Shinji Minato’s parents considered Junko Furuta to be their son’s girlfriend. The attractive young lady was practically a permanent fixture in their home because of how often she visited their kid.
They pretended everything was well even after they became suspicious about her presence not being entirely voluntary. After all, they were worried about their son’s aggressive behavior and his friend’s ties to the Yakuza, a major Japanese crime group.
For 44 days, Junko Furuta was Shinji Minato’s and his pals Hiroshi Miyano, J Ogura, and Yasushi Watanabe’s hostage, sex slave, and punching bag. Tragically, they would kill her on the last day of her ordeal of awful torment.
Junko Furuta’s Kidnapping
In 1971, Junko Furuta entered this world in the town of Misato, Saitama, Japan. And before she was abducted when she was 17, she was just a regular teenager. At Yashio-Minami High, Furuta was well-known for her beauty, intelligence, and academic success.
She was well-liked and seemed to have a promising future, despite her “good girl” reputation (she didn’t partake in risky behaviors like drinking, smoking, or drug usage).
In contrast, in that November of 1988, everything shifted.
Hiroshi Miyano, the man who would later kidnap her, had a reputation as the school bully and frequently bragged about his ties to the Yakuza. Some of their other students say that Miyano had a crush on Furuta and was furious when she rejected him. After all, nobody dared to turn him down, even after he told them about his Yakuza pals.
Miyano and Minato preyed on unsuspecting ladies in a Misato park a few days after the rejection. Miyano and Minato were seasoned gang rapists; thus, they were masters at identifying vulnerable victims.
The young men saw Junko Furuta riding her bike at about 8:30 that evening. The woman was on her way back to the house from the office. With Furuta’s attention diverted, Miyano could step in a while still maintaining the appearance of an innocent bystander. Minato had shoved Furuta off her bike to create the distraction. Furuta unknowingly accepted his offer of an escort home as he helped her to her feet.
In the end, she was separated from her family forever.
Get to Know The 44 Days of Hell by Junko Furuta.
After telling Furuta about his Yakuza ties, Miyano raped her in an abandoned warehouse, threatening to murder her and her family if she made a sound. After that, he brought her to a park where he met with Minato, Ogura, and Watanabe. That’s where the group of lads raped her. Then they secretly brought her into a house that belonged to Minato’s relatives.
The lads tricked Furuta into calling her parents and telling them she had gone away and was staying with a friend after they had reported their daughter missing to the police. Furuta was compelled to play the role of Minato’s girlfriend whenever his parents were in the house, but they ultimately caught on.
For 44 days, Minato’s parents remained blissfully unaware of the real-life horror drama in their own home due to the fear of the Yakuza coming after them.
During her 44 days of captivity, Junko Furuta was raped more than 400 times by Miyano, his pals, and other youths and men the four kidnappers knew. While being tortured, they repeatedly inserted sharp objects like iron bars, knives, skewers, pyrotechnics, and even a lighted lightbulb into her vagina and anus, ruining her internal anatomy and rendering her unable to pee or defecate normally.
The lads also made her eat live cockroaches, masturbate in front of them, and drink her pee while they weren’t raping her. While it hung from the ceiling, her still-living body was pummeled with golf clubs, bamboo sticks, and iron rods. Cigarettes, lighters, and hot wax were used to burn her eyelids and privates.
Further, Furuta was tortured till his death.
Killing of Junko Furuta
The fact that Junko Furuta’s torture and death were avoided is among the tragedy’s greatest ironies. The police were called about Furuta twice, but they did nothing to help.
On the first occasion, a young man who had been invited to the Minato residence by Miyano saw Furuta and returned home to tell his brother about what had transpired. The sibling ultimately chose to inform his parents, who called the authorities.
When they arrived, the Minato family reassured the authorities that there was no girl at home. The cops felt satisfied with the response since they never returned to check on the house again.
The second time, Furuta phoned the police, but the lads found her before she could explain what had happened. Miyano told the responding officers they had made a mistake the first time they phoned.
Nobody from the government ever followed up. The youths then doused Furuta’s legs with lighter fluid and set fire to them as punishment for phoning the police.
The day after Junko Furuta’s kidnappers had her for so long that they killed her was January 4, 1989. After she defeated them in mahjong, the lads allegedly grew furious and tortured her to death. They placed her body in a 55-gallon barrel, loaded it with concrete, and then dropped it off a cement truck to avoid murder charges. Furthermore, they first believed they would never be discovered.
The Consequences of a Cruel Act
Police arrested Miyano and Ogura two weeks later for a different gang rape case. The cops referenced a homicide probe when questioning Miyano. Miyano informed the police where they might discover the body of Junko Furuta because he thought the authorities were talking about the murder of Furuta. Ogura must have confessed to the crime.
It turned out that the police were referring to the case had nothing to do with Furuta and that Miyano had unknowingly handed himself in for her murder. The four lads were apprehended in a matter of days.
The judges handed down sentences ranging from five to twenty years for Hiroshi Miyano, five to nine years for Shinji Minato, five to ten years for J Ogura, and five to seven years for Yasushi Watanabe.
The fact that they were juveniles at the time of Junko Furuta’s murder contributed to their lenient sentences, while it is commonly thought that their ties to the Yakuza were also factors. If the case had been handled in a different jurisdiction or if the boys were even a year or two older, they would have been sentenced to death.
As it turned out, all four of Furuta’s murderers were finally set free. Watanabe is the only one who has not committed any new crimes after his release. Numerous Japanese still believe that Furuta’s case was not handled fairly. Sadly, I don’t think that will change anytime soon.