Today in History: Japanese politician Inejiro Asanuma assassinated on live television

in #history3 years ago (edited)

There is a lot of hatred sparked in people's hearts that is brought on by a politician, I am sure that this notion has existed ever since politics has existed. However, i can only stand back in awe at the courage of the assassin in this situation. It wasn't that he had it in him to kill his political opponent, it was the method that he used.

Otoya Yamaguchi killed Inejiro Asanuma with a Samurai sword.

The year was 1960.

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This is not a dramatic re-enactment, this is a real photo taken a split second before the fatal strike

Inejiro Asanuma was hated by a lot of Japanese citizens because he was viewed as a traitor to the nation as he seemed to favor China over his own native Japan. He openly advocated for Socialism. Many suspected that he sought to unify the countries. Obviously, this wouldn't go over so well with many of the quite patriotic members of Japanese society.

On a trip returning from a speech in Beijing, he exited the plane wearing a Mao suit, which if you don't already know is a style of dress normally reserved for those who are completely dedicated to the advancement of China and its then leader, Chairman Mao Zedong. This upset members of even his own Socialist party of which he was the leader of at the time.


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After the attack on stage, Inejiro Asanuma would die later at a hospital as the sword pierced through his side causing extensive internal bleeding. His assassin, 17-year old Otoya Yamaguchi, was captured at the event and later hung himself in his jail cell using his bed sheets. He left a note detailing his complete loyalty to Japan, and to the Emperor.


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The assassin was viewed as a hero by those who opposed Inejiro (and Socialism) and was declared a martyr of the highest order by some, mostly right-wing political advocates. His family was given gifts and he was provided with a hero's funeral. His ashes and a shrine are in Aoyama Cemetery, which is a rather prestigious place to have one's remains kept.

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To this day, Yamaguchi's suicide is publicly celebrated in an honorary fashion and at least for me, regardless of how one feels about particular politics, this is kind of in bad taste but hey! it's not for me to decide!

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Very interesting. I am actually a bit surprised that they still see him as a martyr even though he committed suicide. I mean, I am sure he was going to be executed anyway, but usually that public act would have much more impact than offing yourself with bed sheets. Either way, it sounds like he did something that was truly beneficial for Japan. Especially given what is happening these days.

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