Tsutomu Miyazaki

Tsutomu Miyazaki

Tsutomu Miyazaki
Background information
Also known as: The Otaku Murderer
Born: August 21, 1962(1962-08-21)
?me, Tokyo, Japan
Died: June 17, 2008 (aged 45)
Cause of death: Hanging
Number of victims: 4
Span of killings: 1988–1989
Country: Japan
State(s): Saitama, Tokyo
Date apprehended: July 23, 1989

Tsutomu Miyazaki (?? ?, Miyazaki Tsutomu?, August 21, 1962–June 17, 2008), also known as The Otaku Murderer, The Little Girl Murderer, and Dracula[citation needed], was a Japanese serial killer.


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Miyazaki’s premature birth left him with deformed hands, which were permanently gnarled and fused directly to the wrists, necessitating him to move his entire forearm in order to rotate the hand.[1] Due to his deformity, he was ostracized when he attended Itsukaichi Elementary School, and consequently kept to himself. Although he was originally a star student, his grades at Meidai Nakano High School dropped dramatically; he had a class rank of 40 out of 56 and did not receive the customary admission to Meiji University. Instead of studying English and becoming a teacher as he originally intended, he attended a local junior college, studying to become a photo technician.[1]

Life as a serial killer

Between 1988 and 1989, Miyazaki mutilated and killed four girls, ages four to seven; he then sexually molested their corpses. He drank the blood of one victim and ate her hand.[2] The crimes—which, prior to Miyazaki’s apprehension and trial were classified “The Little Girl Murders”, and would become known as the Tokyo/Saitama Serial Kidnapping Murders of Little Girls (???????????????, T?ky? Saitaima renzoku y?jo y?kai satsujin jiken?)—shocked Saitama Prefecture, which had a long-standing record of low occurrences of crimes against children.

During the day, Miyazaki was a mild-mannered employee. In his own time, he selected children to kill randomly. He terrorized the families of his victims, sending them letters recalling in graphic detail what he had done to their children. To the family of victim Erika Nanba, Miyazaki sent a morbid postcard assembled using words cut out of magazines, spelling out: “Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death.”

He allowed the corpse of his first victim, Mari Konno, to decompose in the hills near his home, then chopped off the hands and feet, which he kept in his closet, and which were recovered upon his arrest. He charred the remaining bones in his furnace, ground them into powder, and sent them to her family in a box, along with several of her teeth, photos of her clothes, and a postcard reading: “Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove.”

Police found that the families of the victims had something else in common: they had all been bothered by strange phone calls. The phone would ring, but when answered, the person on the other end (presumably Miyazaki) would say nothing; if they didn’t pick it up, the phone would sometimes ring for 20 minutes.


On July 23, 1989, Miyazaki, while attempting to insert a zoom lens into the vagina of a grade school-aged girl in a park near her home, was attacked by the girl’s father. Miyazaki fled on foot, but returned to the park to retrieve his car, whereupon he was promptly arrested. A police search of his two-room bungalow turned up a collection of 5,763 videotapes, some containing anime and slasher films. Interspersed among them was video footage and pictures of his victims. He was also reported to be a fan of horror films and had an extensive collection from this genre. The centerpieces of his collection were the first five Guinea Pig films; he reportedly used the second film in the series, titled Flower of Flesh and Blood, as a template for one of his killings. Miyazaki, who retained a perpetually calm and collected demeanor during his trial, appeared indifferent to his capture.

In 1989, he came to be known as “The Otaku Murderer”. His bizarre murders fueled a moral panic against otaku. However, the reports of him were disputed. For example, Miyazaki was suspected to have many pornographic videos, but Eiji Otsuka suspected in his book that it was the forgery by a photographer, because people wanted to understand Miyazaki under their sense of values.[3] On the other hand, Fumiya Ichihashi suspected a part of stereotypes about Miyazaki as the information manipulation of the police because the police wanted to convict Miyazaki for the serial murders.[4]

Following his son’s arrest, Miyazaki’s father, who had refused to pay for his legal defense, committed suicide in 1994.[5]

Trial and execution

Miyazaki often talked in a nonsensical manner during his trial, which began on March 30, 1990. He blamed his atrocities on a “rat man” alter ego, a character that he often drew in cartoon form for the court.[6] Miyazaki remained incarcerated throughout the 1990s while Saitama Prefecture put him through a battery of psychiatric evaluations. Teams of psychiatrists from Tokyo University diagnosed Miyazaki as suffering from dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities) or extreme schizophrenia.[1] However, the Tokyo District Court judged that he was still aware of the gravity and consequences of his crimes and he was therefore accountable for them, sentencing him to death by hanging on April 14, 1997. His death sentence was upheld by both the Tokyo High Court, on June 28, 2001, and the Supreme Court of Justice on January 17, 2006.[7]

