How to Strangle Anarchists

Tokyo: September 1st, 1923 — A cataclysmic earthquake rocks the foundation of Japanese political and social life. Tremors, shocks, and a cloud of fire that engulfs the city kill thousands; many more are butchered by reactionary mobs lashing out against resident foreigners, the working poor, and political dissidents. Weeks later as the bedlam subsides and the city slowly recovers its composure, the bodies of Ito Noe, Ōsugi Sakae, and their six-year old nephew, Tachibana Munekazu, are discovered, naked but wrapped in tatami mats, in an abandoned well. Government authorities launch an investigation into their deaths, quickly bringing a young lieutenant to trial. Though Ito, Ōsugi, and certainly Tachibana were innocent of any crime, they were arrested and murdered by a government gang without trial in the Great Kanto Earthquake’s chaotic aftermath. Implausibly, only two men were ever held responsible for the killings: the lieutenant, Amakasu Masahiko, and his subordinate, Kamoshida. Later known as the Amakasu Incident, the murder of these three can help to foreground an analysis of state repression more broadly.



About D C

Robot anarchist View all posts by D C

2 responses to “How to Strangle Anarchists

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