J. Calvitt Clarke III
Jacksonville University
Paper Presented to the Annual Meeting of the
Florida Conference of Historians.
Orlando, FL March 31-April 1, 2000.

Often forgotten today, but often cited in the 1930s, many justified Italy's aggression against Ethiopia by the perceived need to blunt Japan's economic and racial charge into Ethiopia, Northeast Africa, and even Southeast Europe. (1) How do we explain this odd nexus uniting Ethiopia and Japan?

Despite tenuous contacts with Africa for some time, only after the Meiji Restoration of 1868, did the Japanese particularly notice Ethiopia. While they generally regarded Africa as a single entity, the Gaimusho [foreign office] did distinguish North Africa geographically from Black Africa by stressing their racial, historical, religious, cultural, and linguistic differences. Tokyo officially classified North Africa as part of the Middle East. (2)

With its victories in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 and 1895 and the Russo-Japanese War a decade later, plus Korea’s annexation in 1910, Japan embarked on building an Asian empire. As master over Taiwan and Korea, Japan had joined the imperialist world dominated by the western powers and looked to their African colonies for the model of how to conquer and control colonies. Many Japanese intellectuals discussed Europe’s colonial systems, publishing and translating books on their administrations in Africa. (3) The government particularly attended to Ethiopia's colonial dispute with Italy and its implications for Japanese policies in Asia and Africa itself. (4)

Ethiopia first appeared in the Gaimusho’s documents shortly after the Ethiopians had defeated the Italians at Adwa on March 1, 1896. In the glow of Japan's own recent victory over China on April 5, 1896, the army minister informed the foreign minister that he intended to send an officer, a doctor, and an accountant to follow Italy’s expeditionary force. Given that Italy did not sign a peace treaty with Ethiopia until October 26, Tokyo probably had assumed the war was going to continue. The Gaimusho told its chargé d'affaires to ask the Italians for their cooperation, but Rome refused. (5)

Many Japanese wished to join the West in Africa's exploitation, and some saw Ethiopia as a potential gateway. In 1899, Dr. Tomizu Hirondo, a professor of law at Tokyo Imperial University, published a short pamphlet, Afurika no Zento [The Future of Africa]. Admiring Cecil Rhodes and Harry Johnson, he concluded that Japan had to expand its influence and profit in Africa before Europeans completely controlled the continent. (6) During the First World War, recalling Tomizu, some Japanese wanted to send troops to occupy Germany's African territories. (7)

The Japan Mail Steamship Company began regular service to Europe via the Suez Canal when the Tosa Maru left Japan in March 1896 and arrived in London in May. Stopping at Port Said, Japanese merchantmen set up direct commercial connections with Africa for the first time. Tokyo got first hand information on Africa by sending official economic missions, establishing consular offices, and by using the information networks established by shipping companies and trading houses. Japan designed its economic penetration to secure a cheap and stable supply of raw materials, especially cotton, as well as to capture markets. By 1899, silk thread from Japan was entering Ethiopia through Harar. And by 1918, Japanese cloth had superseded American unbleached muslin, which had dominated Ethiopia's imports. (8)

European colonialism in Africa, however, blocked Japan's military and political penetration and confined Japan's African relations to trade and commerce. Not necessarily by choice, Japan could and did claim "clean hands in Africa." (9)

As its political and economic power increased, world conditions became less favorable for Japan's expansion. Citing the "Yellow Peril," competing states criticized Japan. Many Japanese, in turn, thought that they should block the West's colonial penetration into Asia and should lead all "colored" peoples—including Ethiopians—against "white" domination. (10)

Young, educated Ethiopians responded. One of them, the future foreign minister Heruy Wolde Sellassie, published in 1932 Dai Nihon [Great Japan] in which he explained that, "Ethiopia was not knowledgeable of the situation in the East until the [Russo-Japanese] war. Because of the war, we learned tremendous amount about Japan from Russians living in Ethiopia, and our Ethiopian people started to admire courageous Japan." (11)

An Eritrean intellectual, Blatta Gabra Egziabher, shortly before 1900 published the first Amharic newspaper, a weekly with a circulation of about fifty handwritten sheets. A keen Ethiopian patriot, he also wrote verses extolling modernization:

Let us learn from the Europeans; let us become strong
So that the enemy may not vanquish us, on the first encounter.
Let us examine our history; let us read the newspaper.
Let us learn languages; let us look at maps.
This is what opens people's eyes.
Darkness has gone; dawn has come.
It is a disgrace to sleep by day. (
Modernization, for the sake of national strength, found expression in another of his poems, which declared,
He who accepts it, fears no one.
He will become like Japan, strong in everything. (

