Episode 324 – The Teijin Scandal, Part 1

This week, we tackle a political scandal from 1930s Japan to dig deeper into the question: just why did Japan’s system of parliamentary government and liberal democracy, which seemed to be flourishing in the 1920s, fall apart so quickly in the 1930s?



Mitchell, Richard H. Political Bribery in Japan

Mitchell, Richard H. Justice in Japan: The Notorious Teijin Scandal

Johnson, Chalmers. MITI and the Japanese Miracle

Szpilman, Christopher W.A. “Conservatism and its Enemies in Prewar Japan: The Case of Hiranuma Kiichiro and the Kokuhonsha.” Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies 30, No. 2 (December, 1998)


Suzuki Shoten HQ (originally the Mikado Hotel) in Kobe, Japan. Suzuki did quite well for itself before its shocking collapse in 1927.
Suzuki Shoten HQ was burned down by a mob during the 1918 rice riots.
Scandals like the one that blew up around Souma Hanji (shown here circa 1938) and Meiji Sugar undermined public confidence in Japan’s govenrment.
Nakajima Kumakichi, one of the ministers whose public humiliation helped make politics even more toxic.
The infamous article Kumakichi wrote in the 20s, which would cost him his career.an