The Horrifying Nevada-Tan Sasebo School Girl Slashing

The Horrifying Nevada-Tan Sasebo School Girl Slashing

Nevada-Tan is a named given to an 11-year-old Japanese girl, Natsumi Tsuii, who killed her classmate, a 12-year-old Satomi Mitarai on June 1, 2004, while at Okubo Elementary School. Initially, Natsumi was referred to as Girl A (a common pseudonym given to juvenile offenders), but her name became public after Fuji TV aired the story, accidental releasing her full name. The murder of Satomi Mitarai was so brutal that Nevada-Tan gained instant fame, becoming a highly shared internet meme.

Deep Cuts

Natsumi Tsuii, known now as Nevada-Tan smiling for a picture.

On June 1, 2004, Natsumi Tsuii, known now as Nevada-Tan, lured Satomi Mitarai (also known as ‘Reimi’), Tsuii’s classmate and former friend, to an empty study room on the 3rd floor of the Okubo Elementary school.

Reimi sits on a chair and is blindfolded from behind by Nevada-Tan. With the empty classroom curtains closed from outsiders, Nevada-Tan cuts Reimi’s neck with a box-cutter. The initial cut is a deep laceration from the center of the throat, from left to right, and is nearly 10 cm (nearly 4 inches deep). And remember, a 4-inch-cut on a 12-year-old’s small neck is much different from that of an adult.

Nevada Tan (left) and her victim Satomi Mitarai (right) before the stabbing. Notice the 'Nevada' sweatshirt.

The cut was so deep that many sources referred to Reimi as being decapitated.

Kazuuyoshi Tominaga, from the Sasebo Fire Department dispatched to the scene, said: “A girl’s body was lying face down on the floor. She was unconscious and not breathing. There was no heartbeat and no one else was at the scene.”

With what brief life Satomi Mitarai had left, she used to crawl to the door, but collapse on the entranceway. Nevada-Tan recalled to police that she looked down at her victim who was shaking before becoming completely still.

Nevada-Tan wrapped the bloody utility knife inside a handkerchief and went back to class. She was drenched in Mitarai’s blood, which was noticed immediately by her teacher.

When the teacher confronted the killer, Natsumi chillingly replied. “This is not my blood.”

“This is not my blood.” - Nevada Tan

From the Washington Post Minutes later, teachers found Satomi Mitarai, a 12-year-old girl, lying in a pool of gore in an empty classroom overlooking the sandy playground at Okubo Elementary School. The 11-year-old killer, according to her own admissions as recounted in interviews with school officials and counselors, had led Satomi, remembered for her toothy grin, into the room. The attacker drew the curtains before slitting her victim's throat and brutally kicking the dying girl's head and sides, according to those interviewed.

Satomi’s father described seeing her dead daughter, “When I arrived, Satomi was already lying there, collapsed. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” “II can't put in words what I'm feeling right now. I can't understand it at all. I don't have a clue," he said.

Internet Drama

Natusumi Tsuii (Nevada-Tan), was 11-years-old when she killed her former best friend Satomi Mitarai (Reimi), 12 and in grade 6. Both girls attended the same classes at the Okubo Elementary School in the Nagasaki Prefecture, and both had a passion for computers. The two friends had even made their own websites using basic HTML code. MySpace was created in 2003, but wasn’t available in Japan until November 2006.

The friction between the two friends began on May 27th, 2004, while both girls were talking in a chat room. This is where Nevada-Tan discovers that her Reimi and other classmates had been talking behind her back, calling her a ‘Burikko’, which translates to ‘heavy’ or fat.

Nevada brushes off the insults in front of her peers, but becomes more upset as the night progresses.

The next day, May 28, Nevada considers three ways to kill Reimi, which include a utility knife, an ice-pick, or strangling. She also planned to make this day the murder day, as she later recalled, “I thought I’d kill this day, but I couldn’t.”

