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November 25, 1970

Discussion in '"Today in History", Literature & Media Review' started by Martin Rohmann, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    A Putschist Kills Himself In Front Of The Camera!

    Hardly noticed in Western Europe, an attempted coup took place in Japan in 1970 with the aim of transforming Japanese parliamentary democracy back into a monarchy with a godlike, absolutely ruling Tenno (emperor) at the helm.

    The coup is led by one of the most famous Asian authors of his time, the writer Yukio Mishima ...:


    Mishima is a tough traditionalist, nationalist (and racist), anti-democrat dyed in the wool and ardent admirer of the emperor!


    Thanks to royalties on his books and poems, he is in good cash, at least well enough to found his private army, the "Tatenokai" (= "Shield Bearer Society"), dressed in brown uniforms he designed himself at the end of the 1960s.



    Mishima has its 80 "Tatenokai" trained very well!

    He has good relations with the then Japanese Defense Minister Yashuhiro Nakasone ...


    ... who is an openly avowed fan of his right-wing writings and him - you hardly believe it! - allows his private soldiers to train together with members of the Japanese state armed forces!

    Even Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Satō ...


    ... is not quite as open to Mishima who secretly sponsors him and his organization with considerable tax revenues!

    And this is how what must happen happens:

    On November 25, 1970, Yukio Mishima invades in his brown fantasy uniform together with his deputy Masakatsu Morita and three other "Tatenokai" ...


    ... penetrate the headquarters of the Japanese army in Tokyo, and take the commander on duty "prisoner" (as a hostage)!

    From the gallery of the army headquarters, the coup leader, wearing a "kamikaze" band around his forehead (which is intended to signal his willingness to make sacrifices), calls on the soldiers of the Japanese army to occupy parliament (that is, to disempower them!) And to restore the old imperial rule, which was abolished in the course of the Japanese surrender in 1945.


    He conspicuously imitates Mussolini poses ...:





    But the disciplined Japanese soldiers do not obey him, as they immediately obey counter-orders from the legal Japanese government.

    When Mishima sees his coup attempt failed, he commits Seppuku - he slits his belly in the traditional samurai style with four cuts ...


    ... and is beheaded with the sword by a "second" standing behind him (Masakatsu Morita) as soon as the cuts have been made ...:


    Mishima has his suicide filmed - the images above are from this film ...

    His deputy Masakatsu Morita then also commits "Seppuku", the other three "Tatenokai" surrender! The coup is over!

    The affair did not harm his generous political patrons!

    The then swearing-in minister Yashuhiro Nakasone does not have to resign and not only remains in office, but will even become Prime Minister of Japan between 1982 and 1987!

    The Prime Minister at the time will not lose a hair either - he will be the first Asian to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 - for his services to Japan's accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ...

    The prevented putschist Mishima is today an icon of the nationalist right in Japan - and a figure of the "Manga" comics so popular there, much appreciated by young people ...

  2. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    Yes, although it received scant coverage in Europe, I recall this crazy episode. I didn't however realise that there was hidden complicity among the government. Voters have short memories.

  3. Nap A Fixture

    Never heard a thing about this incident

    Crazy situation and incident


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