Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Message of the President to the Third Session of the Fortieth Congress
Mr. Van Valkenburgh to Mr. Seward.
Sir: In my No. 14, under date of March 1st, I had the honor to inform you that Taki Tensaboro, the officer who ordered the fire upon the foreigners at Hiogo on the 4th February, had been found guilty, and his execution was directed to take place on the next day (March 2) at Hiogo. The culprit was an officer of rank, and in accordance with the laws of Japan was permitted to commit hara-kiri.
On that day two Japanese officers, in accordance with what is [Page 689] understood to be the custom in this country, called upon the representatives unofficially to ask if the man’s life could not be spared, and whether we would not request the Mikado to reprieve him. In all cases of sentence of death I am informed this custom prevails throughout the land. We held a conference at once, lasting about four hours, desiring, if possible, to comply with the request of these gentlemen, and ask for a reprieve; but the conclusion arrived at was, that the safety of foreigners in the future would prevent the exercise of such clemency, and we declined to accede to the request. The representatives severally wrote out their conclusions, copies of which I transmit, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
We were then informed that the execution of the sentence would take place that evening at a temple in Hiogo, and were asked to designate each representative a witness. I accordingly appointed Commander J. Blakely Creighton, of the United States steamship Oneida, the senior naval officer at this port, as such witness from this legation. The execution took place about half past 10 o’clock in the evening, witnessed only by seven foreigners and about an equal number of Japanese officials. It is said to have been a very solemn and impressive scene. I enclose No. 7, copy of Commander Creighton’s official report to me of the execution.
We entertain the belief that the punishment of this man will have a salutary effect in preventing similar acts in the future, to some extent at all events, while it satisfies us of the good intentions and power of the Mikado. On the following day (March 3) we received the apology of the government for the outrage, in accordance with our demand, copy of which I inclose, marked No. 8. Inclosed in this communication was the sentence of Taki Tensaboro and also that of Hiki Tatewaki, who seems to have been the chief officer, and who, from not properly enforcing his orders, is placed in arrest. I inclose copy of these sentences marked No. 9.
This difficult question now having been satisfactorily arranged, we propose to reopen for a brief period our legations at Osaka, and then return to Yokohama, where our duties now seem to call us, inasmuch as large bodies of troops are moving in that direction.
Trusting that my action in this matter will be approved, I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Opinion of the minister of France on the question whether the foreign representatives shall apply for mercy in favor of Taki Tensaboro, officer of Bizen, who has been sentenced to death by the Mikado for the order given by him to his soldiers to fire on the foreigners at Kobé, on the 4th of February, 1868.
Sentence having in due form been passed on the officer guilty of the assault of the 4th of February, 1868, it appears to me that the question whether mercy would answer a better purpose than justice was virtually settled by the foreign representatives when, unanimously, they officially demanded, not the trial, but the capital punishment of the criminal.
They all signed this demand. They did not act hastily, nor should they permit a belief to be entertained that they acted hastily. They were not the judges, neither were they personally wounded or offended; but from a political point of view, they clearly appreciated the assault and the absolute necessity for reparation, being convinced, that sound feelings of humanity prescribed the duty to offer, to Japan the means [Page 690] of avoiding the consequences of retaliation, which would have been much more serious. If reparation had been refused, the ministers would certainly not in any measure have held themselves responsible for the consequences of repression by force of arms. Can they, therefore, now hold back from the criminal the capital punishment, which they expressly demanded?
The assault was political and national, inasmuch as it had its origin in popular prejudices or national hatred, and applied to all foreigners indiscriminately. To recede now from their judgment by applying for mercy, would render the ministers responsible for such other acts of violence and assaults which may occur in future and be prompted by the same prejudices, and the ministers would be unable to meet such responsibility from public opinion or their own, because having had it in their power to act when the opportunity was presented they would have failed to do so.
Even if these reasons, which in my opinion are conclusive, did not exist, in view of clemency having been advocated by the government themselves, by whom the criminal has been sentenced in proper form, the foreign ministers, by permitting themselves to be induced to apply for mercy would become liable to the suspicion, which would be little to their honor, of having countenanced a machination agreed upon beforehand, and of having contented themselves with reparation in name only. In a country like this and in the circumstances under which the assault took place, clemency cannot produce the same effect as stern justice. It is, therefore, justice only which can make the dignity of the foreign representatives, and, at the same time, the safety of their countrymen, respected.
