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Crossing Empire's EdgeForeign Ministry Police and Japanese Expansionism in Northeast Asia$

Erik Esselstrom

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832315

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832315.001.0001

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Policing Resistance to the Imperial State

Policing Resistance to the Imperial State

(p.65) 3 Policing Resistance to the Imperial State
Crossing Empire's Edge

Erik Esselstrom

University of Hawai'i Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how the consular police dealt with political resistance to the imperial Japanese state throughout the informal empire in China. It begins with a discussion of the nature of colonial resistance and political dissent in Chinese treaty ports, particularly Shanghai. It then considers the Gaimushō's counterinsurgency operations in Jiandao and the attempt by the Fengtian consular police to harness local Korean collaborators in their fight against violent Korean resistance. It also explores a series of interrelated political security agreements in 1925 that affected the course of consular police evolution. The chapter shows that the Korean independence movement in exile, along with the emergence of formal communist organizations on the home islands, forced the Japanese state to allocate more consular police resources to political intelligence work.

Keywords:   consular police, political resistance, Japan, China, political dissent, Gaimushō, counterinsurgency, political security, Korean independence movement, communist organizations

Until the end of the First World War, the Japanese consular police in northeast Asia had been a relatively small organization, focused on the duty of managing the public welfare of Japanese resident communities on the continent. As such, their daily activities consisted primarily of mundane administrative tasks and the execution of basic public health and security measures. The eruption of the Korean independence movement on March 1, 1919, and the emergence of an international communist movement centered in Moscow, however, both inspired a radical transformation in the perceived mission of the Japanese consular police. The treaty port environments of China provided Korean independence activists with a safe haven of sorts to organize and execute their plans for resistance to Japanese imperialism because there they were beyond the reach of colonial Japanese police in Korea and could thus operate with relative freedom.1 In a short time, however, as their activities quickly came under the surveillance of Japanese consular authorities, the suppression of Korean nationalist and communist movements in China and Manchuria became the overwhelmingly dominant theme in consular police activities during the 1920s.2

Unfortunately for the Japanese, however, just as the March First Movement in Korea created this new security crisis, Chinese resentment concerning the dubious legality of Japanese police operating on Chinese soil also boiled over following China’s own nationalist awakening of May Fourth. With widespread anti-Japanese demonstrations rocking almost every major city in China during the summer of 1919, this was clearly not an environment in which one could expect Sino-Japanese police cooperation to improve. What then compounded the difficulty even further for Japanese authorities was their perception that the need to crush the Korean nationalist movement in China was more than just a matter of consolidating overseas colonial authority; the connections between Korean independence activists and Japanese socialists made policing political resistance to the imperial Japanese state throughout the informal empire in China a task with domestic as well as international consequences.

This chapter turns first to the nature of colonial resistance and political dissent in Chinese treaty ports, particularly Shanghai, where the consular (p.66) police initially sought solutions based on cooperation with other foreign powers in the city, especially France. The focus then shifts to Jiandao, where a combination of strong Chinese resistance to the expansion of consular police facilities and more radicalized expressions of Korean resistance pushed the Gaimushō toward more unilateral policies. Third, the analysis will delve deeply into an attempt by the Fengtian consular police to cultivate local Korean collaborators in their fight against violent Korean resistance, and finally, the discussion will examine a series of interrelated political security agreements in 1925 that began to set consular police evolution on a new course. What runs through the entire chapter, however, is the central theme of consular police action against ideological threats to the imperial state, whether those threats were posed by nationalists or communists, Koreans or Japanese.

Politics and Terrorism in the Treaty Ports

The challenge posed by the Korean independence movement in exile first made itself known in the foreign concession districts of urban Shanghai. The French Concession in particular quickly evolved after 1919 into a hotbed of Korean anti-Japanese organization and activity. Throughout the 1920s, both the colonial Korean Government-General and the Home Ministry in Tokyo engaged in coordinated actions with Foreign Ministry police in Shanghai to acquire intelligence about and execute the arrest of participants in these “subversive” movements.3

The most visible target of Japanese consular police concern in Shanghai was the Provisional Government of Korea, formed in exile during the spring of 1919.4 Generally speaking, moderate resistance organizations such as the Provisional Government aimed to achieve independence from Japanese colonial domination by seeking support from and obtaining legitimacy through the recognition of the Western international community. Seeking financial aid from both the Soviet Union and the United States, the leaders of this government body in exile made their headquarters in the French Concession of Shanghai, where they enjoyed a reasonable degree of free movement and expression because Japanese police could not act unilaterally within the French Concession. An international settlement police force, which did include dozens of Japanese, operated in other areas of the port, but the French zone was exclusive, making it the favored staging ground for Korean independence activists.5 In addition to the Shanghai government in exile, other moderate independence activists set up similar bodies in Irkutsk and Vladivostok.6 The Shanghai branch, however, was the largest and most visible, with many of the most internationally recognized Korean independence leaders being affiliated with the Shanghai group. Nonetheless, the varied nature of Korean resistance (p.67) as reflected in the large number of exile organizations contributed to conflict and competition between them for financial and logistical support from foreign governments.

As early as July 1919, when the independence movement was still only a few months old, the Korean Government-General had provided Foreign Ministry police in Shanghai with a detailed list of Korean activists to be arrested and detained or deported as soon as possible. The list included twenty-two men, ranging in age from the late thirties to midfifties, all residents of the French Concession, and the description of their crimes contained charges of conspiring to undermine Japanese colonial rule in Korea by fomenting dissent among overseas Koreans and pursuing the acquisition of money and weapons to be used against Japan.7 Assistance in apprehending these “criminals” was not often forthcoming from Chinese authorities in the city, perhaps understandably so, but it was cooperation from the French government that the Japanese consular police needed most.8

By June 1920, the consular police in Shanghai had independently assembled a vast amount of information on the organization and membership of the Provisional Government.9 As early as October 1919, however, evidence suggests that preliminary efforts toward Japanese–French cooperation in suppressing the Korean Provisional Government were also already taking shape. What brought the two sides together at this early stage was the mutual recognition of their shared problems related to colonial security; French authorities wanted the metropolitan Japanese government to hand over Vietnamese revolutionaries in Tokyo, while Japanese officials wanted help in cracking down on these Korean activists in Shanghai.10 The possibility of collaborative police action was evident during the latter half of 1920—for example, when French concession authorities cooperated with Japanese police by seizing the printing equipment of a pro-independence Korean newspaper and closing down its office. When the same paper was back in business by December, however, Japanese police then again pressed their French counterparts for assistance.11

In fact, the activities of Korean radicals in the French Concession quickly emerged as a thorn in the side of Japanese diplomacy with France. One consular official complained in August 1922, for example, of what seemed to him French duplicity in anti-Japanese Korean activities. “On the surface they offer assistance,” he explained, “but then they do not follow through with their promises and there is no sincerity in their words.” Moreover, this official also claimed that French concession authorities even sometimes went so far as to provide protection for Korean radicals.12 While international cooperation was thus not always forthcoming, the Japanese consular police nonetheless did attempt to forge such ties early on.

Shanghai was not the only treaty port environment where Korean independence (p.68) activism began to occupy a great deal of consular police time and resources; Tianjin also emerged as a center of organizational operations behind the Korean independence movement. As early as August 1920, Tianjin consular police office began reporting on the movements of “rebellious groups” (futei dan) in their concession neighborhoods.13 By the spring of 1921, police were making arrests of suspected radicals when possible and carrying out surveillance of others, such as An Chang-ho, when they made public speeches.14 Pockets of Korean resistance groups in Peking also soon spoke up in opposition to Japanese colonial policy on the peninsula. In March 1921, Peking consular police placed several dozen local Korean residents on a list of suspects targeted for surveillance, and a year later police introduced a more formal plan for the control of “rebellious Koreans.” As explained in the plan description, the growth in numbers of radical Korean activists in North China since 1919 far outpaced the numbers of Japanese police there to control them, but the current staff pledged to do as much as they could while seeking out the cooperation of local Chinese security forces.15

The increasing significance of anti-Japanese activism among overseas Koreans was not limited to North China. Consular police in several southern Chinese cities also reported trouble in their neighborhoods. Several examples from Nanjing and Canton stand out in particular. Consular police in Canton reported to Tokyo on the local activities of prominent independence activist of Yŏ Un-hyŏng in May 1921.16 Later that year in September, concern also grew over how best to control a local organization called the China-Korea Assistance Association (Chū-Kan kyōkai), established to facilitate mutual assistance between local Chinese and Korean residents.17 A similar group, China-Korea Mutual Aid Society (Chū-Kan kokumin gojosha sōsha), had been formed a year earlier in Shanghai, so the consular police had already been alerted to the problem of potential ties between discontented Chinese and Korean residents that shared animosity toward Japan.18

The anti-Japanese activism of moderate political independence organizations and mutual assistance associations was undoubtedly a major source of consular police anxiety and a primary target of consular police surveillance, but more radical Korean activists took center stage during the early 1920s. Specifically, an organization known as the Ŭiyŏldan soon became an equally if not more important target of Gaimushō police action in Shanghai.19 The Ŭiyŏldan, founded and headed by Kim Wŏn-bong, was an organization committed to the physical destruction of Japanese power in Korea, and its members carried out bombings of colonial offices on the peninsula as well as attacks on symbols of Japanese authority throughout northeast Asia. They also engaged in tactical assassinations of Japanese colonial officials, and it was their attempted assassination of (p.69) General Tanaka Giichi in Shanghai in the spring of 1922 that brought the Ŭiyŏldan to the forefront of consular police strategy.20 Until that time, Ŭiyŏldan operations had been largely limited to targets within the Korean peninsula, but when they took their brand of anti-Japanese terrorism to Shanghai, Kim Wŏn-bong and his associates became the problem of Gaimushō police. In fact, it was the Shanghai consular police who arrested several members of the plot against General Tanaka.21

Much as they had done following the establishment of the Provisional Government, the Shanghai consular police quickly assembled an extraordinary amount of information about Ŭiyŏldan organization, leadership, and ideology.22 The Ŭiyŏldan was particularly adept at assassination via strategically planted explosive devices, so the consular police made preventing the group from acquiring such materiel a high priority. In the fall of 1923, the Shanghai police scored a significant victory in this mission when an undercover sting operation resulted in the seizure of fifty bombs from the Ŭiyŏldan in the French Concession. This episode reveals more, however, than just the efficacy of consular police tactics in Shanghai. The investigation also revealed that Ŭiyŏldan activists were working hand in hand with rebel groups from western Jiandao and other parts of Manchuria. Furthermore, it is important to note that the details of these arrests were first made known to Kasumigaseki by the Korea Government-General police bureau chief, not the Shanghai consul; compelling evidence indeed of how deep the hands of colonial authorities in Korea could reach into Gaimushō police affairs in China.23

