Essay on Kozukenosuke Oguri (Tozenji Temple) ●● Execution right on target...?
The book says that the murder of Kozukenosuke Oguri and his followers and confiscation of family property, comparable to robbery and murder, was
"right on target."
The following book says "the execution of Kozukenosuke Oguri was... right on target."
■"Kaido-no Nihonshi (History of Highways in Japan) - Nakasendo"
"Oguri began construction of a residence on Kannonyama*. Manjiro Nitta confirmed this and reported to the Governor-General that Oguri was preparing for war by building a fort, preparing cannons and guns, and hiring masterless samurais. The Governor-General's staff ordered Yasutaro Hara and Kanichiro Toyonaga, who were scouts, to arrest and dispose of Kozukenosuke Oguri and his son. In response, the three clans of Takasaki, Annaka, and Yoshii were ordered to go to Gonda, where they executed the Oguri and others at Mizunuma river bank. ... Various opinions have been expressed about Oguri's execution, but we can say that it was right on target under the military conditions of the time..."
(Note*: Kannonyama is a small mountain in Gonda Village.)
This is what the book says about the killing of Oguri and others, that makes me incline my head to the side in doubt.
The author himself admits that he "confirmed the construction of a residence on ...," but he says nothing about Nitta Manjiro, who falsely claimed that "Oguri was preparing for war by building a fort, preparing cannons and guns, and hiring masterless samurais."
This false claim by Manjiro Nitta was later denied by messengers from the three clans of Takasaki, Annaka, and Yoshii, who inspected Kannonyama in Gonda Village and reported to the Governor-General of the Tosando area that it was not such a building. The fact that the Governor-General of the Tosando Region ordered the killing of Oguri and others, without acknowledging the reports of the three clans, and then carried it out is "right on target under the military conditions of the time," is a wild logic that directly acknowledges the abuse of power by the Western forces (the new Meiji government forces).
This type of logic is always conveniently used by those in power.
For example, in the Vietnam War, when the U.S. military was unable to distinguish between the Vietcong and local residents and massacred many of them (e.g., the Son My Incident), the logic of the U.S. military was justified by the convenient phrase "under the military conditions of the time." The U.S. military is now again stuck in a similar quagmire in Iraq.
Also, for example, it was reported in a newspaper this year that many Americans believe that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unavoidable under the military conditions of the time in order to avoid further loss of life.
The Americans' idea of "further sacrifice" refers only to the sacrifices of American soldiers, and does not take into account the many innocent Japanese people, including children and the elderly, who were not military personnel. This logic must be difficult to accept for those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki who are still suffering from the aftereffects of the atomic bombings and are still searching for witnesses to confirm the deaths of their relatives.
The Western Army (Tosando Forces) killed Kozukenosuke Oguri and three of his retainers at a river bank near Gonda Village, and the next day killed his adopted son Mataichi Oguri and three of his retainers in Takasaki. Not only that, they sold off many of Oguri's household goods and rare American souvenirs, which had been transported from Edo to Tozenji, by bidding at the Shimaya store in Takasaki, and took the money with them as war funds for the new government forces. In the name of the restoration of the monarchy by the new government, they committed in Gonda Village what amounted to robbery and murder, the same crimes that the "Satsumano Goyoto (Satsuma pseudo-imperial thieves)" committed when they razed the streets of Edo.
It is precisely because of this disgrace that the achievements of Kozukenosuke Oguri have not been taught in school education which started in the 6th year of Meiji Era. And as long as there are scholars who wield and justify and support this kind of logic, it will continue.
(Note) "Execution": If a person is beheaded without trial, interrogation, or arraignment, and his property is taken and sold to finance the war effort, it is called "murder and robbery." It is not called "execution."