Ikki Kita

Ikki Kita (北 一輝 Kita Ikki, 3 April 1883 – 19 August 1937; real name: Kita Terujirō (北 輝次郎)) was a Japanese author, intellectual and political philosopher who was active in early-Shōwa period Japan. A harsh critic of the Emperor system and the Meiji Constitution, he asserted that the Japanese were not the emperor's people, rather the Emperor was the "people's emperor". He advocated a complete reconstruction of Japan through a form of statist, right-wing socialism. Kita was in contact with many people on the extreme right of Japanese politics, and wrote pamphlets and books expounding his ideas. The government saw Kita's ideas as disruptive and dangerous; in 1937 he was implicated, although not directly involved, in a failed coup attempt and executed. He is still widely read in academic circles in Japan.

Kita Ikki
Kita Ikki (北 一輝, Kita Ikki)
Kita Ikki (北 一輝 Kita Ikki)
BornKita Terujirō (北 輝次郎)
April 3, 1883
Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, Japan
DiedAugust 19, 1937 (aged 54)
EducationWaseda University
SubjectPolitical philosophy
Notable worksAn Outline Plan for the Reorganization of Japan (日本改造法案大綱 Nihon Kaizō Hōan Taikō) 1919


Kita was born on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, where his father was a sake merchant. Sado island had a reputation for being rebellious, and Kita took some pride in this. He studied Chinese classics in his youth and became interested in socialism at the age of 14. In 1900 he began publishing articles in a local newspaper criticizing the Kokutai theory. This led to a police investigation which was later dropped. In 1904 he moved to Tokyo, where he audited lectures at Waseda University. He met many influential figures in the early socialist movement in Japan but quickly became disillusioned; the movement was, according to him, full of "opportunists".[nb 1][1]


He published his first book in 1906 after one year of research – a 1,000-page political treatise, The Theory of Japan's National Polity and Pure Socialism (国体論及び純正社会主義).[2] In it, he criticized the government ideology of Kokutai and warned that socialism in Japan was in danger of degenerating into a watered down, simplified form of itself because socialists were too keen on compromising. His socialism, however, owed little to Marxism and was instead a nationalist brand of socialism that resisted foreign influence as incompatible with Japan.[2] The result had nothing in common with any Marxian notions of "socialism from below".[nb 1]

Kita was also attracted to the cause of the Chinese Revolution of 1911, and became a member of the Tongmenghui (United League) led by Song Jiaoren. He traveled to China to assist in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty.

However, Kita was also interested in the radical right wing. The right-wing, ultra-nationalist Kokuryūkai (Amur River Association/Black Dragon Society), founded in 1901, was part of a current that has a history traceable back to the Genyosha (Deep Ocean Society/Genkai Straits Society) of 1881, founded by Tōyama Mitsuru. Tōyama, with many contacts in the Japanese establishment over a period of fully half a century, in turn claimed to be the rightful successor to Saigō Takamori, who pushed for Japanese expansion to the Asian mainland in the early Meiji era.

Kita—who held views on Russia and Korea from almost a decade earlier that were already remarkably similar to those espoused by the Kokuryukai—was sent by that organization as a special member, who would write for them from China and send reports on the ongoing situation at the time of the 1911 Xinhai revolution. In his book on Kita, George Wilson tries to play down or deemphasize all such matters.[6]

Kita's article called "Tut-tut, those who oppose the war [with Russia]" showed he had little time for "those idiots" who opposed the Russo-Japanese war. In addition, Kita's first book, the Kokutairon book (the one purportedly on "pure socialism"), was banned upon publication. Some have argued from this to assert that Kita must have been deemed a radical threat from the left to the government. However, the case of Uchida Ryohei's anti-Russian book Roshiya bokoku ron (On Decaying Russia) was also subjected to a ban upon its appearance, five years prior to Kita's own suppression by the authoritarian Meiji state. The government had a predilection for banning books, irrespective of whether they stemmed from the right or from the left of the political spectrum.

