Professional in Criminal Psychology Murders His Wife Part 2 | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Professional in Criminal Psychology Murders His Wife Part 2

Part 2: Tadashi Asano's passionate defense: "My wife and I were in the extraordinary world of killing and being killed," and his murderous intent toward his second daughter

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Defendant Asano sent to Saitama District Public Prosecutors Office on March 18, 2008

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On March 9, 2020, Tadashi Asano visited Urawa in an attempt to murder his wife, or second daughter. Expecting that his wife, Houyo, would come to report the transfer of their second daughter, he waited in ambush at the city hall from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but to no avail. He then changed his location to the Ministry of Justice staff quarters and staked out the area, where his second and third daughters showed up.

Tadashi followed the two daughters. They walked to Musashi-Urawa Station and entered a 100-yen store. Tadashi thought of stabbing the second daughter to death inside the store, but was unable to do so.

Tadashi told the court how he felt at the time.

“I followed them. I thought I could kill and stab her. But I couldn’t do it. I completely lost the desire to stab her, so I went back to my apartment in Koshigaya. I thought I had to change my inner self to be able to do so.”


Then, using the front and back of an A4 sheet of paper, he made a total of seven notes: “Check carefully to make sure you are not stabbing the wrong person,” “Stab the back. Stab in the back, then in the chest,” “Prepare a knife, hat, and mask,” “Lunch break is especially important,” “Stab repeatedly until someone stops you,” “Get arrested immediately and go to the police,” “You can kill someone else rather than killing yourself,” “Kill yourself after you get out of prison,” “The first shot is fatal,” “Kill yourself well,” “Kill yourself if you do not, another person will” He wrote, “At this point, it doesn’t matter if it’s my wife or daughter,” and so on.

Tadashi sat on the stand and answered questions from the defense, the prosecution, and the judge during the defendant’s questioning on May 24, 2022, and his tone was truly firm, especially when he described his own career as a psychologist.

In response to a question from the judge sitting in the left jury seat, Tadashi said, “When I killed my wife, I was in an extraordinary world. My wife and my second daughter are in the world of killing and being killed. I’m already going there. Then I won’t be socially condemned, I won’t be punished, and I won’t be arrested. So I will go to an extraordinary world. That way I can stab them. Even now, until I kill myself, there is still killing and being killed, and only when I kill myself does the extraordinary world end,” he replied.

When the presiding judge questioned the meaning of the statement, “Even though it is unusual, I am in an extraordinary world,” Tadashi responded.

Tadashi replied, “On the 9th, I couldn’t stab my second daughter, so I regretted it and wrote a note. From the 10th to the 12th, I was in an extraordinary world, so I didn’t have any more conflicts. After I finished writing this, I could not even think about my wife feeling pain. It is extraordinary because I am in a battle of killing and being killed.”

He then decided to murder his wife on March 16, 2020.


The most shocking part of Tadashi’s testimony that day was his statement, “I still feel anger toward my second daughter and the desire to kill her. I remember the time when we lived together happily, that’s when I have complicated feelings.”

In court on May 17, 2022, Tadashi testified that his second daughter “has feelings that cannot be expressed in one word” about her father, saying, “I thought she would be more hostile toward me. I can no longer suppress the feeling that I really want to kill her,” he said.

At the fifth hearing on May 26, Dr. Nei Nishikawa, who was in charge of Tadashi’s psychiatric evaluation, appeared in court. He is certified by the Japanese Association of Legal Psychiatrists as a psychiatric expert. Dr. Nishikawa repeatedly interviewed the defendant seven times, from April 8, 2020, 23 days after the incident, to April 16, 2020, May 13, 2020, June 24, 2020 and July 8, 2020, and from May 26 to June 8, 2020, he admitted Tadashi to Saiseikai Kounosu Hospital in Saitama, where he worked.

The trial is underway, Saitama District Court.

Dr. Nishikawa said he could not be sure, but he suspected that Tadashi, a licensed clinical psychologist, deliberately chose the wrong answers during the psychological examination.

