The Japanese Prison Break: FOLLOW-UP

The Japanese Prison Break: FOLLOW-UP


– [Narrator] I’m Kento Bento. – [Nar. ] This video is made
possible by CuriosityStream. By signing up at the
link in the description, you’ll also get Nebula for free, a second video streaming platform
that I just so happen to be a part of. Before we start, I just want to apologize
if my voice sounds a little rough. I’m actually quite sick, but I really
wanted to make this video. So, anyway, if you clicked on this, I assume you’ve already watched
‘The Incredible Japanese Prison Break’. And, as it turns out, many of you had some
lingering questions that needed answering. Like, where did all the dirt go? How can anyone break handcuffs
with their bare hands? Why didn’t anyone see the rust
after using the miso soup? How can you add three more
years to a life sentence? What exactly was Shiratori’s initial
crime that lead to his first arrest? What happened in his life after
being released from prison? Was this whole video just an ad, bro? And, as a bonus, what’s the next
Kento Bento video going to be about? We’ll get to all of that, but by far, the most common question was
“Where did all the dirt go?” So, let’s start with that.
This is the scene in question: the set-up for the
fourth and final escape. The illustration shows him
burrowing straight down beneath the floorboards,
but how can that be if there was no place to hide the dirt? Well, this guy thinks the
only possible explanation is that he must have eaten it. Others have suggested that
Shiratori must have pulled a ‘Shawshank Redemption’ and over
time emptied it in the yard. But, as far as I’m aware,
he was in isolation at all times, so that’s
probably not what happened. No, the answer is actually pretty simple. Just as with most building structures, the foundation of the
cell isn’t built directly on the surface of the soil, which means there was more than enough
room underneath the floorboards for the dirt to fit. And
sorry that this wasn’t clearly illustrated in the drawing, but let’s all blame Charlie
the illustrator for that. Another common remark was
that this video must be fake, since there’s no way anyone can break handcuffs with their bare hands. Well, this has all been
documented and, of course, what makes this story worth
telling in the first place is precisely because it doesn’t seem real. But specifically about
the handcuffs, remember, these were cuffs from the 1930s, in Japan. Breaking them isn’t too absurd
an idea when you consider, and I’ll quote this Reddit user, that Japanese iron, at the time, wasn’t especially pure,
mostly deriving from iron sand, which has a ton of impurities. It’s likely Shiratori could snap the
cuffs along the weak link and on top of that, we know Shiratori had immense
strength, making this all the more plausible. But what about his escape
from the 20kg solid iron handcuffs and legcuffs after
using a salty miso soup? Why didn’t anyone notice the rust? Those metalwork guys apparently
came every couple weeks or so to remove his cuffs, so he could take a bath. By the way, sorry about the maggot shot. So, why didn’t they see anything? Well, the rusting was
intentionally made obvious in the illustrations to demonstrate
clearly what was going on. That was my call. But in
reality, it wasn’t so visible. And the way the specialists
removed the cuffs every few weeks was by breaking
apart the actual metal. So they never actually paid too
much attention to the screws and bolts. Okay, so, this one was
kinda surprising to me. Quite a few people asked how could there
be three more years added to a life sentence, as was the case for Shiratori
after his second escape? Now this wasn’t a mistake in the script, nor does it mean that the
prison keeps the corpse three years after death;
rather, the answer is that a life sentence is
not what you think it is. A life sentence, or life
imprisonment, can mean, yes, inmates remain in
prison for the rest of their natural lives, but could
also mean for a fixed period of time or until they are paroled. In 1930s Japan, I believe
this period was at least ten years; nowadays, it’s
increased to about 35 years. And, this may also help you understand how some criminals can be
given multiple life sentences, like two or three, or even ten
for the more severe crimes. Or, as the case with Terry
Nichols, an accomplice in the Oklahoma City bombing, 161
consecutive life sentences. Okay, then what exactly was
Shiratori’s initial crime, the one that got him
imprisoned in the first place? This was asked a lot in the comments too, even though I actually addressed it
at the very beginning of the video. Prisoner Yoshie Shiratori had had enough. He was forced to confess to
a murder he did not commit. But just to elaborate on this, Shiratori had a rough
upbringing after his father died and his mother abandoned
him at the age of two. And he later found himself
involved with a bad crowd or seemingly some sort of gang, which may explain how he
developed such skills as lock picking, handcuff
breaking, and prison parkour. Now, it was apparently these people who were the ones responsible
for committing the murder, not Shiratori, but he made
the mistake of tagging along. After they were all arrested,
what happened was that the group turned on him
and claimed that he was, in fact, the murderer,
and along with the police beating a false confession out of him, became the fall guy and
he was quickly convicted. Now that’s apparently the story, but the circumstances surrounding
this was too ambiguous for the courts, which is
why he was still sentenced to 20 years at the end, as
in he was cleared of the farmer’s murder, a legitimate
case of self defense, but not the initial murder. So all of that was what led to the events
at the start of the video. As for what happened to him 28 years later, after being released from
Fuchu Prison, by the way, this was the same prison
that was referenced in a 300 million yen robbery that I covered in the Japanese bank heist
