Masakatsu Morita

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Masakatsu Morita (森田 必勝 Morita Masakatsu?, 25 July 1945 - 25 November 1970) was a Japanese political activist who committed seppuku with Yukio Mishima in Tokyo.[1][2]

Morita was the youngest child of the headmaster of an elementary school. Losing both parents at the age of three, Morita was cared for by his brother Osamu and educated at a Catholic school. He entered Waseda University in 1966, but was dismayed by the presence of the Zengakuren and became heavily involved in the small right-wing faction at the university. He first met Mishima on 19 June 1967, and joined the Tatenokai at its establishment in October 1968. As early as March of that year, he had written a letter to Mishima expressing a willingness to die for him.[3][4]

Mishima was interested in using his society for direct political action, and he approached several members in April and May 1970. The inner circle then consisted of Mishima, Morita, Masahiro Ogawa (小川 正洋?), and Masayoshi Koga (小賀 正義?) ("Chibi" Koga). No clear plan was developed until late June. Shortly afterwards, Mishima went on holiday to Shimoda and paid for the others to go to Hokkaido. On 2 September in Tokyo, Morita and "Chibi Koga" recruited Hiroyasu Koga ("Furu" Koga), who was a Tatenokai member also, and he met Mishima to hear details of the plan on 9 September.[5]

All four followers were expecting to commit suicide, and were indignant when, in November, Mishima ruled that only he and Morita were to die. On 21 and 22 November 1970, supplies were bought, and Morita asked Hiroyasu Koga to stand in for him if he should fail to behead Mishima properly. The next two days were spent rehearsing.

On the morning of 25 November, the group drove to the Japan Self-Defense Force's Ichigaya garrison on the pretext of a friendly visit. They barricaded themselves inside General Mashita's office, taking him prisoner, and issued demands. At noon, Mishima began to make a speech from the balcony to assembled troops, but his words were drowned out by helicopters and he spoke only briefly. Immediately after his return from the balcony, Mishima and Morita stabbed themselves in the abdomen and were beheaded by Hiroyasu Koga.

Masayoshi Koga, Masahiro Ogawa, and Hiroyasu Koga were freed from prison for good behavior in October 1974. All three were age 26 at the time.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sato, Hideaki; Inoue, Takashi (2005). 決定版 三島由紀夫全集・第42巻・年譜・書誌 [Final edition-Yukio Mishima complete works No.42-Biographical sketch and Bibliography] (in Japanese). Shinchosha. p. 332. 
  2. ^ Fukushima, Jyuro (2005). 再訂資料・三島由紀夫 [Second revised edition - Documents of Yukio Mishima] (in Japanese). Chobunsha. p. 183. 
  3. ^ Nakamura, Akihiko (2003). 烈士と呼ばれる男 森田必勝の物語 [Man called the patriot - Story of Masakatsu Morita] (in Japanese) (paperback ed.). Bungeishunjū. pp. 65–69, 96. 
  4. ^ Sato, Hideaki; Inoue, Takashi (2005). 決定版 三島由紀夫全集・第42巻・年譜・書誌 [Final edition-Yukio Mishima complete works No.42-Biographical sketch and Bibliography] (in Japanese). Shinchosha. p. 290. 
  5. ^ Sato, Hideaki; Inoue, Takashi (2005). 決定版 三島由紀夫全集・第42巻・年譜・書誌 [Final edition-Yukio Mishima complete works No.42-Biographical sketch and Bibliography] (in Japanese). Shinchosha. p. 323. 
  6. ^ "Japan has freed for good behavior...". Nashua Telegraph. 7 October 1974. p. 2. 

References[edit]

  • Koga, Masayoshi; Koga, Hiroyasu; Ogawa, Masahiro (1972). Date, Munekatsu, ed. 裁判記録・三島由紀夫事件 [Court Transcript of the Yukio Mishima Incident] (in Japanese). Kodansha. 
  • Nakamura, Akihiko (2003). 烈士と呼ばれる男 森田必勝の物語 [Man called the patriot - Story of Masakatsu Morita] (in Japanese) (paperback ed.). Bungeishunjū. 
  • Sato, Hideaki; Inoue, Takashi (2005). 決定版 三島由紀夫全集・第42巻・年譜・書誌 [Final edition-Yukio Mishima complete works No.42-Biographical sketch and Bibliography] (in Japanese). Shinchosha. 
  • Fukushima, Jyuro (2005). 再訂資料・三島由紀夫 [Second revised edition - Documents of Yukio Mishima] (in Japanese). Chobunsha.