The activities of the Ŭiyŏldan are especially significant because they so effectively illustrate the complexity of imperial resistance and Japanese attempts to crush it. Ŭiyŏldan fighters targeted symbols of Japanese power from Seoul to Shanghai to Osaka. In turn, metropolitan police forces in Tokyo compiled intelligence reports on the group, just as colonial security forces did in Korea and consular police departments did in China.24 The Foreign Ministry police were thus one link in a transregional chain of political security institutions stretching across northeast Asia by the mid-1920s. In 1924, Shanghai consular police made an important advance in their efforts against politically subversive and terrorist organizations, especially the Ŭiyŏldan. Using information obtained through “interrogations” of several Ŭiyŏldan members in police custody, Shanghai officers executed several sting operations in January, netting additional key intelligence and making more arrests. Despite that progress, however, the greatest obstacle standing in the way of Japanese plans to crush movements such as the Ŭiyŏldan was the lack of cooperation from French concession security forces.25

In fact, the problem of police collaboration was severe enough to reach the highest levels of Japanese–French diplomacy. In 1924, for example, Shanghai consul Yada Shichitarō asked French authorities to (p.70) banish “recalcitrant Koreans [futei Senjin]” from the Shanghai concession to the greatest extent possible and by whatever means available. He also then pressed the French to allow for the arrest of suspects directly by Japanese police authorities, and even further urged that France approve of Japanese police being armed in the concession area. If that just was not feasible, then the French should offer as much police muscle as possible in support of Japanese security sweeps. Finally, Yada stressed the need for good intelligence from French police on the known addresses of suspected Korean independence agitators.

The French response was carefully crafted. As for the first point, the French ambassador explained that banishing someone not clearly engaged in activity that created disorder in the concession was problematic. He then continued to point out that, regrettably, even when including Vietnamese and Chinese assistants, the French concession police force had only six hundred men and that fact made it difficult to support Japanese police operations with large numbers of officers. Finally, he added that French intelligence on addresses of local Koreans was not up-to-date and would be of little use to Japanese police. In short, the French ambassador stonewalled every point put forth by Consul Yada.26

How can this French reluctance to provide greater assistance be explained? It must be pointed out that during earlier years (especially before 1910), the Japanese had been less than eager to help the French crack-down on Vietnamese activists in Tokyo.27 The revolutionary Phan Bội Châu among others was of particular concern to French authorities, who well knew that he was living in protected exile in Tokyo during the years following the Russo-Japanese War.28 For many in Japanese diplomatic circles, the idea of helping a European colonial power to suppress the national aspirations of a fledgling Asian independence movement put them in an awkward position, to say the least. Many Gaimushō officials were also involved (or had been) with the East Asia Common Culture Academy (Tō-A Dōbun Shōin), an institution devoted to pan-Asian progress and education.29 As such, many were quite friendly with Vietnamese nationalists in exile, and helping the French government to arrest them would have been unthinkable. After the 1910 annexation of Korea, however, the Japanese state, of course, had its own anticolonial resistance to worry about. A decade later, when the independence movement of 1919 had come to pose a serious security problem in Shanghai, the Japanese now needed French help. Perhaps understandably, then, the French did more than a little foot dragging when it came to Japanese requests for help against Korean exiles in Shanghai. It is important to remember, however, that French reluctance to provide assistance in the suppression of Korean resistance cannot necessarily be interpreted as a form of French support or sympathy for Korean independence activists. French authorities would (p.71) have quite readily turned over valuable intelligence information to their fellow colonial overlords in Tokyo if only Japanese security forces had reciprocated with information on exiled Vietnamese revolutionaries.30

Even if French help had been more forthcoming, Korean independence activists were not the only problem in Shanghai. A series of reports from the early 1920s also indicates the concern expressed by colonial authorities in Korea regarding Shanghai as a site where Japanese, Korean, and Chinese “extremists” might find common ground and begin to pool their resources. One of the earliest warnings came in May 1920, when the Government-General warned of Bolsheviks arriving in Shanghai from Vladivostok and a meeting between a Japanese socialist named Kita Kijirō, Korean revolutionaries, and anti-Japanese Chinese.31 A July 1921 document further suggested that Korean communists in Shanghai might conspire with Japanese communists and acquire from them much needed financial support.32 Another report from November 1921 identified a particularly suspicious Japanese communist in Shanghai named Aoyama, and then cited evidence that certain Koreans had recently traveled to Tokyo to establish links with the nascent Japanese Communist Party (JCP).33

As George Beckmann and Okubo Genji made clear in their classic study of the Japanese Communist Party, the Comintern played a critical role in facilitating the initial creation of the official party organization. It is not insignificant that the part of intermediary between Moscow and Tokyo was played by Korean communist agents, whose connections to the Comintern had already been established. Between the late spring of 1920 and the summer of 1921, several meetings between Japanese communists such as Ōsugi Sakae and Kondō Eizō and Korean agents took place in Tokyo and Shanghai.34 Metropolitan police authorities in Tokyo knew quite well that leading leftists such as Ōsugi Sakae, Yamakawa Hiroshi, and Katayama Sen had connections with Korean communists and Soviet agents in Shanghai.35 The consular police there served in effect as the local branch office of homeland state authority, seeking to stifle voices of political dissent well beyond the borders of domestic society. The nature and progress of Korean resistance in Shanghai, then, was much more than a just threat to Japanese colonial control over the peninsula. The success of the Korean communist organization in Shanghai with the aid of the Comintern posed a direct threat to the stability of metropolitan society itself.

Vice Home Minister Kobashi Ichita articulated this fear dramatically in April 1921, arguing that because the world had seen a widespread escalation of Russian extremism since the end of the First World War, domestic security forces had taken steps to bolster and unify their intelligence. Because Russian, Chinese, and Korean “plots” against Japan could find in Shanghai fertile ground in which to blossom, Kobashi claimed, stronger steps toward intelligence integration were needed. To that end, he instructed (p.72) that experienced intelligence officers from the Korea Government-General and the Home Ministry be stationed within the Shanghai consular police force to oversee that integration. The Foreign Ministry’s Asia Bureau responded in June by approving the joint appointment of a Home Ministry police superintendent as a consular police superintendent in Shanghai, suggesting important links between domestic and foreign police work at a time when formal communist parties were taking shape on both fronts.36

The substantial number of Korean students in Japan during the early 1920s and the efforts of metropolitan police to keep a close eye on their political activities is a further reminder of the transnational dimension of the colonial security problem.37 The most well-known example of both official and popular conflation of Korean nationalist activism and left-wing Japanese dissent took place in the aftermath of the Great Kanto earthquake of September 1, 1923. Suspicious of their inciting insurrection amid the chaos of the quake-ravaged capital, metropolitan police and vigilante gangs murdered thousands of resident Koreans and detained thousands of Japanese leftists and labor leaders, a number of whom also died in police custody. The case of Japanese anticolonial anarchist Kaneko Fumiko, who was arrested along with her romantic and revolutionary Korean partner, Pak Yŏl in the course of post-quake police action, also seemed to confirm the potential for collaboration between rebellious Koreans and Japanese in the eyes of police authorities.38 Perhaps the more revealing case, however, was that of Sano Manabu earlier that year. Sano was a central leader in the Japanese communist movement, and in May 1923 metropolitan police raided his Waseda University office, eventually turning up lists of all JCP members. Shortly thereafter, police began arresting its members in a series of nationwide actions during June 1923. Sano was among those to escape the dragnet, and it is worth noting that he fled to Shanghai, where he then became the concern of the Japanese consular police.39 Because socialism was thus considered an ideological threat that crossed national boundaries and identities, the boundaries of Japanese police power needed to be just as flexible and porous. It was the Foreign Ministry police that made such a security network possible.

Resistance and Counterinsurgency in Jiandao

Like Shanghai, the Jiandao area became a hotbed of revolutionary anti-Japanese activity after the eruption of the Korean independence movement of 1919. Unlike Shanghai, however, most Korean organizations in Jiandao and throughout Manchuria were prone almost immediately to develop more radical forms of resistance against Japanese colonialism. Because of its strategic location across the Korea-Manchuria border, Korean (p.73) guerrillas could conduct operations on Korean territory and then quickly retreat to the refuge offered on the Chinese side of the boundary. Cities in the Manchurian frontier and the Russian Far East also offered refuge for the strategic planning of Korean independence groups committed to violent resistance. Before the year was out, the Gaimushō clearly recognized the critical severity of this problem. Foreign Minister Uchida Yasuya ordered the consuls in China, Manchuria, and Vladivostok to do everything possible to crush rebellious Korean organizations within their jurisdiction. Significantly, Uchida also directed them to execute this objective through cooperation with local Chinese (or Russian) authorities.40 A multilateral framework was thus the preferred option of the Foreign Ministry early on, and this was a policy that consular police leadership would attempt to employ for as long as possible.

The police force of the Korea Government-General, however, surely had the greatest interest in and motivation for the suppression of Korean radicals in Manchuria, as its ability to rule was directly undermined by their activities. Therefore, on several occasions in late 1919 and early 1920, police bureau detachments from the northern portions of the Korean peninsula crossed the border and conducted raids on suspected radical base camps in Jiandao and elsewhere. These border crossings were illegal, of course, since the Korea Government-General had no legitimate jurisdiction within sovereign Chinese territory. When such operations did take place, local Chinese authorities responded, and rightly so, with protests and demands for an immediate end to such incursions.41

With the political limitations facing colonial police from Korea and the physical retribution that often fell upon local Korean collaborators, the pressure to crush Jiandao-based guerrilla activity increasingly came to rest on the shoulders of the Jiandao consular police force.42 The Jiandao consular police chief, Suematsu Kichiji, made numerous arguments based on his deep understanding of local conditions regarding the threat of increasing levels of “Bolshevization” in Korean communities. Financial and human resources then available in Jiandao to combat this threat, Suematsu claimed, were not nearly adequate.43 This was the beginning of a long and contentious battle between consular police leaders in the field and their Tokyo-based supervisors. In the summer of 1920, Suematsu provided the Gaimushō with even more warnings about the increasing radicalization of Jiandao Koreans and the evolving influence of Soviet communism in Jiandao.44 Still, Foreign Ministry bureaucrats in Kasumigaseki refused requests from the field for more staff on the grounds that an increase in police personnel would only further aggravate the Chinese side. Their suggestion, instead, was that the Jiandao consular police force work diligently to foster cooperation with local Chinese police in controlling the security crisis in the region.45 (p.74)

Policing Resistance to the Imperial State

Jiandao consular police chief Suematsu Kichiji, 1920s.

