Japan's leading author, Yukio Mishima ceremonially disembowelled himself in a "hara-kiri" suicide ritual after leading his followers in an attack on an Army headquarters in Tokyo in Wednesday (November 25).
GV Self-defence headquarters in Tokyo with Mishima on balcony
CU Mishima haranguing soldiers
SV PAN Soldiers listening to Mishima on balcony
GV Crowd assembled
SV Leaflets dropped from balcony, crowd and run pick up
SV & CU Mishima
BV Military personnel
CU Self-defence force jeer (2 shots)
SV Police attempt to get on balcony
SV Riot police enter building
CU Smashed window
SV PAN Three followers of Mishima arrested and taken out of building
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Background: Japan's leading author, Yukio Mishima ceremonially disembowelled himself in a "hara-kiri" suicide ritual after leading his followers in an attack on an Army headquarters in Tokyo in Wednesday (November 25). He was then be-headed by one of his followers in the patriotic right-wing "Association of Shields".
Mishima and four of his followers stormed into the office of the headquarters commander and held him captive at sword-point. More than 2,000 soldiers were then forced to listen to a ten-minute lecture by Mishima who attacked corruption in Japanese politics.
While his followers scattered leaflets, Mishima -- dressed in the khaki military-style uniform of his association -- urged the soldiers to rise up and create a new constitution that would restore Japan's former military greatness. But his speech met only with jeers from the troops.
After shouting "Long live the Emperor", Mishima disappeared into the Commander's office where he disembowelled himself with sword cross-strokes, and was beheaded by a supporter. Another of his followers committed the same act.
Members of a force of 250 riot police, who had quietly entered the headquarters, burst into the room in a rescue attempt and found the two headless bodies on the floor. Most of the windows were smashed, furniture and documents scattered and the carpet soaked in blood.
The Commander was unharmed and the remaining three raiders were hustled away by police who said they would be held on suspicion of murder, inflicting injuries, intimidation, obstruction of official duties and illegal entry.
The 45-year old author formed his 80-man association in September 1968 demanding the creation of a militia and the building up of Japan's military forces. He was considered one of Japan's most distinguished authors and was particularly interested in the Samurai legend with its tradition of ritualistic hara-kiri suicide. The incident bore a strong resemblance to a film Mishima starred in and directed three years ago in which a young officer committed hara-kiri.