Kiyoshi Okubo


Kiyoshi Okubo

A.K.A.: "Watanabe Kyoshi"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 8
Date of murder: March 31 - May 10, 1971
Date of arrest: May 14, 1971
Date of birth: January 17, 1935
Victims profile: Miyako Tsuda, 17 / Mieko Oikawa, 17 / Chieko Ida, 19 / Seiko Kawabata, 17 / Akemi Sato, 16 / Kazuyo Kawaho, 18 / Reiko Takemura, 21 / Naoko Takanohashi, 21
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Gunma Prefecture, Japan
Status: Executed by hanging on January 23, 1976

Kiyoshi Okubo (大久保 清 Ōkubo Kiyoshi, January 17, 1935 - January 22, 1976) was an infamous Japanese serial killer. During only 41 days between March 31, 1971 and May 10, 1971, he raped and murdered eight women, ages 16 to 21. He used a pen name, Tanigawa Ivan (谷川伊凡).


He was born on Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture. He was a quarter Russian. His mother, who was a half Russian half Japanese, doted on him even after he grew up. He was persecuted by his surroundings in his childhood after the war between U.S. and Japan began on December 8, 1941.

He raped one woman on July 12, 1955. On December 26, 1955, he attempted to rape another woman, but was unsuccessful. He was arrested, put in jail, and then released on December 15, 1959. On April 16, 1960, he attempted to rape another woman, but was again unsuccessful. The victim, however, withdrew the charge. On May 5, 1961, he married a woman and had a son and a daughter. He threaten a man on June 3, 1965, and then raped 2 women on December 23, 1966 and February 24, 1967. On June 7, 1967, he went into prison.

After his releasement on March 3, 1971, he lured women, had sex with them and killed eight of them. On March 31, 1971, he murdered the first woman. On April 6, he murdered the second woman. On April 17, he murdered the third woman. On April 18, he murdered the fourth woman. On April 27, he murdered the fifth woman. On May 3, he murdered the sixth woman. On May 9, he murdered the seventh woman. On May 10, he murdered the eighth woman.

On May 13, a 21-year-old woman disappeared, and her brother traced her. He found Okubo and the police finally arrested Okubo on May 14. The district court in maebashi sentenced him to death by hanging on February 22, 1973. He didn't appeal. He was executed on January 22, 1976. He was scared of his death very much, and it was reported that he couldn't stand up on the day.


Miyako Tsuda (津田 美也子 Tsuda Miyako) - 17 years old

Mieko Oikawa (老川 美枝子 Oikawa Mieko) - 17 years old

Chieko Ida (伊田 千恵子 Ida Chieko) - 19 years old

Seiko Kawabata (川端 成子 Kawabata Seiko) - 17 years old

Akemi Sato (佐藤 明美 Sato Akemi) - 16 years old

Kazuyo Kawaho (川保 和代 Kawaho Kazuyo) - 18 years old

Reiko Takemura (竹村 礼子 Takemura Reiko) - 21 years old

Naoko Takanohashi (鷹嘴 直子 Takanohashi Naoko) - 21 years old

Her name may be pronounced not Takanohashi but Takahashi.

TV drama

On August 29, 1983, his crime became TV drama, The crime of Kiyoshi Okubo (大久保清の犯罪 Ōkubo Kiyoshi no Hanzai). Takeshi Kitano performed the role as Okubo in the drama. Although Kitano was seen as a comedian in those days, the audience ratings reached 34.0%, and the bereaved were shaken, because Okubo was seen as even poor. The drama performed a important role with Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence in the career of Kitano.

Kiyoshi Okubo

Twenty-two years after the execution of Kodaira Yoshio, japanese police found themselves in pursuit of another serial lust killer. Less adept than Kodaira at covering his tracks, the new practitioner was active for barely two months, but within that time he accosted at least 127 women (some reports say 150 or more), raped more than a dozen, and murdered eight. His capture, when ¡t carne, owed as much to personal negligence as to reat detective work.