By the time Kita returned to Japan in January 1920, he had become very disillusioned with the Chinese Revolution, and the strategies offered by it for the changes he envisioned. He joined Ōkawa Shūmei and others to form the Yuzonsha, an ultranationalist and Pan-Asianist organization, and devoted his time to writing and political activism. He gradually became the leading theorist and philosopher of the right-wing movement in pre-World War II Japan.

His political proposal

Kita first outlined his philosophy of nationalistic socialism in his book The Theory of Japan's National Polity and Pure Socialism (国体論及び純正社会主義 Kokutairon oyobi Junsei Shakaishugi), published in 1906, where he criticized Marxism and the class conflict-oriented socialism as outdated. He instead emphasised on an exposition of the evolutionary theory in understanding the basic guidelines of the societies and the nations. In this book Kita explicitly promotes the platonic state authoritarianism emphasizing the close relationship between Confucianism and the "from above" concept of the national socialism stating that Mencius is the Plato of the East and that Plato's concept of organizing a society is far preferable to Marx's. Kita's second book is entitled An Informal History of the Chinese Revolution (支那革命外史Shina Kakumei Gaishi and is a critical analysis of the Chinese Revolution of 1911.

His political views over the national and political future of Japan first appeared in various articles he penned from 1903 to 1906, while he was still based on Sado. It reappeared in his last major book on politics, An Outline Plan for the Reorganization of Japan (日本改造法案大綱 Nihon Kaizō Hōan Taikō), first published in 1919, and republished in 1923. The common theme to his first and last political works is the notion of a national policy (Kokutai), through which Japan would lead a united and free Asia (see pan-Asianism). According to his political program, a coup d'état would be necessary as to impose a more-or-less totalitarian regime based on a direct rule by a powerful leader. Due to the unconditional respect that the Emperor enjoyed in the Japanese society, he identified him as the ideal person to play that role, suspending the Constitution and radically reorganize the Diet to be free of any "malign influence". The new "National Reorganization Diet" would nationalize certain strategic industries, impose limits on individual wealth and private property, enact a land reform to benefit the farmers, as to strengthen Japan enable it to liberate Asia from Western imperialism.[7] This was termed the Shōwa Restoration.[8]

In its historical prospect Kita's political program was for creating a state socialism in a rather fascistic oriented "socialism from above", as a tool to unite and strengthen the Japanese society in order to materialize the core element of his program, the unification of all Yellow peoples in a common empire, under common spiritual values. To this end, according to his view both agrarianism, social justice and militarism needed to be implemented as the only way to win the people's support as well as the reaction of the major Western Imperialistic Powers. In short, although he called for overseas expansion as, among other reasons, a way to relieve the increasing population pressures in the Japanese mainland, he saw this program as being in harmony with the other "Yellow" nations' interests, in a racist-oriented way of liberation and unification of the Asian people rather than in a nationalistic way of occupation in a Western-like colonial fashion. However, Walter Skya notes that in On the Kokutai and Pure Socialism, Kita rejected the Shintoist view of far-right nationalists such as Hozumi Yatsuka that Japan was an ethnically homogeneous "family state" descended through the Imperial line from the goddess Amaterasu Omikami, emphasizing the presence of non-Japanese in Japan since ancient times. He argued that along with the incorporation of Chinese, Koreans, and Russians as Japanese citizens during the Meiji period, any person should be able to naturalize as a citizen of the empire irrespective of race, with the same rights and obligations as ethnic Japanese. According to Ikki, the Japanese empire couldn't otherwise expand into areas populated by non-Japanese people without having to "exempt them from their obligations or ... expel them from the empire."[9]

His younger brother Reikichi Kita, political philosopher who learnt 5 years in US and Europe later wrote that Ikki had been familiar with Kiichiro Hiranuma, then Chief of the Supreme Court of Justice, and in his paper in 1922 he had fiercely condemned Adolph Joffe then Russian diplomat to Japan.[10]

