I felt all alone… whenever I saw a little girl playing on her own, it was almost like seeing myself.”
Serial Killer Tsutomu Miyazaki was born in Hatsukaichi, Tokyo on August 21, 1962. Tsutomu was born prematurely with a deformity of his hands in which he could not bend his wrists upwards. In order to move or rotate his hand, he had to move his entire forearm from the elbow down, affecting his self-image, self-esteem, and social development. At school he was teased and bullied about his deformity among his peers, he was mocked for having “funny hands”. At home, he was regarded with undisguised disgust by his own sisters, who found his hands repulsive. Furthermore, his relationship with both of his parents was distant. The only person with whom Tsutomu bonded was his grandfather, Shokichi until his death in May 1988 who later claimed to have consumed some of his grandfather’s ashes in order to try and reincarnate him. At a young age, Tsutomu exhibited behavior that related to his self-esteem issues, being a quiet child who preferred solitude. Miyazaki, who did not feel accepted by his family and was unable to find any friends, became a loner withdrawing into his own fantasy world. According to Cohen’s thesis number four, the monster dwells at the gates of difference, a monster’s physical, psychological, or social, deformity, characteristics considers them unacceptable. That’s exactly what made Tsutomu become that monster due to the physical and deformity of his hands, people rejected him others disgusted him making him feel like a monster.
Miyazaki initially performed well in school, and he planned to go to college to become a teacher. However, when he was a teenager, his grades dropped, making it impossible for him to get into a good university. With few options available to him, Miyazaki enrolled in a program to become a photo technician (Judson.) At the age of 25 and no ability to form adult relationships, Tsutomu turned to child pornography and lolicon aníme (Japanese comic books) for his thrills (McQueen.) Just three months after the death of his grandfather, Tsutomu Miyazaki committed his first of four murders on August 22, 1988, when he abducted Mari Konno, a four-year-old girl who was playing with a friend. After kidnapping Konno, he drove to a wooded area and strangled the child to death before undressing her and sexually assaulting her. Less than two months later, 26-year-old Miyazaki killed his next victim, Masami Yoshizawa, a 7-year-old girl he abducted and took to the same place where he had strangled Konno to death. On December 12, 1988, he kidnapped another young girl, 4-year-old Erika ,Namba drove to a parking lot, and murdered the child in his car. The following year on June 6, 1989, he killed his final victim, Ayako Nomoto, 5, a child he lured into his vehicle and strangled to death (Judson.)
As if the parents of Tsutomu Miyazaki’s victims didn’t suffer enough after their children were murdered and desecrated in such horrifying ways, the killer taunted the mothers and fathers of the girls by sending them disturbing packages. After killing Mari Konno, Miyazaki mailed her family a number of the girl’s teeth, pictures he’d taken of her clothing, a postcard containing clues about her death, and some of the 4-year-old’s ashes. He sent similar postcards, which featured disturbing words that Miyazaki had cut out of magazines, to the parents of his other victims. Also, the parents received phone calls from a person, almost certainly Miyazaki, who refused to speak, and if they didn’t pick up the telephone, the caller would let the line ring for as long as 20 minutes. On June 6, 1989, Miyazaki led a girl into his car after taking pictures of her and killed her, leaving her body in his apartment and using it for necrophilia, taking pictures of it in various positions and filming it. When her body began decomposing, Miyazaki dismembered it, disposed of the head in a cemetery and the torso in hills, but he would later retrieve the body parts, keeping them in his closet; Miyazaki also drank blood from the girl’s hands and ate part of them (Judson.)
