Cover: Anarchist Modernity: Cooperatism and Japanese-Russian Intellectual Relations in Modern Japan, from Harvard University PressCover: Anarchist Modernity in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 356

Anarchist Modernity

Cooperatism and Japanese-Russian Intellectual Relations in Modern Japan

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Product Details


$49.95 • £39.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674073319

Publication Date: 09/09/2013


426 pages

6 x 9 inches

15 halftones

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World, subsidiary rights restricted

From Bakunin and Kropotkin to Esperanto and dung beetles, Sho Konishi’s compelling exploration of the transnational intellectual networks linking anarchists in Russia and Japan and the larger meanings of their encounters transforms our understanding of Japan’s global past. In its capacious breadth, theoretical sophistication, and empirical rigor, Anarchist Modernity offers a new model for the writing of East Asian international history.—Mark Bradley, University of Chicago

Anarchist Modernity makes us rethink what we thought we knew about Japanese history. Konishi spotlights the little-known, yet consequential, interactions between Russian and Japanese thinkers in the making of modern Japan. The book connects all sorts of Japanese developments: the cult of Tolstoy, anarchism and socialism, the ‘Nonwar Movement,’ and the striking popularity of Esperanto. We grasp the richness of the struggle by influential Japanese to create a people-centered polity and world order, in contrast to the vision of a powerful European-style state promoted by Japanese leaders. Transnational history at its best, the book reveals how Russo–Japanese discourses on ‘cooperatist anarchist modernity’ shaped thought and behavior in both countries.—Sheldon Garon, Princeton University

This book offers an outstanding study of ‘transnational imagination.’ By tracing the close intellectual ties among Russian and Japanese anarchists, Esperantists, and others at the turn of the twentieth century, Konishi shows that there was an alternative world that was being imagined by these men and women, as well as by people (heimin) who sought to go beyond the nation state as the framework for their lives. They were anarchists in that they did not believe in the finality of the state apparatus, but they were, in Konishi’s words, ‘cooperative anarchists’ because they firmly believed in personal and community-level cooperation. They were imagining an alternative world from the one that would come to confirm its nation-centric orientation—and to bring so much tragedy to all people. A superb and even sensational reinterpretation, not just of Japanese history, but also of modern world history.—Akira Iriye, Harvard University

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