Sakuradamon Incident (1932)
|Hangul||이봉창의사 의거 or|
|Hanja||李奉昌義士 義擧 or|
The Sakuradamon Incident or Patriotic Deed of Lee Bong-chang was an assassination attempt against Emperor Hirohito of the Empire of Japan by a Korean independence activist, Lee Bong-chang (hangul: 이봉창, hanja: 李奉昌), in Tokyo on 9 January 1932.
As Emperor Hirohito was departing the Imperial Palace via the Sakuradamon Gate on his way to reviewing a military parade, Lee Bong-chang, a member of the Korean Patriotic Legion (Haninaegukdan, Hangul: 한인애국단, hanja: 韓人愛國團) under the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea headed by Kim Gu in Shanghai, threw a hand grenade at the emperor's horse carriage.
Lee knew of the emperor's schedule from a newspaper article, and managed to approach close to the procession disguised as a Kempeitai military policeman. However, the hand grenade missed, and exploded near the carriage of Imperial Household Minister Baron Ichiki Kitokuro instead, killing two horses. The would-be assassin was quickly apprehended by the Imperial Guard.
Lee was convicted on September 30, 1932 and was executed in Ichigaya Prison (市谷刑務所) on October 10 of the same year.
The attempted assassination had no impact on Japanese policies towards the Korean peninsula, and was quickly dismissed in Japan as an isolated terrorist incident. However, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea hailed the event as evidence of the ongoing opposition to Japanese rule in Korea. When these sentiments were echoed in the newspaper of the ruling Kuomintang party in the Republic of China, the Japanese government formally issued a diplomatic protest, and the issue led to an increase in anti-Chinese sentiment in Japan at a time when relations were already extremely strained.
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