He was one of many young Ethiopians who saw Japan as a living example for Ethiopia in liquidating feudalism and developing capitalism through the agency of the modern state and revolution from above. (14) Called "Progressive Intellectuals," "Young Ethiopians," or simply "Japanizers," these foreign educated, young intellectuals stressed the similarities bonding the two non-Western nations. These included myths of eternal dynasties and similar histories in overcoming European powers. Japan's dramatic and rapid transformation from a feudal society—like Ethiopia's—into an industrial power by the end of the nineteenth century attracted Ethiopians. Further, Japan's military victories convinced these Japanizers that they too could master western scientific and technological skills and turn them against Europeans. (15) The appearance of the Japanizers created contradictions within the feudal ruling classes, enlightening some while hardening others. Hence arose the conflict between what one Marxist scholar has called the "liberal," "enlightened feudalists" on the one hand and "ultra feudalists" on the other. (16)

Gebre Heywet Baykedagn well-represents the ideas of the Japanizers.
Born in 1886, he studied in Germany and Austria, and returned to Ethiopia in 1905. Exiled in 1909, he returned in 1911 to become palace treasurer and head of customs for Menelik's grandson and heir, Lidj Iyasu. Convinced of the need for sweeping administrative and fiscal measures, by 1914, Gebre Heywet had become a confidant of Täfäri Makonnen—the future Emperor Hayle Sellase. (17)

Sounding like the young, reform-minded samurai in Japan on the eve of the Meiji Restoration, Gebre Heywet warned in his famous treatise on "Government and Public Administration":

The task awaiting the present Ethiopian king is not like that of his predecessors. In the old days, ignorance held sway. Today, however, a strong and unassailable enemy called the European mind has risen against her. Whoever opens his door to her prospers. Whoever closes his door will be destroyed. If our Ethiopia accepts the European mind, no one would dare attack her. If not, she will disintegrate and be enslaved. Hence, let us hope that His Highness Menelik's heir will examine and follow the example of the Japanese government. (18)

Its productive forces poorly developed, Ethiopia was only just emerging from feudal anarchy and feudal barons remained entrenched in the provinces. The Japanizers passionately advocated capitalist reforms. But it was not capitalism in general that they envisaged. They sought, rather, to develop an industrialized economy by using state power. Here they drew upon the experience of the Meiji Revolution in Japan. Ethiopia’s backward commercial bourgeoisie, however, could not amass enough capital to move the country forward. At the same time, the imperial powers would not allow Ethiopia’s commercial bourgeoisie to develop to the point that it could win the home market for itself. For these reasons and more, the state itself had to accumulate capital while actively supporting the commercial bourgeoisie. This state guidance was the essence of Japanization. Because of greater social and technological backwardness, however, Ethiopia had to implement an even more drastic and rigorous policy than Japan had needed. (19)

Japan's victory over Russia impressed Prince Täfäri, an ardent student of military matters, and his trusted adviser, Heruy. Täfäri, whose original interest in Japan probably had been inspired by his father, Ras Makonnen, understood that Japan and the United States were the new centers of the world economy. By 1906 when Ras Makonnen died, the thirteen year-old Täfäri clearly had developed his goal, an essential part of which was to draw on the Japanese model. Japan had proved that a non-European nation could embrace modernization and stand as a cultural and technical equal to Europe. (20)

After Zawditu’s coronation in 1917, Täfäri Makonnen was named Prince-Regent. Täfäri, however, had to share power with other powerful figures at Zawditu's court, and he was unable to impose Japanizer-inspired reforms for another decade. Even so, he did take some limited measures. By importing equipment from Germany, for example, Täfäri founded a printing press on his own grounds in 1923. That same year he founded a weekly newspaper, Berhanena Salam [Light and Peace] which by 1929 had built a circulation of about 500. (21)

The radical intellectuals used its pages to condemn the parasitic, feudal oligarchy as the stumbling block to progress—Marxist verbiage dramatizes the point. (22) The young writers stressed education's role in Japan's advance, and "education" became their motto. As one explained:

The speedy modernization of Japan was achieved through nothing but the concerted efforts of the Japanese people. . . . They were unstinting in their money. They sent their daughters to school. Wealthy Japanese helped the state. Others contributed funds for the opening of schools. And because they gave all their attention to education they were able to modernize fast. (23)