Before the duty of protecting those interests every consideration of feeling should vanish, and compared to this duty the life of one man, who moreover was found guilty and has been sentenced by his own sovereign, must be of no account.
Memorandum by Sir Harry Parkes on the considerations which prompted him to vote an appeal to mercy should be made in favor of the offender in the Bizen outrage,
The offender in this case, an officer of rank in the service of the Prince of Bizen, was condemned to death for having ordered an attack to be made upon foreigners generally, as he passed through Kobé at the head of a train of armed men on the 4th ultimo.
The immediate cause of this violence appears to have been that a foreigner crossed the procession through an opening between the bodies of men. The men before whom the foreigner passed used their spears, not only against the latter, whom they stabbed, but also against all the foreigners standing by, whom they pursued into their houses. Not satisfied with this retaliation, the above mentioned officer ordered the leading company of his men, who were armed with revolving rifles, to open fire upon all foreigners then in sight, and who were much exposed to such, an attack by being scattered about on the open ground of the foreign concession. As an instance of the unmerciful character of the attack, it may be mentioned, that when two or three of the foreigners, who were flying from the bullets, stopped for a moment to aid an American sailor as he fell, the Japanese riflemen directed their fire upon the party, while engaged in carrying off the wounded man.
In atonement for this outrage the life of the officer who gave the order to fire was demanded by the foreign representatives. With marked promptitude the Mikado’s government admitted that the demand was perfectly reasonable, and at once engaged to inflict the punishment named. The officer was arrested, process against him was completed by the 24th February, and on the 29th he arrived at Hiogo in order that the sentence of death might be carried out at the place where the outrage had been committed. The details as to the place and time of execution were communicated to the foreign representatives, who were satisfied of the good faith and the equitable spirit which had animated the action of the Mikado’s government in this matter.
At this stage of the proceedings the foreign representatives, influenced chiefly by an intimation that an appeal to the mercy of the Mikado in favor of the prisoner would be gratefully viewed by the Mikado’s government, and also in some degree by the views of two of their number, met on the 2d instant to consider whether the case was one in which clemency might advisedly be invoked. After discussion and consideration of the case, which gave all the representatives an opportunity of exchanging opinions and comparing their respective impressions, the question of whether an appeal to mercy should be made was put to the vote, and Sir Harry Parkes gave his voice for the appeal on the following grounds:
“The good faith of the proceedings of the Mikado’s government had been established to the satisfaction of the foreign representatives. The offender had been sentenced to death, not upon the demand of the foreign representatives, but because, as stated by the Japanese authorities in communication with the representatives, he had incurred[Page 691]that penalty according to Japanese law. His offense was probably more attributable to the system of hostility towards foreigners still existing in Japan, than to particular malice on his own part. The manner in which the case had been dealt with by the authorities gave the representatives reason to hope that the efforts of the new government, would be directed towards the eradication of this system, which is known to have been fostered by political animosity. To effect this, the unlawfulness of violence towards foreigners, and the certainty of punishment attaching to it, must be made patent to the mind of the two-sworded class throughout Japan. Was the death of this officer, however, indispensable for this purpose, or might not the same effect be produced by some commutation of his punishment and by the publication throughout the country in a durable and conspicuous form of the original sentence, which clearly describes the capital nature of the offense, and its important bearing upon foreign relations, supplemented by the declaration, that in this particular instance life had been granted on an appeal for mercy in favor of the offender being made by the foreign representatives?”
Such a measure, Sir Harry Parkes believed, could be as widely promulgated as the man’s death. And in the present state of affairs, at the commencement of a new administration, and of new relations with a party who had hitherto been debarred from communication with foreigners, was calculated, he thought, to have as good an effect in the promotion of the object which all the representatives had in view, as the sterner execution of the law. That object was the security of their countrymen in Japan; but this was to be obtained not only by the terror of punishment, unless the moral sensibilities of the Japanese were placed at a very low ebb, but also by judicious appeal to the friendly sympathies of the people. The present case appeared to be one in which the good effects of clemency might be gained in addition to those that would be secured by the vindication of the law.
In determining whether an appeal in favor of the condemned officer should be made by the foreign representatives, having been put to the vote, two of the foreign representatives expressed themselves for and four against the appeal.
