Libero International No.2

Libero International 2 cover

Issue No. 2 of the Japanese journal Libero International. The exact date of publication is unknown, but presumed to be in 1975.

Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

Where We’re At

Phew! After a constipated couple of months, we finally made it with No. 2. Like someone said once, when you decide you want to put out a new paper, you first decide what you want it to be, aim for it in the first issue, and usually miss by miles. Then the second time you take better aim, get a bit closer, and so on. We think we got closer in this second issue to what we originally planned to do, which was to present a libertarian perspective on Asia, past and present: in a word, "to protect the future by opening up the past".

Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

For the past two centuries or so, Asian history has been the constant casualty of successive rewriting attempts. First came the Western imperialists, under whose guiding hand educated Asians came to date the birth of their history and culture to the day when the "long ships", "black ships" etc. first appeared on the horizon. The mental distortions which this myth created kept the great mass of the Asian peoples in check for more than a century (with a few exceptions, such as the Korean anarchist/nationalist historian, Shin Chae-ho).

Nationalism, much maligned though it is, was the strongest weapon with which to fight the corrupt, semi-feudal regimes foisted upon the people by their colonial-educated elites and their white masters. Stifled in the beginning by the subtle process of cultural imperialism (recently displayed in the carrying-off of Vietnamese babies to the US), it found a voice in the post-Lenin programme for colonial liberation. However, instead of freely encouraging nationalist feelings, this programme ultimately subordinated them to a precisely mapped-out future. "Nationalism" meant "bourgeois nationalism", through which the aspirations of the great mass of the people were again stifled in the interests of the Kremlin.

The corollary to all this was that, just as the pre-liberation history of the peoples of Asia began with their colonization by Western imperialism, so the history of their struggle for liberation began with the founding of the CPs in each country. China, Korea, Indochina - all are victims of this process. Before the event, there was only chaos; from that time the light shines at the end of the tunnel. All ruling elites, in Asia as elsewhere, seek to justify and whitewash their acquisition of power, fearing the avenging wrath of history.

Thus Asian history, already one re-written, was re-re-written yet still with a view to obscuring the truth in the name of preordained destiny. The Asian anarchists were but a tiny minority of those affected by these successive master-plans for cultural/political hegemony, yet their experience was typical. What we'll be trying to do in Libero International is, among other things, to set the historical record straight, to document the role of the Asian peoples themselves in their fight for freedom and dignity. "To protect the future" means to destroy the myth that only thru the all-seeing eye of the CP can Asians view the road ahead. "Opening up the past" means showing that the Asian peoples existed long before the imperialists arrived, and began struggling against the foreign yoke long before the party line told them how to do it. Confidence in the past creates confidence for the future.

On the other hand, this is not to advocate some minority position which denies the facts of life in Asia today. The dominoes are falling neatly into place - SE Asia is "going communist" (as we type this, PRG soldiers are marching into Saigon), and anarchists must be very clear about where they stand. "Neither Washington nor Hanoi!" was the rallying-cry of the 60s. This slogan is out of date. An anarchist society will not be created overnight, least of all in Asia, where a "workers'state" led by the CP is a very likely outcome of all the liberation movements for some time to come. For authoritarian Marxism is a logical outgrowth of capitalism; it sustains and exploits the mental contortions generated by "free competition".

The CPs in Asia not only would not, but could not create a libertarian society in an area devastated by high explosive, defoliated by super-insecticides, de-humanized by population control measures, and now, most probably, to be de-stabilized by CIA intrigue. However, what they have achieved, through calling upon the power to resist of the people themselves, is the most important revolutionary task in Asia today: the discrediting and expulsion of Amerikan neo-fascist imperialism. Western anarchists who do not recognize these facts only perpetuate the West's inherent blindness towards Asia. The Marxist liberation movements in Asia today, in the post-Amerikan (Amerikan military, that is - the CIA is far from defeated) era, must be given critical support, just as the Russian anarchists initially supported the Bolsheviks. When they begin to turn the revolution back on itself, however, as the Bolsheviks did, they must be attacked and exposed without fail.

This demands, as Kropotkin said, that we not only talk about revolution, but actively prepare ourselves for the work to be done during the process, particularly economic work. It also demands that we understand the importance of nationalism for popular mobilization in Asia. In a future issue we mean to put together a more comprehensive treatment of this question, probably the most important one facing anarchists in Asia today. For the moment though, the short biography of Shin Chae-ho should provide food for thought.


Anyway, like we said, it was quite a strain to get this issue out. The four of us in the collective have all had various things to keep us busy - one was in Korea, another in Europe. We've also been flooded with letters - they're piling up, too. Worst of all, the Yasaka coop, mentioned in the Korea article in this issue, was totally burned out last month. Everything was lost - farm buildings, personal things, clothes, even cash. A lot of work is going to be needed to get it back to normal, and an appeal has gone out for cash here in Japan. So please be patient if the "bi-monthly" sometimes stretches the time limit a bit.

We forgot to say last time, Libero Int'l costs 20p/50c per single copy;Y1.20/$3.00 for a ''users'' sub (6 issues). Institutions' rate is double, to cover the losses we make on selling cheap to individuals. "Government agencies" get hit for YlIV7 in the UK, and for $2.50/15.00 in the US. Prices in other areas available on request.

We also made some cock-ups last time - some through carelessness, some through translation problems, some just because we're still learning ourselves. These are listed at the back. Since we'll no doubt make more mistakes, this will probably become a regular feature.

A lot of people were late getting No. 1. This is because the air mail rates are just too heavy for the price we want to sell the magazine at. That goes for people who wrote for samples too - a bit of patience, 'hif you don't mind. Since there is this great time-lag between mailing and delivery, we'll continue to send free to all the addresses we have until the next issue. People who don't respond by then will not receive any more our lists are a bit out of date, and we can't afford to keep mailing out free unless it's in exchange. Although our main aim is free exchange, we need to sell as many copies as possible to keep going in this format. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!!

One more thing: when you send us bread, please don't send cheques - they cost too much to cash here. Send either money orders or just plain old cash. DON'T LET THE BASTARDS RIP US OFF!!

Thought you might like to know who we are (or who we say we are, at any rate):

KUSAURA NAOHIDE: the organization freak - into economic history, Proudhon and international solidarity. Now running SFIC, and trying to translate Solidarity's Workers'control & the Economics of Self-Management into Japanese.

OZEKI HIROSHI: took part in the International Congress at Carrara - where he got well pissed off with the traditional-type anarchist movement. Since then he's translated Brinton's Bolsheviks and Workers' Control into Japanese and wondered where it's at.

QUINCE O'TOOLE: for the last five years has worked hard in the movements to free Taiwanese, South Korean and Amerikan political prisoners; keeps two cats called Kropotkin and Krishna, and a 16-month human called Natania Miwako.

WAT TYLER: is hung up on the lessons of history, especially Chinese and Korean, and is working on a book about the Chinese anarchist movement. Thinks anarchist theory is all very well, but that the answer probably lies in the soil anyway...


