When Japan Was "Champion of the Darker Races" :


Satokata Takahashi and the' Flowering of Black Messianic Nationalism*
by Ernest Ailen, Jr.
n late September 1942, in a series of highly publicized raids, federal agents in Chicago arrested eighty-five African Americans. Three women and nine men were charged with sedition ; the remainder were accused of draft evasion . Indicted on the former charge were hlijah Muhammad,' Linn Karriem, and Pauline Bahar of the Allah Temple of Islam [ATOI] ; Mittie Maud Lena Gordon, Seon Jones, William Gordon, and DavidJ. Logan of the Peace Movement of Ethiopia [PME] ; Charles Newby (aka Father Divine Haasan) of the Colored American National Organization [CANO] ; Stokely Delmar Hart, James Graves, and Annabelle Moore of the Brotherhood of Liberty for the Black People of America [BLBPA] , and Frederick H. Hammurabi Robb of the Century Service Exchange.l Several days earlier, five members of the Ethiopian Pacific Movement [EPM] - Robert O. Jordan (aka Leonard Robert Jordan), James Thornhill, Lester Holness, the Rev . Ralph Green Best, and Joseph Hartrey, an Irishman - were indicted in New York City on the more serious charges.' Less raucously, back in May, ministers David X (aka David Jones and David Duvon) and Sultan Muhammad of the ATOI's Washington and Milwaukee temples, respectively, were detained on charges of sedition as well.} In October the head of the International Reassemble of the Church of Freedom League, Inc. [IRCFL], the Rev. Ethelbert A. Broaster, was arrested in New Orleans.' The following January, a second round of indictments occurred in East St .


Louis, where Bishop David D. Erwin and General Lee Butler, two leaders of the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World [PMEW], were also charged with crimes against the State." In Newark, seven members of the House of Israel [HOI] - Brother Rueben Israel (aka Askew Thomas), Alfred Woods, Isaiah Cald, Robert Moses, Oscar Rumlin, Dawsey Johnson, and Jeremiah Ardis - were seized as draft evaders.' There had been earlier as well as subsequent arrests for draft evasion, too, including the roundup of 12 members of the Kansas City branch of the Moorish Science Temple of America [MSTA] in July 1942 .fl These accusations against outspoken African American opponents of World War II involved violations of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 .y More to the point: in the eyes of government, the proJapanese loyalties of the defendants in the above cases constituted a threat to national security. Indeed, the reported remarks of an ATOI member appeared to give substance to such concerns:
the white devils desire the colored people to die with them in the Army and Navy ; we don't want to be with him in the Army or out . . . the time has come when the white devils will be destroyed by dark mankind . . . the eagles seen on United States money and the uniforms of service men is the mark of the beast and if you have that mark the Japanese are going to shoot at it when they come here."'

The best known today of all the above groups, the Allah Temple of Islam was an off PAGE 23


When Japan Was "Champion of the Darker Races":

Satokata Takahashi and the Flowering of Black Messianic Nationalism

During World War II, some 125 African Americans were arrestedfor resisting the deaf~` orfor exercising seditious behavior. The twenty or so _ persons held on the more serious charges included Elijah Muhammad of the Allah Temple ofIslam, a religious association; Mittie Maud Lens Gordon 'the Peace Movement of Ethiopia, an African repatriation movement in the Garvey tradition; the Rev. EthelbertA. Broaster of the International Reassemble of the Church of Freedom League, Inc., a black Hebrew organization ; and Bishop David D. Erwin and General Lee Butler, leaders of the Pacific Movement 'the Eastern World, an emigrationistgroup. The arrests brought to light the existence of strong, proJapanese sentiments amongAfrican Americans that the authorities, not to mention black middle-class spokespersons, quickly dismissed as the uttering ofa small number offanatics The reality, however, was that pro-Japanfeelings among black workers as well as the black middle class had been building since the turn ofthe centccry, followingJapan's celebrated victory over the Russian fleet. This mood wrrs given greater impetus during the worstyears ofthe Great Depression by the appearance in Detroit of aJapanese ndtional known as Major Satokata Takahashi, who took command of an associa-

tion known as The Development of Our Own. Mr. Takahashi's initial organizing activities in Detroit, Chicagq and St. Louis, and the "ripple ofj"ects" therefrom, led to the messianic expectation on the part ~tens of thousands ofAfrican Americans throughout the midwest, the upper and lower Mississippi Delta, east~entral Oklahoma and the New YorkNezuJersey region thatJapan's imperial army wouldfree themfrom the ravages ofAmerican racism. Through the employ of newspaper articles, FBI documents, military intelligence reports, and court records the author has reconstructed a history which, up until thepresent; had been almost completely forgotten.




shoot of the Nation of Islam [NOI], founded in Detroit in 1930 by the legendary W. D. Fard [pronounced Far-ad" ] . After Mr . Fard departed the midwest in 1934, the NOI became wracked by factional disputes bearing on 1) the propriety of human sacrifice; 2) NOI "disloyalty" to the United States; and 3) whether W. D. Fard should be considered a prophet of God, as he himself maintained, or God incarnate. In the resulting turmoil, one of Fard's lieutenants, Elijah Muhammad, was forced to flee Detroit for Chicago, where a NOI branch - one ostensibly loyal to Mr . Muhammad had been in operation since 1932 . Mr . Muhammad christened his new association the Allah Temple of Islam; his followers became known as the Temple People. The Detroit NOI was eventually folded into the ATOI, but it was not until the late 1950s that the unified and greatly expanded organization reestablished itself as the Nation of Islam."

