Taishō Anarchism and the Russian Revolution of 1917: Takao Heibē (1895-1923)
(New York University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores an understudied topic of the relationship between Taishō anarchism and Russian communism. It demonstrates how with the support of Russian Bolsheviks, Japanese anarchism once again became a crucial part of Asia-wide radical networks.
Paper long abstract:
The Russian Revolution of 1917, communist ideology and Russian anarchism had a great impact on the intellectual, political, and cultural landscape of interwar Japan, and yet this topic has been largely understudied. Historians have neglected Japanese supporters of anarchism, an exception being the Japanese anarchist Ōsugi Sakae (1885-1923). This paper argues that so-called Taishō anarchism, while rooted in the substantial Japanese socialist tradition, was largely developed in conversation with Russian Bolshevism and that its attitude towards the Russian Revolution was not straightforwardly antagonistic, as studies of Ōsugi Sakae have suggested, but rather more complex and nuanced. Anarchist Takao Heibē (1895-1923) represents another current of Japanese anarchism, which wholeheartedly supported Russian Bolshevism and cultivated regional networks across East Asia by forming ties between fellow Japanese, Russian, Korean, and Chinese socialist radicals. By exploring Takao's convictions and networks, this paper demonstrates that Taishō anarchism developed as a transnational movement, its most important feature being Asia-wide resistance to Japanese imperialism inspired by the Russian Revolution.
The Circulation of Ideas between Japan and Northeast Asia: Possibilities and Limits of Global History