A song composed in 1926 encapsulates their attitude. It included a phrase, "Ie Japan Suraiya Marennie" [We Proceed Following Japan]. (24)

At the death of the Empress Zawditu, Crown Prince and Regent Täfäri became the new emperor. The Japanese minister in Turkey, Yoshida Isaburo, attended the grand coronation ceremony of November 2, 1930. Yoshida and Heruy met and signed a friendship treaty on November 15. The treaty was ratified in Paris on August 26 of the following year. (25)

As emperor, Täfäri imitated the Japanese Emperor in his "attitude of exclusiveness," because he thought it would help create "an imperial dignity lacking in Ethiopia."(26) Later as the Italo-Ethiopian war was brewing, the British Minister to Ethiopia, Sir Sidney Barton, explained: "the Emperor has always been interested in the achievements of Japan and his imagination sees similarities between the two countries which—however incredible it may seem to foreign observers—lead him to dream of Ethiopia as the Japan of Africa."(27)

Wolde Georgis (Wolde-Yohannes)—then the Emperor's private secretary and later a dominant political figure—told Ladislas Farago, the peripatetic journalist:

At last we have reached the point when we have officials who have the ability to govern the country in the European method, instead of oligarchies. I am convinced that we shall now develop more rapidly, but, we must be left alone, for all our efforts would be wasted if we fell back on the old ways, even if it were in defence of our very life and independence. On that day our evolution would stop, and a bloody revolution would take place. And the men who take it upon themselves to make a European country out of this backward African Empire, will be the first martyrs in the revolution, for the Conservatives rule the country, and conservative here means backward and pitiless. We of the younger generation are the friends of progress and humanism, while they are its enemies! And we do not want to work in vain! (28)

Farago concluded that this statement referred to the Japanizers and helped explain Ethiopia's determination to resist Italy in the 1930s—to protect their work begun less than ten years earlier. (29)

Ethiopia’s constitution of 1931 shows Japanese influence. Modeled on the Meiji Constitution of 1889, it concentrated and made more emphatic imperial power than did the Japanese. A Russian-educated intellectual and "Japanizer," Takle-Hawaryat Takla-Maryam, wrote the draft of the Ethiopian Constitution, and the Emperor with his advisers Heruy and Ras Kasa modified it. (30)

Even more dramatically, Foreign Minister Blaten Geta Heruy, special envoy of the Ethiopian emperor, left Addis Ababa on September 30, 1931, bound for Japan. Officially, his party was visiting to repay the Japanese Emperor for Japan’s representation at the recent coronation in Addis Ababa. (31) In cultivating mutual relations, Heruy also wanted to see if the Ethiopians could carry out their plan for modernization along Japanese lines. Heruy and his mission were grandly treated. He later wrote: "Upon our arrival in Japan, I heard people's joyful cries. Many Japanese citizens awaited us at the port waving Ethiopian and Japanese flags. The route to the hotel was flooded with people acclaiming us. Everywhere we went, it was the same phenomenon."(32)

Received in audience at the Phoenix Hall, Heruy saluted Emperor Hirohito in Amharic and presented the emperor with a royal letter and the Grand Cordon of Solomon with Paulownia Flower, the highest order of the Ethiopian Empire. In turn, he received the First Order of Merit and the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun from the Japanese emperor. Heruy praised Ethiopia's choice of Japan as the model for modernization: "Our Ethiopian Emperor is deeply impressed with Japanese Empire's remarkable and great progress of the last sixty years, and is moved with surprise that the Japanese Empire accomplished such a great deed in such a short time.  He is determined to advocate to his whole nation to take the Great Japanese Empire as the best model."(33)

Heruy visited the Gaimusho on November 7 to offer formal greetings to Foreign Minister Shidehara Kijuro who offered a toast in English:

The Ethiopian emperor invited Japanese representatives for the coronation last year. As we sent Minister Yoshida for this honorable mission with great satisfaction, this time it is our great pleasure to meet Your Excellency who was sent as a return mission to the Japanese emperor by your head of state. I wish to toast for the prosperity of the Ethiopian Empire. Forever for the friendship of both countries! Ethiopian emperor, Banzai! (34)

During his grand tour of Japan, Heruy saw many factories and business enterprises; he observed military maneuvers; he visited several important religious shrines; he tarried at several newspaper offices; and he attended many social functions, some hosted by government functionaries and some by chambers of commerce and business associations. Admiring well-disciplined Japanese soldiers, Heruy, clearly decided to "Japanize" Ethiopia's troops by adopting Japanese-style military uniforms. (35)

