Otoya Yamaguchi

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Yamaguchi.
Blurry image of assassination by 17-year-old Otoya Yamaguchi in October 1960

Otoya Yamaguchi (山口二矢, Yamaguchi Otoya, February 22, 1943-November 2, 1960) was a Japanese political activist and assassin. He killed Inejirō Asanuma, the head of the Japanese Socialist Party (JCP).[1] On October 12, 1960, the killing was broadcast live by NHK television.[2]

Assassin[change | change source]

Yamaguchi was an assassin because he killed a politically active man. His reasons for the murder were political.

Yamaguchi was a member of a radical group. In 1960, he killed Inejiro Asanuma when he was at a public meeting. Soon after, Yamaguchi killed himself in a juvenile center. He wrote on the wall of the room in which he hung himself. His last words were written using a paste made from tooth powder and water.[3] He wrote "Seven lives for my country ..." which was a reference to the last words of 14th century samurai Kusunoki Masashige.

Legacy[change | change source]

Yasushi Nagao captured the assassination in a dramatic photograph.[4] The image won the 1960 World Press Photo award.[5]

Nobel Prize-winning writer Kenzaburō Ōe based his book Seventeen on Yamaguchi.[6]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Socialist Leader is Slain in Tokyo; Asanuma, Who Led Agitation Against U.S. Treaty, Is Stabbed at a Rally," New York Times. October 12, 1960; retrieved 2012-3-15.
  2. TokyoReporter.com, "Assassin of Inejiro Asanuma remembered by right-wing groups on 50-year anniversary," October 14, 2010; retrieved 2012-3-15.
  3. "Leftist's Killer Suicide in Japan; Young Rightist Who Stabbed Asanuma Hangs Himself in Detention Center," New York Times. November 3, 1960; "Assassin's Apologies," Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine Time. November 14, 1960; retrieved 2012-3-15.
  4. Howell, Brian (5 April 2020). "Tokyo Stabbing". Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  5. 1960 World Press Photo by Yasushi Nagao; retrieved 2012-3-15.
  6. Remmick, David. "Reading Japan," New Yorker. February 6, 1995; retrieved 2012-3-15.

Other websites[change | change source]