[spp-player optin="off" ctabuttons="on" poweredby="on" textabove="Otoya Yamaguchi was a Japanese political assassin who stabbed Inejiro Asanuma, a socialist leader, while he was giving a speech at the Hibiya Hall on October 12th, 1960." url="https://api.spreaker.com/download/episode/48085531/tm2m_e291_v1.mp3" image=“https://talkmurder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Podcast-Logos-1.jpg" title="291 | Blood Blade // The Political Assissnation of Inejirō Asanuma 浅沼 稲次郎"]
Otoya Yamaguchi, an ultra right-wing 17-year-old, spent 3 days deciding how he should send a message to the nation of Japan.
The teenager knew that he would have to carry out his mission alone. There was no one he could entrust with his plan.
Around 3:03pm, somebody in the crowd shouted, "Shut up, Communist! Down with Peking", and you can see in the video that Asanuma lifts his left palm, attempting to silence the attendee.
To the left of Asanuma, a young assassin awaits his opportunity to attack.
"Asanuma turned casually, he gasped in horror, for there, running at him with full tilt, was Otoya Yamaguchi, holding his father's samurai sword before him."
“Asanuma staggered two or three steps, held his chest, mumbled some words and collapsed on the blood-splattered stage.”
Taken at the perfect moment, Yasushi Nagao pointed his camera at the scene just as Otoya prepares to thrust his blade into Asanuma for a second time.
The assassin is wearing his school's uniform, which is why many of the papers refer to him as a "student" when first reporting the murder.
Otoya was unsuccessful in his second attempt to stab the socialist leader and was quickly pulled away.
Directly under the bent knees of Inejirō Asanuma, you can see his name displayed on a banner.
Nagao, a photographer for the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, received the Pulitzer Prize for his historic photo in 1961.
At first, many sources reported Otoya used a "samurai" sword to kill his target, and although this may technically be true, the exact blade was a 'Wakizashi' that he had stolen from his father.
Banned since 1876, the Wakizashi blade was easily concealed and only political officers could carry one.
In a similar fashion as an infantryman's side pistol, the Wakizashi is a secondary weapon and usually only used as a last resort.
With over 1,000 in attendance and millions watching on rebroadcasted television, Otoya unsheathes his father's Wakizashi blade and plunges it 11 inches and through Asunuma's vital organs.
As the socialist leader backed into the podium, Otoya repositions himself for a second thrust, but was unsuccessful. This second attempt was "unnecessary" as enough damage had been done with the first fatal blow.
Police found the body of Otoya Yamaguchi "still warm" and hanging from a light fixture from his prison cell.
Using ripped up bed sheets, the 17-year-old killer stood on his cell's toilet bowl and hung himself.
His body was found hanging around 8:30pm, but must have been worth trying to resuscitate since emergency technicians spend "3 hours" performing artificial respiration to no avail.
Scribbled using toothpaste on his cell wall was, "shichi sho koku ten no keika banzai", which means to "serve one's country for seven lives."
The message was Otoya's final act of patriotism and a salute to Emperor Hirohito.
From an article in Time Magazine, "In a bleak cell at a Tokyo juvenile detention home one night last week, a mop-haired teenager mixed a palmful of tooth powder with a few drops of water and scrawled a message on the wall: "Seven lives for my country. Ten thousand years for His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor!''
The right-wing nationalist group presented with a burial coat, kimono, and belt his father and mother.
In the 1960s, Japan was facing a turbulent turning point. With the advent and use of nuclear warfare that devastated the island, the Japanese people were under the direct threat of Chinese communism.
One newspaper described the chaotic society as "a fragile lotus blossom", which at any point could easily be destroyed.
Even though Otoya was only 17, he knew he needed to defend his motherland against the oppressive forces and evils that haunted the land.
While in his father's home, who was a high-ranking military official, Otoya took the Wakizashi blade that he would use to assassinate Asanuma 3 days later.
Although Otoya had no accomplice, his beliefs lay with a 100-member extreme right-wing group called the "Great Japan Patriotic Society."
Otoya was happy with how things ended. A reporter from The Guardian stated that "eyewitnesses said that Yamaguchi was smiling as he was taken into custody."