Yoshio Kodaira

Yoshio Kodaira

Yoshio Kodaira
Birth name: Yoshio Kodaira
Born: January 28, 1905(1905-01-28)
Tochigi, Japan
Died: October 5, 1949 (aged 44)
Cause of death: hanging
Number of victims: 8-11 (in only Japan)
Span of killings: July 2, 1932–August 6, 1946
Country: Japan
State(s): Tochigi, Tokyo
Date apprehended: August 20, 1946

Yoshio Kodaira (?? ??, Kodaira Yoshio?, January 28, 1905 – October 5, 1949) was a Japanese rapist and serial killer. He was also one of the few ex-soldiers who admitted that the Japanese military had committed atrocities before the Second Sino-Japanese War.


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Life as a soldier

Kodaira suffered from stuttering during his childhood. He joined the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1923. He participated in the Jinan Incident. He killed six Chinese soldiers in 1928, and raped or murdered many women in China. In Taku Forts, he stuck a sword into the belly of a pregnant woman.[1] The exact number of his victims in China is unknown.


Kodaira married in 1932 after he returned to Japan. His wife eventually left him because he had a child by another woman. He became angry and attacked his wife’s household, killing his father-in-law and injuring six others with an iron rod on July 2, 1932. He was arrested, and was released in 1940.

He is believed to have raped and murdered ten women between May 25, 1945 and August 6, 1946 in Tochigi and Tokyo. After the fifth murder, he committed necrophilia with the corpse. His murder victims included teenagers. He also raped about 30 women in addition to his murder victims.

Arrest, trial and execution

On August 20, 1946, Kodaira was arrested. He denied responsibility for three murders in the court, and the district court tried him for seven of his ten suspected murders on June 18, 1947. One of the victims was never identified. The Supreme Court sentenced him to death on November 16, 1948.

He was executed on October 5, 1949. On his final day, he said “I am fortunate to be able to die on such a calm and peaceful day.”[2]

He smoked a cigarette hikari[clarification needed] and remained calm while he was being executed.[citation needed]


Based on his case, David Peace published a novel Tokyo Year Zero in 2007.[3]

See also

  • Nanking Massacre
  • Kiyoshi ?kubo
  • Sataro Fukiage


  1. ^ ??????????” (in Japanese). ????. http://www.alpha-net.ne.jp/users2/knight9/kodaira.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  2. ^ Peace, It’s Wonderful“. Time. 1949-10-17. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,853940-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  3. ^ Steve Finbow (2007-08-12). “A dark dissection of Tokyo at war“. The Japan Times. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fb20070812a2.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 

External links

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