Wot? Organization?

Federation issue in Japan - 1 (Part 2 was published in LI3)

Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

One way or another, few anarchists in Japan these days are able to ignore the current debate over the need for a new national organization. The ball was first put into play two years ago by young Kyoto activists who then, last summer, suddenly issued a program and statement of principles for the new organization they advocated. The clearness with which these two drafts were set out suggested a great deal of preparation, and most people were taken by surprise. Once they recovered, however, the issue of anarchists' attitudes towards organization in no time became the central one within the Japanese movement. While not everyone supported the suggestion, few people were left untouched by the succession of arguments which exploded everywhere.

What was it that made young Japanese anarchists, almost without exception, throw themselves into this discussion despite the suddenness with which it emerged? The answer lies, beyond a doubt, in the current low ebb in anti-establishment activities in Japan, and the need which most people feel for a basic re-evaluation of the anarchist movement's fundamental tenets.

In the immediate aftermath of the voluntary dissolution of the Japan Anarchist Federation (JAF) in 1968, discussion of forming a new national organization was sporadic and uncoordinated. Once the heady days of the late 60s / early 70s passed, however, and the anarchists entered upon a period of circumspection - the "period of winter", as they call it - voices again began to be heard urging the rebuilding of group relations: in particular, the reconstruction of the national federation. The realization that the "summer" had not been fully exploited (see below) made these voices the more strident.

At the centre of the new movement were the 'Japan Anarchists' League Preparatory Committees' in the Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kansai (Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto) districts. Their minimum suggestions were, first, concrete contacts between Tokyo and the provinces; and second, a national information centre.

In this three-part article we'll summarize the proposals of the Preparatory committees and the criticisms that have been made of them, describe the progress of the new movement to date, and finally add some notes of our own. First of all, however, in this first part it'd be useful to look back briefly at conditions before and after 1968, for the arguments surrounding the recent revival of the national federation issue can be said to date back to JAF's self-dissolution in that year. Hence the main theme of the arguments coming from the preparatory committees has been the old JAF and the situation which it left in the wake of its disappearance.

The situation preceding JAF's demise in 1968

1. JAF's Political Failure

The best English-language source on the recent circumstances of the anarchist movement in Japan is Tsuzuki Chushichi's article 'Anarchism in Japan' in Apter & Joll's Anarchism Today (see 'Now Read On...' in this issue). The paper is brief and to the point, especially in its evaluation of the post-war movement. After quickly dealing with pre-war conditions, Professor Tsuzuki then focuses on the anti-war activities launched by students and local citizens' groups all over Japan in the 60s and 70s. In particular, he makes the important point that, while these did not call themselves anarchist movements, they should be recognized as having been highly anarchistic in their aims and methods. In choosing to lay the stress on this area, Tsuzuki accurately reflects the post-war development of the Japanese anarchist movement.

After the war, Japanese Marxists, skillfully riding the waves of 'Potsdam Democracy', succeeded in seizing the lead of the labour and social movements, and quickly turned them to their own purposes. The anarchists, meanwhile, missed the bus, failed utterly to expand their support, and never neared achieving anything which might truthfully have been called a real movement. Despite the vigorousness of the labour and student movements in those early years, very few anarchists took an active part, and it must be confessed that what few activities they did promote were largely ineffectual. The one exception was their work in the pacifist movement - such as the Japanese branch of War Resisters International - yet this bore little relation to the dominant trends of the time.

JAF, for its own part, concentrated on putting out its bulletins, and one would have been hard-put to pinpoint any concrete activities amongst its isolated and scattered groups of members (except however, for a few in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Kansai regions). Meanwhile, social conditions in Japan, and the overall trend of the Left in general, were changing dramatically.

In common with developments in the rest of the world, the violent confrontation policy of the Japan Communist Party's (JCP) immediate post-war days was bankrupted by the events in Hungary in 1956 and the international criticism of Stalinism which followed. The myth of the CP as the pre-ordained vanguard of the revolution crashed. The effect on Party members and on the Japanese Left in general was catastrophic. The first indication of the new state of affairs was the eruption in 1960 of the AMPO (Amerika-Japan Joint Security Treaty) struggle - the first great popular outburst in post-war Japan.

JAF, unlike most other revolutionary organizations, was left far behind by the rapidly accelerating rate of change. For the anarchists, this new criticism of Stalinism was already a fundamental part of their programme. The repression in Hungary should merely have confirmed their arguments: the opportunity was a golden one, but did they exploit it? Far from it - JAF completely underestimated the traumas which the events had sparked off among the Marxists. As a result, when the anti-AMPO struggle broke out, JAF took no part, and members ignored it as they threw themselves into their own local activities.

Criticism of JAF's obvious impotence began almost at once. "JAF is just another group; while it may claim national boundaries, it has absolutely no meaning as a federation. We should concentrate on our own local activities and ignore it." Views of this sort were commonly held - particularly among the Kansai members - and were voiced as early as the autumn of 1953 in a speech entitled 'On Rebuilding the Federation, and the Present State of the Movement', delivered to that year's National Conference by the delegate Yamaguchi:

"We have an elaborate programme for current activities, but have never considered how to put it into practice. We have an ideal set of principles, but they remain unrealized. We have a few members dotted around the country - most are simply names on the register who make no real contribution; others are just sympathizer types, whose allegiance we can never rely on. Then there are a few "old" anarchists who, if you run across them, give you a little money "for the cause" and chat a bit, and finally the young ones who, no sooner than they become members, withdraw again. With only these people to call upon, cooperation between local branches has become comatose. Instead, we have a few scattered efforts, and that's the lot.

"On the positive side then, what do we have? Well, we have an irregular bulletin, Anakizumu;and then we have sporadic, unplanned meetings which nobody pays much attention to..."

While JAF thus amounted to little more than a political contemplation circle, there were in fact some who wanted to make it into something more, such as the same delegateYamaguchi:

"Since the federation is no more than a circle, why don't we just face facts and reorganize it accordingly? I don't mean that we should destroy the federation - it is what it is, so we simply acknowledge the truth by changing both the form of the organization and our own attitudes accordingly. We have three tasks: number one, to face the facts; number two, on the basis of these facts, to make a clear-cut decision as to what direction we want to go in; and number three, after considering concrete measures to take us in that direction, to agree amongst ourselves to concentrate the strength of all members of the federation to implement those measures." [quoted in Mukai Ko" Yamaga Taiji,p 1771]

Consequently, in 1962, just as people were beginning to assess the meaning of the now-finished anti-AMPO struggle, JAF at last amended its principles to state specifically: "JAF is not a movement organization", but a "study group on theory and ideology". Few practical changes followed, however, as this merely made the name fit the facts.

On the other hand, unforeseen consequences were to follow. What - the principles it laid down for itself, just the name 'Japan Anarchist Federation' gave the impression of are volutionary organization engaged in practical and useful activities. Hence many young people drawn to it for this reason were quickly disillusioned. Behind the decision to turn the federation into a pure study group had been the desire to prevent disillusionment with the federation by reducing the gap between theory and practice. By retaining the name 'Anarchist Federation', however, the effect was to destroy people's faith in anarchism itself, as well as in JAF.

