Re-tried Execution Case in Japan

  • The Yomiuri Newspaper on August 1, 1893
      On July 27, the Day of the OX (during the height of summer, when people in Japan customarily eat grilled eel with sweet soy sauce), an eel-cook was executed.
      Takanosuke NAGASHIMA, an atrocious murderer who put two persons to the sword in the Naito district of Shinjuku and who was employed as an eel-cook at Taketora Eel Restaurant in the same town, was executed at Ichigaya Prison. On that day, NAGASHIMA was summoned and brought to the Court where judgment was passed that he should be executed by hanging. NAGASHIMA deeply grieved over this sentence. After a while he said, "I have a critically important thing to say before my death, please give me a reprieve of three days." NAGASHIMA cried and wept bitterly, and he would not move an inch. But prison officers took him to the site of execution and positioned him on the gallows.
      An old officer with white hair whispered (to this reporter), "I don't know why the noose came off NAGASHIMA's neck. He fell down to the ground not once but twice. This was an unprecedented happening. Moreover, it is mysterious that even though there might have been another day when NAGASHIMA could have been hanged, the eel-cook was executed on the Day of the OX.