Unspeakable Times
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13 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries from Japan That'll Keep You Up at Night

Updated January 1, 2020 52.7k views13 items

Unsolved mysteries from Japan are surprisingly rare. Though the reality behind the number is a point of contention, Japan does boast a 99% conviction rate. Violent crimes are reportedly rare. The murder rate is under 1 per 100,000 people - less than a quarter of the rate in the US. For these reason, the following bizarre Japanese crimes are all the more striking.

These murders, disappearances, and other unsolved mysteries are the strangest and some of the most interesting to come from the Land of the Rising Sun. This is Japan-level weirdness. Many of these mysteries have gone unsolved for decades. Some will probably never be solved.

In Japan, tales of people being spirited away have existed for centuries and accepted. People would walk off to the mountains and be swallowed up by the spirit world. While police are looking for more corporeal causes, what did happen to these people? Who was really responsible?

Whatever the case, these are accounts of the facts. This is what we do know about these unsolved mysteries. It is up to you to fill in the blanks.

  • The Setagaya Family Massacre - No Killer Identified, Despite DNA Evidence

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    On December 30, 2000, a gruesome murder occurred in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo, Japan. That night, Mikio Miyazawa (44), Yasuko Miyazawa (41), and their children Niina (10) and Rei (6) were all stabbed or strangled to death by an unknown assailant. The killer stayed in the house for several hours after the killing, even using the restroom without bothering to flush. Despite finding a great deal of evidence, including the killer's DNA, police still have not been able to identify him.

  • The Yonaguni Ancient Underwater Pyramid of Mystery

    Off the coast of the Japanese island Yonaguni, just below the waves, lie the remains of a city sunk by an earthquake 2,000 years ago. The largest structure is what appears to be a monolithic stepped pyramid. Masaaki Kimura, a marine geologist at the University of the Ryukyus, has been studying the structure for years and believes the city may be 5,000 years old, though other officials disagree. The formations were discovered by a diver in 1986, but their true origins still remain unknown.

  • Pregnant Woman in Nagoya Murdered, Her Unborn Baby Cut from Her Stomach

    According to a legend on a haunted tourism website, in 1988, a man came home to his apartment in Nagoya to find the door unlocked and the lights off. After changing clothes, he heard a baby crying. He then discovered the mutilated body of his pregnant wife and his now newborn son lying at her feet. His wife had been bound and strangled to death before the killer preceded to cut open her stomach and deliver the baby, even cutting the umbilical cord. The infant miraculously survived, but the killer was never found. The names of the victims were never publicly released by police.

  • The Inokashira Park Dismemberment - Body Parts Found in a Bag

    Photo: J. Petersen / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    In another unsolved legend,  a garbage bag was found by a cleaning staff worker in Tokyo's Inokashira Park in 1994. Inside the bag were 24 pieces of human flesh, including two hands, two feet, and a shoulder. The parts had been completely drained of blood and each was cut to exactly 20 centimeters. The head was never found, and although the autopsy could not determine a cause of death, the body was identified as Seiichi Kawamura. The case has never been solved.