Akiyoshi Umekawa

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Akiyoshi Umekawa (梅川 昭美?, Umekawa Akiyoshi, March 1, 1948 – January 28, 1979) was a Japanese mass murderer who killed a woman on December 16, 1963 and shot dead four people on January 26, 1979. Mass media also used a number of aliases, including Teruyoshi Umekawa, Terumi Umekawa, Akimi Umekawa and Akemi Umekawa. He was one of the rare criminals who was shot dead by Japanese police.

Early life[edit]

Umekawa was born in Otake, Hiroshima Prefecture. He was a great reader and loved hardboiled fiction. On December 16, 1963, while he was 15 and still a minor, he killed a woman. Although he was a murderer, he was still allowed to have guns because Japanese juvenile law protected his criminal history. He also saw the film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. He wanted to make a big incident 15 years after he committed the first murder.

Mitsubishi Bank sporting gun kidnapping[edit]

Umekawa shot dead two employees and two policemen on January 26, 1979 in a Mitsubishi Bank in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka. He took 40 hostages at the bank. He asked them, "Do you know Sodom no Ichi (Japanese alternative title of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom)?" He stripped women of their clothes.

Rokuro Yoshida, who joined criminal investigations of Kiyoshi Ōkubo and United Red Army, was appointed as the incident commander. Osaka armed police (now Special Assault Team) were called, which was the first case in the history of Japanese armed police. They fatally shot Umekawa on January 28, 1979. Yoshida stated there was no alternative to deadly force.[1]


His crime affected Japanese youths. Neko Oikawa said that he was the main reason why she did not have leftist views.[2] The story of the film Tattoo Ari was inspired by him, but an alternative name was used for him in the film.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Akihiro Otani (2007-05-22). 口だけ出す人が何より困る (in Japanese). Otani Akihiro office. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  2. ^ Neko Oikawa (2004-06-14). 私の体は脂肪でできてるの (in Japanese). OIKAWA NEKO OFFICE. Archived from the original on May 18, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  3. ^ Morioka, Toshiyuki. 森岡流名前のつけ方 (in Japanese). Straydog. Retrieved February 15, 2011. 

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