Dr. Nishikawa stated his own findings as follows:

He diagnosed that Tadashi was suffering from delusional disorder at the time of the crime. However, the defendant was not willing to stab a child. Also, he was not totally incapable of general understanding, such as being able to live in prison. If the delusional disorder is severe, he cannot live his life under the control of it. Tadashi’s delusional disorder is mild to moderate, and the “unreal world” he describes indicates that he is immersed in delusion. The fact that he can express himself in this way also means that he has a “real world”.

If a familiar face had said to him at the bus stop on the day of the incident, “Oh, Asano-san,” the crime would not have occurred. If he had wanted to make small talk, he could have.

Tadashi also testified that the executives at the university were trying to get him to quit because he had become depressed, but murdering his wife and almost getting kicked out of the university are two very different things. It is not as if he had a great deal of delusion about the university. This case is likely to be attributed to his delusions about his wife and second daughter.

The prosecution used the results of this expert testimony as a strong clue: “The defendant was capable of leading his daily life. He described the circumstances of the crime rationally, and although he had delusions, they were not directly related to the crime” and asked for a 10-year prison sentence.


In response, the defendant’s lawyer said, “The act of killing his wife was premised on and entered into by his delusion. Mr. Asano may not have been able to recognize the illegality of the crime. Dr. Nishikawa’s statement that ‘if he had been approached at the crime scene, he would have stopped the crime,’ is only a hypothesis, and makes no sense at all, considering the influence of delusion on the crime. If he had been able to control his behavior, he would not have bought a knife or made a note.” He pleaded not guilty, saying, “He must be treated under medical observation, not punishment.”

Before the sentencing hearing, Houyo’s sister gave a statement of opinion. At times, her voice was choked up.

She said, “I feel sorry for their children who cried out, ‘Mother, mother!’ There is no need to kill people even if they are delusional. My sister died without knowing anything about it. Tadashi has yet to offer an apology. A person who studied criminal psychology shouldn’t have done such a thing. I was shocked to hear that he has pleaded not guilty. Please think about the people left behind and my sister. Doesn’t it hurt your conscience? I want Tadashi to apologize, admit his guilt, and make amends.”

The defendant, wearing a white mask that covered more than half of his face, turned his head slightly and listened to his sister-in-law’s words, his expression barely changing.

His wife, who had died, would not return. What is more disturbing are the three daughters who lost their mother at the hands of their father.

Tadashi testified on May 24.

“I have been exchanging letters with the eldest daughter, and I know that she is in a very difficult situation. I want to help her, but in reality there is nothing I can do. As for the second daughter, I really want to kill her. But it is complicated when I remember how we used to play together. As for the third daughter, I am the custodian and I would like to raise her if I could, but realistically it is difficult. I am sincerely sorry that I deprived my children of their mother. I worry about the future of my children. But there is nothing I can do.”

He stated.

On May 30, 2022, after the plea and closing arguments, the presiding judge asked Tadashi if he had anything to say. Tadashi responded in a firm tone, “I have nothing to say now. I have already said enough during the defendant’s questioning.” 

Tadashi Asano will be sentenced on June 22. What will be the outcome for a man who studied criminal psychology and made his living teaching this knowledge to young people?

(Honorifics omitted in the text)

  • Interview and text by Soichi Hayashi

    Born in 1969. Passed the professional boxing test as a junior lightweight, but suffered a setback due to a left elbow injury. After working as a reporter for a weekly magazine, he became a nonfiction writer and educator, teaching at a public high school in the U.S. In 1996, he moved to the U.S. He graduated from the University of Tokyo's Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies in 2014. He is the author of "Minority Fist," "America Lower Level Education Site," and "America Problem Child Regeneration Classroom" (all Kobunsha e-books), "God's Ring," "The Door to the World: Forward! Samurai Blue" and "Hohoite to Nurture Coaching" (all published by Kodansha).

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