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Japanese dissidence during the Shōwa period

Japanese dissidence during the Shōwa period was dissidence by Japanese citizens of the Empire of Japan (1868–1947) during the Shōwa period, the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito (1926–1989). The Shōwa period witnessed the rise of militarism in Japan, and the Empire of Japan's full-scale invasion of China in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), which escalated into a full-scale invasion of the Asian continent during the Pacific theatre of World War II (1941–1945). Throughout the period, there was Political repression in Imperial Japan.

Pre-war period

The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) was founded on July 15, 1922. The JCP was suppressed by the Imperial Japanese government. Mass round ups took place in March 15 1928, and were followed by mass round ups on April 16 1929. Party activities ceased on an organized basis following the arrest of Hakamada Satomi of the Central Committee in early 1935.[1]

In 1933, faculty and students of Kyoto Imperial University protested against the government's suspension of Professor Yukitoki Takigawa from the university. The government was able to suppress the protests. This incident became known as the Takigawa incident.[2]

The anarchist movement in Japan collapsed in 1935 following the nationwide roundup of members of anarchist groups.[3]

Labor activism was active amongst both the rural, and urban workers of Japan. By 1938, the government could no longer tolerate dissent amongst the working class. In 1940, labor unions in Japan were dissolved, and replaced by the ultranationalistic Industrial Association for Serving the Nation (Sangyō Hōkokukai, or Sampō).[4]

World War II period

According to Saburo Ienaga, organized resistance was absent in wartime Japan. Only passive resistance, and insignificant protests occurred. Some Japanese went abroad, where a number of them, along with Japanese POWs, joined the Chinese resistance to the Empire of Japan[5] [6] Dissidents still in Japan were imprisoned[7] or had made Tenkō.[8]

There was dissidence from members of the Sōka Gakkai, a religious movement founded in 1930 by Japanese Teacher Tsunesaburō Makiguchi and Jōsei Toda. In 1943, Makiguchi, and Toda, along with others, were imprisoned for advising their followers not to buy amulets from the Grand Shrine of Ise. Makiguchi died in prison.[9] Toda was released in July 1945. He rebuilt the Sokka Gakkai after the war.[10]



Japanese dissidence in popular culture

See also


  1. ^ Robert A. Scalapino (1967). The Japanese Communist movement, 1920-1966. University of California Press. 
  2. ^ Itoh, Mayumi (2003). The Hatoyama Dynasty: Japanese Political Leadership Through the Generations. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 62. ISBN 9781403981523. 
  3. ^ George M. Beckmann, and Genji Okubo (1969). The Japanese Communist Party 1922-1945. Stanford University Press. p. 71. 
  4. ^ "Political Protest in Interwar Japan Part I 戦間期日本の政治的抗議活動 「上」 :: JapanFocus". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Roth, Andrew (1945). Dilemma in Japan. Little, Brown. pp. 162–192. 
  6. ^ Ienaga ,Saburo (2010). Pacific War, 1931-1945. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 203–228. 
  7. ^ Takemae, Eiji (2003). Allied Occupation of Japan. A&C Black. pp. 235–240. 
  8. ^ James L. Huffman (Oct 31, 2013). Modern Japan: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Nationalism. Routledge. pp. 85–87. 
  9. ^ Bibliography of Japanese New Religious Movements By Peter B Clarke Page 235
  10. ^ Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers By Katherine Marshall Page 107

Further reading

  • Saburo Ienaga (2010). Pacific War, 1931-1945. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 
  • Roth, Andrew (1945). Dilemma in Japan. Little, Brown. pp. 162–192.