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Japanese man shockingly decapitated in ‘love hotel,’ arrests made


TOKYO – Japanese police arrested a family of three in Hokkaido for allegedly decapitating a man and taking the head home.

The victim’s body was discovered on July 2 in a hotel room in the city of Sapporo, the capital of Japan’s northernmost prefecture. The victim, 62-year-old Hitoshi Ura, was found in a “love hotel” in Susukino, a red-light district in Sapporo City.

The story made waves in Japan earlier this week when police arrested Runa Tamura, 29, and her father, psychiatrist Osamu Tamura, on charges of mutilation of a corpse, theft, and disposal of a body. 

Police also arrested Tamura’s mother after searching the family’s home and discovering the victim’s head. Police collected clothes, a suitcase and other items as potential evidence.


Silhouette of officer

Japanese police arrested a family of three in Sapporo city on July 24 for mutilation of a corpse, theft and disposal of a body. (Getty Images)

The victim had attended a disco event popular among members of the LGBT community before checking in at a love hotel where the incident occurred. Love hotels often rent out rooms nightly or by the hour and are routinely utilized for sexual activities.

According to the Hokkaido Shimbun, investigators said the hotel’s security camera showed the victim entering the hotel with someone carrying a large suitcase. Ura checked in with his companion around 11 p.m. on July 1. One person was captured on camera leaving with the large suitcase later that night. Police also suspect that the father dropped off and picked up Runa from the hotel. The footage appeared to show two women checking into the hotel. Ura was known in the red-light district as a cross-dresser who frequented bars and clubs.

The grandfather of the suspect in the case was quoted in Shueisha Online and revealed unwanted sexual intercourse as a possible motive. The grandfather said after an alleged sexual assault he made Ura promise never to see his granddaughter again. However, Ura allegedly attempted see her again, which may have prompted the events that followed, he claimed.

red-light district in Sapporo City

The victim of the decapitation, 62-year-old Hitoshi Ura, was found in a “love hotel” in Susukino, a red-light district in Sapporo City. (Getty Images)

When the grandfather scolded the parents for not reporting the alleged assault to law enforcement, the father replied that “He said he would never do it again and never show his face again, so we settled the matter ourselves,” according to the statement the grandfather made. The family told the grandfather about this over the phone the day the father and daughter were arrested, the report stated.

Police suspected Runa Tamura was the person who went with the victim to the hotel after conducting interviews with local stores and restaurants in Susukino.

Love Hotel, Japan

A “love hotel” in Tokyo. The murder of a man in a Sapporo hotel has made headlines across the country. (Andy Rain/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Shueisha Online also reported that the murder victim frequented bars and clubs known for sexual activities and would often dress as a woman. 

Sapporo buildings

Runa Tamura is suspected of committing the murder of Hitoshi Ura in a Sapporo hotel. (Getty Images)

The victim was married with a family and was respected in his community. His wife filed a missing persons report on July 3. Police and family were then able to identify the body.


Fox News’ Peter Petroff contributed to this report.


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