On July 23, 1989, Tsutomu Miyazaki tried to kidnap two sisters, but one of the girls escaped, leaving him to force the other child into his vehicle. However, the sister who had avoided the abduction sought the help of her father who discovered his daughter and Miyazaki in a car at a nearby park. Miyazaki, who ran from the scene, completely naked, after the 6-year old’s father caught him taking pictures of his daughter’s genitals, was arrested by police when he eventually returned to his vehicle. When he was questioned by law enforcement about the abduction, Miyazaki admitted to being the man responsible for the murders of the four young girls. After Tsutomu Miyazaki confessed to killing four children, officials searched his house in an effort to corroborate his claims, and they discovered a collection of 5,763 videotapes. Many of the tapes contained child pornography, which was legal in Japan at the time, as well as violent horror movies, anime, and torture porn. Law enforcement also discovered videos Miyazaki had made to document the murders of the four young girls, and they even found parts of Mari Konno’s body still hidden in his closet. During his trial, Tsutomu Miyazaki showed no remorse for the depraved murders of the young girls, and he made nonsensical statements throughout the proceedings, generally behaving very strangely. While he was incarcerated, Miyazaki told a psychologist that a human/rodent hybrid known as “Rat Man” had compelled him to commit the murders, and he even drew pictures of this malevolent figure. According to Miyazaki, Rat Man had convinced him he would be able to bring his beloved grandfather back from the dead if he killed the young children, leading him to abduct and murder his victims (Judson)
Some contributing factor that caused the significant to do these horrific things were bullying and the teasing of his peers and his sisters due to the deformity of his hands, but also the death of the most significant person who he was close to his grandfather, and lastly the rejection/loneliness he felt by his family. Because of the bullying, he would get in school and at home it made him believe he wasn’t liked by anyone, but also made him believed he wasn’t attractive and was just some weird child in which brought his self-esteem down leading him to negative thoughts about him. Bullying is an intentional, senseless abuse of power by one or more adolescents. It causes mental distress and physical pain to the victim (Rai.) victims of bullying report negative academic and social-emotional outcomes, including higher rates of school truancy, academic failure, depression, anxiety, and self-inflicted harm. Victims of bullying often withdraw from their peers and demonstrate social avoidance following victimization (Mulvey.) The second cause that made this serial killer the horrific things he did was the death of his grandfather this affected him in many ways since he was really close to him and believed he was the only person who loved him and understood him. After a significant death, a common response is grief (or bereavement), which tends to resolve within several months to 1 year for most people, averaging approximately 6 months. After a “traumatic” loss, for some people, the grief response can involve a lack of acceptance of the death, with the survivor undergoing a chronic state of mourning often referred to as CG. One risk factor for CG includes the lack of emotional support sometimes associated with traumatic events. CG is not listed as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but nonetheless, it is associated with substantial mental and physical health impairment. CG symptom includes yearning for the deceased, trouble accepting death, others, bitterness over the death, difficulty moving forward with life, emotional numbness, feelings of emptiness, feeling one’s future is meaningless, and agitation. According to Tsutomu, “I felt all alone,” Miyazaki explained later. “And whenever I saw a little girl playing on her own, it was almost like seeing myself.” Miyazaki never displayed much concern for life. “I’ve killed cats,” he later said casually. “Threw one in the river. Did another in with boiling water.” He also throttled his own dog to death with a strand of wire. His absorption in a video world, explains Oda, “removed his consciousness from reality. Everything became an item to him, including people. The little girls he killed were no more than characters from his comic-book life.”(Blanco) Lastly, the third cause was rejection and loneliness from his family. According to Miyazaki, if I tried to talk to my parents about my problems, they’d just brush me off,” Miyazaki confessed to police. “I even thought about suicide,” he said. Medical studies have associated loneliness with costly physical and psychological ills. Humans need social interaction and can suffer health consequences without it, “We are deeply social as a species” and “not designed to be solitary survivors. Studies have found that loneliness and social isolation are associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and are risk factors for poor cognitive functioning, personality disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and suicide (Lyons.) In conclusion, these are some of the factors of why this serial killer did what he did clearly we can see it affected him very deeply to the point where he had to do these horrific things.
Blanco, Juan. “Tsutomu Miyazaki | Murderpedia, the Encyclopedia of Murderers”. Murderpedia.Org, http://murderpedia.org/male.M/m/miyazaki-tsutomu.htm. Accessed 6 Dec 2018.
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Lyons, Christina L. “Loneliness and Social Isolation.” CQ Researcher, 3 Aug. 2018, pp. 657-80, library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2018080300.
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Rai, Reema, et al. “A Study to Explore Bullying and Its Impact on the Psychosocial Wellbeing among High School Students of Udupi District, Karnataka.” Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, vol. 12, no. 2, Apr. 2018, pp. 226–231. EBSCOhost, doi:10.5958/0973-9130.2018.00107.X