ⓘ Ryuun Daimai


ⓘ Ryuun Daimai

Ryuun Daimai was a Japanese serial killer and rapist, active during the Taishō era. Since many of his victims were bhikkhunī, the media nicknamed him The Nun Slayer.


1. Early life

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, Ryumoto Daimai was born in Asakusa in 1872, the son of a pawnbroker. When he was 7 years old, he was sent to a temple in Ōita Prefecture to be taken care of by the abbot. He trained under his former name, later receiving the name "Ryuun". In 1890, the priest passed away, and Daimai left the temple to train judo at a dojo in Kumamoto Prefecture, as a uchi-deshi. During the First Sino-Japanese War, which broke out in 1894, he volunteered for the military, but got his nose disfigured due to sustained injuries from a land mine. He later set up a temple in Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture, but eventually went out and began wandering around the country.

Not long after, numerous robberies and thefts were reported, with victims describing the assailant as a monk in torn robes. Eventually, Daimai was jailed for four years in the Anon Tsu Prison, in Mie Prefecture. On January 4, 1913, he was released.


2. Crimes

Daimais crimes following his imprisonment became increasingly cruel and brutal, invading nunneries to rape and rob the nuns, and in some cases kill them, setting the structures ablaze to hide his crimes. The judiciary recorded three robbery-murders, five rapes, seven robberies and nine thefts, but the actual number of rapes and murders remains unknown. Most of the rape victims were nuns, some of them average worshippers or miko, and others were affected regardless of age. It was reported that some of the victims, whom screamed too loudly, had their tongues pulled out by hand and subsequently killed.

The main offenses were as follows:

  • On September 5, 1914, in Kyoto, he pulled out the tongue of a 58-year-old nun before killing her.
  • Later that year, he broke into a house in Fukuoka and raped a female restaurant manager. He later made that woman his concubine.
  • In April 1913, Daimai raped a 60-year-old nun in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, stealing a savings bankbook and 200 yen. All of the yen was later spent at a red light district in Fukuhara, Kobe.
  • On January 27, 1915, he killed a 21-year-old nun in Kamakura.
  • On October 29, 1914, a 72-year-old nun was killed in Totsuka, Tokyo.
  • On November 11, 1914, he sneaked into Nunnera Temple in Kamakura, beat up the monk and fled with 20 yen and some clothing. 
  • In 1905, in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture, he killed a 72-year-old nun, stealing 24 yen.
  • On July 18, 1915, a 69-year-old nun was raped and robbed in Asagaya. Testimonies from other nuns described the suspects age, height and peculiar disfigured nose.
  • In the summer of 1914, he moved to Tokyo, residing in a rented room in Kyobashi. There, he robbed the Namba Temple and adjacent places.
  • In the summer of 1913, he quarreled with a 26-year-old man in Kobe, killing him near a wharf.

It is said that Daimai managed to avoid arrest, despite committing crimes from Tokyo to Keihanshin, because he used different aliases. Police suspected that a different person had raped more than 40 nuns, and mistakenly arrested him instead.


3. Arrest, trial and execution

Daimai was arrested on August 8, 1915, at Hakata Station in Fukuoka. At that time, a police officer received information that the suspect intended to fly to Kyushu under the assumed name of "Utchitsuma", and despite the severe resistance, managed to arrest him.

On May 22, 1916, the Tokyo District Court sentenced Ryuun Daimai to death, with telling the judge that "ll do it for you, because its troublesome".

On June 26, 1916, he was executed in the Tokyo Prison currently located in Shinjuku. According to contemporary accounts from the guards, he ate buns and drank tea, chewed nicotiana tabacum and was allowed to smoke. It was said that he had a dignified attitude, saying: "Because I couldnt smoke for a long time, I went crazy." While waiting for final moments on death row, guards attempted to make a blindfold that was "antidiarrheal Yai". His last purported words were supposedly "If I could be sentenced to death, I would like to die cleanly like this. Lets get it done".


4. Bibliography

  • Hidaka, Kotaro 2008. The New Murder Encyclopedia Data File. Shinjinbutsuoraisha Co. Ltd. pp. 44–49. ISBN 978-4-404-03606-3.
  • Goda, Kazumichi 2000. Study Group on Criminal History: Bizarre and Cruel Japanese Case Files. Fusosha Publishing. pp. 60–67. ISBN 4-594-02915-9.
  • Case and Crime Study Group 2002. Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei Case and Crime Encyclopedia. Tokyo Law and Economics School. p. 110. ISBN 4-8089-4003-5.

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