Issei Sagawa : Japan’s Celebrity Cannibal




















On the afternoon of June 13, 1981, a Japanese man named Issei Sagawa walked 
to the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the outskirts of Paris, carrying two suitcases. 


3valise1petitesw3.jpgThe contents of those suitcases, to the lament of a 
nearby jogger, was the dismembered body of a fellow 
student – a Dutch woman named Renée Hartevelt,
whom Sagawa had shot three days prior and had spent 
the days since eating various parts of her.
sag1.jpg
He was soon arrested. According to reports, 
Issei uttered, “I killed her to eat her flesh,” when 
they raided his home, whereupon they found bits 
of Renne still in his fridge.




Sagawa was declared insane and unfit for trial and was institutionalized in Paris. 

His incarceration was to be short, however, as the French public soon grew weary 
of their hard-earned francs going to support this evil woman-eater, and Issei 
was promptly deported. Herein followed a bizarre and seemingly too 
convenient set of legal loopholes and psychiatric reports that led doctors in 
Japan declaring him “sane, but evil.”
On August 12, 1986, Sagawa checked himself out of Tokyo’s 

Matsuzawa Psychiatric hospital, and has been a free man ever since.

“I touch the cold body again and I wonder where I should start. I start to cut off all the meat before amputating the limbs. While I cut her calf I suddenly want to taste it. I see the beautiful red meat beneath the fat. I grasp her knee and her ankle, and tear it with my teeth. It is tender. I slowly chew and savor it.”.



Issei Sagawa Selfportret



After his release, he became a minor celebrity in Japan and made a living through the public's interest in his crime.
He has authored at least 13 books, including explicit accounts of his own experiences. In one, he describes how the Dutch girl’s flesh “melted in [his] mouth like a perfect piece of tuna”. He has also written about other people’s atrocities, including a book about the infamous child-killer Sakakibara.He appeared in the 1992 film Sisenjiyou no Aria (The Bedroom), in which women are drugged and subjected to bizarre sexual fetishes. Sagawa’s role as a sadistic voyeur drew directly from his public persona.
Another example of art imitating life is in Sagawa’s own painting, which focuses on the nude bodies of Caucasian women.

In one extraordinary display of "bad taste", he was once hired by a tabloid to write restaurant reviews.

--->Meet Issei Sagawa documentary from Vice