Doing more research and working hard on this! I want it to be a meaningful tribute to Junko and her short time on this earth.
I had heard of the Junko Furuta case before, but didn't know many of the details. So, I watched a very detailed video on the crime, and felt physically sick, yet I couldn't stop thinking about it. It really stuck with me and wouldn't leave my mind. I felt so sad for her. I thought a lot about it and decided to deal with my depressed feelings about Junko's death by making a page dedicated to her. It's the least I could do for a girl who was torn from this world too soon.
Some Things We Know About Junko
I am still looking for things about Junko and her personality and interests. This is what I have so far.
She was born in Misato, Saitama Prefecture, January 18th 1971
She attended Yashio-Minami High School
She played soft tennis
She did not smoke, drink or do drugs
She was a good high school student with few absences and good grades, in fact, she excelled in school
She worked part-time during her school years to help her family
She worked at an electronics store
She liked baking cakes
Her favorite TV show was a drama titled "Tonbo" (Dragonfly). Watch the opening here
She was saving money for a graduation trip
In short, 17 year old Junko Furuta was kidnapped by four high school boys and put through unspeakable torture for 44 days, in late 1988/early 1989. The case is known as "44 days" and "the girl stuffed in concrete case". Junko eventually succumbed to her horrific injuries. She was discovered in a drum filled with concrete. The boys got infuriatingly lenient sentences. If you want the very specific details, click below. I am warning you that it is incredibly graphic and disturbing. Do NOT say I didn't warn you. You don't -really- need to read it to get the idea of what happened. But if you want, carry on... CW: Sexual assault, torture, general horribleness. Also I don't know why the first collapsible is automatically open. I'm going to fix that at some point.
On November 25th of 1988, Junko, who had just turned 17 three days prior, was riding her bike home from her part time job. As she was riding past some hedges, a boy jumped out and kicked
her off her bike. Another boy saw this, and offered to walk Junko home. This boy was Hiroshi Miyano. Instead of walking her home, he took her to
an abandoned warehouse where he sexually assaulted her. He then took her to a hotel and sexually assaulted her twice again. Hiroshi told Junko
that if she didn't do exactly what her told her, he would have the Yakuza kill her, as he had connections with them. In the early hours of the
morning, he took Junko to a park, where his three friends were waiting. They were Jo Kamisaku, Shinji Minato, and Yasushi Watanabe. Junko recognized Shinji as the
one who kicked her off her bike. Junko was told if she didn't do as they said, Hiroshi would send the Yakuza to kill her family. They then took
her to Hiroshi's house that he shared with his parents. They told Junko to act as if she were one of their girlfriends.
Junko's parents were concerned about their daughter so they called the police and a manhunt was launched. The boys told Junko to call her parents
and tell them she was alright, and to please call off the manhunt. She did, and the manhunt was called off. They forced Junko to sabotage her own
rescue. For the next forty days, she was subjected to brutal torture at the hands of the four boys.
Some things they did were beating her, sexually assaulting her over 400 times, burning her eyelids with hot wax, burning her privates with a
lighter, dropping heavy barbells on her while she was on the floor, hung her from the ceiling and used her as a punching bag, made to eat
cockroaches and feces, holding her head on a concrete floor and jumping on it several times, putting her in a freezer for hours at a time,
burning her with candles, wax, and lighters, made her perform degrading acts, mutilated her breast with pliers, and invited their other friends
over to join in.
One of the friends who sexually assaulted Junko felt guilty and told his family who called the police. The police went to check the residence,
and Hiroshi's parents said everything was fine and there was no girl being held captive. The police just believed them and didn't bother to
check the house. Another chance to rescue Junko failed. In early December, Junko was able to sneak away while the boys were distracted and tried
to call the police, but they caught her. They proceeded to torture her as a punishment. They doused her legs with lighter fluid and set them on
fire. They did something else I won't say, which caused bleeding and sent her into convulsions. They thought she was faking, so they set her on
fire again. Many times she asked them to go ahead and kill her.
They forced her to sleep outside on a balcony, in December, when it was very cold. They continued their torture of Junko. She was in so much
pain that she could barely move. Due to her injuries she became incontinent, which made the boys lose interest in her. She became unable to eat
or drink and would just throw up when she tried, and the boys would punish her for this.
On January 4th, 1989, one of the boys challenged Junko to a game of mahjongg. Despite her horrible state, she beat him. This made them very angry
so they punished her. They beat and kicked her, hit her with barbells, and whipped her feet with bamboo sticks. Junko collapsed to the floor and
started convulsing. They were angry about this as well and dropped the barbells on her while she was convulsing, and then doused her body and
face with lighter fluid and set her on fire again. She became unresponsive and passed away that same day. They wrapped her in blankets and put
her inside a travel bag. They put her in a 55 gallon drum and filled it with wet concrete. Then they disposed of her.
Police brought Hiroshi and Jo in for questioning on another sexual assault they had done. The police brought up a murder (not Junko's) that they
thought they may have something to do with, and Hiroshi, thinking they were referring to Junko, broke down and confessed to everything.
The police had no idea Junko was even dead. Her body was recovered and she was not even recognizable.
Despite the heinousness of the crimes they committed, they were all under 18 and were not named publicly, but a magazine found out their names and leaked them. All the boys took a plea bargain. All four boys pled guilty to "committing bodily injury that resulted in death," rather than murder. In 1990, Hiroshi was sentenced to 17 years, and appealed his sentence claiming it was too long and so it was reviewed and he actually got MORE time, an extra 3 years. Minato, who originally received a four-to-six-year sentence, was re-sentenced to five-to-nine years upon appeal. Yasushi Watanabe, who was originally sentenced to three-to-four years in prison, received an upgraded sentence of five-to-seven years. Jo Kamisaku served eight years in a juvenile prison before he was released in 2004. When asked why they confined the victim for over 40 days, the boys stated that they were "afraid of getting caught by the police". When an investigator asked them if there was any other reason besides fear of getting caught by the police, one of the boys retorted, "what other reason would there be?"
Junko Furuta's funeral was held on April 2nd 1989.
Hiroshi Miyano tried to hide his identity as much as possible after being released from prison. He is known to disappear when people discover who he actually is.
Jo Kamisaku openly brags about the things he did to Furuta.
Shinji Minato appears irritated when people ask him about his criminal background. Has complained about his incarceration.
Yasushi Watanabe, little is known about him. He is said to have become one of Japan's "hikikomori" following his release from prison.
2 films and 2 manga have been made about this case. I am hesitant to read or watch because how respectful can they possibly be? At least one is an exploitation film.
Jo Kamisaku's mother desecrated Junko's grave because she says Junko "messed up her son's life".
I have gotten the case files and translated them to English with an online pdf translator. I have also provided the original Japanese and a link to the archived document.
View Them: ENGLISH - JAPANESE - ARCHIVE
Sources: 12345 (Some of these are particularly graphic, beware. A couple contain things I felt necessary to leave out.)
This incident is considered the "worst case of juvenile delinquency in post-war Japan". As horrible and barbaric as it was, I would like to think of Junko as she was before this happened, because she deserves that. We don't want to remember her only as a victim, because she was a human being with a life, friends, dreams, and aspirations. We have to remember her for that! I like to think she's been reincarnated and is out there living her best life.
Here is a quote from a memorial address written by one of her friends:
"Jun-chan, welcome back. I have never dreamed that we would see you again in this way. You must have been in so much pain... so much suffering. The happi we all made from the school festival looked really good on you. We will never forget you. I have heard that the headmaster has presented you with a graduation certificate. So, we graduated together - all of us Jun-chan, there is no more pain, no more suffering. Please rest in peace."