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Title: The agrarian foundations of early twentieth-century Japanese anarchism : Ishikawa Sanshirō's revolutionary practices of everyday life, 1903-1945
Author: Willems, Nadine
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 4784
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation examines the link between anarchism and agrarian thought in modern Japan through the investigation of the life and ideas of radical intellectual Ishikawa Sanshiro (1876-1956). I track its emergence from the time of Ishikawa's involvement in the socialist movement in the early 1900s to its development during his exile years in Europe between 1913 and 1920 and then after his return home through to the end of the Pacific War. I show how concern for the traditions and condition of farming communities informed a certain strand of non-violent anarchism premised on environmental awareness and cooperative principles fostered through the practices of everyday life. By rescuing from near historiographical oblivion a major dissenting figure of modern Japan, this study gives prominence to a distinctive anarchist intellectual contribution. I examine both the theoretical premises and related socio-political applications, highlighting Ishikawa's role for over five decades as a creative force of social change and a bulwark against authoritarianism. Thus, this work puts forward a more nuanced understanding of the movement of popular agrarianism that marked the interwar period, often pigeon-holed by historians as an adjunct of radical nationalism. I also probe the ecological critique embedded in Ishikawa's vision of the man-nature interaction, which remained vital over the decades and has direct relevance to presentday concerns. The tracing of Ishikawa's connections, both transnational and within Japan, provides the main methodological axis of this study. It appraises dissenting politics through the lens of actual praxis rather than categorization of ideological differences. Likewise, transnational connections are given agency as a mutually creative process rather than as a unidirectional transmission of ideas and values from West to East.
Supervisor: Konishi, Sho Sponsor: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anarchism--Japan ; Socialism--Japan ; Japan--Intellectual life--20th century ; Japan--History--20th century ; Japan--Social conditions--20th century