In deference to the views of the majority, and in order to preserve unity in the action of the foreign representatives throughout this case, Sir Harry Parkes acquiesced in the decision which was then taken, to abstain from making any appeal in favor of the condemned, and it was agreed that the representatives should exchange statements of the grounds upon which their respective votes had been formed.
The undersigned, taking into consideration whether, after the respective representatives of the treaty powers having obtained of his Majesty, the Mikado, the condemnation to death of the Kerai of the Prince of Bizen, for the attack committed by that officer on the foreign residents in this place, it would be opportune to address themselves to his Majesty? the Mikado, for obtaining that the sentence of death shall not be executed, but that the culpable shall be punished in another manner.
The undersigned has the honor to observe that the principal reasons which have pushed him to demand the execution of the culpable have been, to prove to the Japanese princes and their officers that they could not, without being punished, attack the lives of the foreigners residing in Japan, and to try whether the government of his Majesty, the Mikado, was strong enough to execute an officer of a prince, who was guilty of such an attack.
The Prince of Bizen having been forced by his Majesty, the Mikado, to deliver up the officer who has committed this violent act, and this officer having been sentenced to death, which sentence will take place this evening in Hiogo, in presence of the secretaries of the respective legations, it has been sufficiently proved to the princes of Japan that every attack on the foreigners residing in Japan will be punished with capital punishment, and to the respective representatives that the government of his Majesty, the Mikado, is strong enough to pass this sentence on every Japanese official without exception. The undersigned is of opinion that the respective representatives could, without any risk that a similar attack be repeated in future, address themselves to his Majesty, the Mikado, in order that he may grant a reprieve and that such an act of clemency on their part should procure a favorable impression, not only on the government of his Majesty, the Mikado, but on the whole Japanese nation.
The undersigned therefore has the honor to propose to his honorable colleagues that the secretaries of the respective legations shall render themselves to the temple when the execution must take place, and that in presence of the Japanese authorities, who have to be witnesses, they should inform to the culpable that Ms life is in the hands of the respective representatives, but that they do not desire to take it, and that in consequence thereof they have the intention to address themselves to his Majesty, the [Page 692] Mikado, in order that he may grant a reprieve of the sentence of death, to which the culpable has been condemned for his unjustifiable attack on the foreign residents in this port.
Opinion of the Count de la Tour, Minister of Italy, at the conference of the 2d of March, 1868.
LEGATION OF ITALY IN JAPAN, HIOGO, KOBÉ.
The demand for reparation for the assault committed on the 4th February was made after mature deliberation. In my opinion, it was based upon the conviction that a sentence to capital punishment of the officer who gave the order to fire was the just consequence of that aggression, and at the same time the only means to put a stop to the series of assassinations dictated by political motives since the opening of Japan, and which, with rare exceptions, have remained unpunished. The punishment of Taki Tensaboro should show us to what extent it is the intention of the government of the Mikado to insure respect of foreigners, and at the same time make known that the government possess the power to carry out what has been resolved upon.
The Japanese commissioners have asked us whether there was no way to save the life of this man.
They observe that in Europe sometimes manslaughter is not followed by capital punishment; in special reference they mention the case of the Polish student, who fired in the Bois de Boulogne on the Emperor of Russia, and who was not executed. They further say that no foreigner having been killed on the 4th February, public feeling in this country might feel hurt by capital punishment in this case. The first remark requires no further notice. This is a question of legislation, with which the customs and the laws of Japan are unconcerned. The second consideration has already been dimly perceived before sentence was passed, and in my opinion is inadmissible. Though it is true that no one was killed, yet the circumstances under which the assault took place upon peaceable people, unarmed, suddenly attacked, and which attack was kept up against those who with all speed ran away, or those who stopped to carry off the wounded American sailor—those circumstances were such, that all the foreigners who were there might, and it was intended should, have been killed.
I shall not pause to consider the painful impression which this step of the Japanese commissioners at this late hour has caused me, and which might lead to suppose that this sentence was only intended as satisfaction of the demand of the representatives, with the conviction underlying it that the sentence would not be carried out.
I think there is only one point to be considered, and that is, whether clemency or capital punishment will insure the most favorable result.
It is my deliberate opinion that clemency would not be comprehended or appreciated at its proper value, but would be considered as an admission of weakness, perhaps of fear, and induce every samurai (two-sworded man) to believe that the life of a foreigner can be taken with impunity; while on the other hand, even if the death of Taki Tensaboro should be followed by any act of special revenge, the exemplary punishment of this officer of rank, and one belonging to a family of distinction, would show to the Daimios the respect to which foreigners are entitled, and the means they possess of obtaining justice.