(Photo courtesy of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic archives, Tokyo)

Local Jiandao consular police did indeed attempt to develop cooperative solutions with local Chinese security forces. For example, during July and August 1920, several programs to loan weapons and other equipment to Chinese police were put into place.46 However, problems in communication and coordination between the two sides persisted, as evidenced by an incident during which three Japanese patrolmen on an undercover assignment disguised in Korean and Chinese dress were arrested and detained by Chinese police.47 Regional Japanese branch offices of the Jiandao consular police network also held meetings to better integrate their intelligence and make what little they could do against the insurgency more effective.48 However, without sufficient manpower, the limits of consular police efficacy were obvious to those at the local level.

Events during the fall of 1920 placed intense new pressures on the Jiandao consular police to expand their capabilities when in mid-September a “bandit” force several hundred men strong attacked the town of Hunchun. In their raid, the attackers burned several consular buildings, looted local shops, and murdered a number of local Japanese and Korean residents. A handful of consular police officers were also (p.75) wounded and killed during the battle.49 In response to the attack at Hunchun, elements of the Japanese Army in Korea crossed the border and joined Jiandao region consular police forces in what came to be called the Jiandao Expedition.50 From late 1920 through the early spring of 1921, army and police forces carried out “search and destroy” patrols that included numerous on-site executions as well as arrests. Foreign criticism of Japanese tactics during the expedition was severe, and Western Christian missionaries in Korea, mostly Americans, were especially harsh in their public condemnation of Japanese brutality.51 However, the Japanese defended their actions as a necessary response to lawlessness on the Manchurian frontier. In fact, several Japanese defenders of the expedition drew a direct comparison between it and the United States invasion of northern Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa, whose armies had terrorized American communities in the southwest.52

The exact story of what happened on the night of September 12, 1920, in Hunchun is a matter of heated controversy. Many Korean scholars, and some Japanese, argue that the Hunchun attack was most likely staged by agents of the Japanese Army in Korea to provide a reason for large-scale military operations in the area against any and all anti-Japanese elements there. Other Japanese historians have argued that the conspiracy theory is patently false. They stress that Jiandao was indeed a lawless frontier region in which bandit gangs routinely terrorized local communities. Thus, they argue that the Japanese response, if a bit too severe, was ultimately justified.53 Perhaps it is also significant to consider the timing of the Hunchun attack in evaluating the Japanese response to it. Earlier in 1920, there had been a massacre of Japanese civilians by Russian bandits in Siberia at the village of Nikolaevsk. In fact, the Seoul-based Japanese periodical Chōsen oyobi Manshū ran an editorial in October 1920 asking if the Hunchun Incident was not a second Nikolaevsk.54 While this certainly would not justify the violence wrought on thousands of innocent Korean residents at the hands of the Japanese Army, it is nonetheless necessary to consider the state of mind of Japanese resident communities in Manchuria and the Russian Far East after Nikolaevsk.

Indeed, the role played by local Japanese and Korean communities in providing support for the Jiandao Expedition was substantial. Community groups repeatedly sent petitions to the Foreign Ministry demanding a strong response to the recent attacks. In fact, local Korean resident associations were often more adamant in their demands for greater Japanese police actions than were the local Japanese communities. In addition, these groups sent many requests to delay the withdrawal of troops until a greater degree of stability had been restored. Pressure from local Chinese authorities and international criticism had pushed Japan toward the troop withdrawal, but the local Korean community (p.76) tried hard to prevent it. In their view, Japanese police power was the only force available to protect their livelihoods from the depredations of criminal gangs and radical Korean resistance groups.55

After the Japanese Army had withdrawn from the area in the spring of 1921, the Gaimushō responded to the recent crisis by bolstering its consular police facilities in Jiandao. For example, a number of new branch police stations were set up in order to strengthen local-intelligence gathering capabilities.56 In response to the various new police facilities that Jiandao consular authorities were establishing in the region, local Chinese officials lodged numerous petitions in opposition to the expansion. In fact, the Chinese side refused even to recognize the legal legitimacy of the new Japanese police outposts and furthermore demanded that the new stations be closed down and their officers withdrawn.57 The Chinese strongly objected to these fortifications of Japanese police power in Jiandao because in their view the withdrawal of army units was meaningless if Japan simply replaced them with larger numbers of quasi-colonial police officers. Despite Chinese protest, however, the expansion went on. Perhaps the most significant step was the establishment of a keisatsubu, or “police headquarters,” at the main consulate in Longjincun in April 1921. The new office would serve as a central point of command and control for all Japanese police operations in the Jiandao region. The headquarters divided its duties into three subsections: normal police duties, police training, and special high police work, or tokubetsu kōtō keisatsu (tokkō). The creation of a tokkō department within the Jiandao police network was a significant step in the politicization of consular police functions in Manchuria.58

The summer of 1922 saw what appeared to many to be a replay of the Hunchun Incident two years earlier. On this occasion, a gang of several hundred mounted “bandits” attacked the town of Toudaogou. As before, they burned Japanese consular facilities and also attacked the police station and its jail to release several imprisoned comrades. Furthermore, the attackers went out of their way to target the homes and businesses of local Koreans deemed to be “Japan-friendly.” This was especially true of Koreans who worked in and with Japanese police networks.59 To many in the local consular police network, the violence at Toudaogou was proof that local Chinese police could not effectively counter the wanton destruction of bandit gangs and the subversive activities of more politically minded Korean radical organizations. In the wake of the Toudaogou incident, the Foreign Ministry thus initiated another wave of personnel increases and other police-force reinforcements that continued throughout 1923 and into the following year. By the middle of 1924, the expansion of Japanese consular police forces in Jiandao had stabilized. The consulate-general at Longjincun, including its keisatsubu and the regular police section, had (p.77)

Policing Resistance to the Imperial State

Police staff of the Hunchun Consulate training on machine guns, early 1920s.

(Photo courtesy of the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic archives, Tokyo)

159 officers. Another 323 policemen were scattered between the four subconsulates and their smaller branch outposts, making a total of 482 consular police officers in the Jiandao region as of May 1924. That nearly 20 percent of those officers were Korean reflects the politically and ideologically divided nature of their community in Jiandao.60

It is also worth noting that the same pressures that led to the creation of a tokkō section in the Jiandao consular police office in 1924 were, of course, also at work in the homeland. The economic recession in Japan during the last year of the First World War sparked an increase in labor activism and rural unrest, the most well-known episode of disorder being the Rice Riots of 1918. The Home Ministry responded to these events by revamping its police surveillance system, while the Justice Ministry began pushing for new laws designed to preserve public order. The year 1922 then saw the official establishment of the Japanese Communist Party, and widespread arrests of JCP members were carried out in 1923. Between 1923 and 1924, the Metropolitan Police Bureau (Keishichō) also increased its number of tokkō officers by twice the amount of the previous year’s increase. New tokkō sections were also set up throughout 1923 in Hokkaido, Kanagawa, Nagano, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo, Yamaguchi, and Fukuoka.61 At home and abroad during the early 1920s, then, Japanese police networks responded to the challenge of left-wing radicalism, both Japanese and Korean, with vigor.

Finally, one should recognize that the early history of the Jiandao consular police and its response to the evolution of overseas Korean resistance is markedly different from the manner in which consular police forces developed in Chinese treaty ports such as Shanghai and Tianjin. In Jiandao, Gaimushō police faced more serious and immediate threats of violence (p.78) from radical Korean independence groups. They also had to face much stronger opposition to their activities from local Chinese authorities. With superiors back in Tokyo who could not see local circumstances in the same light, the Jiandao consular police thus began to cultivate a spirit of unilateral adventurism very early on in the war against Korean resistance in exile.

Local Collaborators: The Manchuria People’s Protection Society

Nationalist movements in China and Korea during the spring and summer of 1919 created a two-tiered problem for Japanese police, especially in Manchuria. The political opposition and terrorist violence inspired by the Korean independence movement of March first meant that the necessity for effective police work was greater than ever before. Almost simultaneously, however, the Chinese nationalist movement of May fourth meant that smooth and reliable Sino-Japanese cooperation regarding police work would become more elusive than ever before. The solution to this difficult conundrum would then here seem quite impossible: to find local non-Chinese collaborators in Manchuria who were amenable to the notion of suppressing Korean independence activists. The Japanese consular police in Fengtian, however, managed to stumble upon this very thing.

