Sword Exhibit Provides “Sneak Peak” of Samurai Assassins


Two of the swords brandished in the attempted assassination of British Minister to Japan, Sir Harry Parkes, in Kyoto on the afternoon of March 23, 1868, will be put on display this fall at the Kyoto National Museum, Asahi Shinbun reported on September 6, 2016. Parkes was on his way to join his counterparts from France and Holland for an historical first audience with the Emperor at the Imperial Palace, when his procession was attacked. One of the exhibited swords (above) was used by one of Parkes’ two assailants, Hayashida Sadakata, alias Sujaku Misao. The other sword belonged to Nakai Hiroshi of Satsuma, who, with a British officer, led the mounted escort to Parkes’ procession. Nakai beheaded Hayashida with his sword.

I wrote about the incident in the Epilogue of my forthcoming Samurai Assassins, to be published by McFarland during the first half of 2017. Subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook for updates about the publication including pub date, book events, giveaways, and other pertinent information.