Minyu-sha (民友社)

Minyu-sha was an opinion group and publishing house established by Soho TOKUTOMI.

In 1887, Soho TOKUTOMI, who came to Tokyo from Kumamoto City, and those related to the former Oe Gijuku established the group. The group founded the magazine "Kokumin no Tomo (Friend of the people)", and Aizan YAMAJI, Yosaburo TAKEKOSHI, Rokka TOKUTOMI and Doppo KUNIKIDA joined the magazine. Minyu-sha promoted "democratism" (commoner's Europeanism) and criticized 'Europeanism' by the government as "aristocratic Europeanism". The Minyu-sha also opposed the ultranationalism (the principle of preserving the national essence) promoted by the Seikyo-sha; these two groups evenly split contemporary public opinion. Minyu-sha took the position close to moderates faction of The Freedom of People's Rights Movement (such as Kaishin Party), and progressive comments and European and American social problems were introduced in "Kokumin no Tomo". The magazine was also appreciated by writers as a sphere of publication of new literary works of modern times; it introduced literary works including "Maihime" by Ogai MORI. Minyu-sha also began publishing "Kokumin Shinbun" (newspaper) in 1890.

However, after the Sino-Japanese War, Soho turned to Imperialism and his tone of work changed drastically. Employees who did not follow in step left the company one after another, and in 1898, "Kokumin no Tomo" was discontinued. Even after that, Minyu-sha continued its operation such as publication of Soho's literary works until 1933.

People associated with Minyu-sha

Doppo KUNIKIDA went to the Sino-Japanese War as a correspondent and contributed series of articles called "Aitei Tsushin report".

[Original Japanese]