Two people were found dead in an Itabashi Ward home by firefighters last week. They were identified as realtor Eiichi Seta, 74, and his wife Chieko, 69. The considerable wealth of the couple was quite out of the ordinary. Neighbors had heard that “the wife sprained her ankle when she tripped over a wad of bills the equivalent of 30 million yen” or about “mold growing on bills left in the closet.”
Fire broke out at their home early in the morning on May 25. After their charred bodies were found, police said initially that the couple had head injuries and were also stabbed before the house was set on fire. It was later confirmed that the victims were still alive at the time the fire broke out.
The couple’s wealth was well known. Their 500-tsubo residence alone was valued at approximately 900 million yen. The property included a large pond in which carps, each worth over 100,000 yen, swam. And left behind in the debris was 10 million yen in cash.
An acquaintance who visited their home says that “the property was so large you wouldn’t know what was in there. I was flabbergasted by the 15-tsubo izakaya-like structure they built just to entertain guests.”
The Setas had been large landowners dating to the Edo period, with enough land that would supposedly “allow them to travel from Itabashi to Ikebukuro without stepping on anyone else’s property.” Indeed, they owned more than 4,500 tsubo in the area around their residence, and their gross asset is estimated to be 10 billion yen.
According to a neighbor, the couple publicly stated how they kept in their drawers tens of million yen in cash because they didn’t trust the banks and were oblivious about security.
At the crime scene, police investigators found a safe forced open but with half burnt cash left behind. The exact amount of money stolen is yet to be determined.© Japan Today