Tsutomu Miyazaki's brutality and the origins of the otaku's bad stigma

Fans of Japanese comics or manga and anime, such as Captain Tsubasa, Naruto, maybe even Junji Ito's works like Tomie, were initially labeled as otaku, aka people who were really crazy about them. Some people thought that otaku were geeky, quiet, and anti-social. But in 1988, otaku was seen as a dangerous pastime. They were seen as prone to commit heinous murders.

Tsutomu Miyazaki was born on August 21, 1962, to a wealthy family. His father, Katsumi Miyazaki, was the owner of Akigawa Shimbun, a local daily of the Itsukaichi newspaper network. Even though his school grade was bad, Miyazaki was able to get an education until he was in college.

Miyazaki's life was far from perfect. Born prematurely, his hands were deformed for life. They were wrinkled, and the bones fused with the forearms. In other words, Miyazaki had no wrist bones and had to move his entire forearm if he wanted to move his hand.

Miyazaki often made fun of at school and became quiet and withdrawn. It was hard to find someone who could be Miyazaki's best friend. His school friends actually called him ridiculous hands. In Supernatural Serial Killers, this scorn was one of the mental scars that led to Miyazaki becoming a murderer later.

In college, Miyazaki majored in photography. He was frequently present at his campus sports events. However, based on the admission of his college friend, Miyazaki was not interested in sports. He just liked to take photos of female students who were participating in competitions and used them as imaginary materials to masturbate.

After college, Miyazaki's life got even more chaotic. He managed to land a job at a friend of his father's place, but Miyazaki's lewd habits escalated. His biological sister caught Miyazaki peeking at her while she was taking a shower. When reprimanded, Miyazaki even attacked her. He also attacked his mother who scolded him.

Three months later, the day after his 26th birthday, Miyazaki drove a Nissan Langley in Saitama, which was tens of miles from his hometown in Itsukaichi. Miyazaki then found a four-year-old girl named Mari Konno. She was Miyazaki's first victim.

Konno accepted Miyazaki's invitation to get into the car. At that time, Miyazaki offered Konno to take her for a walk to a nice place. They drove for 90 minutes, and Konno was getting farther from the house.

In an area full of trees, Konno and Miyazaki walked away from the hiking trail. After talking for 30 minutes, Miyazaki then choked Konno to death. Not quite satisfied, Miyazaki then stripped Konno's clothes and assaulted the four-year-old girl sexually while capturing the moment with his camera.

Konno's body, which was lying stiffly, was rolled away on a hill near his house, approximately 50 miles from the girl's house. Konno's clothes were brought home by Miyazaki.

The second murder took place at the same location on October 3, 1988. Miyazaki found a seven-year-old girl named Masami Yoshizawa. Miyazaki managed to coax Yoshizawa into the car, leading her to the same area where he killed Konno and choked her to death. Again, Miyazaki vented his sexual desires there and kept the victim's clothes.

Two months later, on December 12, 1988, Miyazaki killed a four-year-old girl named Erika Namba in Saitama. He forced Namba to take off her clothes then took a picture of the frightened poor girl. Miyazaki then choked Namba's neck and tied her hands and feet. After that, the girl's body was just dumped in the forest behind the parking lot.

Miyazaki's last murder was carried out half a year later on June 6, 1989. He strangled a five-year-old girl named Ayako Nomoto after a photography session in a park. Nomoto fought tooth and nail. Miyazaki admitted Nomoto continued to struggle for four to five minutes and fought with her feet. That resistance couldn't stop Miyazaki.

The difference this time, Miyazaki took Nomoto's body home. For two days, Nomoto's corpse fell victim to Miyazaki's sexual immorality. With the corpse, Miyazaki also shared a bed.

After Nomoto's body decomposed, Miyazaki divided it into pieces and then drank her blood. Not only that, but he also carried out acts of cannibalism by roasting the victim's hand behind his house. After eating it, Miyazaki dumped Nomoto's body in the toilet near the cemetery and the rest into a nearby hill.

Worried that the body would be found, Miyazaki returned to retrieve the parts on the hill and kept them at home.

Miyazaki's mode was actually messy and full of gaps. All his crimes were committed on instinct and passion alone. He even nearly got caught several times.

In a third case, for example, Youth Nature Facility officers saw pieces of Namba's clothes in the parking lot where Miyazaki kidnapped the victim. The police then conducted a massive search and managed to find Namba's body in the middle of the forest.

After this information was made public, two people reported to the police. They claimed to have helped a man whose car tire got stuck on the curb. The man was seen carrying a piece of cloth, which was stored in the trunk. Unfortunately, these two people identified the perpetrator's car like a Toyota Corolla. At that time, the Corolla was a very popular car in Japan, and it was difficult to identify all of them.

This witness was also the one who analyzed why Miyazaki had stopped his actions for six months.

Miyazaki was also almost caught when he was trying to execute Ayako Nomoto on June 1, 1989. He persuaded Nomoto to take off her underwear, but the local people caught him. However, Miyazaki managed to escape before the police arrived at the scene. Unfortunately, five days later, Miyazaki was determined to do the action. Nomoto only lived five days longer.

