The incident of Ashikaga-sandai mokuzo kyoshu (足利三代木像梟首事件)

In the incident of Ashikaga-sandai mokuzo kyoshu, heads of the wooden images and the mortuary tablets of the first Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") of Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) Takauji ASHIKAGA, the second Seii taishogun Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA, and the third Seii taishogun Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA were taken away from Kyoto Jito-in Temple on April 9, 1863 in the late Edo period, and were cast to the riverbed of Kamo-gawa river.

The criminals were considered to be Mototsuna MIWADA and Masatane MOROOKA, disciples of the school of Atsutane HIRATA in the study of Japanese classical literature, and retainers of the Aizu Clan were also concerned. There was an article charging the three Ashikaga shoguns with being Gyakuzoku rebels. Heaven's punishment used to be given to those individuals that were a part of groups which were for opening Japan to the world, integrating the imperial court and the shogunate, but this incident was counted because destroying the heads of wooden images of the Ashikaga Shoguns implied that they wished to overthrow the Shogunate.

The incident occurred immediately before roshi-gumi (an organization of masterless samurai) publicly recruited in Edo went to Kyoto, and it was also considered an act of provocation. Katamori MATSUDAIRA, Kyoto shugoshiki (post of provincial constable), ordered the criminals arrested despite concern about an all-out uprising by the roshi, but the criminals were arrested in April and punished in August. Control over the roshi became stricter after the incident.

[Original Japanese]