chapter  6
JAPANESE ‘SOCIALISM’ TO 1905
Pages 8

It has been shown that this earliest phase in the history of the socialist movement in Japan took place against an economic background the main features of which were a low level of capitalist development and a numerically weak and physically unstable working class. It has also been shown that the socialist thought found in Japan in this period was derived from various sources in the West-principally Russian populism, German social-democracy and the different brands of ‘socialism’ which were currently popular in a number of English-speaking countries. On the other hand, the ways in which this Western socialist thought was understood by the Japanese socialists depended very much on those traditional influences which continued to act on them as a 1egacy from the old society of Tokugawa days. Hence it can be said that Japanese ‘socialism’ was an amalgam of the new and the old, of imported Western and traditiona1 Japanese influences.