Date of this Version

November 2004

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Masako Gavin (2004) Abe Isô and New Zealand as a model for a “new” Japan

Preprint version

Copyright © Masako Gavin, 2004.



This study focuses on Abe Isô, a professor at Tokyo Senmon Gakkô (the present Waseda University), who is regarded as a Christian socialist in Japan. He was born into the samurai class in its declining days and became concerned about poverty and social inequality as a child. He became a Christian in 1881 while studying at Doshisha (the present Doshisha University)1 and then a socialist after reading Looking backward, a utopian novel by Edward Bellamy (1850-1898), while studying at Hartford Theological Seminary in the United States. Upon returning to Japan in 1895, he began proposing socialist solutions to the “social problem”, at a time when these ideas were still new to the Japanese.



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