If the life of man is sacred, and if personally concerned, I should prefer to consult my better feelings; as minister of Italy in Japan, and under circumstances of such importance, I can only look to the safety of Italian subjects and the protection of their persons.
For these reasons, and convinced that clemency would be injurious, I vote for the execution of the sentence as rendered by the Mikado, and admitted by him to be just and according to law.
Opinion expressed by the Chargé d’affaires of Prussia at the conference of the 2d March, 1868.
The arguments of the Japanese commissioners have been of a twofold character. They first attempted to establish, that no one having been killed during the attack on [Page 693] the 4th February, the people of Japan would not comprehend why the criminal was executed, and they might feel hurt to learn that while no foreigner lost his life, that of a Japanese had been taken. In proof of their argument, and referring to the proceedings in the case of the person who in Paris tired at his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, it is said that in Europe, when no one is killed, the life of the criminal is spared.
The Japanese commissioners further declare, that the man has deserved death; that sentence has been passed, and that they applied to the clemency of the representatives in order to learn whether means could be found to save the life of the criminal.
The first argument requires no refutation. The attack made upon a great number of unarmed and peaceful foreigners is certainly the most serious one that has been committed since the establishment of relations between the treaty powers and Japan, and the fact that by God’s mercy no one was killed, should certainly not be admitted in extenuation, as the will to kill unquestionably was not lacking. It should moreover not be forgotten that during the entire period in which this matter has been discussed no expression of regret was tendered to the representatives, neither on behalf of the Prince of Bizen nor of his karo, (secretary,) or the guilty officer.
The second argument is simply an appeal to our feelings of humanity, and the minister of England has correctly summed up the impression of the conference, when he stated that we had met to decide whether clemency or strict justice would produce the better effect and protect more efficiently in the future the lives of our countrymen in Japan.
I consider the crime a political one, and one flowing from the estimate of worthlessness of the life of a foreigner, and from the almost certainty of impunity for an attack against foreigners, and this, in my opinion, has been the case of all murders for political reasons in Japan, and which the inefficiency of the laws and of the police in this country has unfortunately countenanced.
Six months ago, on the occasion of the attack on my secretary, Mr. Schnell, I had the honor to state to my colleagues, as I officially stated to the government of the Tycoon, that I saw of only one way of putting a stop to such murders and repeated attacks, and that was to demand the capital punishment of any samurai (two-sworded man) who, without just provocation, should draw his sword on a Prussian subject.
Recent events have not changed my opinions. However I may individually regret my inability to save the life of a man, I feel the more convinced that our clemency would not be appreciated, but would rather be mistaken for an admission of weakness or fear.
I regret to say that I am far from believing that the execution of this criminal will put a stop to murder in Japan; it is quite possible that some may be perpetrated by the relatives or the friends of the criminal from motives of personal revenge, but it is my opinion that the execution of the criminal, who is of high rank, and who evidently belongs to a good family, will produce an excellent and wholesome effect on the people of Japan.
It will prove, at all events, to Daimios. to superior officers and to the armed classes generally, that whoever attacks a foreigner does so at the risk of his life—that punishment will be demanded; that in Japan a power exists which can decree such punishment, and that the head of such a person, however high it may be placed, will fall in atonement of the crime.
The fact that the attack was made by a Daimio’s train, and the plea that foreigners had broken through the ranks, is for me an additional reason to insist upon capital punishment. This is the second time that, for a similar reason, a Daimio’s train murders inoffensive foreigners by the sword or with muskets. On the first occasion the attack on Messrs. Richardson, Marshall and others, remained unpunished, in so far at least that both the man who gave the order and those who carried it out escaped the deserved chastisement. Would it not be well, therefore, to prove to the Daimios and their Karos, that if we are unable to protect our countrymen from the attacks of common assassins, we are quite able to protect them in cases as now in question, and that an infringement of Japanese ceremonial shall no longer be regarded as excusing the order to murder foreign subjects.
