Junko Furuta

The 1988 case of Junk Furuta is known by many names – 44 Days of Hell… The Concrete-Encased High School Girl Murder Case… but there is only one word to describe Junko’s ordeal. Horrifying.

The boys took Junko to Minato’s family home – where she was imprisoned for the final 44 days of her life.

The murder of Junko Furuta is the stuff of nightmares – described by one judge as,

“[So brutal that her] soul must be wandering in torment”

So what exactly happened to Junko Furuta? And what happened to the boys that tortured and took her life in the most inhuman way possible?

Junko Furuta

Junko Furuta

In 1988, 17 year old Junko was attending Yashio-Minami High School in Misato, Japan. She was known as a pretty, bright, well-behaved girl. The same cannot be said of her classmate, Hiroshi Miyano.

Miyano developed anger issues at a young age and soon became known as the school bully. He forged friendships with members of the Yakuza, a powerful Japanese crime organization, which he used to intimidate fellow classmates.

It is reported the then 18-year-old Miyano developed an infatuation with Junko. In mid-November, Miyano asked her on a date. Junko politely rejected him. An enraged Miyano devised a plan to get back at her for this rejection.

On the of 25th November, 1988, Junko had just finished a shift at her part-time job and was cycling home. At approximately 8.30 p.m. she encountered Miyano and his friend Nobuharu Minato (then 16 years old).

Under the order of Miyano, Nobuharu kicked Junko off her bicycle and fled. Miyano acted as an uninvolved bystander and offered to walk Junko home. He reportedly told her;

“That one’s crazy; I’ve been threatened by him with a knife a short time ago. You may still be in danger. Let me walk you home.”

Junko accepted his offer.

He led her to an abandoned warehouse. Miyano forced Junko inside and raped her. He then took her to a nearby hotel and raped her two more times.

In the early hours of the morning, Miyano called three of his friends – Minato (who assisted in the abduction), Jō Ogura (then 18), and Yasushi Watanabe (then 17). The four organized a meeting.

They met at a nearby park and took Junko’s belongings from her. A notepad in her bag revealed her home address. The boys claimed if she did not abide by their command, her family would be killed by the Yakuza.

The boys took Junko to Minato’s family home – where she was imprisoned for the final 44 days of her life.

Potential Escape 1

On the 27th of November, Junko’s parents contacted the police regarding their daughter’s disappearance. The case gained local attention and the boys panicked.

They ordered Junko to call her parents and assure them she was safe. She claimed she had run away with a friend and planned to start a new life. It appeared she did not want to be found.

The police search was called off.

7 Days in Captivity

Junko was subjected to an incomprehensible amount of torture.

She was repeatedly beaten and starved. She was hung from the ceiling and used as a punching bag. The boys assaulted her with barbells and burned her with cigarettes, lighters and candles.

She was forced to eat live cockroaches, her own faeces, and drink her own urine. Her vagina, clitoris, and eyelids were mutilated and her left nipple was ripped off using plyers. Her breasts were pierced with needles and, at one point, her face was stomped on to such an extent that she lost the ability to breathe through her nose.

Junko was raped multiple times a day and forced to masturbate in front of the boys. Foreign objects were used to violate her both vaginally and anally – including iron rods, lightbulbs, scissors, and fireworks (which were then lit inside her).

One week after the torture began the boys invited friends to the house to rape Junko – including fellow classmate Koichi Ihara. Ihara felt pressure to participate in the assault and confessed his involvement to his brother. His parents and the police were subsequently informed.

Potential Escape 2

Two officers investigated the home of Minato after Ihara’s confession. They were greeted by Minato’s parents. When they suggest the police come inside and investigate further, they declined – believing the invitation to be proof of innocence.

The abuse of Junko continued.

Potential Escape 3

Approximately two and a half weeks into her abduction, Junko managed to sneak away from the boys and located a phone. She began to call the police – unfortunately before she could say anything Miyano caught her.

She was tortured as punishment.

30 Days in Captivity

The abuse sustained by Junko continued to escalate.

