| 官軍意識・東善寺HP ●● 官軍意識との戦い
The Government Army Consciousness, Tozenji ●● Fighting Against the Government Army Consciousness
Fighting Against the Government Army Consciousness
Recommendation on the pamphlet for
"Political Struggles Before and After the Meiji Restoration and the Death of Kozukenosuke Oguri"
by Arata Ninagawa, reprinted in Japanese. Matsuno Shoten, October 2013
There is a word "Kan-gun (Loyalist Army or Government Army)."
The opposite of "government" is "people," but for some reason, the opposite of "government army" is not "people's army" but "bandit army." The world is not that simple. I try not to use the word "Kan-gun" because it is an unfavorable and judgmental term.
Kozukenosuke Oguri was relieved of all concurrent positions of the Tokugawa Shogunate in early 1868, including that of accountant and army magistrate, upon the dissolution of the Shogunate, so he obtained permission from the Shogunate to return to farming and live in seclusion, and moved with his family to Gonda village in Jyoshu (today's Gunma Prefecture), where he was the governor. However, two months after he began to build his residence, he was killed by the Western forces (later the government army), along with his adopted son Mataichi and six of his retainers.
Today, a cenotaph stands at Mizunuma Riverbank (Kurabuchi-cho, Takasaki City) on the Karasugawa River where Oguri was beheaded, with the inscription "The Great Kozukenosuke Oguri was beheaded here without sin," indicating that this was the place of his demise. The inscription was written by Arata Ninagawa, author of "Political Struggles Before and After the Meiji Restoration and the Death of Kozukenosuke Oguri."
Cenotaph for the memory of Kozukenosuke Oguri (at Mizunuma Riverbank)
"The great Kozukenosuke Oguri was beheaded here without sin. Arata Gakunan Ninagawa"
One of the Gonda villagers who had been mowing the grass along the riverbank where Kozukenosuke Oguri was beheaded appealed that a stone monument be erected to mark the spot where Oguri-sama (Lord Oguri) was killed, because if nothing was done, the location would no longer be known. This prompted volunteers from the former Kurata and Ubuchi villages to plan the erection of a stone monument, and they asked Ninagawa to write the inscription around 1928. Ninagawa wrote the above inscription and another inscription, "The final resting place of Kozukenosuke Oguri, a great man at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate," and delivered them to the villagers, who were given the choice. The villagers, after much discussion, decided that the former was the true inscription and engraved it. It is said that such a monument in prose style is rare.
Before the war, there was no freedom of expression, so all such monuments had to be reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs. When they reported it to the Takasaki Police Station, Mr. Yamaura, the chief of the police station, said, "The inscription reads, '... beheaded here without sin,' but it was the government forces that slain Kozukenosuke Oguri. The government army is the army of the Emperor, so they would never slay an innocent man. It is not peaceful, so do something about it," he complained. It was a coercive instruction by the power structure to re-carve the inscription on a different one.
Motokichi Ichikawa, the chairman of the Construction Committee, was troubled, and reported his predicament to Ninagawa for advice on how to deal with the situation. Ninagawa replied, "I will have Giichi Tanaka (Prime Minister) deal with the situation, so just wait and see. Ninagawa's mother, Hatsuko, was the sister of Mrs. Michiko Oguri, and Ninagawa, who was active as an international lawyer, was in a position to consult and advise Giichi Tanaka on international affairs. The chief's complaints were soon put to rest, probably under the direction of Giichi Tanaka. The unveiling ceremony of the cenotaph was held on May 5, 1932. The other writing by Ninagawa for the inscription is displayed in a frame at the Kurabuchi Branch Office of the Takasaki City Hall.
Calligraphy plaque by Arata Ninagawa (Kurabuchi Branch Office of Takasaki City Hall)
The chief's statement that "the government forces would never slay an innocent man" and his awareness that those who were on the opposite side of the new Meiji government (i.e., the Shogunate) were renegades and bandits were the common belief held not only by the chief, but also by the bureaucrats, military officers, and many citizens educated under the Meiji historical perspective. It is the opposite of democracy, and therefore, it is the consciousness of the government and military, which can be named "officialism."
However, has there ever been an "army that does everything right" in the world? Although the defeat of Japan in 1945 was supposed to have dispelled this military mindset, it is still prevalent in Japan. The nuclear accident at Fukushima, for example, can be seen as a failure of the government-military mindset.
Ninagawa sharply points out, from his perspective as an international lawyer, the political strife at the end of the Meiji period and the unreasonableness of the murder of Oguri, a disgrace to the new Meiji government, in this book. The fact that he sometimes attacks the Satcho government with such vehemence may be due to his personal perspective as Kozukenosuke's nephew-in-law, but it may also be due to the dilemma of unconsciously accepting the common beliefs of the time, as evidenced by his common use of the term "government forces" in the text.
After being rejected by a number of publishers who said, "We can't publish such a frightening book," he persuaded them to publish the book in 1928, and it sold out instantly. It went through four editions in just two weeks and became a bestseller, with a "sequel" edition published two years later.
The villagers stole the heads of Kozukenosuke Oguri and his son, which had been brought to Tatebayashi and buried after the head examination, in 1869 and returned them to the bodies. Since they had stolen something that was under the control of the Meiji government, they kept this secret for a long time (until the 1950s). This was also a battle against the government forces mindset. (Taiken Murakami)
◆ Fighting Against the Government Army Consciousness - Contribution to "Aizujin Gunzo": The Struggle to Build the Cenotaph was a Battle against the Government Army Consciousness after the Meiji Era.
◆ Kozukenosuke Oguri Historic Sites in Kurabuchi:
Memorial Cenotaph at Mizunuma riverbank, Residence remains at Kannon-yama Mt., Shimai (Sisters) Kannon
◆ "Kateba Kangun (If you win, you are the loyalist army)" is the victor's arrogance.
◆ Welcoming Oguri's head to Tozenji Temple: The villagers who stole and retrieved the heads of Kozukenosuke Oguri and his son