Glossary  Chapter 4  

Japan

February 26 Incident: Also known as the 2-2-6 Incident. On 26 February 1936, several young army officers, leading about 1800 men, took control of central Tokyo and assassinated several politicians and military officials. Claiming to be acting in the name of the emperor, they called for a "Showa Restoration" and a new government. However, they were denounced as traitors. The rebels surrendered on 29 February; after a secret trial, the officers and their civilian supporters were executed,

 

Inukai Tsuyoshi: (ee new kai tsoo yo she) 1855-1932. First elected to the Diet in 1890, he served in Japan's parliament until his assassination. Inukai opposed the Sat-Cho clique throughout his career. When he "became prime minister in December 1931, two enormous problems faced him: the Great Depression and the invasion of Manchuria. The military opposed his plans for civilian control of the army; he was assassinated by junior officers on 15 May 1932. This marked the end of civilian government until after WWII.

 

Kita Ikki: (key tah eek key) 1883-1937. A radical writer, fervent nationalist, and extreme socialist. He is sometimes called the father of Japanese fascism. Kita advocated expulsion of the West from Asia by a revolutionary Japanese empire. He wrote several extreme texts, many of which were banned or censored in Japan. He developed a following among young officers, some of whom led the February 26 Incident. Although Kita was not directly involved, he was found guilty of inciting the Incident and executed

 

Taisho Emperor (tie show) 1879-1926; reigned 1912-1926. His given name was Yoshihito; his reign name was Taisho ("Great Justice"). The first Japanese crown prince to receive a western-style education, he was also the first to travel outside of Japan. During the Taisho era, Japan grew rapidly, on both the domestic and international stages. Sadly, this era was marred by the annexation of Korea in 1910, the Rice Riots of 1918, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and increasing Japanese interference in China and repression at home.Yoshihito is said to have suffered from lead poisoning, because of his wet-nurse 's makeup. He was unhealthy his entire life. In 1921, due to the deterioration of the Taisho Emperor's mind, Crown Prince Hirohito was appointed regent. Upon the emperor's death on 25 December 1926, Hirohito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne.