Japan and the High Treason Incident
Edited by Masako Gavin, Ben Middleton
Routledge – 2013 – 262 pages
The ‘High Treason Incident’ rocked Japanese society between 1910 and 1911, when police discovered that a group of anarchists and socialists were plotting to assassinate the Emperor Meiji. Following a trial held in camera, twelve of the so-called conspirators were hanged, but while the executions officially brought an end to the incident, they were only the initial outcome as the state became increasingly paranoid about national ideological cohesion. In response it deployed an array of new technologies of integration and surveillance, and the subsequent repression affected not only political movements, but the whole cultural sphere.
This book shows the far reaching impact of the high treason incident for Japanese politics and society, and the subsequent course of Japanese history. Taking an interdisciplinary and global approach, it demonstrates how the incident transformed modern Japan in numerous and unexpected ways, and sheds light on the response of authoritarian states to radical democratic opposition movements elsewhere. The contributors examine the effects of the incident on Japanese history, literature, politics and society, as well as its points of intersection with broader questions of anarchism, colonialism, gender and governmentality, to underline its historical and contemporary significance.
With chapters by leading Western and Japanese scholars, and drawing on newly available primary sources, this book is a timely and relevant study that will be of great interest to students and scholars working in the fields of Japanese history, Japanese politics, Japanese studies, as well as those interested in the history of social movements.
Introduction Vera Mackie and Yamaizumi Susumu Part 1: Assessing the Significance of the High Treason Incident: Now and Then in Japan 1. The Centennial of the High Treason Incident Ôta Masao 2. The Significance of the Centennial of the High Treason Incident Yamaizumi Susumu Part 2: Colonialism and the High Treason Incident 3. From 1910 to 2010: Japanese Colonialism and the Discursive Framework of High Treason Shimamura Teru 4. The Historical Context of the ‘High Treason Incident’: Governmentality and Colonialism Umemori Naoyuki Part 3: Anarchism and the High Treason Incident 5. An Ethos of Resistance: The Direct Action-Parliamentarism Debate of 1907 Kinoshita Chigaya 6. The Reaction of Jewish Anarchists to the High Treason Incident Tanaka Hikaru Part 4: Gender and the High Treason Incident 7. A Woman of Ill Fame: Reconfiguring the Historical Reputation and Legacy of Kanno Suga Hélène Bowen Raddeker 8. Four Women, Four Incidents: Gender, Activism and Martyrdom in Modern Japan Vera Mackie Part 5: Literature and the High Treason Incident 9. Revisiting ‘Izumiya Dyers’: Subaru, the Father and the High Treason Incident Tomoko Aoyama 10. Beyond Early Socialism: Kobayashi Takiji’s Sense of ‘Transition Periods’ Ogino Fujio Part 6: Biography and Ideology in the High Treason Incident and Beyond 11. Abe Isoo’s Social Democratic Commitments to Future Citizens after the High Treason Incident Masako Gavin 12. The High Treason Incident, Ôishi Seinosuke and the ‘Shingû Group’ Barbara Hartley 13. Kawakami Hajime and Inoue Tetsujirô’s Conflicting Views of Religion and the State: Nationalism and Liberalism After the High Treason Incident Yûshi Itô 14. Science, Christianity and Confucianism in the Lives of An Jung-geun, Kôtoku Shûsui, Ôsugi Sakae and Lu Xun Morris Low 15. Lives Lived, Lives Lost: Sketches of the Lives of the Defendants in the High Treason Incident of 1910-11 Ben Middleton Conclusion: Coda: The High Treason Incident and Beyond Ben Middleton
Masako Gavin is an Associate Professor in Japanese Studies at Bond University, Australia.
Ben Middleton is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Ferris University, Japan.