The position of the Foreign Ministry’s consular police forces in south Manchuria was quite different from that of forces in other parts of Manchuria. In Fengtian and regions immediately surrounding the South Manchuria Railway Company’s main line, the authority and jurisdiction of consular police had to compete with police forces of Japan’s Kwantung Government-General. Beyond that, the most influential regional Chinese warlord, Zhang Zuolin, also made Fengtian his headquarters. Therefore, local Chinese authorities under Zhang’s control also competed for influence over the management of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese communities in the area.62 As in other parts of Manchuria, the Fengtian area played host to various anti-Japanese Korean organizations. However, unlike the course of action in Jiandao where Japan had ultimately relied on unilateral solutions to the security crisis, what had emerged by late 1920 was the need to formulate a strategy for suppressing Korean independence activists in Manchuria that did not rely solely on Japanese military power in the region. Japanese authorities needed a subtler (yet still swift and uncompromising) approach that would solve their security problems while stirring up as little protest as possible from Chinese and Western voices. To those ends, a fascinating collaborative venture aimed at crushing local Korean radicalism took shape during the early 1920s. This Sino-Korean-Japanese security organization (p.79) was called the Manshū hominkai (hereafter MHK), a name translatable as the Manchuria People’s Protection Society.63

Early in 1920, Ch’oe Ch’anggyu and a Korean associate called on the offices of the Kwantung Government-General in Lushun and presented a plan for developing a local self-defense organization in South Manchuria. After later obtaining a letter of introduction from Saitō Makoto, the governor-general of Korea, they approached the Japanese consulate in Fengtian to pitch their idea to police leadership there. By early June, the plan had been approved and the MHK was born.64 Significantly, a large majority of the group’s leadership were former members of the Ilchinhoe, a collaborationist association that helped facilitate the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910. Ilchinhoe ideology was rooted in late nineteenth-century Tonghak religious philosophy, the Tonghak movement being the violent and xenophobic peasant uprising behind civil disturbances on the Korean peninsular during the early 1890s. The process by which this Tonghak antiforeignism became Ilchinhoe collaborationism is best understood as a subtle shift from suspicion and fear of all foreigners to a more focused hostility aimed at the powers of Western Europe and North America. Thus, the Ilchinhoe saw cooperation with Japan as the best possible strategy for combating the predatory inclinations of more powerful foreign foes.65 As Stewart Lone has further explained, the Ilchinhoe had operated with two aims in mind: “reform of an unequal and unstable society and the ejection of the corrupt ruling dynasty.”66 In other words, these “pro-Japanese collaborators” were driven above all else by a desire for social and political reform within their own society. The Ilchinhoe judged cooperation with the Japanese to be the best way to achieve those goals. The ideological underpinnings of the MHK, based on a branch of Tonghak teachings called Chŏngdogyo, were quite similar.67

According to the group’s founding manifesto, their aim was twofold.68 One goal was the promotion of the general welfare of the Korean community in Manchuria. This would be done through educational and employment assistance, as well as by way of proper moral guidance under their religious principles. The second general aim of the organization was to stand in opposition to both radical Korean independence associations in Manchuria and the Provisional Government in Shanghai. Manchurian rebels and urban independence intellectuals were equally guilty of corrupting traditional Korean morality in the eyes of the MHK. Funding for the organization came largely from the Japanese colonial Government-General in Korea, but the Foreign Ministry also provided a limited amount of budgetary assistance. However, money and other resources funneled into the group were often lost to the pillaging of radical Korean opposition groups or to extortion by local Chinese authorities. Indeed, from the Chinese side the MHK appeared to (p.80) be a puppet organization designed to facilitate Japanese encroachment on Chinese territory and aid in undermining Chinese sovereignty in Manchuria. As such, MHK members were often the target of violent recrimination by local Chinese police.69

The early activities of the MHK included a wide variety of programs designed to improve the living conditions of local Koreans. They supported education and public health, and they also encouraged the development of local Korean entrepreneurship and economic development. In addition to these rather benign ventures, the MHK also facilitated the surveillance and arrest of Korean radicals operating throughout southern Manchuria. They provided critical intelligence by infiltrating local anti-Japanese organizations, and MHK members also participated in what amounted to political assassination squads led by Japanese kempeitai (military police) or Kwantung Government-General police officers.

A closer look at the details of the first official MHK “research expedition” reveals a more complete sense of the group’s operations and ideology. A Japanese report clearly indicates that a significant reason behind the establishment of the group was to deal with the problem of “disloyal Koreans” after the withdrawal of the Siberian expedition in 1922. The same report also claims that the participation of Zhang Zuolin was necessary for MHK activities, as only Zhang could instruct his local officials to protect MHK members and facilitate the group’s missions.70 In the first budget outlay, specific amounts of money were earmarked for certain activities. Almost half of the first budget went to costs of establishing the group, and another large chunk of funds went to supporting the research expeditions. Other expenses included construction costs for jeugyo (the sect of Ch’ŏngdogyo to which many members subscribed) churches, reward money for arrests, and propaganda activities in local Korean communities. Key among those activities was the publication of a group newsletter called the Manshū hominkai kaihō, or Minkaipō.71

The “research groups” mentioned above are perhaps the most intriguing aspect of MHK operations. Nine groups of police operatives participated in the first “research” expedition in January 1921. Each team was comprised of eighteen men (ten Japanese consular and military police, five MHK members, and three provincial Chinese police officers), accounting for a total of 162 men who fanned out across southern Manchuria that month in search of “rebellious” Koreans. Their operations were carried out in secret, members were well-armed and disguised, and Zhang Zuolin’s regime in Fengtian had provided the weapons.72 In their first trip, which lasted eight days from May 21 to May 29, a number of arrests were made and important documents seized. Curiously, the reports on this first expedition also reveal a rather provocative pattern of behavior. With alarming regularity, suspects arrested by MHK “research” squads are said (p.81) to have put up some kind of resistance after being taken into custody, and they were subsequently shot during the scuffle. The consistency of these reports suggests that, for all intents and purposes, these MHK research teams were paramilitary death squads.73

By the spring of 1921 the group had opened branches in numerous cities throughout southern Manchuria. Their early success inspired group leaders to petition for an expanded budget in March 1921.74 In their request, the MHK leadership cited the various dangers faced by the Korean community in Manchuria. At the root of most problems was the “dangerous thought” of extremist Russian Bolshevism. This ideology, the petitioners claimed, was having a profoundly negative effect on local Korean residents, since Korean radicals, inspired by these foreign evils, abused and pillaged Korean communities, and consequently popular anti-Japanese inclinations grew ever more intense. The MHK described their own role as being the most effective tool for fighting the social destruction caused by the importation of Western communist ideology and for preserving peace and stability among what they viewed as the brotherhood of East Asians. This petition was also clear in pointing out the corruptive influence of Western religious teachings, namely Christianity, suggesting that the MHK’s dual spiritual mission was helping the fight on that front as well. Signed by sixteen of the most influential leaders in the organization, the petition was received well by Japanese authorities in Fengtian, who authorized budget increases for the coming year. Certainly, these petitioners were to some extent telling Japanese officials what they wanted to hear in order to secure financial support for their activities. The group’s eager participation in violent assaults against fellow Korean residents, however, leaves little doubt that at least some of the ideological conflict and political rivalry within their community was quite genuine.

Aiba Kiyoshi, a long-time Foreign Ministry police veteran, had been working as an interpreter in Fengtian when the MHK was founded.75 Many years later, in September 1940, Aiba wrote up a report based on his experiences with the MHK to be included in the official Foreign Ministry police historical compendium, for which he was then serving as an editor. Although composed some fifteen years after the group’s abolition, Aiba’s report provides a number of fascinating insights into the nature of the organization.76 On the matter of the group’s foundation and early activities, Aiba noted that the leadership of the group was indeed almost exclusively made up of former Ilchinhoe officeholders, and he also drew a fascinating comparison between MHK ideology and the contemporary Japanese concept of Dai Ajia shugi or “Greater East Asianism,” a rhetorical pillar of Japanese conquest in China during the 1940s. Aiba further stated unequivocally that MHK research groups had indeed carried out the pursuit and assassination of rebellious Koreans, with the full knowledge and (p.82) consent of Zhang Zuolin. He also confirmed that MHK bands joined with Japanese army units during the Jiandao Expedition of 1920–1921, hunting down and shooting suspected Korean radicals.

In Aiba’s estimation, the activities of the MHK had ultimately produced numerous positive results. Both the number of “rebel gangs” (futei dan) and the scope of their disruptive activities were reduced during the MHK years of operation. Travel by Japanese civilians in Korea-Manchuria border regions had been made safer, Aiba claimed, and resistance groups faced greater difficulty in extorting money from local communities. The MHK had also served usefully, according to Aiba, as a conduit by which Japan-friendly ideas could be infused into local Korean communities, especially through their educational activities. Finally, border crossings from Manchuria into the Korean peninsula by “rebel gangs” decreased, and border incursions by Korean colonial police bureau forces became less frequent, helping smooth out Sino-Japanese relations in the area.77

It would seem, then, that Japanese authorities had found an answer to their delicate diplomatic problem. Radical Korean independence fighters were being suppressed, and it was being done without stirring the anger of local Chinese officials. In fact, local Chinese authorities were making the work possible. The early success did not last, however, as this attempt at counterinsurgency through indigenous collaborators soon fell victim to many of the difficulties that plague similar strategies in other geopolitical environments.

Despite the operational success and budgetary enthusiasm of 1921, problems began to emerge in the organization by the end of 1922. In September of that year, Japanese authorities convened a general conference of regional MHK leadership in Fengtian. Japanese Consul-General Akatsuka Shōsuke identified a number of problematic issues in his opening remarks, in particular the matter of ideological divisions within the MHK. These differences needed to be addressed, but Akatsuka argued that the more pressing problem was the breakdown of cooperation between Japanese and Chinese security forces in efforts to suppress radical Korean resistance activity in Manchuria.78 By the spring of 1923, however, the problems identified by Akatsuka had not been resolved. In fact, internal dissension and factionalization within the MHK had intensified. A petition filed by a small group of regional MHK leaders in April is indicative of the suspicions and mutual distrust that was beginning to tear the organization apart from the inside. After reviewing the history and mission of the organization, the petitioners brought up the matter of 25,000 yen earmarked for its activities that had mysteriously disappeared. While the accusation was vague, Ch’oe was mentioned by name in the complaint, a clear hint that his enemies suspected him of embezzlement.79 By July, this same group of insiders was (p.83) openly accusing Ch’oe and other high-level MHK officials of appropriating funds for their own personal use. “Ch’oe speaks of serving the good of the people,” they stated, “but in his heart he serves only himself.”80 The petition went on to describe a list of twenty-one crimes perpetrated by Ch’oe against the group and the Korean community in Manchuria as a whole. In short, the document was more than just a statement of censure; it was a call for Ch’oe’s expulsion from the organization.

To some Japanese officials, particularly those in the Kwantung Government-General, internal dissension such as this was proof that the MHK was a dismal failure. In fact, Japanese critics of the organization identified three main problems. First, radical Korean groups saw MHK members as running dogs of Japanese imperialism and thus targeted them and their families for violent intimidation and sometimes even assassination. Second, local Chinese authorities were also growing increasingly hostile to the MHK for reasons similar to those of radical Korean opposition forces, namely that the organization seemed to be a front for Japanese encroachment on Chinese sovereignty. Finally, as evidenced by the claims against Ch’oe, the MHK itself was disintegrating from within due to ideological conflicts between its members. The solution was simple according to the critics. First, the MHK had to be completely shut down and then replaced with a more low-key Korean residents’ association like those already in operation throughout Manchuria. Finally, former leaders of the group would have to be paid off with a handsome severance package, with extra careful attention to Ch’oe because of his deep connections to the Fengtian consulate.81

In October 1923, fearful that his organization would soon be on the chopping block, Ch’oe wrote to Foreign Minister Ijūin in defense of the MHK. He argued that inflammatory propaganda of rival religious sects had exaggerated the degree of internal division within his group. Furthermore, he suggested that competition between Japanese institutions was the driving force behind efforts to disband the MHK, by which he meant the jurisdictional rivalry between the Kwantung Government-General and the Foreign Ministry’s consular offices in South Manchuria.82 The opponents of the MHK however, were, determined to put an end to its operations. So much so, in fact, that Foreign Ministry officials in Tokyo had quickly resigned themselves to the inevitable dissolution of the group. In planning a strategy for dealing with local conditions after the MHK was no more, Gaimushō authorities in Tokyo instructed local Manchurian consuls to collect weapons from MHK members who had participated in armed “research trips” along with Japanese police and soldiers as well as to assemble and safely store documents related to MHK operations. Furthermore, because the MHK had been especially useful as an intelligence-gathering tool, such operations were sure to suffer once the group was (p.84) disbanded, so consuls were instructed to compensate for that loss by going back to more traditional use of spies and paid informants.83

The group was finally disbanded in early 1924 despite the protests of Ch’oe and Fengtian Consul Akatsuka, who continued to defend its utility in the face of criticism from the Kwantung Government-General and the absence of support from high-level Foreign Ministry leadership. As Ch’oe and others had predicted, MHK members quickly became the targets of violent reprisals by radical Korean activists. Ch’oe himself fell victim to this vengeance when a band of radical Korean assassins invaded his home in Fengtian in June 1924. They had intended to kill Ch’oe, but when they discovered him to be away from the house, they murdered his wife and mother-in-law instead. The Fengtian consular police gave chase that day, shooting and killing one of the nine assassins. A second was shot the following day, and the remaining seven were arrested and taken into Japanese custody. In a chilling statement given to the Japanese police, one of the assailants sent a message directly to Ch’oe. “We may have failed the first time, but there will be a second and a third,” he proclaimed. “We will follow you all the way to Tokyo!”84

In July, Ch’oe made a final desperate and impassioned plea for support from Japanese authorities. He began by arguing that the three greatest threats to peace and stability in Manchuria were American missionaries with their Christian propaganda, Russian Bolsheviks with their Communist propaganda, and the violence of radical Korean resistance groups. The MHK had been established to combat all of these “evils,” and in Ch’oe’s view they had done just that. Since their inception, the group had protected “decent” Korean civilians from dangerous revolutionaries, broken up dozens of rebel groups, and seized mountains of secret and sensitive documents. All of that work had made them targets of recriminatory violence from radical Koreans, Ch’oe explained, and the protection of Japanese authorities was all that kept them safe. By eliminating the group, Ch’oe continued, some two hundred families or roughly a thousand people were sure to face severe poverty, hardship, and perhaps even worse. In fact, Ch’oe suggested that the order to shut down the MHK was in effect a death warrant for those two hundred families.85

Ch’oe’s pleas, however, fell on deaf ears, as the Foreign Ministry never revitalized his organization. To turn back to the recollections of Aiba Kiyoshi, he commented in his 1940 report on the conditions that brought about the dissolution of the MHK. According to Aiba’s account, Consul Akatsuka had argued that Japan’s greatest priority then was to crush radical anti-Japanese groups in Manchuria, and the MHK was clearly the most effective Japan-friendly group around to help achieve that greater goal. Yamagata Isaburō, of the Kwantung Government-General, however, claimed that MHK activities were “immoral” and had brought great pain (p.85) and misery to many innocent civilians. The Japanese government, according to Yamagata, could no longer provide assistance to such a group, regardless of their utility in realizing other political goals.86

Despite Yamagata’s moralism, the likely reason for his attacks on the MHK was institutional jealousy. During the early 1920s, the Kwantung Government-General had been forced to recognize the jurisdiction of Foreign Ministry police in areas of South Manchuria where its leadership believed their own police units should have greater authority.87 The MHK was a consular project, so destroying it was one way to undermine Foreign Ministry police authority in the area. This is indicative of the endemic jurisdictional rivalry that plagued Japan’s network of colonial offices throughout northeast Asia.

Stepping up the Pressure: 1925

As should be evident by this point, the Korean independence movement in exile presented the Gaimushō with a host of difficult problems on the informal frontiers of the empire, and these difficulties were compounded by anxiety over the activities of Japanese communists who posed an internal threat to the stability of the domestic political landscape. In Shanghai and other treaty port cities, where these two movements converged, the Japanese consular police were still quite small numerically and the scope of their budget and operations accordingly limited. In Manchuria, the Foreign Ministry had larger numbers of police officers attached to the consulate offices, but opposition from the Chinese side severely circumscribed their activities. By 1925, however, the evolution of the Japanese consular police had reached a critical stage. In Shanghai, they moved to diversify their personnel to include keen specialists in political surveillance, the first such step to be taken by the Gaimushō in China proper. Simultaneously in Manchuria, a new collaborative relationship with the Chinese aimed at managing the problem of Korean resistance in exile was sealed in ink, if not always in practice.

The May 30 incident of 1925, in which British police gunned down a dozen Chinese students in Shanghai during a peaceful protest against foreign corporate exploitation of local Chinese workers, inspired a surge of Chinese nationalist sentiment that in turn provided critical momentum to the drive for more political police in the Shanghai consulate. The original push for that expansion, however, had come several months earlier when, in March, Shanghai Consul Yada Shichitarō spelled out a plan to Foreign Minister Shidehara Kijūrō for the reorganization of consular police forces in the port. Because the civilian Japanese population in Shanghai had grown considerably in recent years, Yada pointed out, the ratio of police officers to residents in the concession area was (p.86) much lower than in the homeland (naichi). In addition, the growth of radical political movements and resident Korean independence activists demanded, according to Yada, that a new office devoted solely to political surveillance be set up to combat such urban elements.88

However, not just expansion, Yada contended, but also improvement of existing police facilities was necessary. One particular area targeted for reform was related to the origins of consular police personnel. Yada argued, for example, that police chiefs from the Home Ministry in Tokyo should not be appointed as consular police chiefs. Likewise, he continued, the practice of sending police staff from Taiwan and Korea to serve as Gaimushō police in China should also be abandoned. Why? Yada explained, echoing arguments made by consular officials in South Manchuria, that having so many different institutions and bureaucracies involved in staffing and financing consular police operations was inefficient and confusing. In terms of general reforms, Yada also claimed that overall Gaimushō police numbers had to be increased, tokkō capabilities expanded, and police commissioners drawn from the Gaimushō whenever possible. Finally, he noted that his police department was in dire need of more officers with English, Russian, Korean, and Chinese language skills.89

An official Foreign Ministry directive put Yada’s plan for expansion into effect in early 1926.90 Later that year, a more specific order related to an increase of intelligence-related personnel made clear the new direction that the Shanghai consular police were taking after 1925. The August cable from Yada elaborated on his logic, giving Kasumigaseki additional reasons for the targeted expansion of intelligence operations. Shanghai had become a global center of communist activism, Yada reiterated, and the May 25 incident and its related anti-Japanese boycotts heightened the degree of labor unrest in the city, leaving Japanese businesses in need of greater police protection. Finally, Yada argued, the activities of Korean independence radicals were still serious, and expanded powers of surveillance and arrest were necessary to suppress them.91 Cooperation with the French in advancing some of these aims began slowly to improve after 1925, but there were still impediments to the efficient exchange of intelligence between the two sides. Japanese homeland authorities did finally turn over information regarding the exiled independence activist Prince Cường Ðê to French authorities, but the value of the intelligence was marginal at best, leaving the French side less than satisfied. Why were the Japanese still holding back? First, they lacked confidence in the value of what information on Koreans in Shanghai the French might be willing to share in return for their cooperation. They had heard French promises before, but did not trust them entirely. Second, many high-level figures in the Japanese government such as Inukai Tsuyoshi were still supportive of Prince Cường Ðê and his exiled Vietnamese compatriots.92

(p.87) Consular police leadership in Shanghai, then, was clearly moving to intensify and expand police operations against Korean radicalism during 1925–1926, while simultaneously taking steps to consolidate their authority in the field and clarify the jurisdictional boundaries between themselves and Japan’s other colonial institutions. In Manchuria, too, the consular police entered a new era, but it was not entirely of their own making. Foremost among the many problems triggered by the Jiandao Expedition was sensitivity among Japanese authorities in Manchuria to public opinion regarding Japan’s actions in the region. As such, collaborative arrangements with local Chinese security forces to deal with the Korean problem became the most sought-after solution, the ill-fated MHK being one such project. In the summer of 1925, however, the police bureau chief of the Korea Government-General made a deal with the police chief of Zhang Zuolin’s Fengtian regime that provided a new framework of Sino-Japanese cooperation in the management of Manchurian Koreans.