This eclectic blend of racism, socialism and spiritual principles[nb 2] is one of the reasons why Kita's ideas have been difficult to understand in the specific historical circumstances of Japan between the two world wars. Some have argued that this is also one of the reasons why it is hard for the historians to agree on Kita’s political stance, though Nik Howard takes the view that Kita's ideas were actually highly consistent ideologically throughout his career, with relatively small shifts in response to the changing reality he faced at any given time.[11]

His linguistic proposal

It is not widely known that the sennaciismo (literally `anationalism', which advocated the exclusive world-wide use of Esperanto) of Eugène Lanti, a French Esperantist, had its forerunners in East Asia. In 1919, when Eugène Adam (the real name of Lanti) still believed in a merely auxiliary role of Esperanto, KITA Ikki, developed his fantasy into a revolutionary program according to which the Empire of Japan should adopt Esperanto. He foresaw that 100 years after its adoption the language would be the only tongue spoken in Japan proper and the vast territory conquered by it. It is even less known that Kita was inspired by several Chinese anarchists he befriended, who called for the substitution of Esperanto for Chinese at the beginning of the twentieth century[12][13].

Arrest and execution

Kita's Outline Plan, his last book, exerted a major influence on a part of the Japanese military—especially in the Imperial Japanese Army factions who participated in the failed coup of 1936. After the coup attempt, Kita was arrested by the Kempeitai for complicity, tried by a closed military court, and executed.[14]

In fiction

See also


  1. ^ As analysed by, for example, Hal Draper, who contrasts this current to its opposite, "socialism from above";[3] however, Japanese labor historian Stephen Large also employs this conceptual couplet of "socialism from above and from below" in a book on the inter-war Japanese socialist movement.[4] John Crump's research on the origins of Japanese socialism essentially argues that none of the early Japanese socialists of the late Meiji period consistently broke with capitalist socioeconomic and political relations in theory or in practice.[5]
  2. ^ Masking a deeper consistency from the time of his early articles: he calls for Japanese expansion to Korea and Manchuria, as well as for militant war with Russia and Britain—whom he dubs "landlord nations", with Japan a so-called "proletarian nation".


  1. ^ Wilson, George M. Radical nationalists in Japan: Kita Ikki 1883-1937. Harward University Press, Cambridge, 1969
  2. ^ a b Koschmann, J. Victor (1978). Authority and the Individual in Japan. University of Tokyo Press.
  3. ^ Draper, Hal (1963). The Two Souls of Socialism: socialism from below v. socialism from above. New York: Young People's Socialist League. OCLC 9434175.
  4. ^ Large, Stephen S. (1981). Organized Workers and Socialist Politics in Interwar Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23675-1. OCLC 185302691.
  5. ^ Crump, John (1983). The Origins of Socialist Thought in Japan. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-58872-4. OCLC 9066549.
  6. ^ Wilson, George Macklin (1969). Radical Nationalist in Japan: Kita Ikki, 1883–1937. Harvard East Asian Series. 37. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. OCLC 11889.
  7. ^ James L. McClain, Japan: A Modern History p 438 ISBN 0-393-04156-5
  8. ^ James L. McClain, Japan: A Modern History p 437 ISBN 0-393-04156-5
  9. ^ Walter Skya, Japan's Holy War: the Ideology of Radical Shinto Ultranationalism pp.123–125 ISBN 978-0822344230
  10. ^ Reikichi Kita (Ja) (1951). Plofile of Heikichi Ogawa (Japanese version) p.p.55, 61. Japan and Japanese (Ja) 2(3).
  11. ^ Howard, Nik (Summer 2004). "Was Kita Ikki a Socialist?". The London Socialist Historians Group Newsletter (21). London: London Socialist Historians Group. Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
  12. ^ Hiroyuki Usui, A Japanese ultranationalist and Chinese anarchists: unknown forerunners of "sennaciismo" in the East, Conference on Esperanto Studies,
  13. ^ (eo) Hiroyuki Usui, Prelego pri Esperanto por japanoj en Pekino (Lecture about Esperanto for Japanese in Beijing), China.Espernto.org.cn, 29th January 2013.
  14. ^ James L. McClain, Japan: A Modern History p 439 ISBN 0-393-04156-5

Further reading

  • Saaler, Sven; Szpilman, Christopher W.A. (2011). Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-0596-3.
  • Tankha, Brij (2006). Kita Ikki And the Making of Modern Japan: A vision of empire. Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental. ISBN 978-1-901903-99-7. OCLC 255304652.
  • Kamal, Niraj (2003). Arise, Asia! Respond to white peril. Delhi: Wordsmiths. ISBN 978-81-87412-08-3. OCLC 51586701.

