Asano Jugoi Nagayori (1865-1886)
The tragic death of a Japanese nobleman’s son.
A distinctive pink granite obelisk, inscribed in English and Japanese, marks the grave of this young man.
In 1886, Nagayori was found dying in his Kensington lodgings. He had come to London to study law, leaving his young wife behind in Japan. He was probably encouraged to come here by his high ranking father, Marquis Nagakoto Asano, an influential politician and diplomat.
Nagayori was suffering from ‘melancholia’, possibly as a result of being lonely and so far from home, and had taken his own life. He was just 21 years old.
The newspapers were interested in the story because it involved a young man who ‘held the rank of prince in his own country’. They reported the inquest’s finding that Nagayori had died from a self-inflicted bullet wound. The jury returned a verdict of ‘Suicide whilst of unsound mind’.
They also reported that Nagayori’s embalmed body was only to be temporarily interred before being taken back to Japan. In the end, Nagayori has remained beneath the pink obelisk at Brompton Cemetery.