2. The 'New Left' in Japan

The 1960-1970 period witnessed a new flowering within the anti-establishment movement of the Japanese Left. Most significant was the growth in the late 60s of the 'non-sect radicals' - anti-Stalinist militants opposed to the hegemony of the JCP. This was the principal factor distinguishing the first anti-AMPO struggle, peaking in 1960 - which was led for the most part by the established (ie, JCP-dominated) Left - from the second, aimed at preventing the renewal of the Treaty in 1970. In fact, this second phase was no more than one aspect of a broad popular movement emerging simultaneously on several fronts.

The movement at that time comprised a union of students, particularly the non-JCP radicals, under the banner of the 'Students' Joint Struggle Committee' (Zenkyõtõ), and the group representative of the anti-war sentiments strong among the Japanese people, the 'Citizens' Committee for Peace in Vietnam' (Beheiren). The students' tactic, that of making each university a separate "storm centre" of the revolutionary struggle, had a great effect, one which continues to this day even though the movement itself has entered a quiet phase.


In the mid- to late 60s, Beheiren groups were born all over the country, and immediately began to initiate local struggles to eradicate local grievances through their own efforts. While they recognized, people like Oda Makoto, the first to advocate a citizens' movement, as their theoretical and practical leaders, this anti-war, anti-JCP popular movement was certainly not one to allow itself to be led by the nose. It was a genuine social movement capable of drawing in all people living in Japan, free of domination by either the labour movement or the students.

'Citizens' group' was simply a generic term to apply to a whole multitude of spontaneous popular activities. When activists decided to come together to give their spontaneity some kind of "movement form", therefore, the idea of an 'organization' was strongly resisted. "Beheiren is born when we ourselves declare it so!"; "Not an organization, but a movement!" Consequently, Beheiren existed so long as there was an active movement involving its members in their own local struggles. Since that movement has itself disappeared because of the new conditions in Indochina, Beheiren too has been dissolved.

Beheiren was like a breath of fresh air to the Japanese Left, its style something completely new in the history of popular movements in Japan. In its dependence upon horizontal relationships, based on a nationwide mutual consciousness of solidarity in the same struggle, it was a manifest criticism of the centralized organizations hitherto dominant on the left. In the Beheiren movement, we caught a glimpse of the kind of solidarity which only a free federation could achieve.

The characteristics of the Beheiren movement may be listed as follows:

  • Rejecting the 'leaders and led' syndrome, it stressed the spontaneity of individual groups;
  • Once the movement's aims had been clearly set out, any political tendency was acceptable on condition that it contributed to these aims, and did not seek to coerce others' acceptance of its own premises. Consequently, Beheiren activists included Marxists, anarchists, social democrats, liberals, and all the shades in between.
  • A positive appeal was made to people who belonged to no organization, and who had hitherto been denied a chance to take part in any activity.
  • The concept of 'organization' was rejected in favour of that of 'movement'. As noted before, this amounted to a rejection of the centralized power structure common to most Left groupings in the past.


    Japan was no exception to the ferment which hit the world's universities following the 1968 May Days in Paris, and the non-sect radicals played a major role. Although the alliance later degenerated into a struggle for hegemony over the student movement, in the beginning these groups placed a premium upon spontaneous activity. The organization which they created, Zenkyõtõ, constituted a major revolt against the establishment, and it is significant that the most violent attacks on the new style, physical as well as political, were launched by the JCP-oriented section of the students (known as Minsei).This period of student rebellion is usually referred to as the "ZenkyõtõMovement".

    Zenkyõtõ, with branches in every university, rebelled specifically and violently against the university authorities. From here, the struggle exploded naturally and simultaneously against the authority of the Japanese system itself. The solidarity created by the realization of a common aim was the strongest characteristic of the Zenkyõtõ Movement. In the most popular slogan of the time "Strength in Solidarity, Without Fear of Isolation" - can be seen the all-important combination: self-reliance and determination, and the knowledge of complete solidarity within the movement. In short, the characteristics which we already noted as typical of Beheiren, were equally representative of Zenkyõtõ.1

    In terms of political results, these two movements, Beheiren and Zenkyõtõ, achieved little. However, what they did achieve was something far greater - through their concrete activities and agitation, they played an immeasurable educative role which affected not only those taking part, but also the consciousness of vast numbers of people throughout Japan. This effect can now be seen in the multitude of anti-pollution, anti-inflation, anti-war and other groups existing all over the country. Practically every issue, however minor, is capable of giving rise to a new citizens' group.

    The conditions of the time were a thorough exoneration of anarchist theory. In fact, one could say that, for a time, to use a time-worn phrase, "anarchy prevailed". There was a general tendency to look beyond Marx to explain the theoretical meaning of this multi-centred, spontaneous movement. So fertile was the soil at this time! The only problem for the anarchists was that, while this great upsurge was taking place, JAF wasnowhere to be seen.

    3. JAF's Death Agony

    In the late 60s, 'Anarchism Study Groups' had sprung up in practically every university of Japan. Members took an active part in the Zenkyõtõ Movement, gaining a reputation as the 'Black Helmet Brigade' (although, since they generally abstained from the kind of street-fighting designed to enhance one's own group's position as ideological standard-bearer of the Left, they did not receive the international acclaim that many ofthe quasi-Trotskyist factions did).

    JAF was way out of line with all this activity. Most members of the federation simply forgot it as they got on with their own thing. JAF therefore found itself stranded - both by the movement itself and by the rapidly-changing social situation. Subsequently observing the difficulty of raising any enthusiasm in its ideology study groups, and seeing its mutual contacts with local groups falling off, JAF, via a succession of self-critical reviews (an anachronistic occupation at the time, for a start!), gradually began to get the message.

    At the same time, however, the attitude towards it of anarchist activists also began to harden. From "the movement can get along fine without a national federation", the general feeling turned to "this national federation is a positive hindrance to the movement!" The final breakdown came as a result of the crack which yawned within the federation itself over the Haihansha (Society of Rebels) Incident. This was a raid on a Nagoya factory carried out in the name of the anti-war movement by a small anarchist group affiliated to JAF. From this incident may be dated JAF's last days. In 1968, at long last, it resolved upon voluntary dissolution. The last issue of its bulletin, Free Federation (Jiyü Rengo), which appeared in January 1969, announced the move as "progressive dissolution", and even as "deployment in the face of the enemy". Be that as it may, JAF, in 1968, finally acknowledged what had been the truth since the early 60's, and voluntarily put an end to itself. Ironically enough, this ignominious end came at the peak of a new upsurge in the anarchist movement, and amongst increasing activity by the "new" anarchists. As for the reasons for JAF's demise, only now, midway through the 70's, is the work of evaluation beginning.


