Home > Publications > NDL Newsletter > No. 201, August 2015

National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 201, August 2015

Materials available in the Modern Japanese Political History Materials Room (2)

Modern Japanese Political Documents Division
Reader Services and Collections Department

This is a partial translation of the article in Japanese
in NDL Monthly Bulletin No. 643 (October 2014).



The National Diet Library (NDL) holds Kensei-shiryo -- personal papers of former politicians, high-ranking officials, and military officers from the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate to the modern period. This article introduces materials newly available in recent years in the Modern Japanese Political History Materials Room in the Tokyo Main Library.

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NABEYAMA Sadachika Papers
(activist in the social movement / donated by his family)
1st batch: 855 items / available since April 2013
2nd batch: 70 items / available since November 2013

NABEYAMA Sadachika (1901-1979) was a factory worker, then joined a labor group called Yuaikai (lit. friendship association), and was sent to jail for his involvement in the Kyoto Red Flag Incident (Kyoto akahata jiken), in which he and other Yuaikai members were charged of violating the Peace Police Law as they welcomed a homecoming member from the military service with red flags saying "Congratulations on coming home from jail." In 1922, he became a member of the Japanese Communist Party and an activist in the social movement. His "Tenko" statement in June 1933 to declare the ideological reversal drew public attention. It was made in jail with SANO Manabu (1892-1953), also an activist in the social movement, who became a professor of Waseda University after the war.

The major part of the collection consists of manuscripts and scrapbooks related to his lectures and writings in the post-war era, although it includes a few pre-war materials like a copy of his well-known "Tenko" statement, and the interrogation at the preliminary hearing in 1930.

The second batch of the papers (call no.: 1001-1015) holds letters of the post-war era between eminent social activists such as ARAHATA Kanson (1887-1981, former Secretary of the Japanese Communist Party, later moved away from communism toward social democracy, and became a Diet member after the war), KAZAMA Jokichi (1902-1968, former Chair of the Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party in the pre-war era), SANO Manabu (see above), NISHIO Suehiro (1891-1981, former Yuaikai member, a Diet member, and founder of both the Japan Socialist Party and the Democratic Socialist Party).

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HASEGAWA Kiyoshi Papers
(admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy / 141 items / donated by his family / available since September 2013)

HASEGAWA Kiyoshi (1883-1970) served as Governor General of Taiwan from November 1940 to December 1944. After retiring from the post, he received a letter from SUZUKI Kantaro, who was also a veteran of the Navy, saying words of sympathy for his great responsibility. (dated January 22, 1945 [call no.: HASEGAWA Kiyoshi Paper 9-2])

Since he was a naval attaché to the Japanese Embassy in the United States at some period during the Taisho era, this collection includes materials that describe the Japan-U.S. relationship at that time, such as a photo of a Japan Society meeting (see Photo 1).

<<Photo 1: Japan Society Annual Dinner in honor of His Excellency Masanao Hanihara,
Hotel Astor [call no.: HASEGAWA Kiyoshi Papers 67], March 10, 1924>>

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BO Hideo Papers
(Member of the House of Representatives / 280 items / donated by his family / available since October 2013)

BO Hideo (1904-1990) was a Member of the House of Representatives from the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, and appointed Minister of Welfare in the first and second Sato Cabinets, and Minister of Finance in the Fukuda Cabinet.

This collection includes mainly diaries (1918-1989) and pocket notebooks. In the diaries, he usually wrote about what he himself did and felt, though some of the pages written when he was a minister show what he said and what was discussed at the Cabinet meetings.

Photo 2 shows his diary entries for July 18 and 19, 1967, introducing the circumstances relating to a proposed amendment to a special exemption law on health insurance.

<<Photo 2: Diary dated July 18 and 19, 1967 [call no.: BO Hideo Papers 45]>>

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HOSODA Kichizo Papers
(official, Member of the House of Representatives / 35 items / donated by his family / available since May 2014)

Native of Shimane Prefecture, HOSODA Kichizo (1912-2007) graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, and entered the Ministry of Railways. He was appointed Director General of Tourism of the Ministry of Transport, and then Director General of the Minister's secretariat. In 1960, he was elected to the House of Representatives, and was subsequently Director of the Administrative Management Agency, Director of the Defense Agency, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, and Minister of Transport.
This collection includes 31 volumes of his diaries intermittently from 1968 to 2005. He wrote briefly on his activities and visitors on each day even when he held important posts in the Party or when he served as a minister.

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YASUDA Tatsuma Papers
(official / 1,353 items / donated by his family / available since February 2014)

Before and after World War II, YASUDA Tatsuma (1906-2002) was engaged in labor administration especially in job placement and employment policy. This collection holds work-related materials including brochures on placement and vocational education, documents concerning the labor exchange, feminist and juvenile issues. Peculiar features are Kinki-area-related materials in the pre-war era, and wartime labor policy materials.

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A scroll of letters from YAMAMOTO Tatsuo
(Member of the House of Peers, businessman / 1 scroll (17 letters) / purchased / available since April 2014 with the call no.: Kenseishiryositsu Shushumonjo 273)

Native of Oita Prefecture, YAMAMOTO Tatsuo (1856-1947) entered Nippon Yusen Kaisha, later moved to Bank of Japan, of which he was appointed Governor, and then was elected to the House of Peers.

The NDL purchased this material in 2013. All 17 letters are outgoing, addressed to KOBAYASHI Mankichi, a newspaper reporter for the Osaka Asahi Shimbun, and dated from 1908 to 1919 -- that is from the so-called "Kei-en Cabinet Era" when Katsura and Saionji formed cabinets in turn, to the Hara Cabinet Era. During this period, Yamamoto was appointed President of the Nihon Kangyo Ginko, Minister of Finance, Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, and others.

A letter shown in Photo 3 conveys the tense political situation in controversy over a proposal to add two army divisions, just after the Second Saionji Cabinet, in which he served as Minister of Finance, was overthrown and the Third Katsura Cabinet was formed. He says that many Japanese people had sympathy for Saionji and the next Imperial Diet Session was going to be dissolved. In fact, in February 1913, the entire Third Katsura Cabinet resigned, facing an extensive movement to defend the constitutional government by parties and the nation (The Political Change in the Taisho Era).

<<Photo 3: a letter from Yamamoto Tatsuo to Kobayashi Mankichi,
dated December 31 (estimated 1911) [Kenseishiryoshitsu Shushumonjo call no.: 273-9]>>

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WADA Kosaku Papers
(Member of the House of Representatives / 2,050 items / donated by himself / available since October 2013)

Native of Kochi Prefecture, WADA Kosaku (1907-2006) worked for several research institutions including the Research Department of the South Manchuria Railway, the Planning Board (Kikakuin), and the East Asia Institute (Toa Kenkyujo). After WWII, he was interned in the Soviet Union. In December 1949, he returned to Japan, and was appointed Secretary General of the Nihon Fabian Kenkyujo, and then joined the Democratic Socialist Party as a founding member. After retiring from the Diet, he became an advisor for the party, and devoted himself to writing.

In June 2006, he himself made a donation to the NDL. This collection includes documents related to institutions he took part in such as the Nihon Fabian Kenkyujo, the Socialism Policy Study Group, the Democratic Socialism Study Conference, and the Democratic Socialist Party, though many documents were created during his Diet member terms after WWII.

Most of the collection consists of publications, and many of them include articles by or relating to himself. Notebooks with his handwriting "Yoteihyo (lit. Schedule)" were kept from 1966 to 1989 in several volumes a year, and also provide valuable information on his activities as a Diet member of the Democratic Socialist Party.

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