video, a famous heist that took place seven years after
Shiratori was released from prison. I already touched on
this a little with him meeting his daughter,
which was a nice note to end the video on, but
according to some sources, it appears, unfortunately,
that his relationship with her was somewhat strained, which
isn’t all that surprising, considering the stigma in Japan
of having a relative in prison and her never actually meeting him before. So, after his release, yes,
he was happy to see her, but he later ended up
bouncing around Japan doing odd jobs in various
cities, mainly construction work. And, actually, why don’t I play you the alternative ending that
wasn’t shown on YouTube, but only on the Nebula streaming platform. – [Second Video Narration]
Just 14 years later, in 1961, he was released on parole
and for the first time in a long time, he was truly a free man. He decided to head back to Aomori, where it all began, and
meet up with his daughter, who, by this point, unfortunately, was the only family member he had left. For his incredible
escapes, Yoshie Shiratori became a legend, an antihero
in Japanese popular culture, read about in books
and depicted in movies. And even though Shiratori
passed away in 1979, at the age of 71, his legacy
lives on, perhaps the most, in the one place he wanted
to leave more than any other: Abashiri Prison, or at
least what has now become the Abashiri Prison
Museum, where Shiratori has been immortalized
as a mannequin display simulating his renowned miso soup escape. (inspirational music) (music fades out) – So I was able to end the video this way, letting the story breathe,
because new Kento Bento videos all go up on Nebula completely ad-free. And this actually ties into the
second to last question here one that I see all the
time in the comments: was this whole video just an ad? And that’s seemingly a
reaction to how I do segways. And of course the answer is no. The sponsor has no say
in the topic or script. I just work really hard to,
well, first, find a sponsor that I trust, one with a
genuinely good product or service and then, somehow, relate it
to the story of the video. I think most of you by now
get the whole tongue-in-cheek smooth segue thing, but for those
who seem to take it all a bit too seriously, I’d highly recommend
Nebula, which you can get, for free, as part of a special deal if you sign up to CuriousityStream
in the link below. So, while most of you already
know what CuriosityStream is, a subscription streaming service with thousands of
high-budget documentaries and non-fiction titles,
Nebula is a different beast. It’s a streaming platform too, but created by a group of
smaller independent creators like Wendover Productions,
Polymatter, Real Life Lore, CGPGrey, Kurzgesagt,
and, somehow, this dude. The project is self-funded,
not backed by investors, and we’ve managed to make this ad-free and with no dreaded algorithm. We started Nebula so we could have a place to try out new content ideas
that might not work on YouTube, stuff that would likely get demonetized, as well as fun collaborative
projects like ‘Working Titles’, a series where each
episode, different creators examine the opening sequence
to their favorite TV shows. Polyphonic did ‘Game of Thrones’, Patrick H. Willems, one of
my favorites, did ‘X-Men’, and there’s still more to
come, like ‘Stranger Things’, ‘The Simpsons’, and even (rock guitar) ♪ One Punch!♪ The purpose of Nebula
is not to pull people away from YouTube, but rather the goal is to create a sandbox where we can
learn and experiment on our own terms. We’ve only just started,
but if you want to experience and be part of helping
us build this unique platform, well, it’s now made easier
thanks to CuriosityStream. CuriosityStream loves independent creators and wants to help us grow our platform. So, they’re offering
all Kento Bento viewers free access to Nebula when you sign up at CuriosityStream.com/KentoBento. Of course, by signing up
to CuriosityStream alone, you’ll get access to
thousands of the world’s top documentaries, like
‘The Mona Lisa Mystery’, ‘The Great Train Robbery’,
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for the first 30 days. And, I don’t know how many
of you are still watching, but there’s one more
question to get to, and that’s what’s the next Kento
Bento video going to be about? (soft piano) Now, I don’t
like getting ahead of myself and revealing the title,
as plans can always change, but I will say, it’s
somewhat Halloween inspired, even though I’ll be posting
this after Halloween. And of course, it’s a true
story, as all my videos are, which makes this one all
the more fascinating, but but also shocking. This story will be set in the Hong Kong/Macau
area and is actually something that has affected me personally since I was a child, but
that’s all I’ll say for now. I don’t know if I’ll
do another one of these follow-up videos, this one just seemed
to have a lot of questions, but please, do tell me if you like this and want more follow-up
content to future videos. I will say, it is nice to be able to express myself in a more
relaxed setting for once and not have to worry
about meanderings and going off topic. And, on that note, I thought I’d end this video on something completely random and unrelated. Last weekend, I was able
to witness, in person, one of the greatest feats
in human history, as Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to break the 2-hour
marathon barrier in Vienna, with a time of 1 hour, 59
minutes, and 40 seconds. And here’s me filming
the finish, and it was crazy, and super cool, and
just like Yoshie Shiratori, as a true example of what
humans are capable of. Thank you for watching,
please support me on Patreon, check out CuriosityStream and Nebula, and I’ll see you again in
the next, Asian-y video. (inspirational flute music) (music fades out)

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