A call from our Japanese comrades [1923]

Dear Comrades:

We must inform you about the cruel intrigues of the Japanese Government.

On the first of September many violent earthquakes occurred in Tokio, a conflagration starting in several other places. Since that event the Japanese rulers resolved to make wholesale arrests on the so-called Koreans, “disobedient Koreans,” Anarchists, Syndicalists and union men. At first they rapidly spread pernicious propaganda among the refugee throngs: “Beware of the Koreans, for they will throw bombs, set houses on fire, and put poison into the wells and foods.” This misleading propaganda was very effective, and soon the bourgeoisie enrolled scoundrels and organized a “self-defence” body in every street. The boy scouts and veterans were also mobilized to arrest the Koreans, and the government permitted them to carry arms openly, chiefly long swords, revolvers and bomb lances. Within three days they massacred more than a thousand Koreans, men and women, virtually without a hearing. They simply arrested people on the streets for suspicion and immediately clubbed them to death on the street corner. However. many Japanese speaking different dialects and expressions shared death in similar fashion.

From the third of September, Tokio and the surrounding provinces had been put under military precaution, and numerous soldiers with bayonets were stationed all over the ruined and partly remaining streets. They continued the massacre of the Koreans, and when they had exterminated them, the several hundred still imprisoned suffered severely while incarcerated in the garden of the Mausoleum and in the esplanade of Marashino near Tokio. This was to endeavor to prove later that the government made efforts to safeguard the Koreans from the civil punishment, after which the government intrigue (so-called “high politics”), played their part.

Then their second cruel scene began, that is to wipe out the revolutionists. The high police department secretly propagated that the Anarchists and Socialists allied themselves with the Koreans to rob and burn houses, and that therefore people should beware of them; detectives conferred with the capitalists to secretly aid them in this government plot. And soon commenced the sudden wholesale arrests and murdering of Anarchists and union men. On September 3, in Ohshina Street, the secretary of the Union “Jhun Rodo Numiai.” K. Hirasana (37 years) and nine other syndicalists had been arrested, and in the police station Kamcido was secretly pierced to death with swords by cavalrymen. These dead bodies were burned together with scores of Koreans, this being jointly committed by the police and the military. When dying the comrades shouted. “Long live the workers!”

Until the sixth, several hundred Anarchists, Syndicalists and Socialists had been imprisoned in the name of “Safety” and in the fettering chambers of the police headquarters the gendarms and the police had threatened them with bayonets. The comrades not yet in the grip of the police were spied upon in their homes by gendarms and police.

On September 16th, a famous Anarchist Sakae Osugi (39 years old). who was editor of an Anarchist monthly “Rodo Nudo” (Labor Movement), in the publishing office at No. 15 Katamachi, Hongo, Tokio (his home was out of town), was cruelly hung by the gendarm captain Amakasa and his lieutenant Mari in the gendarm headquarters of Tokio, together with his wife Moe Ito [Ito Noe] (20 years). His little nephew, Munekazu Techbauna, 7 years, was also cruelly hung in the same way by the gendarm corporals. Of the deed committed against Kamoshida and Hada the entire work [world] may already be aware of, though perhaps it was not reported correctly, but the truth about the child unrelated to them must he told. He was born April 14, 1917, in the restaurant of his parents Sozaburo (father) Tachibana and Ajame (mother) Tachibana in Portland, Ore., U. S. A.. and therefore certainly had the rights of an American. He had just returned with his mother to Japan.

Before Amakasa had been arrested the commander of Military Precaution, and the Gendarmy Commander suddenly had been dismissed from their duties, but the reason for it all had not been published.

Osugi, Moe [Noe] and Munekazu together on that same day were waiting near a lodging house on Kashauge, Tokio, and all of a sudden had been seized and transported by an automobile to the gendarmy barracks. There they were killed in complete secrecy and the corpses nakedly submerged into the ground in a well, their clothes in shreds were burned to ashes, thus trying to conceal the crime and attempting to hide the traces of the criminal, Captain Amakasu who, according to his own testimony, boastfully says that his act was due to his patriotic sincerity and his personal intention, but this we believe to be A stupid lie. For if he undertook the crime thru his own designs, then he did not have to accompany Osugi to the official gendarmy quarters, nor did the government have to dismiss the commanders.

Another thing, if the action originated from the public idea of patriotism, he would never have been obliged to hide his crime. However, we can soon reach the decision that these four gendarm accomplices were a minor sacrifice to the systematically agitated intrigue of the Japanese government. But this intrigue, unfortunately, became disclosed through the quarrel of the police and the gendarmers. or between the local department and the military department, from the confession of Captain Amakasu at the first court muddle (hearing) Oct. 8. There he confessed that he had been agitated by the captain of Jakobash police station (near the lodging house of Osugi) to kill Osugi while the military precaution ruled Tokio.

The murder of the ten Syndicalists by the cavalry was also forbidden to be made public in the press, and only when the first trial of Amakasu had been opened did the entire press strongly menace the metropolitan police headquarters till at last the government with difficulty and unwillingly permitted the news to be made known and only because of the responsibility does the public prosecution negligibly move in this rather stale crime.

On October 1st, the comrades who were previously chained were released. but numerous spies are constantly on the watch around their houses. This clearly shows that they await the opportune moment to exterminate us, therefore we are now in extreme danger, enduring extreme impatient agony because of the murdered comrades, men and women. Even to mourn martyrs is now strictly forbidden.

Comrades the world over, remember always that the Japanese Government is an enemy detrimental to mankind, and that we, the Japanese Anarchists, will battle untiringly with this bloodthirsty enemy as long as we breathe.

United Anarchists in Tokio.

Tokio, Oct. 10, 1923.

From: Behind the Bars no 1. New York: Anarchist Red Cross Society, January 1924..