The Omori bank robbery (大森銀行ギャング事件) was a bank robbery committed by members of the Japanese Communist Party in Ōmori-ku, Tokyo, Japan, in 1932. The bank robbery was dubbed the Omori Gang affair.[1]

Background edit

On 6 October 1932, three party members stole 31,700 yen from the Kawasaki Daihyaku Bank Ōmori Branch in an attempt to obtain funds for party operations.[2] The plan was unknown to all but one member of the central committee. The robbery badly discredited the party in the eyes of the public. The government took full advantage of the incident and subsequent trial to portray the party as a nest of gangsters, leading to the destruction of the Party.[3]

Perpetrators edit

Yusho Otsuka, who was the brother-in-law of Hajime Kawakami, hatched a plan to procure desperately needed funds for the party. He and an accomplice had held up the main branch of the Kawasaki Daihyaku Bank in Ōmori. He had used Kawakami's younger daughter, Yoshiko, to "drive alongside him in the getaway car to lend an air of respectability to their group escape." Yoshiko and Otsuka were able to outwit the police.[1] Biographer Yasutaka Saegusa believes that the writer Osamu Dazai was indirectly involved in the Omori Gang bank robbery.[4]

Arrests edit

The robbery put a high price on Otsuka's head. Otsuka decided to discontinue his visits to Kawakami.[1] In October 1932 police arrested party members involved in the armed robbery.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Gail Lee Bernstein (1990). Japanese Marxist: A Portrait of Kawakami Hajime, 1879–1946. Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 159–164. ISBN 9780674471948.
  2. ^ 銀行問題研究会, ed. (1936). 銀行犯罪史 [History of Bank Crimes] (in Japanese). 銀行問題研究会. p. 110. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  3. ^ Andrew E. Barshay (1 January 1988). State and Intellectual in Imperial Japan: The Public Man in Crisis. University of California Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 9780520060173.
  4. ^ Alan Stephen Wolfe (14 July 2014). Suicidal Narrative in Modern Japan: The Case of Dazai Osamu. Princeton University Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780691607832.
  5. ^ Elise K. Tipton (1990). The Japanese Police State: Tokko in Interwar Japan. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 132–133. ISBN 9780824813284.