    • 1NOTE: "Zenkyõtõ" should not be confused with "Zengakuren," the National Union of Japanese Students, which was a child of the 60s and played no role in this new struggle. Although it continued in name, after the first anti-AMPO struggle ended in defeat, its organization was fragmented and fell apart. Moreover, while Zengakuren was a single organization, Zenkyõtõ should rightly be regarded as a movement.


    Toiler’s Tales: Report from a Hospital Doctor in Japan

    For more than a year now, nurses at the T. hospital here have been demanding repeatedly that the director show them a copy of their conditions of work. Thus far, they have been gently fobbed off with excuses like, "Well, the only copy we have is 15 years old, and rather out of date, so it would be quite pointless to show it to you. We are in the process of having a new one printed - wait a little longer please".

    Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

    Since mid-February I have questioned the administrative chief at least four times on whether they weren't actually liable to be reprimanded by the Labour Standards Bureau for not providing copies of either the conditions of work or the wage structure: "Yes, indeed, the Bureau has also demanded that we make these things known. They're almost ready; two-three days - a week at the outside. Please be patient till then".

    A month passed in this way. Meanwhile, I later discovered, the same people had been at work behind the scenes, trying to pacify the nurses: "You must realize that a hospital is a very busy place. Please stop encouraging Or Haguma!" was whispered in friendly undertones. Since the director (a former Japanese CP member) won't allow the 70-odd nurses to form a union, his talent for this kind of politicking reigns supreme in T. hospital.

    "How has he been able to prevent the nurses from forming a union?" you might ask. Well, in the first place, all the responsible positions are occupied by the director's relatives. The nursing school, for example, is run by his wife. Lower down the scale, too, five or six members of his family defend the breach. His two sons work as hospital doctors.

    In the second place, the nurses are split. The older and more experienced ones, living in this tradition-bound castle city for many years, are the double captives of giri-ninjo- ties of obligation and humanitarian feeling. They acknowledge the absolute control of the director: "We do not make any demands - but only because we fear his anger".

    As for the young nurses, they have only two lives. One complaint is tolerated; a second, and they lose their jobs. The way of getting rid of them is quite simple. The nurses are originally recruited from the director's own birthplace: Oita, in far-off Kyushu, Western Japan. When it takes them on as student nurses, the hospital takes complete charge of them: "We will direct you in your daily life, as well as in your work", is the friendly reassurance. So, when any trouble threatens, a quick word to the parents, who come rushing to the hospital to see what's going on. Under pressure from both sides, the poor nurses have little choice: give up or shut up! "Because I felt I owed the hospital something for the two years' training it gave me, I stayed on for a few years; but the conditions are so bad that I'm going to quit before long!" is the unanimous sentiment of the young nurses.

    Yet T. hospital still manages to carry on. Once again, the reason is simple: a constant store of replacements is kept, in the form of the "student nurses" - anywhere else they would be called junior nurses - who are made to work in return for a skimpy allowance. Along with the young nurses, they are simply products to be used up and thrown away.

    Since the conditions of employment are unknown, the sum payable to a nurse who quits the hospital is equally mysterious. Several who left last year, for example, apparently had to come back five times to demand their dues. Even when it is forthcoming, the sum is often paid out on an instalment basis!

    The hand-over-fist profit accruing from this situation has allowed the hospital to extend its buildings almost constantly. Last year, for instance, a senior nursing school was added. Incidentally, there was enough left over to build new houses for the director's two sons.

    The director's autocratic rule at T. hospital, bolstered by his divide-and-rule policy, is complete. I can screw things up a bit myself, by going to the director himself to complain. But for the nurses, male nurses and other medical staff, it's quite different though. Unless they send their complaint through the "proper channels" - the chief nurse and the administrative offices - they face the director's anger. On the other hand, the "proper channels" are feared and hated just as much as the director himself, for they are linked to him by personal ties and ties of obligation: family connections, treatment of their own family's illnesses, their status in the hospital, the fact that other members of their family are also employed there, and so on.

    The director's despotism is summed up in his two favourite remarks: "The age of democracy is dead"; "Mere talk gets you nowhere - if you want to get something done, do it!" Lately, the nurses, who're well pissed off with his power politics, are beginning to take him at his word. The mood for action is spreading.


    Now read on … Asian Anarchism in English (1): Japan

    Suggested reading list from Libero International.

    Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

    Frank Gould: Anarchism in Japan (Anarchy (London), special issue, 1972): quite good, detailed information on anarchists in the pre-war labour movement, and on the struggle with the CP; not so much on the post-war period, mainly for lack of things to write about. Summaries of current (1970-71) groups' positions and activities are useful and interesting, but need up-dating.

    C. Tsuzuki: "Kõtoku, Õsugi and Japanese Anarchism" (Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies, March 1966): written by a university professor; a history of the early movement based on biographies of Kõtoku and Õsugi. Tries to show that Japanese anarchism grew out of traditional Eastern nihilism; plenty of facts, but hardly inspiring reading.

    C. Tsuzuki: "Anarchism in Japan" in D.E. Apter/J. Joll (ed): Anarchism Today (anchor: 1971): the best source on the modern movement, concentrating on the popular movements of the late 60s/ early 70s. He stresses that these were highly anarchistic in their aims and methods, and puts his finger on the pulse of what is happening today.

    Phil Billingsley: The Japanese Anarchists (Leeds Anarchist Group, 1969): a brief history up to 1923, concentrating on Kõtoku and Õsugi; very short, and inaccurate in places, but useful as a summary and in combination with the previous two.

    Martin Bernal: "The Triumph of Anarchism over Marxism, 1906-1907" (in M.C.Wright: China in Revolution, Stanford University, 1968, pp 97-142): actually concerns the Chinese movement, but the publishing and other activities of the Chinese anarchists in Japan are described, along with their relations with the Japanese comrades; written by a scholar - very detailed and copiously footnoted, most useful for showing the inter-relationship between the two movements.

    F.G. Notehelfer: Kõtoku Shüsui (Cambridge University, 1971): this is also written by a scholar - a very detailed biography which tries to show, almost apologetically, that his anarchism was an inevitable result of the cultural strains placed upon the traditional samurai ethic by the sudden political changes after 1868. See the review piece in LI 1.

    More detailed articles, especially on Kõtoku, are listed in the bibliography to Notehelfer. There are several books on the labour movement, none of which do justice to the anarchists. Still, odds and ends of information can be found in them, and also in the relatively rich "preventive scholarship" - type stuff on the communist movement. When we've had a chance to look at these, we'll suggest some titles. Meanwhile, Cecil H.Uyehara: Leftwing Social Movements in Japan: Annotated Bibliography (Tokyo:1959), though out of date, might be useful (it's probably in university libraries in England and the States). These are all the titles we know at present specifically concerning the Japanese anarchist movement. We hope people will let us know of anything we've left out.


    Group Profile: Iomu no Kai

    The LI Editorial Collective sent out a questionnaire to various Japanese anarchist groups. We shall be serializing the profiles of each group beginning with this issue of LI.

    Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

    [col]Name of group:[/col]
    [col]Iomu no Kai[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Date of formation:[/col][col]March, 1973[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Number of members:[/col][col]Twenty[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Main location(s) of activity:[/col][col]Kobe and Osaka
    [row][col]2[/col][col]Members' main occupations:[/col][col]Mostly laborers and students
    [row][col]3[/col][col]Close relations with which other anarchist or political groups?[/col][col]Libertaire, Nagano Kyodo Shimbun, Paranka, Ribeero, CIRA-Nippon, Museifushugi-kenkyu. Also exchange pub'lns and info in meetings organized with Liberteeru.
    [row][col]4[/col][col]Main activities.[/col][col]Publication of Iomu("Literature and Anarchism"); occasional lecture meetings on anarchism and related subjects.
    [row][col]5[/col][col]Do you put out any publications?[/col][col]Iomu[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Frequency of publication: [/col][col]Quarterly[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Average number copies/issue:[/col][col]500[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Occupational category readers:[/col][col]Various[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Format and number of pages: [/col][col]A-5, 60 pages.[/col][/row]
    [row][col] [/col][col]Main pamphlets:[/col][col]Organization Prospectus for JAF (Japan Anarchist Federation).
    [row][col]6[/col][col]What are the feelings of your group regarding the proposed all-Japan anarchist federation, establishment of the "JAF"? [/col][col]Most of us feel the need for a national confederation. As an experiment in that direction, we participated in the opening, in the summer of 1974, of an interchange meeting program with Liberteeru.
    [row][col]7[/col][col]What, in your opinion, are the main responsibilities and problems which need coordination by anarchists in Japan today?
    [/col][col]We have not discussed this and so cannot answer at this pt.[/col][/row]
    [row][col]8[/col][col]Are you aware of CIRA-Nippon? What do you think of it?
    [/col][col]We cooperate with it.[/col][/row]
    [row][col]9[/col][col]Are you preserving materials and documents, and, if so, are you offering them for the use of other comrades and groups?
    [/col][col]March 1975 we opened our "Communal Library" in Kobe.[/col][/row]
    [row][col]10[/col][col]What sort of materials and documents do you presently hold? Do you have any non-Japanese language materials? Only anarchist stuff?
    [/col][col]Renmei Nyuusu. Various A organ papers. JAF pamphlets.[/col][/row]
    [row][col]11[/col][col]Do you maintain contact with foreign groups? If so, which?
    [/col][col]Publishers of New Echo, Ruta, etc.[/col][/row]
    [row][col]12[/col][col]Please describe the ideological position, objectives, etc., of your group. [/col][col]Our first objective is publication of Iomu. Contents are varied, but largely deal with anarchist thought and its relation to literature and the larger movement. Until now we've concentrated on the translation and discussion of "old anarchist" thinkers, but this is not with the aim of dwelling on the anarchist past or an over-indulgent penchant for "history for history's sake," but in examining the relevance of past anarchist thought to today's problems.[/col][/row][/table]


    Chronology: The Pre-War Korean Anarchist Movement (2)

    Second of a two part chronology published in the Japanese journal Libero International. Part 1 was published in issue no. 1.

    Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

    [row][col] 1929.11.3
    [col]KWANGJU STUDENTSINCIDENT: trouble involving rival Korean and Japanese school students in Kwangju develops into nationwide patriotic student movement; 54,000 students in 194 schools strike, creating anti-Japan movement which continues until March 1930.[/col][/row]
    [col]Anarchist organizer of Chong-yi Bu commune, Kim Joa-jin, murdered by communist agent.[/col][/row]
    [col]League of Eastern Anarchists (Tung-fang Wu-cheng-fu Chu-i-che Lien-meng) reorganized as South China Korean Youth League (Nan Hua Han-jen Ch'ing-nien Lien-meng); principal members: Chong Hwa-am, Kim Ji-gang, Park Kee-seung, Lee Eul-kyu, Hwang Eung, Yoo Ja-myong, Park Kee-byeung, Ryu San-bang, Lee Yong-kyu, Kim Kwang-ju, An Kyong-kun.[/col][/row]
    [col]Anarchist Youth League (Anãkisuto Seinen Remei), Eastern Workers' Federation (Tõhõ Rõdõ Dõmei) formed in Osaka by Lee Mee-haek, Kim Yong-su.[/col][/row]
    [col]Black Flag Workers'League (Kurohata Rõdõsha Remmei) formed; Chung Chan-jin main figure.[/col][/row]
    [col]Korean People's Self-Governing Joint Council (Han-jok Cha-ji Ryong-hap-hoe) formed, chaired by anarchist Chong Shin-won.[/col][/row]
    [col]Leader of Korean anarchist partisans, Kim Jong-jin, murdered by communist agent; total of six Korean anarchists murdered in 1930 and 1931.[/col][/row]
    [col]KOREAN ANARCHO-COMMUNIST LEAGUE (Cho-sun Mu-chung-bu Kong-sanZu-ui-ja Ryong-myung) INCIDENT: Japanese authorities clamp down on few anarchists remaining in Korea in attempt at 'final solution': Ryu Hwa-yong, Choi Kap-ryong, Lee Hong-kun, Kang Chang-gi, An Bong-yong, Cho Tsung-bok, Rin Tsung-hak, Kim Dae-hwan, others arrested.[/col][/row]
    [col]In front of the Imperial Palace's Sakurada Gate, Korean anarchist Lee Pang-chang hurls bomb at Japanese emperor's car returning from military review.[/col][/row]
    [col]Korean anarchist Yun Pang-gil hurls bomb into Japanese emperor's official birthday celebrations in Hung-k'ou Park, Shanghai; General Shirakawa, several civil, military officials killed, hurt.[/col][/row]
    [col]Assassination attempt in Shanghai on Japanese Minister to China Ariyoshi; 3 Korean anarchists, Paek Chung-kee, Won Sim-chang, Lee Gang-hyon arrested.[/col][/row]
    [col]DAI-ICHI RO INCIDENT: police raid Chinese restaurant where reconstruction of anarchist movement in Korea is being discussed; anarchists Chae Yin-kok,0 Nam-gi, Choi Hak-ju, Lee Jung-kyu, Lee Eul-kyu, others, arrested.[/col][/row]
    [col]KOREAN GENERAL WORKERS' UNION (CHOSEN IPPANRÕDÕ KUMIAI) FORMED: Korean Casual Labourers' Union (Chosen Jiyü RõdõshaKumiai) reorganized; main figures Lee Kyu-uk, Lee Chong-mun, Lee Yun-hee, Lee Chong-shik, Chong Kwang-shin, An Heung-ok, 0 U-yong.[/col][/row]
    [col]While reactionary elements participate in National Foundation Day celebrations held same day, total of 289 Korean anarchists, 298 'Bolsheviks', jointly organize boisterous May Day rally.[/col][/row]
    [col]After Japanese universities decide to discontinue use of Korean language in teaching, Korean students, graduates in Japan resolve to launch opposition movement.[/col][/row]
    [col]JAPAN ANARCHO-COMMUNIST PARTY (NIPPON MUSEIFU-KYÕSANSHUGI TÕ)INCIDENT: terrorist party formed in 1933; spies reveal its plans to the police, several Korean anarchists, Lee Dong-sun, Han Kuk-tang, Lee Chong-mun, Chin Rok-chul arrested.[/col][/row]
    [row][col]Autumn 1937
    [col]KOREAN REVOLUTIONISTS' LEAGUE (CH'AO-HSIEN KO-MING-CHE LIEN-MENG) FORMED: Chong Hwa-am, Yoo Ja-myong, other Korean anarchists take part in broad anti-Japanese front following the full-scale invasion of China.[/col][/row]


    Chae-ho, Shin: Korea's Kõtoku

    Shin Chae-ho
    Shin Chae-ho

    "Lives of the Asian Anarchists" No. 2, about Shin Chae-ho, one of the founders of anarchism in Korea.

    Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

    Shin Chae-ho, a veteran of the Korean anarchist movement and regarded as one of its "fathers", was born in 1880 in Chongju, Chungchong province. In many respects, his life bore a striking resemblance to that of Kõtoku Shüsui, the first Japanese anarchist [see LI 1]. By the age of 20, like Kõtoku, he was the foremost Korean journalist of his time, having worked on the prominent Hansong News and Dae Han Daily. His main reputation was as a writer of elegant prose, and his talent was put to good revolutionary use when, in 1923, he was asked to compose the draft of the Korean Revolutionary Manifesto. It was issued by the 'Band of Heroes' (Eiyuldan - see 'Chronology' in LI1),1 a revolutionary terrorist group responsible for a campaign of anti-Japanese violence in the 1920's. Similarly, Kõtoku's journalistic gift was put at the service of the Ashio copper miners in 1907 when, at the request of their representative, he wrote a petition to the Emperor on their behalf. The protest was against copper poisoning caused by the mining company's failure to take safety measures; this incident marked the beginning of Japan's continuing history of fatal pollution problems.

    Shin Chae-ho was a Bakuninist anarchist. In the manifesto he wrote of the "mutuality of destruction and construction": "The revolutionary path begins at destruction, thus opening up new ways for progress. However, revolution does not stop at destruction. There can be no destruction without construction; no construction without destruction... In the mind of the revolutionist, these two are indivisibly linked: destruction, ergo construction'.'


    Where Shin Chae-ho differed from Kõtoku was in his elaboration of a personal historical vision. His Japanese biographer points out: "What was essential for Shin Chae-ho was to take this image of history and spread it as widely as possible among Korean youth - who in the last analysis would be the bearers of any ideological banners to be unfurled."

    In a word, Shin's view of history might be described as 'Pan-Koreanism'. It traced the lines of Korean history and culture back as far as the days of the Hun and Mongol empires, and even included Japan as having once been under Korean cultural influence. In his view, therefore, in all of East Asia only Korea could match, in both civil and military achievements, the record of the Hans the Chinese. This was the starting point for Shin's historical vision. If it seems less than anarchistic to us, one has only to remember the total racial and cultural obliteration which Japanese rule aimed at for the Korean people. Needless to say, it provided a solid spiritual basis for the national independence movement.

    Shin Chae-ho is today one of that rare breed of scholars who receive positive appraisal both north and south of the 38th parallel. It goes without saying that the anarchist side of his character has been obliterated; it is as a pure nationalist that his memory is being preserved, and within the ranks of past Korean scholars that his reputation has been imprisoned. Hence it is all the more important for us to throw light on his anarchist belief.


    So, what kind of man was Shin Chae-ho? Well, in the first place, it seems that he was generally a bit dirty! Totally heedless of his clothes and overall personal appearance, he would wear things for days even after they turned stiff with sweat and dirt. Nevertheless, this same man was a teacher at the Osan High School, especially set up to teach the offspring of the Korean middle class and using the finest methods of Western bourgeois education.

    One day, Shin happened to go to the public bath-house with a colleague from school. While they were taking off their clothes, this man noticed that Shin seemed to be wearing a pair of bright red women's bloomers. Queried about them, Shin replied nonchalantly: "Oh, as I was walking along the street yesterday I passed a shop selling these beautiful coloured knickers, so I popped in and bought a pair!" This colleague, Lee Kwang-sop, later recalled in his memoirs the absurd image of Shin Chae-ho the eminent historian, with his bald, pointed head and several days' growth of whiskers because he couldn't be bothered to shave, standing there in a pair of bright red knickers looking totally unconcerned.

    Another of Shin's idiosyncrasies was as follows: whenever he washed his face, he would do so standing erect, with the result that he always drenched himself with water. When someone asked him what the problem was, he replied: "Because I refuse to lower my head for anyone till the day I die!"


    Anyway: Shin Chae-ho first entered the anarchist movement in 1928 when he joined the League of Eastern Anarchists, organized in Nanking by the brothers Lee Jung-kyu and Lee Eul-kyu [see 'Chronology' in LI-1]. Members were from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, India, Vietnam an Asian Anarchist International, in fact. On the other hand, while it called itself an anarchist organization, it acted more as an international contact point for all those fighting in exile for independence from the Japanese yoke.

    However, Shin's espousal of anarchism dated from much earlier - at least from the period 1920-23, we would guess. For by the time he came to draft the Korean Revolutionary Manifesto in 1923, he was already clearly an anarchist.

    It seems that Shin first turned to anarchism after reading Kõtoku's book Rubbing Out Christ - yet another link. There was more to it than that, however. Forced to leave Korea and go into exile early in his life, he saw first the militarism and political repression of the Bolsheviks, then the state of affairs in China, dominated by the Chinese CP. "So this is where the communists lead us; then it has to be anarchism..." he must have felt.

    In 1929, Shin was involved in plans to set up an Oriental Anarchists' League (Tung-pang Wu-cheng-fu Chu-i-che Lien-meng) in Peking. In order to raise funds for a new magazine, he concocted a plan with a Chinese comrade working in the Peking Post Office. It was arranged that Shin would go to Dairen, Manchuria (then controlled by the Japanese) with a forged international money order provided by the Chinese comrade. By presenting this, he could pretend to have money deposited in Peking, and demand payment in Dairen. Suspicions were aroused, however, when he presented the receipt, and both he and his partner were arrested by the Japanese police. Shin was given 10 years' hard labour on a charge of belonging to a secret organization, but before he could complete his sentence, he died in prison in Dairen on February 21 1936.


    In conclusion, two points stand out about Shin Chae-ho. The first is that he, a privileged intellectual and established historian, in the course of the independence struggle, turned not as so many did to communism, but to anarchism - inevitable given his experiences. The second was the clear expression in his thinking of that peculiarity of Korean anarchism: the mixture of anarchism and nationalism.


    In 1945 following the Japanese defeat, some former comrades of Shin Chae-ho including Chong Hwa-am and Lee Ha-yu established in Shanghai a publishing house which they named in his memory the 'Shin Chae-ho Study School'. Here, up till 1949, they printed and published anarchist materials and historical works, until they were closed down by the communists.

