Entry by Francis Hall, March 17, 1860

Source citation
F.G. Notehelfer, ed., Japan Through American Eyes: The Journal of Francis Hall, 1859-1866 (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001), 87-88.
Type
Diary
Date Certainty
Exact
Transcriber
Transcription adapted from Japan Through American Eyes: The Journal of Francis Hall, 1859-1866 (2001), edited by F.G. Notehelfe
Adapted by Matthew Pinsker, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from Japan Through American Eyes: The Journal of Francis Hall, 1859-1866 (2001).
March 17, 1860

I have now heard from so many various sources this account of the troubles that possibly bring about the repeated assassination that I deem it worthy of mention. The father of the present emperor died year before last suddenly and as is generally believed by poison. This poison is said to have been administered by Prince Mito who is the third man in the succession if the present emperor should decease. The Prince of Owari is first in the succession, the Prince of Kiusiu [Kii] 2nd and the Prince Mito 3rd. On the death of the late emperor so satisfied were the supporters of the throne of the manner of his death that several princes of the realm lost their lives and Mito himself only saved his own because he was of the blood royal. He was degraded and imprisoned in his own house where he still remains. His followers are said to be the cause or perpetuation of the murders hoping to involve the present government in a foreign war which will lead to its downfall. I should have said also that the poison is supposed to have been administered by the physician of the emperor under influence of a bribe, at all counts this physician was beheaded.

By this close confinement of Mito many of his soldiers are left without support and are ready for any deed of desperation. [The] inkio, the head priest of Jobootsugi [Jōbutsuji], who returned yesterday from Yedo, says that there are frequent quarrels among Mito's homeless followers and those who are better off, that there have been repeated assassinations among them. Norimons on route have been pierced through with spears and swords and their occupants slain or severely wounded. Such is the current story among the Japanese.
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