• Short Summary

    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).

  • Description

    TOKYO, JAPAN

    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

    Initials PAF/MR/MH/1410
    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
    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.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA216NWLBZBN88NW40THW2R3DN4
    Media URN:
    VLVA216NWLBZBN88NW40THW2R3DN4
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/11/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:17:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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