External links

1937 in Japan

Events in the year 1937 in Japan.

Argentine Fascist Party

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Argentine Patriotic League

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Blueshirts (Falange)

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Double Leaf Society

The Double Leaf Society (双葉会(陸軍), Futabakai) was a Japanese military secret society of the 1920s.

The Futabakai was one of many ultranationalist secret societies which had arisen within the Japanese military, from the Meiji period through World War II. The Futabakai consisted mainly of mid-level officers (colonels and majors) who had graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy between 1907–1916, who now found their prospects for promotion to the rank of general very slim due to domination of the upper ranks of the military by officers from the former Chōshū domain. Although initially founded to purge the "corrupt" elements out the Imperial Japanese Army, it later became associated with foreign policy issues, and influenced by the writings of Ikki Kita and Okawa Shumei.This historical Futabakai has no connection with the modern yakuza organization based in Fukuoka.


Fascio (pronounced [ˈfaʃʃo]; plural fasci) is an Italian word literally meaning "a bundle" or "a sheaf", and figuratively "league", and which was used in the late 19th century to refer to political groups of many different (and sometimes opposing) orientations. A number of nationalist fasci later evolved into the 20th century Fasci movement, which became known as fascism.

Fascism in Canada

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The Canadian Union of Fascists, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was modeled on Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. Its leader was Chuck Crate.

Parti National Social Chrétien was founded in Quebec in February 1934 by Adrien Arcand. In October 1934, the party merged with the Canadian Nationalist Party, which was based in the prairie provinces. In June 1938, it merged with Nazi groups from Ontario and Quebec (many of which were known as Swastika clubs), to form the National Unity Party.Fascist concepts and policies, such as eugenics, formulated in the US, found a friendly reception in Canada in some provinces, such as Alberta, where, under a Social Credit government, alleged mental defectives and other 'non-producers' were involuntarily sterilized to prevent the birth of more similar people. Social democrat Tommy Douglas, Premier of Saskatchewan, wrote his 1933 master thesis paper endorsing some of the ideas of eugenics, but later abandoned and rejected such notions.

Fighting Elegy

Fighting Elegy (けんかえれじい, Kenka erejii) is a 1966 Japanese film directed by Seijun Suzuki. Filmmaker Kaneto Shindō adapted the script from the novel by Takashi Suzuki. The film has also screened under the titles Violence Elegy, Elegy to Violence, Elegy for a Quarrel and The Born Fighter at various film festivals and retrospectives.

Heroic capitalism

Heroic capitalism or dynamic capitalism was a concept that Italian Fascism took from Werner Sombart's explanations of capitalist development. This phase was known by Sombart as early capitalism. In 1933, Benito Mussolini claimed that capitalism began with dynamic or heroic capitalism (1830-1870) followed by static capitalism (1870-1914) and then reached its final form of decadent capitalism, known also as supercapitalism, which began in 1914.Mussolini argued that although he did not support this type of capitalism he considered it at least a dynamic and heroic form. Some Fascists, including Mussolini, considered it a contribution to the industrialism and technical developments, but they claimed not to favour the creation of supercapitalism in Italy due to its strong agricultural sector.Mussolini claimed that dynamic or heroic capitalism inevitably degenerates into static capitalism and then supercapitalism due to the concepts of bourgeois economic individualism. Instead, he proposed a state supervised economy, although he contrasted it to Russian state supercapitalism. Italian Fascism presented the economic system of corporatism as the solution that would preserve private initiatives and property while allowing the state and the syndicalist movement to intervene in the economy in the matters where private initiative intervenes in public affairs. This system would lead also to some nationalizations when necessary and the greatest participation of the employees in all the aspects of the company and in the utility given by the company.