Later dubbed the Mitsuya Agreement, its consequences have largely escaped the purview of Western scholars for decades. Inoue Manabu, however, pointed out the peculiar significance of this moment in northeast Asian interregional politics over thirty years ago, suggesting that the 1925 accord dramatically embodied the perplexing contradictions at work in relations among Japanese imperialists, Chinese landlord elites, regional warlords, and a socially fractured Korean diaspora community in Manchuria.93 Specifically, the agreement reached between Mitsuya Miyamatsu and his Chinese counterpart in Fengtian, Yu Cheng, contained eight main articles that stated: (1) Chinese authorities would keep an accurate census of resident Koreans, and those Koreans would be responsible for monitoring each other’s behavior; (2) Chinese authorities would order all resident Koreans to refrain from entering Korea with arms, offenders to be arrested and handed over to Japanese officials; (3) Chinese would disband all societies of “disloyal Koreans” and confiscate their weapons; (4) local Chinese police would conduct periodic raids on suspected Korean organizations; (5) Chinese authorities would immediately arrest all Koreans on a list provided by Japanese authorities in Korea; (6) Chinese and Japanese authorities would share intelligence regarding operations against disloyal Korean organizations; (7) Chinese and Japanese police would not trespass into each other’s territory; (8) both sides would come to a resolution of previous incidents in a timely manner.94

Several factors can help to explain how and why the Mitsuya Agreement was reached. For the Chinese, the activities of radical Korean independence groups were potentially dangerous because they gave the Japanese an excuse to violate Chinese territorial sovereignty in their pursuit of those “rebellious” Koreans; collaboration with the Japanese against (p.88) the Koreans thus served the “nationalist” interests of the Chinese. For Japanese authorities, interestingly, the Mitsuya Agreement represented a withdrawal from the policy advocated since 1915. At that time, Japan asserted its exclusive right to supervise Koreans in Manchuria as imperial subjects. However, overly zealous pursuit of Korean radicals by Japanese police had caused numerous clashes with local Chinese authorities. Therefore, to improve relations with China in the wake of rising anti-Japanese sentiment there, it was necessary to turn over responsibility for the suppression of Korean radicals to the Chinese side to as great a degree as possible.95

What did the agreement mean in terms of the relationship between the police forces of the Korean Government-General and the Japanese consular police in Manchuria? Colonial police bureau veteran Kamio Kazuharu provided some answers at a Kyoto University seminar in 1959.96 Kamio explained that the Jiandao consular police were critical of the Mitsuya Agreement because it seemed to undermine the position of Gaimushō police in the region. In principle, the agreement implied that the local consular police force was inadequate in terms of both strength and efficacy. In practice, the agreement sometimes even excluded the Jiandao consular police, in 1925 the largest body of Gaimushō police in northeast Asia, from meaningful participation in regional political security operations. Significantly, the Kwantung Army also criticized the agreement because it left sensitive and critical strategic concerns too much in the hands of local Chinese security forces. However, to the Korean Government-General, only local Chinese police had the ability to effectively penetrate the deepest recesses of the Manchurian interior in order to locate the suspected Korean radicals who were the colonial police’s greatest concern, and then turn them over to Japanese authorities.97 In short, then, the agreement represents a significant moment at which the shared concerns of the Jiandao consular police and the Kwantung Army seemed to put both at odds with colonial authorities in Korea.

Despite the controversy, the number of disturbances led by “recalcitrant Koreans” in Manchuria decreased dramatically in 1925–1926, suggesting that the Mitsuya Agreement had begun to yield valuable results. Chinese police were zealous in their pursuit of suspected Korean radicals, motivated in no small part by the financial incentives often offered by Japanese officials in Korea for arrests, although entirely innocent Korean residents in Manchuria also often faced harassment by Chinese security forces. Nonetheless, with newly enthusiastic Chinese support, the police campaign against Korean communists in Manchuria scored a major victory in 1927. Police units from the Jiandao consulate raided a meeting of the East Manchurian branch of the Korean Communist Party (KCP) held in Longjincun, arresting several dozen leading members of the party and seizing thousands of pages of sensitive party documents. (p.89) From these materials, Japanese police came to learn a tremendous number of details concerning the organization and membership of the Korean communist movement in Manchuria.98 Indeed, Dae-sook Suh has noted in his history of the Korean nationalist movement that, due to the more effective collaboration of Sino-Japanese police forces, “Manchuria ceased to be a haven in which the Communists could strengthen their forces.”99 While the number of KCP members arrested and ultimately sent back to Korea for incarceration was relatively small, Suh points out that “the Japanese consulate police had the names of the most important Communists …, which made future activities of the Communists extremely difficult.”100

The conclusion of the Mitsuya Agreement in 1925 thus marked a clear turning point in several ways for the history of Japanese consular police operations in Jiandao. The year 1925 was, of course, also a key turning point in the evolution of metropolitan police work. In that year, the Japanese Diet passed the Peace Preservation Law, which enabled the state to arrest and prosecute anyone suspected of activities designed to alter the “national polity” (kokutai) or deny the system of private property. While the 1925 law is often viewed as a signifier of the imperial state’s repressive nature, it is important to remember that the final law was the product of negotiation between the Justice and Home ministries; Justice Ministry officials had sought harsher terms for the law, but these were tempered by Home Ministry bureaucrats.101 Even so, the law does mark the point at which the state authorities took a firmer stand against the rising tide of radical social movements at home, and this was more than just a matter of silencing domestic political opposition. In fact, a lengthy report from the metropolitan police department produced in June 1925 illuminates the interconnectivity of imperial resistance and its suppression during that critical year. In tracing the long history of the socialist movement in Japan, the report highlighted the role of Korean socialists in facilitating the survival of the Japanese left by way of their position as a conduit with the Soviet Union—a role they were still playing in 1925.102 Thus, the Peace Preservation Law, the Mitsuya Agreement, and the opening of a tokkō office in the Shanghai consulate-general can all be viewed as steps toward the same goal: suppression of political dissent, Korean and Japanese alike.

Finally, just as the character of Japanese consular police work in China was changing dramatically by 1925, it is important to recognize that the rising tide of nationalist consciousness in China was also reaching new heights in that year and after. Chiang Kai-shek’s military campaigns to wrest provincial authority from the hands of regional warlords, as well as the broader rights recovery movement aimed at undoing the unequal treaty system and restoring Chinese sovereign rights, both contributed to (p.90) the emergence of a local political environment within which Japanese police forces would find it more and more difficult to secure Chinese collaboration with their security measures against Korean resistance groups. It is both ironic and unfortunate, then, that during the same year that saw the conclusion of the Mitsuya Agreement, the foundations upon which the efficacy of that concord rested simultaneously began to erode. To that topic the discussion will turn more directly in the next chapter.


The degree to which fear of a united front of Japanese and Korean socialists actually reflected the functioning relationship between the two groups is doubtful, of course, since many Japanese socialists, like most of Japanese society at the time, often tended to view Koreans as inferior to themselves; moreover, the Japanese socialist movement as a whole lacked a truly dynamic internationalism.103 It is important to remember, even so, that the perception on the part of imperial government police forces that these groups were part and parcel of the same threat is in a way reminiscent of early U.S. Cold War geopolitical rhetoric that conflated Soviet and Chinese communism as two prongs of the same “red menace.” In both cases, the most threatening ideological dimensions of the enemy were overemphasized while clear differences of culture, tradition, ethnicity, and national identity were downplayed or outright ignored. Whether U.S. ideologues, for examples, genuinely believed during the early 1950s that Mao was a proxy stooge of the Kremlin, or simply used such rhetoric to justify their policies, does not change the fact that it was an effective motivational force. Likewise, even if the Foreign Ministry, Home Ministry, and Korean Government-General deliberately overstated the likelihood that socialist ideology could unite Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dissenters into a potent force of resistance to the imperial Japanese state, that the case was made in those terms at all is what matters most in the present evaluation of Gaimushō police activity. The Foreign Ministry justified the expansion of its police networks in Shanghai and elsewhere as a measure to counter this transnational threat. Real or imagined, the threat nonetheless served its purpose.

To be sure, all of the foreign powers in Shanghai sought to suppress leftist movements there, since “the Shanghai Municipal Police and the French Concession Police were both part of global colonial networks of imperial control systems.”104 In this sense, the British, French, and Japanese all shared a common political security concern regarding the presence in Shanghai of Indian, Vietnamese, and Korean nationalists and communists. For the Japanese, however, this concern was especially acute. Compared to Paris or London, Shanghai was a mere stone’s throw from the metropolitan (p.91) center of the imperial Japanese state in Tokyo. This being so, communist activism there posed a far more immediate threat to the stability of domestic society in the eyes of Japanese authorities. The vigor with which metropolitan police pursued the left at home leaves little doubt that the conservative imperial bureaucracy believed the threat was quite real. Likewise, the fact that the Foreign Ministry devoted so much time and resources to policing radical resistance throughout the informal empire strongly suggests that their professed mission to protect and control overseas Japanese, too, was more than shallow spin meant merely to screen the brute violence of imperial expansionism. Recognizing this factor certainly does not justify Japanese violations of Chinese sovereignty in the pursuit of political security imperatives, but rather reminds one of the complex regional dynamics at work in Japanese police operations in Shanghai.

In the broadest sense, the character of Japanese consular police activity and ideology clearly began to change after 1919. No longer functioning simply as a local public health and security force, the Gaimushō began using its police networks on the ground in China and Manchuria to execute the surveillance and suppression of radical Korean independence activism as well as Japanese socialism, and it is significant that this transformation began to take shape during the early 1920s. The operations of Korean independence activists in China, and the response of the Japanese consular police to their perceived threat, need to be recognized as a powerful factor in the evolution of Foreign Ministry perceptions and policy. Similarly, while it is certainly true that “anticommunism served as a colonial discourse of exclusion” by which Japanese authorities could justify their suppression of nationalist independence movements, this is an incomplete and ultimately unsatisfactory explanation of Japanese policy when one considers the political significance of connections between Korean nationalists and Japanese socialists.105 Anticommunism had as much to do with securing the ideological conformity of the home islands as with crushing anticolonial resistance movements, and the Japanese consular police occupied a key position at the intersection of both concerns. In doing so, they functioned as a branch of the Foreign Ministry that shared many of the same concerns, attitudes, and prerogatives as other arms of Japan’s conservative imperial bureaucracy.


(1.) A useful English-language summary of the early Korean resistance movement in exile is Robert Scalapino and Chong-sik Lee, Communism in Korea, Part I: The Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 3–65. Alternatively, one might consult Scalapino and Lee, “The Origins of the Korean Communist Movement (I),” The Journal of Asian Studies 20, no. 1 (November 1960): 9–31 and “The Origins of the Korean Communist Movement (II),” The Journal of Asian Studies 20, no. 2 (February 1961): 149–167. In Japanese, see Kang Dŏsang, “Kaigai ni okeru Chōsen dokuritsu undō no hatten,” Tōyō bunka kenkyūjo kiyō 51 (March 1970): 25–79; Yu Hyo-jong. “Kyokutō Roshia ni okeru Chōsen minzoku undō: ‘Kankoku heigō’ kara dai ichi-ji sekai taisen no boppatsu made,” Chōsenshi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 22 (March 1985): 135–166; Tsurushima Setsurei, Chūgoku Chōsenzoku no kenkyū (Osaka: Kansai daigaku shuppanbu, 1997); and Kim Jung-Mi, Chūgoku tōhokubu ni okeru kō-Nichi Chōsen Chūgoku minshūshi josetsu (Tokyo: Gendai kikaku shitsu, 1992).

(2.) In preparing this chapter, I have benefited greatly from the unpublished presentation notes of Mizuno Naoki of Kyoto University, “Shanhai Furansu sokai to Chōsen minzoku undō” (April 2003).