    • 1NOTE: While some anarchists did take part in the Band of Heroes' activities, it is best known as an organization of nationalist terrorists. It provided Park Yul (see Chronology, part I) with explosives for his activities in Japan.


    Korean Anarchists Under Martial Law (2) - Publications

    Information for this article was gathered on two separate trips South Korea by collective members Ozeki Hiroshi and Nat Tyler, to in 1973 and 1975 respectively.

    Submitted by Spartacus on January 30, 2011

    We were able to bring back with us copies of the publications mentioned (apart from the translations that is), and are looking for ways to have them translated into English. Most of what we know about them was learned from conversations at the National Culture Research Institute in Seoul. At least, they show that, despite horrendous repression, the idea is not dead in South Korea; on the contrary, it shows signs of a new revival among young people, as we tried to show in part 1 of this article.

    In South Korea today, the anarchist idea is sustained by twelve, freely- or not-so-freely available publications:

  • Anarchism - the Idea: A History of the Ideology & Activities of the Free Men (a translation of George Woodcock's Anarchism, pt 1 only, by Ha Kee-rak; published by Hyung Sul Press).
  • Anarchism - the Movement (a translation of pt 2 of Woodcock's book, by Choi Kap-ryong; same publisher).
  • Modern Science & Anarchism / Anarchism & Morality (a translation of Kropotkin, by Lee Eul-kyu; issued by the Committee to Publish the Posthumous Manuscripts of Lee Eul-kyu, 1973).
  • 1917 - The Lesson of the Russian Revolution (a translation of Voline's La Revolution Inconnue, by Ha Kee-rak; published by Sei Eun Press, Nov. 1973)
  • Biography of Kim Jong-jin (written by Lee Eul-kyu, published by Han Heung Press, 1963).
  • The Constitution, Programme & Policies of the Democratic Unification Party.
  • The Free Individualists' League, July 17 - Sept. 17, 1973.
  • The Collected Writings of Lee Jung-kyu (published by Sam Hwa Press, 1974; 500 copies, privatelydistributed).
  • Correspondence.
  • The Memoirs of a Nationalist Militant's Widow - History of the Struggle in West Chientao (written by Lee Eun-seung, published by Chong Eun Press, Jan. 1975).
  • The History of the Anti-Japanese Independence movement in Korea (written by Lee Gang-hyon, published Chong Eun Press, 1974).
  • Passion for Liberation (written by Lee Bom-sok, published by Chong Eun Press, 1972).

    Struggling to exist despite Park Chung-hee's fascist dictatorship, the anarchist movement in South Korea naturally has to put up with severe restrictions and almost total obstructionism. Before we go any further, people reading this should understand that the activities described here are taking place under conditions where even the right to hold discussion meetings, let alone publish their materials, are denied the Korean anarchists.

    Still, in early 1973 anarchists living in the capital, Seoul, managed to put together the Jajyuin Yuenmaeng(Free Men's Federation - FMF) [see pt 1]. With this group as the nucleus, publishing activities gradually got under way. The first two items on the list represent a two-volume translation of George Woodcock's Anarchism. The subtitle. History of the Ideology & Activities of the Free Men, was a tactical measure adopted after long consideration as a necessary sacrifice to get the book past the censors. 500 copies of pt1, The Idea, were printed and distributed by a regular commercial press which normally handles university textbooks.

    Pt 2, however, The Movement, was not so easily disguised. Thought control, obviously, is an essential part of the South Korean government's martial law set-up, and the publishers naturally hung back even after completing the printing. Only when FMF members finally decided to buy up and distribute all the printed copies themselves did this second part see the light of day. Since that experience, all actual anarchist publications in South Korea have been produced at the movement's own expense and distributed privately.

    Modern Science & Anarchism / Anarchism & Morality is a translation of Kropotkin's Modern Science & Anarchism, together with selections from his Ethics. The translator, Lee Eul-kyu, was widely known as 'Korea's Kropotkin' until his death a few years ago. During his exile days in China, he fought in the front line of the Korean independence and anarchist movements. With this career behind him, the influence of his ideas and personality has become strong not only among young Korean anarchists, but even on a national scale.

    The Voline translation is an interesting illustration of the curious political relationship between the anarchists and the government in South Korea founded on the mutual opposition to communism which we mentioned in pt 1. Because it comes down against the Bolsheviks in their conduct of the revolutions and condemns their suppression of freedom of speech and organization in order to consolidate their Power, the book was able to find an outlet through a Commercial publisher. Hence it can be bought in any of the student bookshops of Seoul. Even the word 'revolution' is no longer anathema in the contorted jargon of South Korean politics, and is thus used to describe the officers' coup d'etat which in 1961 overthrew the elected government and put Park Chung-hee in power.

    Biography Of Kim Jong-jin is the story of one of the outstanding figures of the little-known pre-war Korean anarchist movement: the organizer of the anarchist partisans in north Manchuria, Kim Jong Jin. The author, Lee Eul-kyu, fought alongside Kim, and has put this book together from his experiences and memories. The circumstances of Kim's career bear an amazing resemblance to the Russian Makhnovschina of 1918-21: Kim as Nestor Makhno; Lee Eul-kyu as his Voline; and north Manchuria as the Ukraine. The contrast, too was merely one of degree. Whereas Makhno was suppressed by Bolshevik arms and forced into exile in Paris, where he later died in a sanatoriums Kim Jong-jin was surreptitiously murdered by a communist agent on July 11, 1931.

    Of all the books which have reached us from South Korea, this one is easily the most important. Not only the Koreans living in Japan, but also young Japanese anarchists, as well as comrades elsewhere, should all read this book if they have a chance. We are trying to translate it, to make that possible. For, more than anything else, Kim's story gives living proof that, in the Korean independence movement hitherto shown as monopolized by communists and pure nationalists, there were also anarchists who fought sincerely in the front line of that movement, and who sacrificed their lives as anarchists to the struggle for national dignity.

    Apart from the FMF, whose members are mainly concerned with maintaining the anarchist 'idea' the remaining activities can be broadly divided into two separate movements. These are, first, the group which has set up the Democratic Unification Party (DUP) in order to carry on legal Political activities; and second, the trend which has become known as the 'Autonomous Village Movement.'

    The three major figures in the DUP are the party head, Yang Il- his chief advisor, Chong Hwa-am; and the chairman of the Policy Advisory Committee, Ha Kee-rak. Yang helped set up the Eastern Worker's Alliance (Tõkõ Rõdõ Dõmei), a union for Korean casual labourers in Japan, in Tokyo in 1926; he also co-edited the Black Newspaper (Kokushoku Shimbun), the organ of Korean anarchists in Japan before the war. Chong is often called the "father" of the Korean anarchist / independence movement; he was active in Korea, China and Manchuria before the war. Ha also has a career as a fighter behind him. In short, strange as it may sound, the DUP is the only south Korean opposition party which was organized by anarchists!