Kita (surname)

Kita is a Japanese and Polish surname. As a Japanese surname it might be written various ways in kanji (e.g. 北 meaning "north"; 木田 meaning "field of trees"; 喜多 meaning "many happinesses"). Notable people with the surname include:

Ikki Kita (北 一輝, 1883–1937), Japanese philosopher

Seiichi Kita (喜多 誠一, 1886–1947), lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army

Rentaro Kita (北 廉太郎, 1920–1940), Japanese ryūkōka singer

Morio Kita (北 杜夫, 1927–2011), Japanese novelist

Toshiyuki Kita (喜多 俊之, born 1942), Japanese furniture designer

Hideki Kita (喜多 秀喜, born 1952), Japanese long-distance runner

Waldemar Kita (born 1953), Polish businessman

Takuya Kita (北卓也, born 1972), Japanese basketball coach

Kensuke Kita (喜多 建介, born 1977), Japanese vocalist and guitarist

Yasushi Kita (喜多 靖, born 1978), Japanese football defender

Kazuma Kita (北 一真, born 1981), Japanese football goalkeeper

Atsushi Kita (北 篤, born 1988), Japanese baseball outfielder

Przemysław Kita (born 1993), Polish football striker

Sumire Kita (喜田 純鈴, born 2001), Japanese gymnast

Candace Kita, American actress

List of fascist movements by country

This is a list of political parties, organizations, and movements that have been claimed to follow some form of fascist ideology. Since definitions of fascism vary, entries in this list may be controversial. For a discussion of the various debates surrounding the nature of fascism, see fascism and ideology and definitions of fascism.

This list has been divided into four sections for reasons of length:

List of fascist movements by country A–F

List of fascist movements by country G–M

List of fascist movements by country N–T

List of fascist movements by country U–Z

National Fascist Party (Argentina)

The National Fascist Party of Argentina (Partido Nacional Fascista) was a fascist political party formed in 1923. In 1932, a group broke away from the party to form the Argentine Fascist Party, which eventually became a mass movement in the Córdoba region of Argentina.

Proletarian nation

Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations" (nazioni plutocratiche). Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.

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Statism in Shōwa Japan

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This statist movement dominated Japanese politics during the first part of the Shōwa period (reign of Hirohito). It was a mixture of ideas such as Japanese ultranationalism, militarism and state capitalism, that were proposed by a number of contemporary political philosophers and thinkers in Japan.

Tanaka Chigaku

Tanaka Chigaku (田中智學, 1861–1939) was a Japanese Buddhist scholar and preacher of Nichiren Buddhism, orator, writer and ultranationalist propagandist in the Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa periods. He is considered to be the father of Nichirenism, the fiercely ultranationalistic blend of Nichiren Buddhism and Japanese Nationalism espoused by such figures as Nissho Inoue, Kanji Ishiwara and Ikki Kita. Notably, however, the children's writer, poet, and rural activist Kenji Miyazawa also idolized Tanaka, and both Miyazawa and Ishiwara joined his flagship organization, the Kokuchūkai, in 1920.

Tropical fascism

In African political science, tropical fascism is a type of post-colonial state which is either considered fascist or is seen to have strong fascist tendencies. Gnassingbé Eyadéma dictator of Togo and leader of the Rally of the Togolese People, Mobutu Sese Seko dictator of Zaire and leader of the Popular Movement of the Revolution and Idi Amin dictator of Uganda have all been considered an example of tropical fascism in Africa. The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic and larger Hutu Power movement, a Hutu ultranationalist and supremacist movement that organized and committed the Rwandan Genocide aimed at exterminating the Tutsi people of Rwanda, has been regarded as a prominent example of tropical fascism in Africa. Pol Pot and The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia has been called a tropical fascist regime, as they officially renounced communism in 1981.

Young Egypt Party (1933)

The Young Egypt Party (Arabic: حزب مصر الفتاة‎, Misr El-Fatah) was an Egyptian political party.

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