He described his serial murders as an “act of benevolence” and never apologized.[8][9] Child killer Kaoru Kobayashi described himself as “the next Tsutomu Miyazaki or Mamoru Takuma.”[10] However, Miyazaki claimed that “I won’t allow him to call himself ‘the second Tsutomu Miyazaki’ when he hasn’t even undergone a psychiatric examination.”[11]

Kunio Hatoyama signed his death warrant and Miyazaki was hanged on June 17, 2008.[12][13] Although the unusual swiftness of his execution as well as its timing soon after the Akihabara massacre prompted questions regarding the two incidents,[14][15] the Ministry of Justice had no comment.[16] Ryuzo Saki said, “His trial was long” and that he was “not willing to criticize Hatoyama.”[17]



  1. Mari Konno (????, Konno Mari?): Four years old
  2. Masami Yoshizawa (????, Yoshizawa Masami?): Seven years old
  3. Erika Nanba (?????, Nanba Erika?): Four years old
  4. Ayako Nomoto (????, Nomoto Ayako?): Five years old

See also

  • Insanity defense
  • Capital punishment in Japan
  • List of serial killers by country


  1. ^ a b c Charles T. Whipple. ““The Silencing of the Lambs”. http://web.archive.org/web/20070818192957/http://www.charlest.whipple.net/miyazaki.html. Retrieved 2008-03-05.  Internet Archive copy.
  2. ^ Serial child-killer hanged as Japan steps up death penalty“. The Scotsman. 2008-06-17. http://news.scotsman.com/world/Serial-childkiller-hanged-as-Japan.4194794.jp. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  3. ^ Kousetsu Kamiya. ”
    ???????????????” (in Japanese). http://www1.odn.ne.jp/kamiya-ta/gisi.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  4. ^ Miyazaki Tsutomu Jiken“. Japanese Literature Webring. http://www.sunfield.ne.jp/~mike/books/nonfiction/crime/author/ichihashi_fumiya/miyazaki.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  5. ^ Japan executes notorious cannibal killer“. AFP. 2008-06-17. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jNmP-nKTKmf5cYaGrRNZBaMtms2A. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  6. ^ Japanese ‘cannibal killer’ executed in Tokyo“. The Times. June 17, 2008. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4156285.ece. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  7. ^ Japan’s Supreme Court upholds death penalty on child killer“. People’s Daily. January 17, 2006. http://english.people.com.cn/200601/17/eng20060117_236139.html. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  8. ^ ???????????????…?????” (in Japanese). Yomiuri Shimbun. 2008-06-17. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20080617-OYT1T00478.htm?from=navr. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  9. ^ Nerd cult murderer executed“. The Daily Telegraph. 2008-06-17. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/2144503/Nerd-cult-murderer-executed.html. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  10. ^ Defendant admits abducting and killing schoolgirl in Nara“. The Japan Times. 2005-04-19. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20050419a3.html. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  11. ^ Miyazaki unrepentant to the last / Serial child killer goes to execution without apologizing or explaining his thinking“. Yomiuri Shimbun. 2008-06-18. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20080618TDY02306.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  12. ^ Reports: Japan executes man convicted of killing and mutilating young girls in 1980s“. International Herald Tribune. 2008-06-17. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/17/asia/AS-GEN-Japan-Execution.php. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  13. ^ Japan Hangs Three Killers As Pace of Executions Rises“. Washington post. 2008-06-17. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/17/AR2008061701131.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  14. ^ Japan Hangs Three Convicted Killers“. The New York Times. 2008-06-18. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/world/asia/18japan.html?ref=world. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  15. ^ ???????????????????” (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2008-06-18. http://www.nikkansports.com/general/news/p-gn-tp0-20080618-373365.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  16. ^ ????????????????????????????????” (in Japanese). J-CAST. 2008-06-17. http://www.j-cast.com/2008/06/17021964.html. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  17. ^ ?????????????????” (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2008-06-18. http://www.nikkansports.com/general/news/p-gn-tp0-20080618-373366.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 

NAME Miyazaki, Tsutomu
SHORT DESCRIPTION Japanese serial killer
DATE OF BIRTH August 21, 1962
PLACE OF BIRTH ?me, Tokyo, Japan
DATE OF DEATH June 17, 2008

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