Kaneko Fumiko: 'The will to die'
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Kaneko Fumiko: 'The will to die' book
From a hemp rope tied to iron bars, death by hanging in the bright morning sunshine. Kaneko Fumiko hanged herself in prison under the very noses of those checking on her every ten minutes or so!
Beside this account on page one of the Asahi Shinbun, more headlines ran: 'Body taken secretly to prison cemetery during the night' . Below there was more: '''It is not that we permitted her to commit suicide", insists the head of the prison branch; the lawyer, Fuse Tatsuji, says "Responsibility lies with the branch".'2 This was the Tochigi women's branch of Tokyo's Utsunomiya Prison where, in April, Fumiko had begun serving her life sentence. (Pak Yeol had been sent to Chiba Prison). Fuse, Defence Attorney for Fumiko and Pak Yeol, was quoted as saying that because the defendants had each been refusing to eat, he and their friends had wanted permission from the Assistant Chief of Police to visit and try to reason with them. The police official had also been concerned about the possibility of suicide, given that they had been pardoned by the emperor - for if they killed themselves no apology to 'His Benevolent, Gracious Majesty' would be enough to atone for the insult - but he still refused their friends permission to
visit. The surveillance of each of them was 'perfect', he insisted; there had been 'no cause for concern'.3