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A Study of Tokutomi Roka's "Treason Theory"

  • 日本硏究
  • 2015, (38), pp.287-305
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : February 20, 2015

Kim Nan Hee 1

1제주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Tokutomi Roka's "Treason Theory" is the text of the justification lecture delivered by the accused in Japan's "High Treason Incident" of 1911. It contains dangerous contents that could only have been written under harsh circumstances at the risk of death. This study hypothesized that Roka's lecture was influenced by the humanistic spirit of Christianity and the practical intelligence of Western writers such as Tolstoy, Emerson, and Zola. Influenced by this humanistic spirit, Roka revered socialists who were executed for high treason as revolutionary patriots. Thus, the text of the lecture contains many novel contents that were ahead of their time. The text claims to advocate the ideal of universal brotherhood, according to which humanity must be united as one. However, it fails to acknowledge the contradiction that Japan's imperialism and its Emperor system hindered the realization of this ideal. Roka himself was a follower of Emperor Meiji. Considering the fact that contemporary anarchists and socialists clearly believe that the "Emperor system" was used to justify Japan's imperialism, Roka's social consciousness can be said to contain some limitations.

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