(3.) For a broad overview of the Foreign Ministry’s perception of the problem, see Gaimushō Ajia kyoku, “Chōsen dokuritsu undō mondai” (1922), in Chōsen tōchi shiryō, ed. Kim Chŏng-ju (Tokyo: Kankoku shiryō kenkyūjo, 1970–1972), 7:327–454.

(4.) For background information on the Korean government in exile, see Hong Sun-ok, “Dai Kan minkoku rinji seifu no seiritsu katei,” Kan 9, nos. 4–5 (April–May 1980): 3–34, and Li Hyun-hi, “Dai Kan Minkoku rinji seifu (p.177) kenkyū,” Tōkyō joshi daigaku hikaku bunka kenkyū kiyō 56 (1995): 89–105. In English, see Chong-sik Lee, The Politics of Korean Nationalism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), 4–24.

(5.) For brilliant descriptions of the complex international security networks that operated in prewar and wartime Shanghai, see Frederic Wakeman, Policing Shanghai, 1927–1937 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), and The Shanghai Badlands: Wartime Terrorism and Urban Crime, 1937–1941 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

(6.) See Hara Teruyuki, “Kyokutō Roshia ni okeru Chōsen dokuritsu undō to Nihon,” Sanzenri 17 (February 1979): 47–53.

(7.) “Shanhai Fukoku sokai futei Senjin taiho kata ni kan suru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.1, vol. 42, pp. 319–322.

(8.) Chōsen sōtokufu keimukyoku, “Shina kanken futei Senjin futorishimari jirei” (June 1920), in Chōsen tōchi shiryō, ed. Kim Chŏng-ju (Tokyo: Kankoku shiryō kenkyūjo, 1970–1972), 6:317–338.

(9.) “Hanseifu no soshiki oyobi sono ato no kōdō,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.1, vol. 43, pp. 260–295.

(10.) “Shanhai Fukoku sokai kanken no futei Senjin torishimari,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.1, vol. 44, pp. 15–17.

(11.) See exchanges between Foreign Minister Uchida to Ambassador Matsui (Paris) and Chōsen Government-General to Uchida, Gaimushō keisatsushi, section 5–19.1, vol. 44, pp. 58–60. An excellent article describing the newspaper in question is Son Ansok, “Shanhai no Chōsengo ‘dokuritsu shinbun’ ni tsuite—shinshiryō ni yoru shoshiteki kenkyū to saikentō no kanōsei,” Chikaki ni arite 29 (May 1996): 17–33.

(12.) “Fukoku kanken no fuseii ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.1, vol. 44, pp. 118–119.

(13.) “Tenshin ni okeru futei Senjin kōdō ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–9.1, vol. 34, pp. 95–96.

(14.) “Futei Senjin An Shōkō no enzetsu ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 111–112. For background on An Chang-ho, see Nagano Shin’ichirō, “An Shōkō no shisō to kōdō,” Tōyō kenkyū 105 (December 1992): 1–34. An took Chinese citizenship in Shanghai in July 1923. A fascinating examination of how Japanese police dealt with An’s naturalization as a Chinese in their attempts to arrest him can be found in Takei Yoshikazu, “Senzen Shanhai ni okeru Chōsenjin no kokuseki mondai,” Chūgoku kenkyū geppō 60, no. 1 (January 2006): 14–16.

(15.) “Taishō 11 nen 3 gatsu futei Senjin torishimari hōshin,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–3.1, vol. 30, p. 46.

(16.) “Futei Senjin Rō Unkō no kōdō ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–35, vol. 53, pp. 21–22. For background on Yŏ Un-hyŏng, see An U-sik and Matsumoto Ken’ichi, “Chōsen dokuritsu undō to Ro Unkō no hiun,” Chishiki 107 (October 1990): 226–240.

(p.178) (17.) “Chū-Kan kyōkai soshiki ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–35, vol. 53, pp. 23–25.

(18.) See Son Ansok, “1920 nedai, Shanhai no Chū-Chō rentai soshiki: ‘Chū-Kan kokumin gojosha sosha’ no seiritsu, kōsei, katsudō o chushin ni,” Chūgoku kenkyū geppō 50; no. 1, (January 1996): 15–31.

(19.) Voluminous records related to the Ŭiyŏldan can be found in JFMA file no.–1, Futeidan kankei zakken: Chōsen no bu: Giretsudan kōdō.

(20.) Kajimura Hideki, “Giretsudan to Kin Genhō,” in Chōsen gendai no minshū undō (Tokyo: Akaishi shoten, 1993); Kim Chang-su, “Minzoku undō to shite no giretsudan katsudō,” Kan 7, nos. 11/12 (November/December 1978): 115–141; Pak T’ae-wŏn, Kin Jakuzan to Giretsudan: 1920 nendai ni okeru Chōsen dokuritsu undō to teroru (Tokyo: Hokuseisha, 1980).

(21.) “Shanhai ni okeru Tanaka taishō sogeki jiken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.2, vol. 44, pp. 280–308.

(22.) “Giretsudan inbō jiken senkyō,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.3, vol. 45, 4–17.

(23.) “Bakudan ōshū to kokugai futei Senjin no dōsei ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 31.

(24.) See, for example, Naimushō keiho kyoku, “Giretsudan ippa no kyōbō keikaku gaiyō” (January 1924), in Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, ed. Ogino Fujio, vol. 12, sec. 5–8, pp. 97–103.

(25.) “Giretsudan no kōdō oyobi dōdanchō Kin Genhō taiho sōchi,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.3, vol. 45, pp. 50–72.

(26.) See exchange between Foreign Minister Shidehara to Consul Yada (Shanghai), Yada to Shidehara, and Shidehara to Ambassador Ishii (Paris), Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–19.3, vol. 45, pp. 116–119.

(27.) See J. Kim Mulholland, “The French Response to the Vietnamese Nationalist Movement, 1905–14,” Journal of Modern History 47 (December 1975): 655–675.

(28.) See William J. Duiker, “Phan Boi Chau: Asian Revolutionary in a Changing World,” Journal of Asian Studies 31, no. 1 (November 1971): 77–88.

(29.) An excellent discussion of the East Asian Common Culture Academy is Douglas R. Reynolds, “Training Young China Hands: TōA Dōbun Shoin and Its Precursors, 1886–1945,” in Japanese Informal Empire in China, 1895–1937, ed. Duus, Myers, and Peattie. For more on related topics of Sino-Japanese cultural exchange, see Douglas R. Reynolds, China, 1898–1912: The Xinzheng Revolution and Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).

(30.) Son Ansok, “Shanhai o meguru Nichi-Bu no jōhō kōkan nettowaaku—‘teikoku’ to ‘shokuminchi’ no jōhō tōsei,” Nihon Shanhaishi kenkyūkai, ed., Shanhai hitoesō suru nettowaaku (Tokyo: Kyuko shoin, 2000); see also Shiraishi Masaya, “Tōyū undō (Betonamu) o meguru Nichi-Fu ryō tōkyoku no taiō,” Ōsaka gaikokugo daigaku gakuhō 73 (1986): 111–140.

(p.179) (31.) “Shanhai kageki Chōsenjin to shakaishugisha to teikei,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–20, vol. 47, p. 5.

(32.) “Shanhai ni okeru Kyōsantō no jōkyō,” ibid., 4.

(33.) “Shanhai ni okeru Kyōsantō no jōkyō,” ibid., 15–18.

(34.) George Beckmann and Okubo Genji, The Japanese Communist Party, 1922–1945 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969), 30–35.

(35.) Naimushō keiho kyoku, “Honpō shakaishugisha to Rokoku kagekiha to no kankei” (June 1922), in Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, ed. Ogino Fujio, vol. 1, sec. 1–2, pp. 53–58; and “Honpō shakaishugisha to Rokoku kagekiha to no kankei-sankō shorui” (June 1922) vol. 1, sec. 1–3, pp. 59–75.

(36.) “Kaigai ni okeru chōhō kikan tōichi ni kan suru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–18.1, vol. 42, pp. 143–145.

(37.) See Michael Weiner, Race and Migration in Imperial Japan (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), 63–93.

(38.) On Kaneko, see “Chapter Four: The Road to Nihilism—Kaneko Fumiko,” in Reflections on the Way to the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan, ed. Mikiso Hane (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 75–124; Kaneko Fumiko, The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman, translated by Jean Inglis (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1991).

(40.) “Futei Senjin torishimari ni kansuru kunrei,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–2, vol. 20, pp. 56–57.

(41.) “Chōsen sōtokufu kankyō hokudō keisatsukan no ekkyō sōsa,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–2, vol. 20, pp. 63–73.

(42.) Sources in the Gaimushō archives reveal numerous interviews with Korean policemen who were intimidated and threatened by local Korean radicals if they did not abandon their participation in Japanese security forces. See, for example, “Ri junsa junshoku jiken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–2, vol. 20, p. 150.

(43.) “Zai gai Kanzoku dokuritsu undō no sūsei to kageki shisō denpa no kinkyō ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 4–2, vol. 20, 147–149. Suematsu Kichiji (1879–1951) is an important figure in the general history of the consular police. He was also a member of the editorial board that compiled the Gaimushō keisatsushi.

(44.) “Rokoku kagekiha to Kantō chihō futei Senjindan to no kankei,” ibid., 191–195.

(45.) “Keisatsu kikō jūjitsu no ken,” ibid., 200–201.

(46.) “Saitō komon Kantō haken buki taiyo,” ibid., 227–255.

(47.) “Shina gunkei ni waga ryōjikan junsa taiho ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 314–316.

(48.) “Kaku bunkan shunin uchiawase kaigi ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 289–293.

(p.180) (49.) Detailed documentation of the incident can be found JFMA, file no. 5.3.2–156, Konshun ni okeru Chōsenjin bōdō ikken.

(50.) A detailed history of the Jiandao Expedition from the Japanese perspective of the time can be found in Kim Chŏng-ju, ed., Chōsen tōchi shiryō (Tokyo: Kankoku shiryō kenkyūjo, 1970–1972), 2:1–346.

(51.) A useful summary of the Jiandao Expedition based on sources found in British Foreign Office records is chapter 9 of Dae-yeol Ku, Korea under Colonialism: The March First Movement and Anglo-Japanese Relations (Seoul: Seoul Computer Press, 1985), 266–291.

(52.) JFMA, file no.–5, Konshun ni okeru Chōsenjin bōdō jiken: gaikoku no taido kōron no bu.