With Heruy’s arrival, Japanese merchants, particularly those in Osaka, began turning their eyes toward Ethiopia as a bright market prospect. The National Cotton Cloth Exporters' Association with its office in Osaka sought to encourage exports of cotton cloth to Ethiopia and to drive away foreign goods, although already more than 80 percent of cotton cloth consumed there was Japanese. There was also a remarkable increase of the exports of celluloid goods, mosquito sticks and insect powder, rubber boots, enameled ware, knitted goods, aluminum manufactures, and caps and hats. Soap, towels, woolen blankets, glass manufactures, and other piece goods, not hitherto exported to Ethiopia, many hoped, would find new markets in Ethiopia. (36)

The Japanese welcome had impressed Heruy. After returning to Ethiopia, in 1932 he published a book to introduce Japan to his countrymen. Entitled Mahdara Berhan Hagara Japan [Japan: The Source of Light], it was probably the first book by an African to make a serious attempt to introduce Japan to Africans. It was translated into Japanese as Dai Nippon [Great Japan] and published with a preface by the former foreign minister Sidehara in Tokyo in 1934. (37)

A couple of years later Ladislas Farago asked Heruy about his visit and its implications:

We had no ulterior motive, and what we wanted was no mystery. Japan has been growing into one of the most influential great powers, and while all the other important nations had their representatives in Addis Ababa, Japan was not represented at His Majesty's court by so much as an Honorary Consul. It meant a great deal to us to open up diplomatic connections with Japan, and that was the primary reason for my journey.

The second reason was purely economic. Our people are poor, and our export trade has shrunk during the last few years owing to the depression. We had to find a source for cheap everyday goods, and Japan is famous the world over as the country that sells the cheapest goods, specially cotton, which our country now imports in great quantities. We used to get most of the cotton that we required from the United States, but as Japan can supply the same thing eighty percent cheaper, we naturally buy our requirements from her. The hackneyed term "Japanese invasion" has a real meaning in this country, for half of our imports is comprised of cotton. (38)

It would seem the true reason for Heruy’s journey to Japan in 1931, however, was to seek arms and munitions from the Japanese government. But then, Japan was dealing with the Manchurian Incident and had worries other than supplying arms and munitions to Ethiopia. (39)

Heruy’s admiration for Japan as a model alarmed the Western powers that had no wish to see a second Japan—this one in Africa. (40) One European wrote in 1935 that during the previous four years Ethiopia had "embarked, with the close cooperation of Japan, on a life-and-death struggle with the white race, the consequences of which are incalculable."(41) He added that Italy was fighting the battle for sake of all colonial powers in Africa. The Young Ethiopian movement, aided and abetted by the government, he explained, was systematically "fostering hatred of the white peoples. . . .The application of European methods of education to the coloured peoples is bearing tragic and dangerous fruits, more particularly in the cases in which the natives are not under the rule and control of white people but have a free hand to conceive and follow up any fatal policy to which their position as a sovereign native state entitles them."(42)

This hyperventilated account continues that the final aim of the Japanizers' policy of antagonism toward the white races was "nothing less than to act as the champions of all the coloured peoples of Africa."(43) Europe must take a stand, "before a movement takes final shape under the leadership of pseudo-emancipated coloured people with the aim of attacking and destroying western culture and civilization in its entirety!"(44)

While Heruy’s visit spawned talk of racial unity and hopes for extensive commercial exchanges, military assistance, and even a marriage proposal, raised expectations only dramatized grand disappointments. (45) Daba Birrou, the interpreter for Heruy’s mission, personifies those frustrations. In September 1935, on the eve of Italy's invasion the next month, he headed his own mission that triumphantly toured Japan. He received excited vocal support especially from Japanese nationalists. For example, on September 21, 1935, Echiopia Mondai Kondan kai [A Roundtable to Discuss Ethiopian Issues] welcomed the Ethiopian party. Attending were some 251 people including Mitsuru Toyama, a founder of Genyo sha [Genyo sha Association], a well-known nationalist group. Afterward, Daba Birrou wrote thanking the group: "I as a representative of all Ethiopian people deeply thank the friendship and favor which the Japanese people have voluntary shown to us. Especially I am grateful to your roundtable for publicly expressing your opinions."(46)

Despite the fervent adulation by Japanese civilians, in the end Heruy got none of the tangible aid he had hoped to get. (47) Japan’s government eventually adapted itself to Italy's conquest of the Ethiopian Empire by exchanging recognitions with Italy—Ethiopia for Manchukuo. (48) This led in turn to the Anti-Comintern Pact, a wartime alliance, and, ultimately, to mutual devastation and defeat for Italy and Japan. Ethiopia, on the other hand, in 1941 became the first Axis-occupied country to be liberated.


