By Toru Horiguchi, September 29, 2022
A memorial service for a 6-year-old boy murdered by Japanese military police nearly 100 years ago in what became known as the “Amakasu Incident” has been held annually for almost half a century at his tombstone in Nagoya.
Amid the turmoil in the wake of the devastating Great Kanto Earthquake that struck Tokyo and neighboring prefectures on Sept. 1, 1923, a squad of military police led by Capt. Masahiko Amakasu arrested and murdered anarchist Sakae Osugi, women’s liberation activist Noe Ito and Osugi’s young nephew Munekazu Tachibana.
This year’s ceremony for Munekazu was held on Sept. 11, with about 60 people gathering to burn incense and mourn the boy’s death while a monk recited a sutra. “The same mistake must never be repeated,” was the common refrain.