Episode 177 – Red Star Over Tokyo, Part 2

The revolution comes to Japan…but not really. Today we explore the birth and very rapid death of Japan’s first socialist party, and the rise of its communist movement.

Listen to the episode here.


Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Gordon, Andrew. Labor and Imperial Democracy In Prewar Japan.

Beckman, George M and Genji Okubo. The Japanese Communist Party, 1920-1945.


Katayama Sen, one of Japan’s first real Marxist advocates. He would die in the Soviet Union in the 1930s after two decades of exile.
Christian Socialist Suzuki Bunji speaking to crowds in 1917. Though the Japan Socialist Party was not long for this world –at least at first — socialist parties continued to operate until all parties were dissolved in 1940.
Another rally led by Suzuki Bunji.
Nosaka Sanzo, one of the founding members of the Japan Communist Party.