    The Constitution, Programme & Policies of the DUP and the Free individualists' League piece present the political policies of the DUP, together with accounts of press interviews with its leaders. Since the regular press is forbidden to publish such things, it would be impossible to learn anything of the party's activities without these items. Most important of all, they explain the special nature of the anarchist movement in South Korea - why, after 'Liberation' in 1945, a section of the movement took the risky decision to soil its hands with politics [see pt 1]. The circumstances suggest a certain resemblance with the situation of the Spanish anarchists late in the Civil War.

    The second main trend, the Autonomous Village Movement, operates from its newly-established centre, the National Culture Research Institute in central Seoul. This is headed by Lee Eul-kyu's younger brother, Jung-kyu. It originally evolved out of the Narodnik-type activities to which many intellectuals - mainly teachers and students - resorted after Park Chung-hee's military coup in 1961, and has now come to lead that movement. Its Narodnik ideology was inevitable, given the strong Kropotkinist leanings of the two Lee brothers. Lee Jung-kyu, thanks to his former position as head of the famous Confucianist 'Equality-Creating Hall' University, also wields considerable influence among educational circles in South Korea. Out of this, through admiration of Lee's ideas and personality, many young people are beginning to turn to anarchism.

    Most of Lee's experiences and ideas are contained in his Collected Writings, 500 copies of which were privately printed and distributed by the FMF. This is another vital book for anarchists to read, and parts of it are now being translated into both Japanese and English. As well as a detailed chronology of Lee Jung-kyu's long life (he's now 80), the book contains his experiences in the anti-Japanese struggle in Korea, China and Manchuria; the history of the political and educational activities of the anarchists in Korea since Liberation; and the background to the National Culture Research Institute / Autonomous Village Movement. Although his late elder brother, Eul-kyu, actually acquired the nickname of the 'Korean Kropotkin', Lee Jung-kyu surely deserves that title today for the respect in which he is held by young and old alike.

    Correspondence is the organ of the Autonomous Village Movement's main organization department, the National Conference of Village Activists. It contains reports on activities, discussions of the direction of the village movement, and so on. The conference chairman, Park Seung-han, is a young anarchist and a former high school geography teacher who resigned to live in the countryside. He now combines teaching with his work in the Conference.

    Incidentally, Yasaka collective, near Hiroshima, Japan, is now planning to set up a kind of 'student exchange scheme' with the Korean movement, to give young anarchists from both countries a chance to change places. The first step will be, we hope, a summer camp in Korea this July. When you think about it, there are many points at which the Japanese and Korean situations coincide: turning the villages into communes; building an autonomous, self-defensible society; creating an awareness of actual conditions; even the aims and methods of each movement. We expect to learn a lot in the way of concrete strategies, methods and tactics. We hope it will be possible to put such an exchange scheme into practice despite the obvious difficulties.

    Although the FMF, as we said, originally decided to finance and distribute all future anarchist publications itself, of course this severely limited the amount of material they could put out. The last three titles represent one way of getting around this problem. As we explained in part 1, the history of the Korean anarchist movement is tightly intertwined with that of the (noncommunist) struggle for national independence. So it's very simple to portray someone as a hero of the anti-Japanese resistance (anti-Japanese sentiment is still felt by practically every Korean) without mentioning that he was at the same time an anarchist. On the other hand, for those prepared to read between the lines, as well as for those who already have some personal experience of the movement, the message comes through quite clearly. If this seems an unsatisfactory situation, you have to remember the reality of political repression in South Korea today - particularly the almost infinite applicability of the fascist government's anti-communism legislation.

    Items 10 and 11 are ideal examples. Lee Eun-seung's Memoirs contain her reminiscences of the anarchist / independence struggle in Manchuria, China and Korea up to 1945. The book makes no theoretical or ideological pretensions - it hardly could in current conditions; instead it contains a wealth of information about the pre-war movement that cannot be found elsewhere. Lee herself (she's now 86) was in the thick of the struggle with her husband. The publishers, a straight commercial outfit putting out cheap editions much like Penguins, attached the title to the book to distract attention from its contents. Whether this was out of dedication to the movement, or whether they simply smelt a scoop, is not clear. At any rate, the book is selling like hot cakes, and in March 1975 won a major literary award carrying a prize of 500, 000 won - Y500. Lee Eun-seung's husband, Lee He-yong, was a hero and martyr of the Korean struggle and one of the first Korean anarchists. When he was arrested by the Japanese secret police in 1932, to avoid betraying his friends under torture, he bit out his own tongue and died a few hours later. The book describes this incident and many others in a moving description of the conditions under which comrades struggled at that time.

    Lee Gang-hyon's History is similar. Lee himself is a veteran of the Korean and Chinese anarchist movements, and one of the few prominent anarchists in Manchuria to escaped being bumped off by the CP in its bloodstained campaign for control over the Korean nationalist movement. He still lives in Seoul, is a member of the FMF, and is at present writing a book of memoirs. The History, also published as a cheap paperback, is a detailed history of the Korean Independence Movement beginning from the March 1st 1919 Incident [see 'Chronology' in LI 1]. Lee taught in primary schools in Manchuria for twelve years before going to Shanghai, where he was later arrested for an assassination attempt on the Japanese ambassador. His book is more than just a history though; it tells the confused and little-known background of the Korean anarchist movement in China and Manchuria at first hand, and is a very important book which deserves translation.

    The last book is a bit different. The author, Lee Bom-sok, is a pure nationalist, and his book contains his memories of the movement from the point of view of a nationalist, rather than that of an anarchist. Although for that reason it's probably the least important of these books for understanding the anarchist movement, the distinction between the anarchist and nationalist movements was often very blurred, and Lee, a former military leader, was around for many of the important events affecting both. For example, he was co-commander with Kim Joa-jin of the Korean Independence Army when it was enticed to take refuge in Siberia in the early 1920's. Both turned anti-communist as a result of this experience, and Kim later became known as an anarchist until his murder by a communist agent in 1930. One other effort deserves mention. The workers at the National Culture Research Institute are planning a History of the South Korean Agrarian Movement. Volume one should be published by the end of 1975. It will be based upon information provided by local groups in touch with the Institute, student activists, and contemporary newspapers. Lee Mun-chang, who will be one of the principle editors and who writes regularly for Correspondence, told us that he hopes the book will reflect the Korean people's own ideas on how to organize and improve rural life, and also show the direction in which they want the countryside to develop, as opposed to that in which it is being pushed by the government's unpopular 'New Village' campaign.

    Finally, other South Korean comrades, notably Yang Hee-sop, have set up the 'Freedom Library' (Jayu Munko). Their aim is to gather the scattered materials on the Korean movement in order to compile a history of Korean anarchism. They also want to set up correspondence with comrades abroad. Anarchists everywhere should do all we can to enable the 'Freedom Library' to become a CIRA-Korea; by offering encouragement from outside, we can help it escape from the jaws of the tiger, giving South Korean anarchists the opportunity to take part in the international anarchist movement. Yang Hee-sop himself has told us of his desire to receive news of developments elsewhere in the world, and is waiting for letters from us all.

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