Uyoku Dantai
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Uyoku Dantai

Uyoku dantai (?, "right wing group[s]") are Japanese ultranationalist far-right groups. In 1996 and 2013, the National Police Agency estimated that there are over 1,000 right-wing groups in Japan with about 100,000 members in total.[1][2][3]

Philosophies and activities

Uyoku dantai are well known for their highly visible propaganda vehicles, known as gaisensha () – converted vans, trucks and buses fitted with loudspeakers and prominently marked with the name of the group and propaganda slogans. The vehicles are usually black, khaki or olive drab, and are decorated with the Imperial Seal, the flag of Japan and the Japanese military flag. They are primarily used to stage protests outside organizations such as the Chinese, Korean or Russian embassies, Chongryon facilities and media organizations, where propaganda (both taped and live) is broadcast through their loudspeakers. They can sometimes be seen driving around cities or parked in busy shopping areas, broadcasting propaganda, military music or Kimigayo, the national anthem. The Great Japan Patriots, supportive of the US-Japan-South Korea alliance against China and North Korea and against communism as a whole, would always have the US national flag flying side by side with the Japanese flag in the vehicles and US military marches played alongside their Japanese counterparts.

Political beliefs differ between the groups but the three philosophies they are often said to hold in common are the advocation of kokutai-Goji (retaining the fundamental character of the nation), hostility towards communism and Marxism and hostility against the Japan Teachers Union (which opposes the display of Japanese national symbols and the performance of the national anthem). Traditionally, they viewed the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea with hostility over issues such as communism, the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands and the Kurile Islands.

Most, but not all, seek to justify Japan's role in the Second World War to varying degrees, deny the war crimes committed by the military during the pre-1945 Sh?wa period and are critical of what they see as "self-hate" bias in post-war historical education. Thus, they do not recognize the legality of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East or other allied tribunals; consider the war-criminals, enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine as "Martyrs of Sh?wa" ( Sh?wa junnansha); or support the censorship of history textbooks or historical negationism.[4]

It is difficult to arrest uyoku dantai members because freedom of ideology is protected by the Constitution of Japan. This is one of the reasons why Yakuza groups use uyoku dantai as camouflage.[5][6][7]


Below is a list of some groups usually considered uyoku dantai.

Historical groups

  • Aikokusha (, "Society of Patriots") - Set up in 1928 by Ainosuke Iwata. (Not to be confused with an 1875-1880 organization of the same name). Activities included organization of anti-communist student movements in various universities and indoctrination of youths in rural villages. On November 14, 1930, Tomeo Sagoya, a member of the society shot Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi at Tokyo Station in an assassination attempt.
  • Geny?sha (, "Black Ocean Society") - originated from a secret society of former samurai, with an aim to restore feudal rule, Genyosha was an ultranationalist secret society. They engaged in terrorist activities such as the attempted assassination of ?kuma Shigenobu in 1889. It formed an extensive espionage and organized crime network throughout East Asia and agitated for Japan's military aggression. Forced to disband after the war.
  • Kokury?kai (, "Black Dragon Society") - an influential paramilitary group set up in 1901, initially to support the effort to drive Russia out of East Asia. They ran anti-Russian espionage networks in Korea, China, Manchuria, and Russia. Expanded its activities worldwide in the subsequent decades and became a small but significant ultranationalist force in mainstream politics. Forced to disband in 1946.

