Shoichiro Sasaki, 80, never forgets Aug. 1, 1943 — the day he witnessed his father, a free-thinking journalist, die under extraordinary circumstances before his own eyes.

Sasaki, a former NHK TV drama director who has won numerous awards at home and abroad, is convinced that his father was assassinated by the tokko (tokubetsu koto keisatsu, or Special Higher Police), a police force that investigated political groups and ideologies deemed a threat to public order from 1911 to 1945.

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