Parents Starve and Torture 5-year-old daughter to Death

The heartbreaking child abuse and death of Yua Funato

S.A. Ozbourne
12 min readJan 14, 2022


Yua Funato (Source:

Japan is known as a relatively safe country with a traditional culture that includes respect for elders, a strong family unit, and caring for children. There are ceremonies that even celebrate children as they turn into adults such as Children’s Day (celebrating boys), Doll’s Festival (celebrating girls), and an age ceremony (at ages 3,5, and 7) where children are dressed in kimonos and receive gifts and prayers for a healthy and happy life.

But despite this respect and adoration for children, the reality is that children face a lot of pressure both from within and outside their family. As early as kindergarten, children are forced to not only study at school but enter after-school programs called cram schools where they are bombarded with subjects like math, science, Japanese, and English even before they can tie their own shoes.

There is very little play or off time in children’s lives, as from sunrise to sunset, there is a schedule of something to be done. Even at school, after lunch, kids spend time cleaning the school. At home, most kids are made to do chores, do their homework, and go to bed early.

Despite their busy lives, at home, they are still showered with love, given cute toys, delicious snacks, and genuinely loved. However, some kids aren’t so lucky. In fact, many children are abused verbally, sexually, or physically by their parents or family members.

According to Japan ministry data reported by, the data showed,

“A record-high 193,780 child abuse cases in fiscal 2019. The number of cases, involving abuse against children under 18, was up 33,942, or 21.2 percent, from the previous fiscal year, the largest rise on record, according to a preliminary report released by the ministry on Nov.18. The overall figure rose for the 29th straight year since the ministry started compiling such statistics in fiscal 1990.”

Of course, in reality, the number is probably much higher as many cases go unreported. But in this case of the death of Yua Funato, the parents had been reported repeatedly to the police by neighbors, and even Yua herself had begged to be taken away from her…



S.A. Ozbourne

Canadian in Japan. Teacher, Crime writer, video editor, and pet lover. Follow my journey via my monthly newsletter: