National Youth Groups: Japan

Figure 1.--.

HBU has been able to find very little information on nationalist youth groups in Japam. Japan had nationalist youth organization--"Seinen Dan". "Seinen" means "youth" and "Dan" is for "Group". "Seinen Dan" was originally established in 1880 to promote social activities for youth in the new modernizing Japan. I do not know much about it. I think it was not political, and it aimed to assist young people adjust in mind and manner to rapidly changing new circumstances of the post Meiji-Ishin (Meiji Restoration). I believe the organization was disbanded after World War II. The Japanese Government during the 1930s turned to this organization to help promote militarism. A Japanese reader wtites, "In my dairy entries while we were in Tokyo I made no influence related to the "Seinen Dan". I don't know what activities were popular in the country side. I am sure we young boys was earnestly inclined to get information of the Navy Academy and the Military Academy. Both academies was the object of admiration of the young people. Note: Usually, we do not use the word 'Seinen' for the youth. The word 'Seinen' was coinaged in the Meiji. Historically, we imported Kanji letters and phrases from China, but this 'Seinen' is not in Chinese vocabulary. Some academic would have developed this new word for 'youth' meaning the new you of a modernizing Japan. We usually use 'Wakamono' and 'Wakaihito'. 'Seinen' is used in official naming." [Fujioka] One researcher writes HBC, "I am interested in obtaining information on the carrying of swords by members of the Japanese youth organizations and specifically by the Kyoto City Youth Organization. I own a Kyoto City Youth Organization sword! That sword will be featured in the second edition of my book Swords of Imperial Japan 1868-1945. [Dawson]A Canadian reader writes, "I recommend (although it is very very gruesome) a film called "Men Behind the Sun" (1988) made about the atrocities the Youth Corps were a part of at the infamous Unit 731 camp for biochemical warfare near Harbin in Northern China." [Thompson]


Dawson, Jim. E-mail message, August 5, 2004.

Fujioka, Keisuke. E-mail message, September 4, 2003.

Thompson, James. E-mail message, January 28, 2007.


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