2015 年 86 巻 p. 103-122
This study aims to examine pamphlets when the Japanese translation of Das Kapital had yet to be completed, mainly in the 1920s, and reveal the way pamphlets changed their form, reached people such as workers and farmers, and made it possible to diffuse knowledge about Marxism and socialism in Japan. In 1915, New Society (Shin Shakai) edited by Toshihiko Sakai changed its name from Flower of Loofah (Hechima no Hana) and began running socialist articles. However, the police and Home Ministry considered New Society dangerous and often prohibited it from being published. On the other hand, the Home Ministry did not prohibit the study of socialism and Marxism. In 1919, Studies on Social Problems (Shakai Mondai Kenkyu) edited by Professor Hajime Kawakami, was able to run Marxist articles without sales being prohibited, because professors had the right to study freely. Therefore, by emulating Kawakami, Sakai and Hitoshi Yamakawa launched Studies on Socialism (Shakaishugi Kenkyu) as a study that featured articles about Marxism and it circumvented circulation from being prohibited. However, it was more important for Yamakawa to propagate socialism, which the police and Home Ministry banned. He produced the Wednesday Society pamphlets for people to understand socialism easily, because it was too difficult for ordinary people to study Marxism directly. He insisted on the need to popularize the social movement, and published Mechanism of Capitalism (Shihonshugi no Karakuri) as an easy-to-understand introductory guide to Das Kapital. This pamphlet changed its form according to its aim-from a lecture to a magazine and from a magazine to a pamphlet, for example-by having Japanese syllabic characters printed next to the Chinese characters to aid in the reading and adding subtitles. Mechanism of Capitalism spread in rural areas through the labor movement and agrarian disputes. People obtained their knowledge of socialism and Marxism mainly from these easy-to-read pamphlets, not Das Kapital, translated commentary on it, or magazines.