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Kōtoku Denjirō (幸徳 傳次郎, November 5, 1871 – January 24, 1911), better known by the nom de plume Kōtoku Shūsui (幸徳 秋水), was a Japanese socialist and anarchist who played a leading role in introducing anarchism to Japan in the early 20th century, particularly by translating the works of contemporary European and Russian anarchists, such as Peter Kropotkin, into Japanese. He was a radical journalist, and he was executed for treason by the Japanese government.

Kōtoku Shūsui
Kōtoku Shūsui
Born(1871-11-05)November 5, 1871
DiedJanuary 24, 1911(1911-01-24) (aged 39)
Tokyo, Japan
OccupationJournalist, anarchist, political agitator

He also contributed articles to Sekai Fujin (Women of the World), a socialist women's newspaper,[1] and co-founded the Heimin Shimbun (Common Peoples' Newspaper) with another Yorozu Chōhō journalist, Toshihiko Sakai. This paper's outspoken anti-war stance and disregard of the state's press laws landed its editors in trouble with the government on numerous occasions, and Kōtoku himself served a five-month jail sentence from February to July 1905.[2]

A clip from the Heimin Shimbun (13 November 1904)

His final work is Kirisuto Massatsuron (基督抹殺論, On the Obliteration of Christ). In this book, he claimed that Jesus was a mythical and unreal figure.[3][4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Japan and the High Treason Incident, edited by Masako Gavin, Ben Middleton November 1890 Page 110
  2. ^ Notehelfer, Frederick George (1971). "Chapter 4: Pacifist opposition to the Russo-Japanese War, 1903–5". Kōtoku Shūsui: Portrait of a Japanese Radical. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-0-521-07989-1. LCCN 76134620. OCLC 142930.
  3. ^ 基督抹殺論(Iwanami Shoten, Publishers website, Japanese)
  4. ^ Full text of "Japanese Thought In The Meiji Era Centenary Culture Council Series"

Further readingEdit

  • Sharon Sievers, (1983), Flowers in salt: The beginnings of feminist consciousness in modern Japan, Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, p. 157

External linksEdit