- 14 Mar 2002
- Reaction score
A letter of a Japanese diplomat, Horiguchi Kumaichi (堀口 九萬一, 1865-1945), assistant consul in Korea in 1895, reveals his confession to taking part in the 1895 assassination of Korean Empress Myeongseong. Steve Hasegawa, a Nagoya-based expert on stamps, obtained the letters at an antique market.
The assassination came after the queen sought help from Russia in her attempt to remove Japanese influence from Korea after the Triple Intervention in 1895. That was a diplomatic intervention by Russia, Germany and France over the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Japan had imposed the treaty on the Qing Dynasty of China after emerging victorious from the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). But the diplomatic intervention forced Japan to return the Liaodong Peninsula to the Qing Dynasty, which it had acquired after the war, and weakened Japan's influence in Korea. Kumaichi Horiguchi (1865-1945), who was assistant consul in Korea, was the diplomat who wrote the eight recently unearthed letters. He had sent the letters to Teisho Takeishi, his best friend in his hometown Nakadori (currently Nagaoka) in Niigata Prefecture, who was a scholar of Chinese classics.