TsukuBlog

A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Hearing the Echoes of the 2/26 Incident of 1936 on February 26th 2017

 

 

The 1973 film Martial Law by Yoshida Kiju

The 1973 film Martial Law by Yoshida Kiju stars Rentaro Mikuni as Kita Ikki, the man who inspired the failed 1936 coup d`etat of February 26

By Avi Landau

Whenever I look up at the calendar and notice that it happens to say 2/26,  I am reminded of the The February 26th Incident, an attempted coup d`etat that took place in Japan in 1936 that the Japanese refer to as the NI-NI-ROKU JIKEN (the Two-two-six Incident). In some years I go to Tokyo on that day and try to conjure up the events  in my mind`s eyes the at the places they actually happened  (though in 1936, before global warming, Tokyo was blanketed in snow). My imagination is helped by my having seen two films about the incident –  the 1989 Hideo Gosha film 226 ( NI-NI-ROKU, Four Days of Blood and Snow, in English) and the more impressive 1973 work by Kiju Yoshida KAIGENREI (戒厳令) – Martial Law (though an alternate title is Coup D`Etat) which is a psychological study of the man who inspired the coup, ultra-nationalist philosopher and agitator Kita Ikki.

Watch “Martial Law” by Yoshida Kiju for free on utube.

 

Kita Ikki

Kita Ikki

What made me want to write about the the February 26th Incident today, on February 26, 2017, is because of how much Japan of the 1930`s reminds me of the United States of the late 2010s – and how the radical mentor of the rebellious officers, right-wing thinker Kita Ikki, reminds me of Steve Bannon, White house chief strategist and former driving force behind the right-wing news service Breitbart..

To be continued….