Along with the beatings and rapes, her legs were regularly doused with lighter fluid and set alight and she was frequently sodomised with large glass bottles.

Her body succumbed to the torture and she began suffering from seizures and convolutions – a condition thought to be fake by her captors. In reality, it was her brain reducing in size due to the extreme beatings.

In order to teach her not to fake her very real, very serious injuries – the boys set her on fire again.

They began to force Junko to sleep outside on the balcony. At this point, it was the middle of December and the weather regularly plummeted to freezing temperatures below zero. In addition to this, the boys often locked Junko in the freezer for long periods of time.

Junko Furuta began to lose the ability to move – by the 20th day she was unable to use her hands due to shattered bones, by the 30th day it took her an entire hour to make her way to the downstairs toilet.

Her body continued to deteriorate as she became incontinent due to the injuries sustained to her internal organs and vulva. Her battered body was burnt and infected – which repulsed and infuriated the boys.

They needed a new victim to satisfy their sexual needs.

The Second Victim

Approximately one month after Junko’s abduction the boys attacked and gang-raped an unidentified 19-year-old girl while she cycled home from work.

The boys did not abduct her after the attack and she later informed the police.

44 Days in Captivity

Junko Furuta

On January 4th, 1989, the boys challenged Junko to a game of Mahjong solitaire. She won. The boys were furious.

The boys punished her by beating her with barbells and burning her eyelids with wax. She was propped up and her feet were whipped with bamboo sticks. For the final time, Junko dropped to the floor and convulsed.

During her seizure, the boys covered her legs, torso, and face with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

She ultimately died during this two-hour-long attack.

Junko’s official cause of death is unknown – some suspect she succumbed to her bodily injuries whilst others argue it was shock.

It was estimated she was the victim of 400-500 rapes during her ordeal and tortured to an unimaginable extent. However, her story does not end there…

The four boys didn’t realize that Junko had died for 24 hours. They assumed she had passed out due to her injuries – which was a common occurrence. Once her death was noticed, they set about disposing her body.

Junko Furuta was wrapped in a blanket and placed in a travel bag. This bag was placed in a 55-gallon drum and covered with wet concrete. The drum was disposed of in a cement truck in Kōtō.

The Arrests

Three weeks after the death of Junko Furuta on January 23rd, 1989, Miyano and fellow accomplice Ogura were arrested for the gang-rape of the 19 year old girl.

An unrelated double murder had recently occurred which bore striking similarities to the gang rape so, during the boys’ interrogation, police insinuated they knew about a murder. Miyano panicked and confessed to the murder of Junko;

“I am sorry that we killed [her].”

Police were shocked. They had no clue she was dead or even missing. Her body was recovered from the concrete the next day and the boy’s story was confirmed.

All four boys accepted plea deals which were offered due to their young age. They plead guilty to committing bodily injury that resulted in death.

Hiroshi Miyano

Hiroshi was originally sentenced to 17 years in prison. He attempted to appeal his conviction, arguing his sentence was too harsh. The judge disagreed and gave him 3 additional years – giving him a total of 20 years in prison.

His family were ordered to pay compensation to the Furuta family. They were forced to sell their home.

He is now out of prison and living under an assumed identity.

Nobuharu Minato

Minato was originally sentenced to 4-6 years in prison. Upon appeal, his sentence was raised to 5-9 years.

After his release, Minato moved back in with his mother. He has never been employed.

Yasushi Watanabe

Upon appeal Watanabe’s original sentence of 3-4 years was increased to 5-7 years. He has since married and is reported to be living a happy, normal life.

Jō Ogura

Ogura served eight years in a juvenile prison and was released in 1999.

He reoffended in July 2004 after he tracked down, beat, and abducted a man he suspected to be having an affair with his wife. He served a further eight years in prison. He has since been released.

It is widely reported that Ogura’s mother has vandalized the grave of Junko Furuta on multiple occasions – claiming that Junko had ruined her son’s life.

This one of the many sickening crimes to date in Japan but unfortunately crimes like this continue in different parts of the world.

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