Mr. Hubbard to Mr. Bayard.
Tokio, February 14, 1888. (Received March 12.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department of the assassination of the Japanese minister of education, Viscount Mori Arinori, which occurred at his residence early on the morning of February 11.
So far as can be ascertained the assassination had no political significance whatever, and was committed by a Shintoist religious fanatic, without aid or instigation from any accomplice, for the purpose of avenging some real or imagined slight or indignity to a Shinto temple, [Page 539]which the assassin claimed the late minister once committed in entering the temple without removing his hat and shoes. The assassin was at once killed by an attendant of the minister.
The minister lived about twenty-four hours after receiving the wound.
The assassination was especially deplorable coming, as it did, on a day when all of Japan had put on holiday attire and was rejoicing over the constitution which was to be promulgated that day.
Viscount Mori was born in 1841, and had served his country in many honorable capacities, having been at one time the diplomatic representative of Japan at Washington; afterwards becoming vice-minister for foreign affairs, and later envoy and minister to England and to China, respectively.
Under his administration of the department of education Japan has made wonderful strides in educational advancement.
I inclose a clipping from the Japan Mail, giving an account of the assassination, which is believed to be in the main correct.
I have, etc.,