January 28, 1905
Tochigi, Tochigi, Japan
|Died||October 5, 1949(aged 44)|
|Cause of death||hanging|
|Victims||8-11 (in Japan only)|
Span of killings
|July 2, 1932–August 6, 1946|
|August 20, 1946|
Yoshio Kodaira (小平 義雄 Kodaira Yoshio, January 28, 1905 – October 5, 1949) was a Japanese rapist and serial killer. He killed one person in 1932 and was later sentenced to death after being convicted of killing seven others in 1945 and 1946.
Life as a soldier
Kodaira suffered from stuttering during his childhood. He joined the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1923 and participated in the Jinan Incident. He killed six Chinese soldiers in 1928, and raped many women in China. In Taku Forts, he stuck a sword into the belly of a pregnant woman. The exact number of his victims in China is unknown.
First murder and trial
Kodaira married in 1932 after he returned to Japan. His wife eventually left him because he had a child by another woman. He became angry and attacked his wife's household, killing his father-in-law and injuring six others with an iron rod on July 2, 1932. He was arrested, and was released in 1940.
Second murders and trial
He is believed to have raped and murdered 10 women between May 25, 1945 and August 6, 1946 in Tochigi and Tokyo. After the fifth murder, he committed necrophilia with the corpse. His murder victims included teenagers. He also raped about 30 women in addition to his murder victims.
On August 20, 1946, Kodaira was arrested. He denied responsibility for three murders in the court, and the district court tried him for seven of his 10 suspected murders on June 18, 1947. One of the victims was never identified. The Supreme Court sentenced him to death on November 16, 1948.
He was executed on October 5, 1949. On his final day, he said "I am fortunate to be able to die on such a calm and peaceful day."
- "Peace, It's Wonderful". Time. 1949-10-17. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- Steve Finbow (2007-08-12). "A dark dissection of Tokyo at war". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
- Weekend Beat: Tokyo writer returns to the scene of the crime Asahi Shimbun[dead link], December 22, 2007
- (in Japanese) Yoshio Kodaira serial murders case