chapter  9
INSPIRATION FROM RUSSIA
Pages 27

The Russian revolution of 1905 had already made its impact on the socialists in Japan while the RussoJapanese War was still in progress and the ending of the war in September 1905 did not diminish the interest with which the socialists followed events in Russia. When a group of socialists in Tokyo launched a new journal in November 1905, they at first considered calling it Denkō (Spark)—in imitation of the Bolshevik-turned-Menshevik organ, Iskra.1 After some thought, the name Hikari (Light) was chosen instead, but this did not signify any 1essening in the attention which was paid to the struggles in Russia. As an article which appeared in the English-language column of Hikari in August 1906 affirmed:

The telegrams of (i.e. concerning) the revolutionary movements in Russia which come successively from London and Berlin, are causing a great effect in the mind of (the) Japanese people. (The) Japanese people, who are imitating European manners in every respect of their life, are now silently seeing that the absolute power of (the) Tsar, which apparently seemed indestructible, is now at last fading away. They are also gradually recognizing that even the force of (the) co(s)sacks are (sic) not strong enough to utterly break down the general strike of the raging people.2