Traditional groups

  • Dait?juku (, "Great Eastern School") - a cultural academy set up in 1939. Runs courses related to Shinto and traditional arts such as waka (poetry) and karate. Conducted several campaigns, such as the restoration of the National Foundation Day's original status of kigensetsu ("Empire Day") and of the legal designation of Japanese era names as Japan's official calendar.
  • Great Japan Patriotic Party (, Dai-nippon aikokuto) - Set up in 1951 by, and centred around, Satoshi Akao, a former anti-war member of the pre-war National Diet who was well-known at the time for his daily speeches at Sukiyabashi crossing in Ginza, Tokyo. The party advocated state ownership of industries with the Emperor as the head decision maker. They emphasized the need for solidarity with the United States and South Korea in the fight against communism. Their propaganda vans were decorated with the Stars and Stripes alongside the Japanese flag, and Akao once stated that Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima) should be blown up as it represents an obstacle to friendship with South Korea. A former party member, Otoya Yamaguchi, was responsible for the 1960 assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, the head of the Japanese Socialist Party, at a televised rally.
  • Issuikai () - Formed in 1972 as part of what was then known as the "new right-wing" movement which rejected the pro-American rhetoric of the traditional right wing. It sees the Japanese government as an American puppet state and demands "complete independence". Advocates the setting up of a new United Nations on the basis that the current UN structure is a relic of the Second World War. Fiercely critical of the Bush Administration over issues such as the Iraq War and the Kyoto Protocol.

Groups affiliated with yakuza syndicates

  • Nihon Seinensha (, "Japan Youth Society") - one of the largest organizations with 2000 members. Set up by the Sumiyoshi-ikka syndicate in 1961. Since 1978, members have constructed two lighthouses and a Shinto shrine on the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyutai), a collection of uninhabited islets claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan.[8] In June 2000, two members of the society attacked the offices of a magazine which ran a headline which was allegedly disrespectful to Princess Masako.
  • Nihon K?mint? (, "Japan Emperor's People Party") - affiliated to the Inagawa-kai syndicate. In 1987, it conducted a bizarre campaign to smear Noboru Takeshita during his quest for the position of Prime Minister, by constantly broadcasting excessive praise of Takeshita using twenty loudspeaker trucks. The broadcasts were stopped after the intervention of Shin Kanemaru. This incident led to a series of political scandals which eventually highlighted the involvement of organized crime in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.[9] In April 2004, a bus belonging to the group rammed the gate of the Chinese consulate in Osaka, damaging the gate.[10] Police arrested Nobuyuki Nakagama, the driver, and Ko Chong-Su, a Korean member of the group, for orchestrating the attack.
  • Taik?sha (, "Great Enterprise Society") - a Tokyo-based organization with about 700 members, officially affiliated to the Inagawa-kai syndicate.
  • Seikijuku (, "Sane Thinkers School") - a group based in Nagasaki Prefecture set up in 1981. Responsible for a number of violent incidents, including the 1991 near-fatal shooting of the mayor of Nagasaki who stated that Emperor Hirohito was responsible for the war.
  • Y?koku D?shikai () - an extreme nationalist party. The group set fire to Ichir? K?no's house in 1963. The members were armed with guns and katana, took eight hostages, and barricaded themselves in Japan Business Federation's office in 1977. Its leader Sh?suke Nomura had admired Korean nationalist An Jung-geun as a patriot. On 37th election of assembly members of the House of Representatives (1983), a secretary of Shintar? Ishihara defamed his opposition candidate Sh?kei Arai (Bak gyeong-jae/) as a "Korean", the party protested hard against Shintar? Ishihara.

Other groups


See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Forgiving the culprits: Japanese historical revisionism in a post-cold war context published in the International Journal of Peace Studies
  5. ^ David E. Kaplan, Alec Dubro, "Yakuza:The Explosive Account of Japan's Criminal Underworld," Collier Books, August 1987
  6. ^ Hori Yukio, "Uyoku power in the Post-World War II" Keisoshobo, October 1993 (Japanese Book)
  7. ^ Manabu Yamazaki, "An affirmative theory of modern yakuza" Chikumashobo, June 2007(Japanese Book)
  8. ^ "Japanese nationalists visit disputed Tiaoyutai island - Taipei Times". Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "Kakuei Tanaka - a political biography of modern Japan:". Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "People's Daily Online -- China indignant at Japanese right-wing attack on Consulate General in Osaka". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ a b Bacchi, Umberto (September 8, 2014). "Japanese Minister Sanae Takaichi in Neo-Nazi Photo Controversy". International Business Times. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (4 December 2014). "Police in Japan place anti-Zainichi Korean extremist group Zaitokukai on watchlist". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2017-09-02. Retrieved 2017.

External links

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