World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

October incident


October incident

Lieutenant Colonel Hashimoto at time of the October Incident

The October incident (十月事件 Jūgatsu Jiken), also known as the Imperial Colors incident (錦旗革命事件 Kinki Kakumei Jiken), was an abortive coup d'état attempt in Japan, on 21 October 1931, launched by the Sakurakai secret society within the Imperial Japanese Army, aided by civilian ultranationalist groups.

Background and History

Having failed to replace the government with a totalitarian state socialist military dictatorship in the abortive coup d'etat of the March Incident of March 1931, Lieutenant Colonel Kingoro Hashimoto of the Sakurakai and his ultranationalist civilian supporters, including Shūmei Ōkawa resolved to try again in October 1931.

Soon after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army without prior authorization from the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and over the ongoing objections of the Japanese civilian government, Captain Isamu Chō returned secretly to Japan (without orders) from North China to lead the plot to “prevent the government from squandering the fruits of our victory in Manchuria”.[1] He was able to recruit the support of 120 members of the Sakurakai, ten companies of troops from the Imperial Guards and ten bomber aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The main elements of the plot included:

  • The Emperor would be forced to accept this Shōwa Restoration even if under threat of physical violence [1]

However, younger elements within the conspiracy came to doubt their leaders and seceded from the plot. In addition there were leaks which reached War Minister, General Jirō Minami. The latter requested General Sadao Araki to pacify the malcontents. Araki there upon attempted to reason with Hashimoto and Chō, but they refused to abandon their scheme and Araki had them arrested by the Kempeitai on 17 October 1931.

The punishments for this abortive coup were even milder than for the previous the March Incident, as General Minami publicly excused the plot as simply an excess of patriotic zeal. Hashimoto was sentenced to 20 days house arrest, Chō to 10 days, and the other ringleaders were simply transferred.


The October Incident, also known more elegantly as the "Imperial Colors Incident" thus ended in apparent failure, and resulted in the dissolution of the Sakurakai. However, the lightness of the punishments only encouraged more attempted military intervention in the government, cumulating with the February 26 Incident of 1936.[2]


  1. ^ a b Kiernan, Blood and Soil. Pp.467
  2. ^ Beasley, The Rise of Modern Japan. Pp168
  • Beasley, W.G. (2000). The Rise of Modern Japan, 3rd Edition: Political, Economic, and Social Change since 1850. Palgrave Macmillan.  
  • Kiernan, Ben (2007). Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. Yale University Press.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.