Born in january 1935, Okubo Kiyoshi was the third and youngest son in a family of eight children, on whom both parents lavished affection, and he was virtually immune to discipline. On one occasion, when a neighbor complained of Okubo knocking fruit from his persimmon trees, Kiyoshi's mother replied, "You shouldn't have planted those trees there."

Despite the coddling at home, Okubo was teased unmercifully at school over his "Western" appearance-the result of Russian blood in his mother's family. Resentful of the teasing and entirely undisciplined, Okubo was a problem student who received poor grades and frequent warnings about his poor attitude.

A sixth-grade evaluation notes that he "engages in unseemly acts toward his superiors" and "is showing signs of maturity too early for his age." The latter complaint was a reference to his treatment of female classmates, including the incessant muttering of "words that shouldn't be said" in the company of girls.

In the summer of 1946, at age 11, Okubo was caught attempting to molest a neighbor's four-year-old daughter. Those who knew his family were only half joking when they began to describe Okubo as "little Kodaira" or the "son of Kodaira," comparing him to Tokyo's notorious rape-slayer.

Nine years later, in july 1955, he raped a 17-year-old high school student in Maebashi and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but the jail time was promptly commuted to three years' probation. Arrested for a second rape five months later, he found the judge less mercifui and wound up serving three years in Matsumoto Prison.

Paroled at age 25, Okubo adopted the pseudonym of "Watanabe Kyoshi," posing as a student while he preyed on college coeds. Married in May 1962, he fathered two children before his next arrest for rape, in February 1967.

Convicted of attacking two young women, he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, winning provisional release on March 2, 1971. Ten days later, he paid Y210,000 for the cream-colored Mazda sedan that would ultimately lead to his arrest and conviction for multiple murders.

Okubo's final rampage began on March 21, and lasted 64 days. Police were hot on his trail the whole time, furnished with descriptions of his Mazda and its license number by surviving victims, but Okubo still managed to claim eight lives before he was captured.

A high school student, 17-year-old Tsuda Miyako, was the first to die, on March 31. Ten days later, Okubo killed Oikawa Mieko, a 17-year-old waitress. Ida Chieko, age 19, was murdered on April 17, while another student, 17~year-old Kawabata Shigeko, died the following day. Yet another 17-year-old student, Sato Akemi, met her death at Okubo's hands on April 27. Kawabo Kazuyo, an 18-year-old telephone operator, joined the list on May 3. Six days later, Okubo raped and murdered 21-year-old Takemura Reiko. His last murder victim, 21-year-old housemaid Takahashi Naoko, was slain the next day, May 10.

Okubo displayed no particular ingenuity in disposing of his victims: four were buried in a vacant lot adjacent to an industrial park near Takasaki City, and the others were simply discarded at rural dump sites.

Repeated sightings of his Mazda in the Takasaki neighborhood inevitably led to Okubos arrest on the evening of May 14. A girl was with him in the car when he was cornered by police, Okubo handing her some money and remarking that "You'd better take a taxi home."

Initially held on charges of abduction with intent to commit an immoral act, Okubo soon confessed his crimes and led police to the graves of several victims they had not yet discovered.

Tried on eight counts of abduction, murder, and abandonment of corpses, Okubo told the court, "I became the brute that I am because of the police. During their investigation of the previous two cases in which I was involved, they treated me very badly. Their punishment was dealt out in a way that completely destroyed my humanity. It made me rebel against authority."

Asked for any final comments on his situation, Okubo went on to say, "If I could be reborn, I would like to come back as a weed. 1 was told by a woman I once knew that no matter how much weeds are tread upon, they snap back. That's the kind of existence 1 would like to have in the next life."

Convicted and sentenced to death on February 22, 1973, Okubo spent nearly three years at Tokyo's Kosuge Detention Center, appealing his sentence. The appeals were rejected, and he was finally hanged on January 23, 1976, slx days after his 41st birthday.

Kiyoshi Okubo

Kiyoshi Okubo standing beside the unearthed body

Kiyoshi Okubo

Kiyoshi Okubo

Kiyoshi Okubo