In conclusion, and though this consideration is far from exercising a decided influence on my opinion, I cannot help believing, particularly after the request which has so unexpectedly been made to us, that the grant of mercy would have a very bad effect on our relations with the government of the Mikado, which has furnished us brilliant evidence of their energy and power. Neither myself, nor, I believe, the majority of foreigners and Japanese, could well escape the instinctive self-suggestion that sentence has been passed only to meet our demands, and not as a punishment justly due; that it was in fact a result of political circumstances, a compliance in an emergency, rather than the expression of the will and the power of the Mikado to cause the lives of foreigners to be respected.
Clemency would thus have a worse effect; it would completely destroy the respect and the consideration which are our only means of legitimate influence in this country, [Page 694] and the steps we have taken for the protection of our countrymen would become baseness.
In view of the foregoing considerations, I believe it to be my duty to vote for the execution of the sentence passed by the Mikado, and admitted by him to be just and reasonable.
Taki Tensaboro, a retainer of Hiki Tatewaki, a retainer of Matsdaira Bizennokami, being an officer in command of armed troops in the service of his Majesty the Mikado of Japan, such detachment of troops numbering not less than one hundred and fifty, while marching through the foreign concession at Hiogo (Kobé) on the 4th day of February, 1868, wantonly and without provocation dismounted from his horse, and ordered his troops to fire with their rifles upon the unarmed, defenceless, and unsuspecting foreigners then in the streets, and upon the concession ground.
The order was immmediately obeyed, and without warning a rapid fire was opened by his men upon all the foreign residents and representatives, nearly fifty of whom were exposed to this savage and lawless attack for the space of five minutes and more. Two French marines were wounded by spears in the hands of Japanese, while an American sailor was struck down in the act of running from them, by a rifle bullet; two citizens, in attempting to remove this wounded man, were deliberately fired at several times at short range.
This was an indignity offered to the foreign powers, whose flags were floating in plain view, and at which some of the balls were evidently directed. It was a breach of international law—an infringement of the most sacred treaty obligations, first guaranteed by the Tycoon and then ratified by the Mikado, and a violation of the personal rights and privileges of those foreign representatives, citizens, and subjects who were exposed upon this occasion to the murderous attack.
All this was done by an officer in the service of the Mikado, the supreme power in Japan.
After mature deliberation, the foreign representatives unanimously demanded a reparation, which they believed to be only commensurate with the acts: an ample apology from the government of the Mikado to the respective governments who had thus been outraged, and the capital punishment of the officer who had directed it.
This demand was not made in a vindictive spirit, but with the object of impressing upon the Mikado, his government, and the whole people of Japan, the fact that it is no trifling matter to violate treaty obligations and international law, and that they could not with impunity thus insult the governments which were here represented.
The Mikado answered that the demand was reasonable and should be carried out.
No extenuating circumstances have been offered upon the part of Taki Zensaboro— he has expressed no regrets and tendered no apology.
The offender was ordered to Kioto, was judicially tried according to the laws of Japan, and by a court having competent jurisdiction, upon the evidence given, was found guilty, and properly sentenced to the punishment awarded to the offence of which he was so convicted.
There is no error in the proceedings, and there is no complaint that the punishment is excessive. On the other hand, we are officially informed that the judgment is warranted by the law and the evidence, that the sentence is just and right, and the punishment such as is usual for the commission of like offences. The time and place of the execution of that sentence is fixed, and the question now is, shall we request the Mikado to reprieve the man?
Were it a matter personal to myself, where my own feelings and interests were alone concerned, I should say yes. I do not desire, as an individual, this man’s execution. But I am not acting for myself alone. My government and my countrymen have rights, and I am here to protect them. What I believe to be a stern duty, compels me, after serious and careful deliberation, to say no.
I think it would be clemency thrown away, humanity wasted. From my limited knowledge of Japanese character, I believe such an application on our part would be looked upon by them as an indication of weakness and fear, and the motives which induced the act would not only be misunderstood, but misrepresented. Reprieve him, and on the next occasion of the passage of troops through this town, there may be a recurrence of the outrage.
It will be said and believed throughout Japan that the foreign representatives dare not require the punishment of a Japanese, awarded by their courts of justice, and the murder of foreigners will occur with impunity. The courts themselves, seeing what they will denominate our weakness and vacillation, will be remiss in their efforts to detect, try, and properly punish criminals of this character.
The same reasons which induced me to unite in the demand for the capital punishment of this offender are still active in my mind. It will demonstrate to us that the [Page 695] Mikado’s government is a reality, that it is a substantial government, that it can and will punish the infraction of treaty stipulations and breaches of international law, and that it desires to strengthen its friendly relations with the foreign treaty powers.
