Episode 175 – The Great Commoner

This week, it’s time for Japan’s first party politician: Hara Takashi. Was he a populist hero or a wannabe elite? And in the end, does that even really matter?

 Listen to the episode here.
Sources
Najita, Tetsuo. Hara Kei in the Politics of Compromise.
Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.
Dickinson, Frederick. World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan. 
Images
hara_takashi_while_working_in_paris_from_1885_to_1889
Hara during his time as an attache to the Japanese embassy in Paris.
osaka_mainichi_shimbun_bldgs_01
The current HQ of the Mainichi Shimbun in Osaka. Hara’s old paper is still going strong.
s1-02-017
The 1918 Rice Riots helped propel Hara Takashi to the center of Japanese politics.
prime_minister_hara_takashi_photograph
Hara as a party politician. I think this photo does a good job of capturing his style, which is very clearly an elite one. That doesn’t look like a populist to me.
800px-takashi_hara_formal
Hara Takashi in his formal palace jacket as Prime Minister.
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