No. 317.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Evarts .

No. 857.]

Sir: Referring to my several dispatches in relation to the assassination of his excellency Mr. Okubo, I now inclose a translation from the Nichi Nichi Shimbun, by which it appears that, on the 27th of July last, the parties accused of the assassination were, after trial, brought into court and sentenced, six of them to death, four of them to imprisonment for life, and twelve of them for a term of years. The six chief conspirators who committed the atrocious crime were, on that day, at 11.30 a.m., decapitated.

I have, &c.,

[Page 512]
[Inclosure in No. 857.—Translation.]


At about 10 a.m. on the 27th instant, Mr. Okubo’s six murderers, Shimada, Cho, Sugimoto, Sugimura, Asai, and Wakita, were brought up before the special court in the shihosho from the police prison, and Tamano hangi passed sentence upon them. They were then tied with ropes and taken to the Ichigaya prison, where they were beheaded at 11.30 a.m. Among their accomplices, four were condemned to imprisonment for life; three, to ten years’; three, to seven years’; three, to five years’; one to one years, and two to one hundred days’ imprisonment; one was pardoned, and four, two of whom were women, were acquitted. Shimada and his five associates recited each some verses of poetry immediately before their execution. The sentences ran as follows:

“To Shimada Itchiro, shizoku of Ishikawa ken:

“You had arbitrarily decided to remove an officer of the state, who occupied an eminent position; for that purpose you conspired with Cho, Sugimoto, Asai, and others, you associated yourself with Wakita and Sugimura, and then you, Cho, and four others just mentioned, assassinated Okubo, sangi, at Kioimachi, Tokio, on the 14th May, 1878. For this crime you are hereby degraded from your rank as shizoku, and condemned to death.”

(The sentences of the five others are, mutatis mutandis, identical).

“To Matsuda Katsuyuki, shizoku of Ishikawa ken:

“You conspired with Wakita and others to assassinate Okubo, sangi, for the purpose of changing the constitution of this empire, and with that object you came to Tokio. You returned to your ken to enlist more conspirators, but when you came back again to Tokio, Wakita and others had already perpetrated the murder. Although you were not present at the assassination, your criminal intention was manifest, and you are now degraded from your rank as shizoku, and condemned to imprisonment for lifetime.”