See my several articles and paper presentations on this subject: "Japan and Ethiopia: Two Imperiums United by Marriage?" Annual Meeting of the Association for Third World Studies, San Jose, Costa Rica, Nov. 1999; "Japan, Collective Security, and the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935-36," Third Pan-European International Relations Conference and Joint Meeting with The International Studies Association, Vienna, Austria, Sept. 1998, "Periphery and Crossroads: Ethiopia and World Diplomacy, 1934-36, Ethiopia in Broader Perspective: Papers of the XIIIth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies. 3 vols. Edited by K. E. Fukui and M. Shigeta (Kyoto: Shokado Book Sellers, 1997), 1: 699-712. Versions of some of these papers and articles are published in The Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians. See, respectively: "Marriage Alliance: The Union of Two Imperiums: Japan and Ethiopia?" Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians 7 (Dec. 1999): 105-16; "Japan and Italy Squabble Over Ethiopia: The Sugimura Affair of July 1935." Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians 6 (Dec. 1999): 9-20.; and "Soviet Appeasement, Collective Security, and the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935 and 1936," 4 (Dec. 1996): 115-32.
2. Jun Morikawa, "The Myth and Reality of Japan's Relations with Colonial Africa—1885-1960," Journal of African Studies 12 (Spr. 1985): 45 n.1; Tetsushi Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations with Ethiopia, 1920s-1960s: A Historical Overview," unpublished paper presented to the 35th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Seattle, WA, Nov. 20-23, 1992; Richard Bradshaw, "Japanese Interest in Africa: A Historical Overview," Swords and Ploughshares 7 (1993): 6-8; Richard Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism in Africa 1800-1937" (Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio University, 1992), 46-63.
3. Furukawa Tetsushi, "Japanese Political and Economic Interests In Africa: The Prewar Period," Network Africa 7 (1991): 6-7.
4. In 1888, when a dispute broke out over the question of extraterritoriality in Mas'uwa, the Japan Weekly Mail pointed out its relevance for Japan. The editor wrote that before Italy's arrival Mas'uwa had been under nominal Ottoman rule and the citizens of "Christian" powers had enjoyed extraterritorial privileges there. When Rome taxed the Greek residents, they appealed to their French patrons. Paris protested to Italy. The newspaper asked the question: When a Christian power takes complete control of a territory so that the former government ceases to exist—unlike the case of Britain in Egypt or France in Tunis—are the treaty rights of foreign powers obtained with the former government automatically nullified? The editor answered that if the territory comes under the full sovereignty of a Christian power and thus "Christian" law prevails, then the need for extraterritoriality ceases. As Francesco Crispi had explained, the paper expanded, when the circumstances which had given rise to the need for extraterritoriality disappears, the natural order should return. The Japan Weekly Mail also ran another article, "Mr. Crispi as Japan's Advocate," which declared that the controversy over treaty revision in Japan was peaking. The paper explained that extraterritoriality is only justified in cases where laws are "part and parcel of a theological system" such as Islam's which distinguishes between believers and non-believers.  It pointedly asked whether there was anything in Japan's laws that were "irreconcilable with Occidental principles." The Japan Weekly Mail emphatically insisted there was not, and, in keeping with Crispi's logic, argued that the natural order should be reestablished. Italy had provided Japan with ammunition for its legal battles against the "unequal treaties" which discriminated against Japan until 1911. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 293-95. In the 1930s, Japan would again use Italian action to justify its international policies—this time in Manchukuo.
5. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 296-97; Furukawa Tetsushi, "Japanese Ethiopian Relations in the 1920s-30s: The Rise and Fall of ‘Sentimental’ Relations," paper presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 1991; Hideko Ishihara, "First Contacts Between Ethiopia and Japan," paper presented to the XIIIth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Kyoto, Dec. 1997.
6. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 297-98.
7. Furukawa, "Japanese Political and Economic Interests," 7.
8. William D. Wray, Mitsubishi and the N.Y.K., 1870-1914: Business Strategy in the Japanese Shipping Industry (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984), 315-17, 320; Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 297; Chris Prouty and Eugine Rosenfeld, eds. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (Metuthen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1981), 175. Richard Pankhurst, Economic History of Ethiopia 1800-1935 (Addis Ababa: Haile Sellassie I University Press, 1968), 414, lists 9,000 bundles of 60 pieces each of silk thread as coming from Egypt and Japan. For the threat of Japanese textiles to American and Italian trade, see ibid., 407-08.