Behind the careless action, Miyazaki repeatedly played with the victim's family.

When Konno disappeared, the police immediately took action by declaring the case murder. Police visited all houses in the Saitama area. At that time, police cars were on the road and gave announcements over loudspeakers for parents to look after their children. However, even though the victim's features were described in full description, no one could find it.

However, in The World's Worst Serial Killers, Miyazaki instead sent a letter to the victim's mother, Yukie Konno, which said there was a demon roaming around. Police perceived the letter as a prank from an unknown person. However, later on, they realized that the letter was really from Miyazaki.

When the police found it difficult to find the bodies of victims like Mari Konno, Miyazaki returned to the location of the disposal several times. One time, he took Konno's arms and legs home, then burned the rest. On February 6, 1989, he put the ashes in a box with the teeth and a photo of the victim's clothes, then sent to Konno's parents' house. Shigeo Konno, Mari's father, found the box accompanied by a piece of paper that read: Mari. Cremated. Bones. Investigate. Prove.

Initially, doctors failed to identify Konno's teeth. However, Miyazaki sent another letter with the name Yuko Imada stating that he had killed three girls and that everything in the box was indeed Konno's remains. The doctor then revised that the tooth was indeed Mari Konno's.

Not only the Konno family, Shin'ichi Namba, the father of the third victim, Erika, also received a letter a week after the death of his daughter. The writing was: Erika. Cold. Cough. Throat. Rest. Death. Police later linked the two deaths to one incident. With this, it was clear that a serial killer did roam Saitama.

Another one of Miyazaki's reckless steps was to often call the victim's family without saying anything. If the phone was not picked up, the ringing would last for about 20 minutes. However, Miyazaki's actions were insane, insulting, and abominable.

Miyazaki's negligence eventually led him to prison. On July 23, 1989, Miyazaki visited two girls who were playing in Hachiƍji, about 25 miles from downtown Tokyo. Miyazaki's ruse managed to get one girl to the back of his car. The girl was naked and scared. In front of her, Miyazaki took a picture of the vital parts of the little girl's body.

Fortunately, her sister quickly complained to her father. When he got to Miyazaki's car and saw the scene, the father immediately threw a punch at his head. Even so, Miyazaki managed to escape, and the police came to the location too late.

Because it matched the description of the alleged perpetrator by the police, the officers waited in the car to ambush Miyazaki. Before long, Miyazaki innocently returned to the scene of the crime. The police were waiting.

At Miyazaki's home, the police found the remains of the victims, including Mari Konno. The whole room was filled with various videotapes and Japanese comics. The video footage also included an animation under the category of pornography and a recording of Miyazaki sexually assaulting the victim's body.

From there, the mass media dubbed Miyazaki the Otaku Murderer.

The Miyazaki trial was attended by 1,500 people. Only about 50 people could enter. During the trial, Miyazaki often spent time sleeping.

During the trial, not a single word of apology was said to the victims or their families. Miyazaki even had time to ask for the car and his manga and video collection to be returned. The court had one major task of ruling that Miyazaki was either insane or sane before giving him the death penalty.

The psychiatrists who examined Miyazaki were unable to confirm what the perpetrator suffered whether he was schizophrenic or had multiple personalities, whether that personality arose during murder or after he was imprisoned. The judge finally decided that Miyazaki's mental state was not enough to allow him to escape the death penalty.

Although there were many animated videos and mangas related to sex, cannibalism, and so on, there were also other allegations regarding the motive for Miyazaki's murder. One of the psychologists who successfully examined Miyazaki was Hirokazu Hasegawa. He heard Miyazaki admit that his actions were done by someone else. Who knew what Miyazaki imagined, but he called that figure a mouse man.

Secondly, since he was born, Miyazaki was not close to his parents and siblings. He was born from an incest or inbreeding relationship between his father and his eldest sister. His sister was also disgusted by Miyazaki's physical disabilities. Every day, Miyazaki spent more time with his grandfather.

After his arrest, Miyazaki admitted that he only wanted his family to hear him. He blamed his parents for neglecting him. Miyazaki was sure he had tried to open up to his family.

Hearing this confession, Miyazaki's father apologized to the public. In 1994, he committed suicide by jumping into the river.

Miyazaki ate some of the ashes from his grandfather's cremation, believing it would awaken his beloved one. Three months later, he committed his first murderous act. One guess was, it was his grandfather's death that prompted Miyazaki to do this.

The media had since often associated otaku as a dangerous and lewd individual. As a result, many mangas that had not been published were censored by the police.

Miyazaki's murderous acts caused a bad stigma against otaku. Although Miyazaki's actions could not be forgiven, blaming the hobby of reading manga and watching anime was something wrong.

Miyazaki's final days were spent exchanging letters to Hiroyuki Shinoda, one of the editors of a Japanese magazine. There were about 300 letters sent by Miyazaki. Neither letter expressed any remorse. Miyazaki even cursed the judge who tried his case as an idiot. Not to forget, he also still glorified the atrocities of his past.

Miyazaki was hanged on June 17, 2008. After 20 years, Miyazaki was finally punished for his actions.