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SAGAWA Issei    [Edit]

Associated Names

Name (in native language)

Birth Place

Birth Date
June 11, 1949


Last Updated

"The public has made me the godfather of cannibalism, and I am happy about that. I will always look at the world through the eyes of a cannibal." Issei Sagawa

According to the book Cannibal Killers by Moira Martingale explains that Issei Sagawa was a brilliant student, obsessed with tall Western women and that while studying for an English literature degree at the University of Paris, he became attracted to a German woman teacher. He once said to British reporter Peter McGill that he wondered if he could eat her.

According to, at one time he entered her house while she was sleeping, but she woke up and her screaming frightened him enough that he left.
Issei Sagawa served time in a French jail for the murder of the Dutch Renée Hartevelt, a classmate at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris. In June 11, 1981, Sagawa was studying avant garde literature. He invited her to dinner under the pretense of literary conversation. Upon her arrival, he shot her in the neck, 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."

He said he fainted after the shock of shooting her, but awoke with the realization that he must carry out his desire to eat her. He did so, beginning with her hips. 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. However, the French psychologists found him legally insane and unfit to stand trial. Instead, he was deported back to Japan, where he was put in a mental institution. However, the deportation order did not specify how long Sagawa must remain in the institution. Fifteen months later, Sagawa checked himself out, and has been a free man ever since.
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 and in 1992 he appeared in Hisayasu Sato's film Sisenjiyou no Aria (The Bedroom) as a sadosexual voyeur. He admits to still having fantasies about cannibalism, but says he never wants to realize them again. He has even appeared in several 'pink movies', Japanese soft-core porn with an artistic slant. By all accounts, Sagawa is a friendly, cheerful fellow who is more than willing to discuss his crime, especially when it puts money in his pocket. Recently, he's even tried his hand at penning a manga re-telling of the murder, a self-illustrated volume entitled Manga Sagawa-san, published by Okura Shuppan. "My parents wouldn't let me read comics when I was young," Sagawa said in a recent article from Japan Today regarding the book. "To this day, I have never read the more famous ones. So a comic illustrator friend had to teach me everything, from which pens to use to how to segment the story into frames...Actually, you know, I have a lot of female fans. The ones who didn't follow the incident at the time it happened regard me as something of a fairy-tale prince."

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 "Youth A" ("Shonen A") killed and decapitated a child.

His story inspired the 1981 Stranglers song "La Folie" and the 1983 Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood".

Blood Type


Horror(1)  Adult(1)  Mature(1) 

Official Website



Series Title (Click for series info)
Adult, Horror, Mature
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