9. Morikawa, "The Myth and Reality," 39, 40, 45 n.6 n.8, 47. For a theoretical and historical analysis of the colonial development policy in East Africa, see E. A. Brett, Colonialism and Underdevelopment in East Africa: The Politics of Economic Change, 1919-1939 (New York: NOK Publishers, Ltd., 1973), 74, 152-54 and Okakura Takashi and Kitagawa Katsuhiko, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi: Meiji-ki kara Dainiji Sekai Taisen-ki made [History of Japanese-African Relations: From the Meiji Period to the Second World War Period] (Tokyo: Dobun-kan, 1993), 29-61. I would like to thank Mariko Clarke for translating the Japanese materials used in this paper.
10. Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations;" Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations;" Furukawa, "Japanese Political and Economic Interests," 7; Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 31.
11. Taura Masanori, "Nihon-Echiopia kankei ni miru 1930 nen tsusho gaiko no iso" [A Phase of the 1930 Commercial Diplomacy in the Japanese-Ethiopian Relations], Seifu to Minkan [Government and Civilians], Nenpo Kindai Nihon Kenkyu [Annual Report, Study of Modern Japan], 17 (1995): 148. Heruy Wolde Selassie, Dai Nippon, Forward by Baron Shidehara Kijuro (Tokyo: Shueisha, 1934, 1933). Originally published in Amharic, Mahidere Birhan: Hagre Japan [The Document of Japan] (Addis Ababa: Gohi Tsiba, 1934). Shidehara was foreign minister between 1924-27 and 1929-31, and prime minister from 1945-46. The book contains valuable photographs. The Amharic text was translated into English by Oreste Vaccari and then into Japanese by his wife Enko Vaccari. The former was an Italian orientalist and linguist who had studied Amharic at the Royal Oriental Institute of Naples during the 1910s. He had been a student of Afa-Warq, the future chargé d'affaires to the Ethiopian delegation to Rome, who taught at the Oriental Institute of Naples in the 1900s. Vaccari then went to Japan where he became a correspondent for The Japan Times & Mail. When Italy invaded Ethiopia, he defended Italy. Aoki Sumio and Kurimoto Eisei, "Japanese Interest in Ethiopia (1868-1940): Chronology and Bibliography," Ethiopia in Broader Perspective: Papers of the XIIIth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, 3 vols., K. E. Fukui and M. Shigeta, eds. (Kyoto: Shokado Book Sellers, 1997), 1: 714; Adrien Zervos, L'Empire d'Ethiopie: Le Miroir de L'Ethiopie Moderne 1906-1935 (Alexandria, Egypt: Impr. de l'Ecole professionnelle des febres, 1936), 482.
12. Richard Pankhurst, "History of Education, Printing and Literacy in Ethiopia. 9: Educational Advances in Menilek's Day," Addis Tribune, Oct. 2, 1998,
13. Richard Pankhurst, "History of Education, Printing and Literacy in Ethiopia." As another example of an early admirer, Haji Abdulahi Sadiq, reputed to be the "head of the Muslims" in Harar during the last year of Menelik's rule, visited Japan during a trip abroad in 1905 and 1906. Haji Abdulahi Sadiq was also one of only two Ethiopians to visit the United States during Menelik's reign. In 1908, he informed an Italian correspondent for La Tribuna of his visit. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 298; Chris Prouty, Empress Taytu and Menelik II of Ethiopia 1883-1910 (Trenton: Red Sea Press, 1986), 272-73.
14. Addis Hiwet, Ethiopia: From Autocracy to Revolution (London: Review of African Political Economy, 1975), 68. This is analysis by an Ethiopian Marxist soon after a Communist revolution had dethroned Hayle Sellase in 1974.
15. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 300; Richard Caulk, "Ethiopia and the Horn," in Andrew D. Roberts, ed., The Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 7: From 1905 to 1940 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 713-15; Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations;" Furukawa Tetsushi, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations," 4; Taura, "Nihon-Echiopia kankei," 148; Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 22-23.
16. Addis Hiwet, Ethiopia, 68-69.
17. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 301-02; Andrew D. Roberts, "African Cross-Currents," in Roberts, ed., The Cambridge History of Africa, Vol. 7: From 1905 to 1940, 265; Caulk, "Ethiopia and the Horn," 720; Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 301.
18. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 301-02; Gabrahiwot Baykadagn [Gebre Heywet Baykedagn], State & Economy of Early 20th Century Ethiopia: Prefiguring Political Economy c. 1910. Translated and Introduced by Tenkir Bonger (London: Kamak House, 1995), 115.
19. Addis Hiwet, Ethiopia, 70. For another perspective on the problems of development and the need for state direction see J. Calvitt Clarke, Russia and Italy Against Hitler: the Bolshevik-Fascist Rapprochement of the 1930s (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991), Chapter 4. Here I reproduce the arguments of especially Anthony James Gregor as well as the former Sorelian syndicalists who joined Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party and wrote for Critica Fascista. In essence, they claimed that Mussolini's Fascist Italy and Stalin's Communist Russia faced similar problems and found similar solutions—all be it with different vocabularies. Gregor puts the point plainly:

Fascism was the heir of a long intellectual tradition that found its origins in the ambiguous legacy left to revolutionaries in the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Fascism was, in a clear and significant sense, a Marxist heresy. It was a Marxism creatively developed to respond to the particular and specific needs of an economically retarded national community condemned, as a proletarian nation, to compete with the more advanced plutocracies of its time for space, resources, and international stature.

See his Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), 123. In other words, necessity under conditions of chronic underdevelopment forms a nexus uniting bolshevik—including Addis Hiwet's—and fascist thought.
20. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 299; Hans Wilhelm Lockot, The Mission: The Life, Reign and Character of Haile Sellassie I (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), 31-32; Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations;" Furukawa, "Japanese Political and Economic Interests," 7; Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations."
21. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 302-03; Caulk, "Ethiopia and the Horn," 715; Pankhurst, Economic History, 679-80.
22. Addis Hiwet, Ethiopia, 60-70.
23. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 302-03, quote 303.
24. Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 31.
25. Ibid., 32.
26. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 300; Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations;" Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations."
27. Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 299.
28. Ladislas Farago, Abyssinia on the Eve (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1935), 70-71.
29. Ibid., 71. The Marxist Addis Hiwet has suggested that this same statement shows that the ideas advanced by the Japanizers were too radical for the other educated elements in Ethiopia. Addis Hiwet, Ethiopia, 70.
30. Taura, "Nihon-Echiopia kankei ni miru 1930," 148; Bahru, History of Modern Ethiopia, 92, 110; Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations," 5-6; Prouty and Rosenfeld, eds. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, 38; Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations," 5-6.
31. One of the party, Araya Ababa, would later become involved in the engagement scandal with Kuroda Masako. See Clarke, "Japan and Ethiopia: Two Imperiums United by Marriage?" Another, Daba Birrou, would visit Japan in 1935 during the Italo-Ethiopian conflict. See below.
32. Heruy, Dai Nippon, 1-15, describes Heruy’s voyage to Japan. The Osaka Mainichi & Tokyo Nichi Nichi. Nov. 1, 6, 7, 1931 followed the trip. Also see Taura, "Nihon-Echiopia kankei ni miru 1930," 149 and Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonization," 308.
33. Shoji Yunosuke, Echiopia Kekkon Mondai wa Donaru, Kaisho ka? Ina!!!: Kekkon Mondai o Shudai to shite Echiopia no Shinso o Katari Kokumin no Saikakunin o Yobo su [What Will Happen to the Ethiopian Marriage Issue, Cancellation? or Not!!!: I Request the Re-recognition of the (Japanese) Nation by Narrating the Truth of Ethiopia with the Marriage Issue as the Central Theme] (Tokyo: Seikyo Sha, 1934). For Heruy’s visit to Kobe and Osaka, see Heruy, Dai Nippon, 16-19. For his meeting with the emperor, see ibid., 19-30. Also see Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations," 6-7.
34. Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 32-33, quote 33.
35. Osaka Mainichi & Tokyo Nichi Nichi, Nov. 10, 11, 12, 15, 19, 20, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, Dec. 1, 1931. Also see Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonization," 308-10.
