Translation Works
To Japanese
The 1st Selected Works
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders
(Senseijutsu satsujin jiken)
ENGLISH / Ross and Shika MacKenzie published
Originally Published by:
Kodansha (1981)
  • The first book in Soji Shimada's popular Kiyoshi Mitarai series
The most bizarre and inexplicable serial murder case ever
In February 1936, the painter Heikichi Umezawa is found bludgeoned to death in his studio, which was locked from inside. Next to the body is a notebook with bizarre content.
The notebook states that Umezawa was possessed by a demon that was forcing him to seek to create the woman of perfect beauty, who manifests herself to him every night in visions. Umezawa calls this perfect woman "Azoth." According to Western astrology, Azoth is created by combining six body parts—the head, chest, belly, hips, thighs, and calves—taken from the bodies of six virgin women, and the assembly of the parts must be undertaken at a specific location determined based on mathematical calculations.
A month after Umezawa's death, six young women go missing, and their bodies—each with one part missing—are found in the various locations throughout Japan that were specified in the notebook. Many mysteries remain associated with this strange, unsolved criminal case, referred to as the "Zodiac Murders."
Forty years after the murders, astrologer Kiyoshi Mitarai is brought materials left behind by people involved in the incident. Encouraged by his mystery fan friend Kazumi Ishioka, Mitarai begins to unravel the unprecedented mystery of the unsolved case. Who murdered Umezawa? What about the criminal who murdered the six women? Was Azoth actually created?
This monumental masterpiece presents the story of how a renowned astrologer Mitarai employs bizarre concepts to discover the startling truth.
GENRE: Mystery