The Koza current versus the Rono current

During the 1930s, an intellectual current developed in Japan known as “Koza” (“lectures faction”). It was based on official guidelines drawn up by the Comintern and remained close to the Japanese Communist Party.

It viewed the Meiji Restoration as having transformed feudal land ownership into semi-feudal property relations. Moreover, as Japan had yet to develop into a modern bourgeois society, a bourgeois revolution was required before socialism could be established. This reflected the official line of the Communist Party of Japan. An opposing “Rono” current (“the workers” farmers faction’) also established itself and was associated with the politician Hitoshi Yamakama; their successors had close links to the Socialist Party. In contrast to the Koza current, adherents of the Rono current viewed the Meiji Restoration as a revolution that had established bourgeois relations in Japan; this meant that the country was indeed well on the way towards developing into a modern capitalist society. Consequently, they argued, the political objective had to be direct socialist revolution.