A Murderer’s Profile: Shuri Katagiri, the Killer of Teacher Anako Misata | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A Murderer’s Profile: Shuri Katagiri, the Killer of Teacher Anako Misata

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A wooded area where the body of a female teacher was buried (Image: Kyodo News)“I’m going to Kushiro.”

She told her husband and children that she was going to Kushiro, and left by car. However, she was found not in Kushiro, but in Obihiro, about 150 km to the east. Her body was found under the ground, still wearing clothes.


Asako Miyata, 47, a resident of Kitami City, Hokkaido, left her home before noon on May 29. By the evening of the same day, she was communicating with her family on LINE, but on the following day, May 30, she could not be reached. Her husband, concerned, called the Hokkaido Prefectural Police.

“My wife has not come home. I have lost track of her whereabouts.”

On the 31st, he filed a missing persons report. When the police interviewed the husband, a man emerged in the line of investigation.

He is a man named Shuri Katagiri (35), who works at Obihiro Agricultural High School in Obihiro City. When the police interviewed him voluntarily on June 1, he admitted to having met with Ms. Miyata and stated: “I strangled her and killed her. I carried her body in my car, dug a hole with a shovel, and buried her.”

Together with Katagiri, the police searched a wooded area in Obihiro City and found Miyata’s body under the ground. There were marks on the neck as if she had been strangled. The cause of death was asphyxiation. The police arrested Katagiri on suspicion of abandoning the body, but is also investigating the murder.

The first time in 39 years

Katagiri allegedly buried the body of a former colleague in the ground (from his SNS. The image has been processed.)

Until Katagiri was assigned to Obihiro Agriculture in April of this year, he had been a colleague of Miyata for four years, from April 2004 to March of this year, when he worked at another high school in Hokkaido. Katagiri was in charge of the agriculture department, and Miyata taught English.

“They both seemed to be very popular with students and parents. If a student was absent for a long period of time, they would go to either one of them for advice. He never raised his voice. He was a mild-mannered and educated teacher. Katagiri also has a wife and three children, and even back then, he was well known for his rapport with Ms. Miyata.”


Katagiri was the baseball team manager at the high school where he and Miyata were colleagues, and he was also the assistant manager at Obihiro Agricultural Co. In 2021, Obihiro made its first appearance in the summer Koshien National Championships in 39 years. The revival of the old powerhouse was said to have excited local residents.

“Ms. Miyata had left his home and was watching an Obihiro baseball game. The site of the body dump and the stadium where the game was being played are less than a 20-minute walk apart. The woods where the body was dumped are close to a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force base, and there are no exterior lights, so it is pitch dark at night. There are almost no pedestrians on the street.

Katagiri and Miyata must have had an argument while talking in the car. Since Katagiri was carrying a shovel to dispose of the body, the police are investigating on the grounds that there was a big conflict between them.” (said another national newspaper reporter)

Many fans are heartbroken by the tragic incident that took place in their local area. Obihiro Agricultural College is also the setting of a famous manga and TV drama.

“The story is called “Silver Spoon,” written by Hiromu Arakawa, a graduate of Obihiro Agricultural College. It is a masterpiece about high school students who grow up through farming while worrying about love and the future. Obihiro Agricultural College is also the model school for NHK’s morning drama “Natsuzora” starring Suzu Hirose, which aired in the first half of 2019. Last year, the school made its first appearance in the Koshien National High School Baseball Tournament in a long time, and the news was good, but this incident is very unfortunate.”

The police are investigating the relationship between Katagiri and Miyata and the motive for the murder.

The deceased Ms. Miyata (from SNS. The image has been processed)
  • Photo Kyodo News Agency

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