In my view, our only true safety consists in making just demands and standing to them. Japanese character is not that of a Christian country. In yielding one iota from what we believe to be right, and what has been pronounced reasonable by the Mikado, we lose our vantage ground, and we are again plunged into a new sea of difficulties.
Let us be just and firm.
Commander Creighton to Mr. Van Valkenburgh.
Sir: In compliance with your request, I witnessed the execution of the Japanese official who ordered his troops to fire on the foreigners at this place, on the 4th ultimo. The particulars are as follows:
I left the legation at about 9 p. m. last evening, in company with the officers attached to the foreign legations, and proceeded to Hiogo, where we were met by a guard who escorted us to the temple where the execution was to take place. There was a large number of people on each side of the street leading to the temple, and quite a number of soldiers drawn up inside and about the temple. We were shown into a room adjoining the Japanese officials, where we were asked if we wished to question the person about to be executed, (to which we answered in the negative,) and also the names of the officials present.
After waiting about a half hour, we were conducted by the Japanese officials into what appeared to be the principal room of the temple, which was lighted with candles, and in front of the altar was a raised platform of about a foot in height, which extended across the room, and we were placed on the right of the altar, within a few feet of where the execution was to take place, with the Japanese officials on the left. In front of the altar there was a green cloth, and in front of that a red one. We were informed that the execution would take place on the red cloth. Seating ourselves upon the mats on the platform, we awaited the execution.
In a few minutes the prisoner came in, dressed in the usual Japanese dress of a person of rank, accompanied by the executioner. He walked, with a steady, firm step, in front of the altar, where he knelt in prayer. He then arose and went to the red cloth, where he knelt and made the confession that “he was the officer that ordered the troops to fire upon the foreigners, and also to fire upon them when they were trying to escape.” He then disrobed himself to his waist, and reached out for a knife that was near him, which he thrust into his bowels, and leaning forward at the same time, the executioner, with one blow from his sword, severed his head from his body. This occurred about 10.30 p. m. The Japanese then bowed to the floor, on which we all did the same.
We were then asked if we were satisfied with what we had witnessed, when we replied in the affirmative. After a lapse of a few moments we were informed that all was over, when we arose and took our departure. The whole scene was one of great solemnity, and very impressive.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General R. B. Van Vankenburgh, Minister Resident of the United States in Japan,
Sir: I have received his Majesty’s command to apologize to you, for the unprovoked attack by the retainers of Bizen, upon the ministers and subjects of foreign powers, which offense is all the more grave from its being committed just at a time when the new government of the Imperial Court is being constituted. I am also commanded to state to the R. R. that the clans will be informed of the intention to cultivate mutual good faith, and strictly enjoined to abstain from such outrages upon our intercourse, and that consequently the Imperial Court holds itself responsible for all such acts.
I have, &c,
Note.—In the present case Hiki Tatewaki is condemned to be put in confinement, and Taki Zenaburo to commit hara-kiri, as shown by the enclosed document.
To Hiki Tatewaki, Retainer of Bizen, No Shoshô.
On the occasion of your passing through Kobé weapons were used against foreigners on the pretext that they had broken your ranks, and in aggravation of this the Americans and French, who were trying to escape, and also the foreign ministers, were fired upon, nor was any attempt made to arrange the matter there. This is an outrageous and criminal act. The reformation at present in course of being carried out causes much anxiety to the Imperial bosom, especially in the case of foreign relations, in which is greatly concerned the stability of the nation. His Majesty is determined, whilst preserving his own dignity, to act in accordance with the public law of the universe, and to perform those things which are right and proper.
To have disregarded this state of things, and to have, on the contrary, acted in a way calculated to cause shame to his Majesty, is a flagrant crime, and one which cannot be passed over.
The man who gave the order to fire is therefore condemned to perform hara-kiri in the presence of witnesses of the different nationalities.
Dated second month.
To Hiki Tatewaki, Retainer of Bizen, No Shoshô.
When you were passing through Kobé your followers committed an outrage on foreigners. As this is an act which cannot be passed over, they are punished for it. But as his Majesty is of opinion that it proceeded from the said man’s (Hiki Tatewaki’s) orders not being properly enforced, it is ordered that he be kept under arrest. Dated second month.