44 days of hell: Junko Furuta

Hey. I wanted to start by saying that I'm highlighting this case becase of the recent overturning of Roe v Wade and the constant battle women have to face to have the right to control their own bodies. This battle is not only in America but the whole world. Injustice against women is real and shouldn't be ignored.

Junko Furuta was a normal 17 year-old girl living in Misato, Japan. She had dream about being an idol. She was known as a smart, pretty young girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.

Hiroshi Miyano was known as the school bully, often bragging about his connections to the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia). He would hang around with his friends and no one ever dared to challenge him, especially with his "connections" to the Yakuza. Miyano grew a specific liking towards Junko. She rejected him. Like any other teenage boy with an ego, he was enraged.

A few days later, Miyano and his friend Shinji Minato, the leader of his gang, were hanging out in a local park and scouting out potential women to attack. Around 8:30 p.m., Miyano and Minato noticed Junko Furuta on her bicycle. Minato kicked Furuta off of her bike, creating a diversion, at which point Miyano stepped in, pretending to be an innocent and concerned bystander. After helping her up, he asked her if she wanted an escort home, which Junko accepted.

Miyano led Junjo to an abandoned warehouse, where he told her of his Yakuza connections and raped her, threatening to kill her and her family if she made a sound. He took her to a park where the rest of his friends, Shinji Minato, Jō Ogura, and Yusushi Watanabe, were waiting. They all raped her. Then they took her to Minato's house that was owned by his parents.

The boys made Junko call home and tell her parents she ran away so that the police wouldn't be looking for her. Whenever Minato's parents were around, they would pretend she was his girlfriend.

For the next 44 days that Junko Furuta was held hostage at Shinji Minato's house, she was raped over 400 times by Miyano and his friends, as well as other boys and men that the four captors knew. While torturing her, they would insert iron bars, scissors, skewers, fireworks, and even a lit lightbulb into her vagina and anus, destroying her internal anatomy, which left her unable to defecate or urinate properly. When they weren’t raping her, the boys forced her to do other terrible things, like eating live cockroaches, masturbating in front of them, and drinking her own urine. Her body, still very much alive at that point, was hung from the ceiling and beaten with golf clubs, bamboo sticks, and iron rods. Her eyelids and genitals were burned with cigarettes, lighters, and hot wax.

On January 4, 1989, Junko Furuta’s captors finally murdered her. The boys allegedly became enraged when she beat them at a game of mahjong and tortured her to death. Scared of being charged with murder, they dumped her body in a 55-gallon drum, filled it with concrete, and dropped it on a cement truck. And for a while, they thought they would never be caught.

Two weeks later, Miyano and Ogura were taken into custody by the police on separate gang-rape charges. An ongoing murder inquiry was brought up by the police during Miyano's interrogation. Miyano informed the police where they might discover Junko Furuta's body because he thought the authorities were talking about the murder of Furuta and that Ogura must have admitted to the crime.

But despite the mountain of evidence against them — and their grisly torture of Junko Furuta — the boys received shockingly light sentences.

Hiroshi Miyano was sentenced to 20 years, Shinji Minato received a term of five-to-nine years, Jō Ogura was sentenced to five-to-10 years, and Yasushi Watanabe received a term of five-to-seven years.

They all have been released from prison.

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