On May 28th, Reimi once again wrote that Nevada was ‘Burikko’, and even though she deleted the message, Nevada had seen it. She replied, “I’ll kill you.” It was 2 days later that Nevada-Tan carried out her plans and slit Reimi’s throat.

The Red Room

Because of the severity of this shocking murder of Satomi Mitarai, the case was covered not only in Japan, but around the world. Nagasaki Police faced the daunting task of satisfying the public’s need for a reason behind Nevada-Tan’s actions. Why would this 11-year-old, otherwise sweet-acting child, murder her best friend, is such a macabre fashion?

An online blog helped to explain why.

Nevada Tan's online blog.

Nevada-Tan’s classmates would often see her reading, drawing manga, and writing poetry of an increasingly dark nature. Nevada-Tan would immerse herself in death-themed flash animation while at home.

Also found on her website was a short story called ‘The Red Room’, which she even warned to her readers its “considerably scary” nature and that “people with weak hearts should not access it.”

Also found on her website were several references to a novel called Battle Royale, which is a popular teen movie turned internet game depicting the mass killings of several classmates. Some dark themes had influenced Nevada-Tan.

"What is so scary is that she seemed normal to us in every way," said Masashi Watanabe, head of the Sasebo Children's Counseling Center, whose staff interviewed the girl after the killing. "She did not seem like a troubled girl; there were no warning signs picked up by her teachers or parents. She could have been any of our children."

Becoming An Internet Meme

Just as quickly as her victim bled out, did Nevada Tan become an online sensation.

Natsumi Tsuii was referred to as ‘Nevada-Tan’ after she brutally cut the throat of her former friend and classmate Satomi Mitarai. Internet forum users quickly created the name ‘Nevada-Tan’ who at the time did not know Natsumi’s full identity or birth name because of Japanese privacy laws.

A class photo of both Natsumi and Satomi explains how the name came into existence though, as in the photo Natsumi Tsuii, who immediately after the murder was referred to only as ‘Girl A’, was wearing a sweater with the text NEVADA.
The suffix ‘-tan’ is simply used in Japanese culture to show a small version of something (think bon’ito’ in Spanish).

Perhaps equally shocking as the murder itself is the quickness in which Nevada-Tan became embedded into popular culture, especially within Japanese anime and manga groups. Memes, fan-art, clothing, posters, novelties (such as a Nevada-Tan bobblehead) were readily available. Other children, and yes, even some adults, dressed-up as Nevada-Tan to show off their cosplay talents.

What do you think about this? Is this disgusting or not so bad? Let me know!

Instant Remorse

Flowers left at the school after the stabbing.

"I wonder why I did it. If I thought and acted properly, it wouldn't have happened. I would like to apologise,"

Natsumi was instantly remorseful over the killing and could not stop crying while talking to police. It was no doubt that Nevada-Tan was not the killer her internet fame made her out to be.

While in the police station, they gave her snacks, but she couldn’t eat because she was so distraught by her murderous actions.

Natsumi formerly apologized to Satomi’s family.

Serious Concerns

Because of the Japanese Family Court, which ruled to institutionalize Nevada-Tan, handled the young age of the killer because of the severity of the crime. Nevada-Tan was sent to serve time at the Tochigi Prefecture.

One of the many online illustrations of Nevada. They immortalized her story.

Juvenile heinous crimes have been on the rise in Japan over the last decade. The previous July, a 12-year-old Nagasaki boy kidnapped and molested a 4-year-old boy and murdered by pushing him off a roof of a car garage.

In 1997, a 14-year-old boy cut off the head of an 11-year-old, leaving it at the entrance gate of his school, an incident to vile that Japanese authority responded by lowering the criminal rate from 14-years-old to 12. Fortunately for Nevada-Tan, she was only 11 when she slayed her classmate.

As far as I can tell, Nevada-Tan is no longer incarcerated and has most likely changed her name and is living under a unique identity.