(53.) Along with most Korean scholars, Higashio Kazuko also expresses doubt regarding the incidental nature of the Hunchun violence, in “Konshun jihen to Kantō shuppei,” Chōsenshi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 14 (March 1977): 58–85. The most detailed defense of the Japanese response to the Hunchun violence is Sasaki Harutaka, “‘Konshun jihen’ kangae,” Bōei daigakkō kiyō 39 (September 1979): 293–332; 40 (March 1980): 233–275; 41 (September 1980): 361–388. One additional study of the Hunchun Incident is Hayashi Masakazu, “Konshun jiken no keika,” Shundai shigaku 19 (September 1966): 107–126.

(54.) “Konshun jiken o ika ni kaiketsu sen to suru ka?” Chōsen oyobi Manshū 160 (October 1920): 5–6.

(55.) “Teppei enki seigansho sōfu no ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–3, vol. 21, pp. 72–76.

(56.) “Kantō hōmen teppei zengo ni okeru sochi ni kansuru Gaimushō no hōsaku,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–4, vol. 21, pp. 151–158.

(57.) “Kantō waga keisatsu bunsho no setsubi Shina gawa fu ninshiki no ken,” ibid., 165–179.

(58.) “Keisatsubu no setsubi oyobi kengen ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 182; “Keisatsubu jimu bunshō ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 216.

(59.) The details of the Toudaogou Incident are described in “Tōdōkō bazoku shūgeki jiken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–5.1, vol. 22, pp. 8–55; extensive documents are also available in JFMA, file no. 4.3.2–15, Tōdōkō jiken. In Chōsen tōchi shiryō, see 7:247–57.

(60.) “Kantō sōryōjikan shokuinhyō,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–9, vol. 27, 269–272.

(61.) Elise K. Tipton, The Japanese Police State: The Tokkō in Interwar Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1990), 19–23.

(62.) For an excellent discussion of the problems posed by Japanese legal jurisdiction over resident Koreans in Manchuria, see Barbara Brooks, “Peopling the Japanese Empire: The Koreans in Manchuria and the Rhetoric of Inclusion,” in Japan’s Competing Modernities: Issues in Culture and Democracy, 1900–1930, ed. Sharon Minichiello (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press (p.181) 1998), 25–44. The definitive study of Zhang Zuolin in English is Gavan McCormack, Chang Tso-lin in Northeast China: China, Japan, and the Manchurian Idea (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1977).

(63.) Hyun Ok Park describes the Hominkai (Kor. Pominhoe) in one page of Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2005), 84. Otherwise, my article on the topic from which the following discussion is drawn is the only secondary description of the group in English. See Erik Esselstrom, “Japanese Police and Korean Resistance in Prewar China: The Problem of Legal Legitimacy and Local Collaboration,” Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 3 (June 2006): 342–363.

(64.) “Manshū homin kabushiki kaisha ni kansuru keika oyobi genjō”; “Manshū hominkai setsuritsu ninka no ken”; “Manshū hominkai setsubi ninka ni tsuki hogo gata Shina kanken e kōshō no ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 3–3, vol. 8, pp. 4–14.

(65.) Kim Dong-myung, “Isshinkai to Nihon: ‘seigōhō’ to ‘heigō,’” Chōsenshi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 31 (1993): 97–126.

(66.) Stewart Lone, “Of ‘Collaborators’ and Kings: The Ilchinhoe, Korean Court, and Japanese Agricultural-Political Demands during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904–1905,” Papers on Far Eastern History 38 (1988):117.

(67.) For additional discussions of Chŏngdogyo thought and its political manifestations, see Kang Song-un, “20 seiki shotō ni okeru Tendōkyō jōsōbu no katsudō to sono seikaku,” Chōsenshi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 24 (March 1987): 155–179, and Kawase Takaya, “‘Kokka’ kan to ‘kindai bunmei’ kan—Tendōkyō kanbu ‘minzoku taihyō’ ni tsuite,” Tōkyō daigaku shūkyōgaku nennpō 14 (1996): 97–109. In English, see Kim Yong-Choon, “Ch’ŏndogyo Thought and Its Significance in Korean Tradition,” Korea Journal 15, no. 5 (May 1975): 47–53.

(68.) “Manshū homin kabushiki kaisha ni kan suru keika oyobi genjō,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, see 3–3, vol. 8, pp. 4–6.

(69.) Report from Fengtian consulate entitled “Sōsetsu tōji ni okeru Manshū hominkai no jōkyō,” in “Manshū hominkai setsubi ninka ni tsuki hogo gata Shina kanken e kōshō no ken,” ibid., 10–14.

(70.) “Futei Senjin torishimari oyobi hominkai enjo no tame chōsahan haken no ken,” ibid., 140–144.

(72.) “Chōsahan haken keikaku no ken,” ibid., 144–147.

(73.) “Chōsahan no kōdō ni kan suru ken,” ibid., 147–150.

(74.) “Hominkai setsuritsu keikaku ni kan suru ken,” ibid., 17–20.

(75.) Aiba Kiyoshi (1886–1970) was also an editor of the Gaimushō keisatsus hi. By the time he took up his position at the Jiandao consulate in 1927, Aiba had already served in various colonial police organizations for over twenty years. In his late teens, Aiba traveled to Korea as an exchange student to receive intensive language training. His success in that venture (p.182) earned him a position as interpreter in the cadre of police advisers led by Maruyama Shigetoshi throughout 1905. From there he bounced about between police units in the Korean colonial government and several Gaimushō posts before eventually arriving in Jiandao. His personal papers (Aiba Kiyoshi bunsho) are housed at the Tokyo Kankoku kenkyūin, but I have yet to gain access to them.

(76.) “Manshū hominkai ryakki,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, section 3–3, volume 8, 128–139.

(77.) Ibid., 133–134.

(78.) “Hominkai shibu kaichō kaigi no ken,” ibid., 49–56.

(79.) “Manshū hominkai kaiin taihyo tangansho,” ibid., 59–60.

(80.) “Zai Hōten sōryōjikan kinmu Gaimushō shokutaku Sai Shokei haiseki bun chinjōsho,” ibid., 69–72.

(81.) “Manshū hominkai haishi ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 72–73.

(82.) “Manshū hominkai komon Sai Shokei kingen,” ibid., 84–88.

(83.) “Manshū hominkai haishi narabi ni zengo sochi no ken,” ibid., 75–79.

(84.) “Sai shokutaku kazoku satsugai jiken ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 96–97.

(85.) “Tōji Manshū hominkai komon (kaicho kenmu) Sai Shokei kazoku sōnan no ken,” ibid., 97–100.

(86.) “Manshū hominkai ryakki,” ibid., 134–135.

(87.) For discussion of the infighting and rivalry within the Japanese government concerning the administration of South Manchuria, see Brooks, Japan’s Imperial Diplomacy, 118–126.

(88.) “Shanhai sōryōjikan keisatsushō kakujū no ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 5–18.1, vol. 42, pp. 157–160.

(90.) “Zai Shanhai sōryōjikan keisatsu soshiki kaizen ni kansuru ken,” ibid., 160.

(91.) “Chōhō jimu sennin keisatsukan zōin no ken,” ibid., 161–163.

(93.) Inoue Manabu, “Nihon teikokushugi to Kantō mondai: 1910 nendai—20 nendai zenhan,” Chōsenshi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 101 (March 1973): 69.

(94.) “Futei senjin torishimari ni kansuru Nis-Shi kyōtei (Mitsuya kyōtei) ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 2–1, vol. 4, pp. 72–73. An English translation of the agreement can be found in C. Walter Young, Korean Problems in Manchuria as Factors in the Sino-Japanese Dispute: An Analytical and Interpretive Study (Geneva: Supplementary Documents to the Report of the Commission of Enquiry, 1932), 30–31, and in Dae-sook Suh, ed., Documents of Korean Communism, 1918–1948 (Princeton,NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970), 123–126. The original Japanese text can also be found in Kajimura Hideki, “1930 nendai Manshū ni okeru kō-Nichi tōsō ni tai suru Nihon (p.183) teikokushugi no shosakudō—‘zai Manshū Chōsenjin mondai’ to kanren shite,” Nihonshi kenkyū 94 (November 1967), 50–51.

(96.) The papers, notes, and discussions that took place during this seminar are available in two sources. The first is a recent article by Tanaka Ryūichi and Miyata Setsuko, “Chōsen tōchi ni okeru ‘zai Man Chōsenjin’ mondai,” Tōyō bunka kenkyū 3 (March 2001): 129–177. In fact, Miyata was a participant in the seminar as a graduate student. Also present was the noted Japanese scholar of modern Korea, Kajimura Hideki. The second is the journal Chōsen kindai shiryō kenkyū shūsei.

(97.) Chōsen kindai shiryō kenkyū shūsei, no. 2 (August 1959), p. 130. These comments are recorded in the question-and-answer notes, as part of the article “Nihon tōchi ka no zai-Man Chōsenjin mondai.”

(98.) “Chōsen kyōsantō Manshū sōkyoku tō Man dō kanbu tōin kenkyō ni kansuru ken,” Gaimushō keisatsushi, sec. 4–5.3, vol. 23, pp. 252–271. See also Yi, Kindai higashi Ajia no seiji rikigaku, 245–248.

(99.) Dae-sook Suh, The Korean Communist Movement, 1918–1948 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967), 150.

(102.) Naimushō keiho kyoku, “Saikin shakaishugi narabi shakai undō no gaikyō” (June 1925), in Ogino, ed., Tokkō keisatsu kankei shiryō shūsei, vol. 1, sec. 1–8, pp. 100–154, in particular 106–107.

(103.) Weiner, Race and Migration in Imperial Japan, 84. On the lack of genuine internationalism within the Japanese socialist movement during the inter-war years, see Stephen Large, Organized Workers and Socialist Politics in Interwar Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), and Andrew Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). For more analysis of the place that the Korean communist movement came to occupy in the consciousness of Japanese socialists, see Ishizaka Kōichi, “Nihonjin shakaishugisha no Chōsen ninshiki: 1910 nendai ni tsuite no kōsatsu,” Shien 48, no. 2 (October 1988): 44–64, and his larger monograph, Kindai Nihon no shakaishugi to Chōsen (Tokyo: Shakai hyoronsha, 1993).

(105.) The quote here is from Park, Two Dreams in One Bed, 108.