Sakuradamon Incident (1932)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Sakuradamon Incident
Sakuradamon Incident.JPG
Korean name
Hangul이봉창의사 의거 or
도쿄의거[1] or
Hanja or


Japanese name
Arrested Lee Bong-chang

The Sakuradamon Incident or Patriotic Deed of Lee Bong-chang[3][4][5] 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.

Assassination attempt[edit]

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: ) 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.[6]

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.


To take responsibility for the lapse in security, Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai offered his resignation, which was not accepted by the emperor.[7]

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.

Lee was posthumously honored by the government of the Republic of Korea with the Order of Merit for National Foundation in 1962, and a commemorative postage stamp in 1992.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Republic of Korea Certificate of Indebtedness (대한민국 공채표, 500불)" (in Korean). E Museum, National Museum of Korea. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16.
  2. ^ 사쿠라다문의거 (櫻田門義擧) (in Korean). Yahoo! Korea.
  3. ^ Han See-jun. "Reports about the Patriotic Deed of Lee Bong Chang in the Chinese Papers" (in Korean). The Association for Korean Modern and Contemporary History (한국근현대사학회): 152–170, 246–247. uci: G300-j12278203.v36n0p152. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Kim Ju-yeong (김주영) (2008-01-08). 이봉창 의사 의거 76주년 기념식 (in Korean). Tongilnews.
  5. ^ 이봉창의사 의거, 러 배일사상 고취 (in Korean). The Hankyoreh / Yonhap. 2001-04-11.
  6. ^ Weiner. Race and Migration in Imperial Japan. p.167
  7. ^ Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Pp.248
  8. ^ Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs