Kenji Ogu (Missing Child)

Kenji Ogu – 尾久賢治 (Missing Person)

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Nickname: Unknown
Alternative Name: 尾久賢治, おぎゅうけんじ, Kenji Ogu, Kenji Ogyu

La Apoda: Desconocido
Nombres alternativos: 尾久賢治, おぎゅうけんじ, Kenji Ogu, Kenji Ogyu

Disappearance (Desaparición)

Missing from: Akita ken Ogachi-gun Ugo-chō Tarada Arachō, Japan (秋田県雄勝郡羽後町足田安良町)
Date Missing: October 7, 2009 (Wednesday)
Suspect: Unknown

Falta de: Akita ken Ogachi-gun Ugo-chō Tarada Arachō, Japan
Falta en la fecha: 7 de octubre de 2009 (miércoles)
Sospechoso: Desconocido

Circumstances (Circunstancias)

Ugo Town is a small Japanese town lying in the southeastern part of the Akita prefecture, approximately 2 hours drive (100km | 65mi) from the provincial capital of Akita City. It maintains a smaller population of ~13,500 today but was still around 17,000 people in 2009 when the incident in this case record took place. Ugo Town is rooted along the Ogachi Plains but is surrounded by mountains on either side and has a largely agrarian economy with a corresponding close-nit and small-town feel to the local community.

Nishimonai Bon Oduri Festival, Ugo Town, Akita (Source)

It was here, in Ugo, that fifteen year old Kenji Ogu (尾久賢治) lived with his parents and two older brothers. He was a bright young man, frequently described in later articles as having graceful speech and gestures and often depicted with a cheerful smile.

In 2009, he was a third year student at Yuzawa Shiritsu Yuzawaminami Junior High (湯沢市立湯沢南中学校) in the neighboring city of Yuzawa, about ten minutes drive from his home. In addition to studying in his classes, Kenji was quite devoted to music and participated enthusiastically in his school’s brass band club where he played woodwind instruments such as the clarinet. Although there are more local junior high schools in Ugo-Town itself, articles online suggest that Yuzawa Minami is famous for its brass band club which likely influenced his enrollment at this particular school. In any case, Kenji was a diligent member of the club and spent hours after class improving his ability with his chosen instrument. In particular, Kenji and the other members were preparing for an upcoming band competition for which Kenji had put in substantial time and effort practicing during the recent evenings.

Kenji had received money to purchase some new shoes but when he brought them home that night in October, his parents were concerned about the style of the shoes which they felt were inappropriate (for his age or for the type of event is unclear and unimportant to the case). The resulting argument became heated and eventually saw Kenji butst into tears before running out of the home before dinner at around 7:20pm (19:20). He left behind his wallet and all other belongings and did not own a cell phone at the time; some reports say he may have had 10,000JPY (~$110) on him (Source). His family expected him to return shortly when he calmed down and became hungry, but the child never returned.

To this day, the whereabouts on Kenji after leaving his home that tragic night remain a mystery. The neighborhood where the family lived was relatively rural, but their home resided along Prefectural Highway 398 which was a significant transit route linking the town to the larger cities of Yuzawa, Yurihongo, and ultimately Akita or Tokyo if one went far enough or used connecting highways.

The town itself was small enough that the absence of reported sightings of Kenji later suggests that either something occurred that night (an accident or some type of foul play) or that Kenji was transported to somewhere else. If he did runaway from the area, one would assume the involvement of a second party as Kenji did not have access to his own transportation and did not have enough money for long-distance public transit. Certainly not enough to purchase clothes, shoes, and other necessities needed to live long-term. In that case however, someone should have come forward when his case reached the national news; the story was widely covered across the country and it would be difficult for whoever saw him not to have heard about his disappearance. However, there have been no reported sightings since he left home that night. The possibility of foul play, trafficking, or an accident have not been ruled out.

Technically, Kenji is listed as a runaway on official missing person records, but questions remain. The argument over his shoes was relatively minor (some sources suggest the shoes were pointy-toed and/or leather which his parents disliked); the point being that it was hardly the type of debate that would trigger him to leave home permanently, even if he was emotional at the time. The argument and his resulting departure were certainly unplanned as he was not dressed for long-term travel (especially in October when it was starting to be colder of an evening) and failed to take anything with him. He was not prepared to be gone overnight, much less to leave for a longer period. Furthermore, his absence meant he missed the band competition that had been so important to him, an odd decision over a fight about shoes.

There are various rumors in the chatrooms online, ranging from him working as a host at clubs to him running away to avoid the high school exams, but none of them have been confirmed nor has any evidence ever been presented. It is possible that he was so upset because of something else happening in his life at the time (e.g., stress over the upcoming competition, anxiety over the high school exams the following spring, issues with his classmates, etc.) but there is no evidence to that effect and everything remains pure conjecture.

If Kenji did runaway, his parents have made it clear that they would still want to hear from him and to know that he was okay.





How are you? You don’t have to worry about anything, so please contact me. I’ve been waiting.

From your father.

Message from the family

Description (Descripción)

  • Date of Birth: 1994
  • Age: 15
  • Ethnicity: Asian
  • Nationality: Japan
  • Gender at Birth: Male
  • Hair: Dark Hair
  • Eye Color: Dark Eyes
  • Height: 5’7″ (170cm)
  • Weight: 121.3lbs (55kg)
  • Languages Spoken: Japanese (he did not have an Akita accent)
  • Fecha de Nacimiento: 1994
  • Años: 15
  • Etnia: Asiático
  • Nacionalidad: Japón
  • Sexo al nacer: Masculino
  • Pelo: Pelo oscuro
  • Color de los ojos: Ojos oscuros
  • Altura: 5’7″ (170cm)
  • Peso: 121,3 libras (55 kg)
  • Idiomas: Japonés (No tenía acento local.)

Distinguishing Marks or Factors (Características Distintivas)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Medical Concerns (Atención Médica)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Suspect (Sospechoso)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

Clothing (Ropa)

  • Fluorescent Orange and black jersey top and orange bottom. White beach sandals.
  • The jersey appears to have been part of the uniform for the local Ugo Junior High School
  • Camisa de punto naranja y negro fluorescente y pantalón naranja. Sandalias de playa blancas.
  • La camiseta parece haber sido parte del uniforme local de Ugo High School.

Vehicle (Vehículo)

  • Unknown
  • Desconocido

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:

Or use the QR Code (right) to find contact information for various National Police Agencies

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  • maeba28 (2015) “秋田県雄勝郡羽後町・尾久賢治君(15)失踪事件”, Ameblo, Link.
  • Dokonodare (2015) “おぎゅうけんじ-尾久賢治くん, Link.
  • 魚群探知機(関西地方) (2009) “【画像あり】秋田で中3の尾久賢治君(15)が行方不明 情報提供呼び掛け”, December 16, Link.
  • 捜索願い (2013) “息子を捜して”, May 12, Link.
  • Breaking News Japan (2014) “TBSテレビが年末特番として「緊急!公開大捜索SP ~失踪…記憶喪失…事件…今夜あなたが解決する~」を放送しています。”, December 29, Link.
  • To Exist, or Not Exist (2009) “中3男子が行方不明 秋田県湯沢市”, December 18, Link.



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