36. Osaka Mainichi & Tokyo Nichi Nichi, Dec 1, 3, 4, 1931. See also: Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonization," 310-11; Taura, "Nihon-Echiopia kankei ni miru 1930," 149; and Aoki and Kurimoto, "Japanese Interest in Ethiopia," 1: 720.
37. Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations," 7-8; Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonization," 308; Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations," 8; Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations," 7; Zervos, L'Empire d'Ethiopie, 482.
38. Farago, Abyssinia, 127-28.
39. Ishihara, "First Contact."
40. Furukawa, "Japan's Political Relations," 7; Furukawa, "Japanese-Ethiopian Relations," 8.
41. Roman Procházka, Abyssinia: The Powder Barrel (London: British International News Agency, 1936), 3. This edition printed in Austria was translated from German edition of 1935.
42. Ibid., 4.
43. Ibid., 7-8.
44. Ibid., 10. Roman Procházka for two years was a barrister pleading before the Mixed Special Tribunal and the Consular Courts of the Foreign Powers in Addis Ababa, "in which capacity I represented to the best of my powers the rightful interests of some hundred white people of almost all nationalities, and defended them against the arbitrariness of the Abyssinian government and unlawful acts of violence on the parts of native authorities." Ibid., 9. He was expelled from the country in February 1934, he explains, because of his success in this task. Ibid., 10. In sum, the book is a lawyer's brief "proving" the violence and treachery of Ethiopia and its people.
45. Taura, "Nihon-Echiopia kankei," 149-50; Italy (Kirk), 8/7/35: National Archives (College Park, MD), Decimal File [hereafter cited as NA] 765.94/15.
46. Oguri Kazuo (Chief of Metropolitan Police) to Goto Fumio (Interior Minister) and Hirota, Report No. 2593, 9/23/35. A461 ET/I1-2 vol. 1.
47. Newspapers provide rich details on the visit and its consequences. See articles in: Osaka Mainichi & Tokyo Nichi Nichi, Aug. 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 1935; New York Times, Aug. 9, 13, Sept. 14, 19, 20, 22, Oct. 6, 1935; The Times (London), Aug. 9, 10, Sept, 20, 23, 1935; Japan Times, Aug. 10, 11, 13, Sept. 12, 14, Oct. 31, 1935; and Moscow Daily News, Aug. 11, Sept. 20, 1935. See also Zervos, L'Empire d'Ethiopie, 120.
48. Sugimura to Arita, 177-2, 10/29/36: A461 ET/I1 Vol. 8; Sugimura to Arita, 87-1, 5/12/13/36; Mushanokoji (Berlin) to Arita, 107, 5/15-16/36; Sugimura to Arita, 87-2, 5/12/13/36: Gaimusho Gaiko Shiryo Kan [Record Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hereafter cited as Gaimusho Gaiko Shiryo Kan (Tokyo)] A461 ET/I1-7 vol. 7. See also James William Morely, Deterrent Diplomacy: Japan, Germany, and the USSR, 1935-1940. Selected translations from: Taiheiyo senso ne michi: kaisen gaiko shi (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), 43; Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 45-46; Bradshaw, "Japan and European Colonialism," 358-61.
America's representatives followed these events closely. See, e.g.: Italy (Phillips), 5/13/37: NA 765.00/90; Italy (Long), 10/8/35: NA 765.94/22; Switzerland (Wilson), 10/10/35: NA 765.94/23; Japan (Neville), 10/11/35: NA 765.94/24; China (Lockhart), 12/22/35: NA 765.94/25; Italy (Long), 10/29/35: NA 765.94/27; Italy (Long), 2/20/36: NA 765.94/29; Italy (Kirk), 6/15/36: NA 765.94/30; Italy (Phillips), 11/16/36: NA 765.94/31; Italy (Phillips), 11/28/36: NA 765.94/32; Japan (Grew), 12/1/36: NA 765.94/33; Japan (Grew), 11/30/36: NA 765.94/34; China (Johnson), 11/30/36: NA 765.94/35; Italy (Phillips), 12/2/36: NA 765.94/36; China (Johnson), 12/2/36: NA 765.94/37; Ethiopia (Engert), 11/27/36: NA 765.94/38; Japan (Grew), 12/5/36: NA 765.94/39; Italy (Phillips), 5/13/37: NA 765.94/46; Italy (Phillips), 5/21/37: NA 765.94/47; Japan (Grew), 7/12/35: NA 784.94/19; and Japan (Grew), 11/39/36: NA 865d.01/210.

Return to Curriculum Vitae
Return to Home Page of Jacksonville University