Hitoshi Yamakawa

Kazuo Shiga, as he appeared in 1926.

Kazuo Shiga (Japanese: 志賀 和男, Shiga Kazuo) (October 20th, 1879 - October 14th, 1956) was an Akitian philosopher and Akitian communist intellectual. He played a leading role in the foundation of the Communist Party of Akitsu and was the founder of it's predecessor, the Akitian Factory Laborers Union. Shiga's political, economic, and social theories and ideals are the basis of Shigaism, the most commonly followed form of communism in Akitsu.


Early Life

Kazuo was born on October 20th, 1879 in Nishihama Province. He belonged to a relatively well-off family in the upper-middle class. He went through education with fairly good grades, not exceptional but still on the good side. He attended the local public primary and secondary school, and then went on to graduate from high school. Throughout these years Kazuo was a fairly normal boy, in many ways indistinguishable from the average Akitian child at the time with the exception of the fact that he was better off than others.

During high school Kazuo showed a passion for writing philosophical works, often writing analysis of various issues at the time. Most of these works did nothing much more than analyze the different positions of each side, with Kazuo occaisionally going into what he thought of each opinion. However, nearly all of Kazuo's early works do not include Kazuo's opinion.

Kazuo enrolled in university immediately after graduating from high school. He was accepted into Nishihama Provincial University. There, Kazuo studied business and economics. Here it is known that Kazuo became a capitalist, and upon graduation from high school Kazuo immediately started his own business. At the same time, Kazuo also started looking at investing in the emerging stock markets.

Founding of the Akitian Factory Laborers Union

Kazuo's business suddenly experiences a downturn in sales in 1903. One year later in 1904, Kazuo had to close down his business. At the same time, Kazuo's investments went horribly wrong and he had to borrow a lot of money from a local bank in order to get more money to invest in the stock market. Eventually, Kazuo found that he could not pay the money he borrowed back without a job. In order to do this in 1905 Kazuo took a job at a local factory in order to gt some form of income.

At the factory, Kazuo found the working conditions abhorrent. The risk of injury combined with extremely harsh treatment led Kazuo to start questioning the entire system that he had been believing in so far. By 1906 Kazuo found himself in an ideological peril, in order to try and find a "new path" Kazuo started reading the books of many political authors. The most prominent book that Kazuo read was the Communist Manifesto. He found himself fascinated by this work, and continued on to read Das Kapital. Eventually he also read Industri ond Ins by Mikail Strasson.

However Kazuo found himself disagreeing with some of the core concepts of Marxism, and thus went on to publish his own paper titled Communism of Akitsu in 1908 in which he outlined a version of communist ideology that Kazuo believed Akitsu should adopt. This work wasn't a commercial success, but it was a small hit among his factory workers. Eventually Kazuo gained enough support to be able to found the Akitian Factory Laborers Union in 1909. The Akitian Factory Laborers Union subsequently started growing rabidly, with it's base expanding every day.

Kazuo would continue reading political works throughout his life, most notably when he read Mein Kampf in 1932 to see what the Nazi's believed. Kazuo found himself in direct conflict with the Nazi Party of Germany when he called the ideology, particularly the extent that it took antisemitism, "morally flawed at best and absolute evil at worst".

Foundation of the Communist Party of Akitsu

Kazuo however believed that having a union was not enough to gain sufficient change.