from the insertion of foreign objects and burns from cigarettes and lighters made it difficult for her to urinate properly. Her captors also tore off her left nipple with pliers and pierced her breasts with sewing needles. The autopsy report revealed that her brain had shrunk in size.
Hot wax was dripped onto her face, and her eyelids were burned by a cigarette lighter. Her hands were smashed with weights and her fingernails were cracked. The severity of the attacks drastically altered Furuta's appearance.
The swelling on her face made it difficult to make out her features. Her body was also severely crippled and gave off a rotting smell that caused the four boys to lose sexual interest in her. As a result, they kidnapped and gang-raped a 19-year-old woman who, like Furuta, was on her way home from work.
It was New Year's Day 1989. Junko greeted the new year alone, lying on the ground with her mutilated and nearly lifeless body, unable to move.
During her ordeal, Junko Furuta begged her captors to kill her. However, they did not grant her that favor. Instead, on January 4, 1989, they challenged her to a game of Mahjong solitaire.
She won the game, which angered the boys. As punishment, they made her stand and struck her feet with a stick. As a result, she fell onto a stereo unit and collapsed into a fit of convulsions.
Because she was bleeding heavily and pus was emerging from her infected burns, the four boys covered their hands in plastic bags, which were taped at the wrists, to avoid getting blood on their hands.
The boys continued to beat her and dropped an iron dumbbell onto her stomach several times. They also poured lighter fluid onto her thighs, arms, face, and stomach and set her on fire again.
It is alleged that Junko made attempts to put out the fire, but eventually became unresponsive. The final attack reportedly lasted for two hours. Junko eventually died from her wounds that day, in pain and alone. The 40 days of suffering she endured were unparalleled.
Junko Furuta was held captive in the Minato residence for 40 days, during which time she was abused, raped, and tortured. Nobuharu Minato's brother was also aware of the situation but did nothing to intervene.
Less than 24 hours after her death, Minato's brother called to inform him that Junko appeared to be dead. Afraid of being charged with murder, the group wrapped her body in blankets and placed it in a travel bag. They then put her body in a 55-gallon drum and filled it with wet concrete. Around 8:00 pm, they loaded the drum onto a vehicle and disposed of it in a tract of reclaimed land in Kōtō, Tokyo.
Arrest, Interrogation, And An Unexpected Confession
On January 23, 1989, Hiroshi Miyano and Jō Ogura were arrested for the gang rape of a 19-year-old woman who they had kidnapped in December. On March 29, two police officers came to interrogate them because women's underwear had been found at their addresses.
During the interrogation, one of the officers deceived Hiroshi into thinking that the police already knew he had committed a murder. Hiroshi believed that Jō Ogura had confessed to the crimes involving Junko Furuta, and he, therefore, told the police where they could find her body.
The police were confused by Hiroshi's confession, as they had been investigating the murder of a different woman and her seven-year-old son that had occurred nine days before Junko Furuta's abduction. They were unaware of any connection between Hiroshi and Junko Furuta. The murder of the woman and child remains unsolved to this day.
The following day, the police discovered the drum in which Junko's body was located. Upon recovery, it was determined that Oronamin C bottles had been inserted into her anus and her face was severely disfigured, making it difficult to identify her. However, she was eventually identified using her fingerprints. It was also discovered that she was pregnant, although her uterus had sustained significant damage.
On April 1, 1989, Jō Ogura was taken into custody for a separate sexual assault charge. He was later re-arrested in connection with the murder of Junko Furuta. Yasushi Watanabe and Nobuharu Minato were also subsequently arrested in connection with this case, as well as Minato's brother.
When Junko Furuta's mother learned of the details of her daughter's death, she was so overwhelmed with grief and trauma that she required psychiatric outpatient treatment. Eventually, the mental toll became too much for her to bear and she collapsed due to the trauma.
Junko Furuta's Captors Were Identified
The names of the four main individuals who kidnapped, tortured, raped, and murdered Junko Furuta were initially withheld by the Japanese court because they were minors. However, journalists from the Shūkan Bunshun magazine eventually uncovered their identities and published them, stating that the perpetrators' actions were so heinous that they did not deserve to have their human rights protected.
Hiroshi Miyano – 18 years old at the time of the crime. Changed his name to Hiroshi Yokoyama.
Jō Ogura – 18 years old at the time of the crime. Changed his name to Jō Kamisaku.
Nobuharu Minato – 16 years old at the time of the crime, some sources refer to him as Shinji Minato.
Yasushi Watanabe – 17 years old at the time of the crime.
Four cockroaches were primarily responsible for the repeated rape and torture of Junko Furuta. It is believed that over a hundred members of their gang (also referred to as cockroaches) participated in the abuse, which is estimated to have included about 400 instances of rape. On one occasion, Furuta was reportedly raped by 12 different men in a single day.
The perpetrators of the crime were all minors when it was committed, so they were tried in a juvenile court. Despite the severity of the crimes they committed, the sentences they received were relatively lenient. (Here is a Japanese language court document, in case you are able to read it.)
Three of the perpetrators served less than 8 years in prison, while the leader was originally sentenced to 17 years. However, after appealing the decision, the judge increased the leader's sentence to 20 years. All four perpetrators have now been released from jail, and there is no evidence to suggest that they have made efforts to reform their lives.
Junko Furuta Could Be Rescued On The 16th Day Of Her Terrible Ordeal
Some of the accomplices have been identified and charged with rape, including Tetsuo Nakamura and Koichi Ihara, whose DNA was found on and inside the victim's body.
Koichi Ihara was reportedly coerced into raping Junko Furuta. After he left the Minato household, he told his brother about the incident. His brother then informed their parents, who contacted the police. Two officers were sent to the Minato house, but they were told that there was no girl present.
The police officers declined to search the house, believing that the invitation to do so was sufficient evidence that there was nothing suspicious happening there. The officers faced significant criticism from the community for their decision.
If the police officers had searched the house and found Junko Furuta, her suffering would have only lasted for 16 days, and she may have had a chance to recover from her injuries. The officers were fired for failing to follow proper procedures.
Lots Of Love And Respect To Junko Furuta
Junko Furuta's future employer presented her parents with the uniform she would have worn for the job she had accepted. The uniform was placed in her casket. Furuta's funeral took place on April 2, 1989.
Following Junko Furuta's tragic death, many people came together to mourn her loss. There are songs, movies, books, and even a song album that have been dedicated to her memory.
During Junko Furuta's graduation ceremony, her school principal presented her parents with her high school graduation certificate. Her friends still fondly remember their time with her.
We suggest that you focus on Junko's strength and resilience in the face of her difficult circumstances rather than dwelling on the cruelty of her captors. By doing so, you may find inspiration and hope rather than just sadness.
Unfortunately, the location of Junko Furuta's gravesite is now unknown. It is likely that it would have become a place of pilgrimage if it were known. However, we believe that her memory lives on in the hearts of everyone who knows her story.