Portal site for Russellian in Japan


Bertrand Russell at Keio University, July 1921(11)
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There were, in the vernacular press, references to Russell's "haughty and contemptuous attitude" (Tokyo Asahi) and suggestions that he was acting under the influence of "Mr. Young". The Yomiuri likened him to Tagore who "has forgotten, and is forgotten by, Japan."*28 This is supported by the report given in the Japan Chronicle for July 29th:

The impression of Mr. Bertrand Russell which has been produced upon two
well-known Japanese Socialists, Messrs. Osugi [Sakae] and Sakal [Toshihiko], seems to have been of an unfavourable character. After his interview with Mr. Russell at the Imperial Hotel on the 25th instant, Mr. Osugi told a representative of the Yorodzu that no Japanese Socialists were likely to give him a warm reception. Mr. Osugi said that he found him to be a man not so great as to be worthy of the sensation of his visit to Japan. Mr. Sakai also suggests that there are few Japanese Socialists who are enthusiastic over Mr. Russell. As a theorist he is excellent, but Mr. Sakai does not think that he has a true conception of Bolshevism.

However, the lawyer Suzuki Bunji, President of the Yuai-kai ... had a better opinion of Mr. Russell. He says that despite his flying visit he formed a correct estimate of the labour conditions of Japan: 'Mr. Russell finds many points of similarity between the present labour dispute in Kobe and those occurring in England.'

*28 Autobiography, p.134.