LTC Kingoro Hashimoto, leader of the ultranationalist Sakurakai Society

The “March Incident” of 1931 was an unsuccessful coup d’etat by the secret ultranationalist Sakurakai Society  (sakura, the cherry blossom was symbolic of the transient life of a soldier) within the Imperial Japanese Army. A new totalitarian military government was to eliminate political corruption, reduce the power of the zaibatsu, and promote socioeconomic equality. In the “October Incident”,  the Sakurakai tried and failed again. A sympathetic public forgave the plots as examples of overzealous patriotism, and judicial punishment was minimal.