Episode 175 – The Great Commoner

This week, it’s time for Japan’s first party politician: Hara Takashi. Was he a populist hero or a wannabe elite? And in the end, does that even really matter?

 Listen to the episode here.
Najita, Tetsuo. Hara Kei in the Politics of Compromise.
Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.
Dickinson, Frederick. World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan. 
Hara during his time as an attache to the Japanese embassy in Paris.
The current HQ of the Mainichi Shimbun in Osaka. Hara’s old paper is still going strong.
The 1918 Rice Riots helped propel Hara Takashi to the center of Japanese politics.
Hara as a party politician. I think this photo does a good job of capturing his style, which is very clearly an elite one. That doesn’t look like a populist to me.
Hara Takashi in his formal palace jacket as Prime Minister.