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Additional resources for Hatta Shūzō and Pure Anarchism in Interwar Japan
21 Nevertheless, Kropotkin was also aware that by no means all unions fulfilled this function. In a letter to Max Nettlau (dated 5 April1895) he also argued: There are trade unions which egotistically struggle for higher wages or shorter hours [to achieve] emancipation. These unions are wrong, and often as monopoly-striving as capitalists. But labour unions with the view of fighting against capitalism directly are different things. 22 Hence once can say that, even when Kropotkin's earlier indifference towards the labour movement was replaced by recognition of the growing importance ofworkers' organisations, his enthusiasm was qualified by acute awareness of the shortcomings of many unions.
Hence it is not difficult to see how experience of life in a peasant community, remote from the centres of commercial and governmental power, could have the effect of making readers of The Conquest of Bread receptive to its arguments for a society of autonomous communes engaged in decentralised production. A good example of the influence 28 Hatta Shitzo and Pure Anarchism exerted by Kropotkin is provided by The Peasant's Gospel, which Akaba Hajime wrote in 1910. In this booklet Akaba sought to establish the connection between the 'village community' of a vanishing past and the local commune of the anarchist communist future.
He was the son of an army officer and had been sent to a military academy as a boy in anticipation that he would follow in his father's footsteps. lcipally French at the Tokyo Foreign Languages School. ) It was as a student in Tokyo that he became involved in the_ socialist movement at the time of the Russo-Japanese War. ' 16 From then on Osugi's knowledge of French made him the principal source of information in Japan about the CGT and European anarchist syndicalism generally. O and Pure Anarchism cution, Arahata and Osugi started to issue a monthly journal called Kindai Shiso (Modern Thought).