Issei Sagawa

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Issei Sagawa (佐川一政 Sagawa Issei?, born 11 June 1949, age 59.) is a Japanese man who in 1981 murdered and cannibalized a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt. Since his release, Sagawa has become a noted food critic.[citation needed]


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Sagawa was born in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan to wealthy parents. As a student he was obsessed with tall Western women. While studying for an English literature degree at the University of Paris, he became attracted to a Dutch female teacher.[citation needed]

[edit] Murder of Hartevelt

Sagawa served time in a French jail for the murder of the Dutch student Renée Hartevelt, a classmate at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris, France. On 11 June 1981, Sagawa, a student of avant garde literature, invited Hartevelt to dinner under the pretense of literary conversation. Upon her arrival, he shot her in the neck with a rifle while she sat with her back to him at a desk, then began to carry out his plan of eating her. She was selected because of her health and beauty, those characteristics Sagawa believed he lacked. In interviews, Sagawa describes himself as a "weak, ugly, and small man" and claims that he wanted to "absorb her energy".[citation needed]

Sagawa said he fainted after the shock of shooting her, but awoke with the realization that he had to carry out his desire to eat her. He did so, beginning with her hips & legs, after having sex with the corpse. In interviews, he noted his surprise at the "corn-colored" nature of human fat. For two days, Sagawa ate various parts of her body. He described the meat as "soft" and "odorless", like tuna. After two days, he dumped the mutilated body in a park, but was seen in the act. Five days later, he was arrested by the French police. French psychologists found him legally insane and unfit to stand trial. He was deported back to Japan, where he was put in a mental institution. The deportation order did not specify how long Sagawa must remain in the institution, and Japanese authorities were refused the necessary paperwork from French justice officials.[1] As a result, fifteen months later, Sagawa checked himself out, and he has been a free man ever since.[citation needed]

[edit] Post-release

Sagawa now lives in Tokyo and is a minor celebrity in Japan. He is often invited as a guest speaker and commentator. He also writes restaurant reviews. In 1992, he appeared in Hisayasu Sato's film Sisenjiyou no Aria (The Bedroom) as a sadosexual voyeur.[2]

Besides books about the murder he committed, Sagawa wrote a commentary book Shonen A in 1997 on the Kobe children's serial murder of 1997, when a 14-year-old called "Boy A" ("Shonen A") killed and decapitated a child.[citation needed]

Sagawa's story inspired the 1981 Stranglers song "La Folie" and the 1983 Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood".[citation needed] In 2007, the Avant-garde noise-metal band Gnaw their Tongues released an EP titled "Issei Sagawa," the cover of which depicts Sagawa posed with a fork and knife over what appears to be a pair of human legs. [3]

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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