Social Relations

The Christian Current in Japanese Socialism – “Shin Kigen” (New Era) and Bronisław Piłsudski


Piłsudski also met with socialists from the Christian current.

Abe Isoo

Isoo Abe, educated in Berlin and the USA, a Protestant preacher and lecturer at the university in Tokyo, and a member of the parliament in his later days, was an important activist of the Christian current of socialism. Abe was also one of the main promoters of feminism in Japan, and it was probably in this context that Piłsudski, interested in the women’s issue, spoke with Abe’s female associates. Abe founded the “Shin Kigen” (New Era) periodical and it was in the editorial office of that magazine that Pilsudski met him and others.

Abe Isoo

Sanshirō Ishikawa

Ishikawa, educated in law and philosophy, collaborated with Shusui Kōtoku and the editorial board of “Heiminsha”, and strongly criticized the Russo-Japanese war. While working with Abe, he served as the editor-in-chief of “Shin Kigen” (New Era). He also took up a job as a managing director of the feminist magazine “Sekai fujin” (Women of the World).

Sanshirō Ishikawa

Bronisław Piłsudski went to meet with socialists close to the “Shin Kigen”, first at their office, and then at lunch they had together on a monthly basis, on 25 February 1906. During the lunch at the Iroha restaurant, a commemorative photo of Piłsudski with the activists was taken.

Naoe Kinoshita

Naoe Kinoshita was a Christian journalist and writer who was involved in the women’s liberation movement; he was also one of the co-founders of the Social Democratic Party established in 1901 and outlawed a short time later. He also founded and wrote for the paper “Heimin Shinbun” (People’s Newspaper), wrote many articles, and focused on criticizing the Russo-Japanese war – he was a pacifist in line with his Christian worldview. Somehow this pacifism must have appealed to Bronisław Piłsudski, who always sought to settle disputes peacefully and avoid violence. Piłsudski met with him at the editorial office of the “Shin Kigen” newspaper.

Naoe Kinoshita

Shōken Kamitsukasa

He was a writer and journalist collaborating with the “Yomiuri Shinbun” and managed the literary section of the newspaper. His recollection of Bronisław Piłsudski, with whom he met in a restaurant in Ginza, not far from Hakodateyi, has been preserved; they held their conversations in French. Kamitsukasa recalled that when asked if he had seen anything special in the Japanese people, Piłsudski replied that they seemed not to notice anything and, moreover, when riding in the same carriage, they looked at each other with hostility, did not speak, and ignored each other. An interesting observation, probably not without reason…

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