A photograph taken by Yasushi Nagao immediately after Otoya Yamaguchi withdrew his Japanese sword (yoroidōshi) from Inejiro Asanuma.
|Died||November 2, 1960 (aged 17)|
|Cause of death||Suicide by hanging|
|Resting place||Aoyama Cemetery, Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo|
|Known for||Assassination of Inejiro Asanuma|
Otoya Yamaguchi (山口 二矢 Yamaguchi Otoya, February 22, 1943 – November 2, 1960) was a Japanese ultranationalist who assassinated Inejiro Asanuma, head of the Japan Socialist Party. Yamaguchi was a member of a right-wing uyoku dantai group, and assassinated Asanuma with a yoroi-dōshi on October 12, 1960, at Tokyo's Hibiya Hall during a political debate in advance of parliamentary elections.
Less than three weeks after the assassination, while being held in a juvenile detention facility, Yamaguchi mixed a small amount of toothpaste with water and wrote on his cell wall, "Seven lives for my country. Long live His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor!" Yamaguchi then knotted strips of his bedsheet into a makeshift rope and used it to hang himself from a light fixture. The phrase "seven lives for my country" was a reference to the last words of 14th-century samurai Kusunoki Masashige.
Right-wing groups celebrated Yamaguchi as a martyr; they gave a burial coat, kimono, and belt to his parents and performed a memorial service for him. His ashes were interred in Aoyama Cemetery.
A photograph taken by Yasushi Nagao immediately after Yamaguchi withdrew his sword from Asanuma won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize, and the 1960 World Press Photo award. Footage of the incident was also captured.
On October 12, 2018, right-wing provocateur Gavin McInnes reenacted the murder as part of a skit to entertain members of the Proud Boys and the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City. After the performance, McInnes left the club holding the plastic samurai sword used in the reenactment. The Proud Boys, founded by McInnes, are considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
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- "State GOP distances itself from McInnes, following vandalism". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- Richardson, Davis (15 October 2018), "How Gavin McInnes' Proud Boys and Antifa Turned the Upper East Side Into Hell", Observer, New York, retrieved 29 October 2018
- "Proud Boys". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
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