Mecca and sent to the Japanese government for development" :''
Japan has had for many years a monster airplane, known to the Moslems as a "mother airplane" . The "mother airplane" is said to carry 1,000 small airplanes, each of which carries bombs, which will be used against the white man . Each bomb is said to be such size to penetrate the earth's surface for a distance of of one mile, and to destroy an area of fifty square miles when it explodes. The Moslems have also told their people that the Japanese have superior equipment of every kind and description.'"

he NOI worldview was dominated by an apocalyptic and prophetic vision which held that the African American, the . "original" or "Asiatic" black man, fell into a state of social domination that began with slavery.'1 This situation was a direct result of the machinations of an evil black scientist, Yakub, who grafted white people, also known as "devils," from original black people a little more than 6,000 years ago . God had granted to whites the rule of the planet for six millennia, after which time a fiery battle was to take place in the sky where they would suffer permanent defeat, and the original sense of order restored to earth. The "devil's" rule was actually up in 1914, with an additional grace period granted by Allah in order to allow the Nation of Islam to save and convert as many African Americans as possible to their origi= nal religion .'4 Within NOI eschatology there arrived a fusion of millenarian and African American nationalist traditions, with Japan's acknowledged leadership role couched in messianic terms. But the NOI's now familiar story of the Mother Ship, or Ezekiel's Wheel,'° was cast in a somewhat different light in the early 1940s. The Mother Ship, it seems, was in the possession of Japan, the blueprints for which had been drawn up "in the Holy City of THEBIACKSCHOLAR YOLUME24,N0.1

A Chicago-based organization begun in late 1932, the Peace Movement of Ethiopia essentially advocated "Garveyism without Garvey" - that is, embraced in its totality the doctrine of the Universal Negro Improvement Association [UNIA] but with neither desire nor need for Marcus Garvey's personal leadership. Ideologically speaking, the PME came to rely more upon the support of white racists for implementing its "Back-to-Africa" program than had the UNIA, but in truth, that was the very direction in which Mr. Garvey himself had been heading after 1921 ." PME head and former UNIA-member Mittie Maud Lena Gordon sought support for African American repatriation to Africa from President Roosevelt in 1933, and, towards the latter part of the decade received initial legislative backing for such from the notoriously antiblack Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo.'" Intertwined with the PME's repatriation program was a commitment to Japanese war aims. Among numerous other charges, President Gordon was accused of having declared that "on December 7th, 1941, one billion black people struck for freedom," a rather unambiguous reference to Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.'9 Much less is known of the Colored American National Organization, reportedly founded in Chicago by Charles Newby and Stokely Delmar Hart in 1939 ." Newby, who once matriculated at Leavenworth following a conviction for auto theft, was credited with being the originator of the slogan, "Talk Black, See Black, Walk Black and Mind Your Own Black Business ." z' It was said that at CANO gatherings Japanese General Hideki Tojo "was praised as a coming saviour of the Negro from the American white," and that "virtually all Negro leaders, including Joe Louis, his wife PAGE 25

and mother, were loudly condemned. The group went so far as to advocate violence against all white people seen on the Southside ." zz Newby was deposed as president following a split in August 1942, immediately after which he and Hart formed the Brotherhood of Liberty for the Black People of America. CANO and BLBPA ,were also said to be synonymous with the Washington Park Forum (thus called because of its regular meetings held at the park) .2~ In the late 1920s Mr. Hammurabi (as F. H. Hammurabi Robb eventually came to be known on Chicago's South Side) had edited a small volume entitled The Negro in Chicago. From the 1930s onward he directed the World Wide Friends of Africa (known also as the I-#ouse of Knowledge), which some three decades later continued to sponsor weekly activ ities encouraging African Americans "to know themselves, their nation and the world." In 1956 Mr . Hammurabi screened films on Africa at ATOI's very first national convention ; in 1942 he was charged with "speaking in behalf of aJapanese victory and showing motion pictures of the Pearl Harbor attack, obtained secretly from Jap sources, at meetings of the Brotherhood of Liberty." 2' ounded in New Orleans in 1936, with an additional chapter located at Chicago, the International Reassemble of the Church of Freedom League, Inc . professed belief in "One God, One King, One Race," an apparent take on Marcus Garvey's slogan, "One God, One Aim, One Destiny" (both probably drawn from the Christian theme of "One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism"). Appealing to Old Testament "proof-texts" - principally Deuteronomy 28 and Jeremiah 12 - the IRCFL held that African Americans were Jews, that the progeny of enslaved Africans carried to the western hemisphere were the direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The group's leader, the Rev. E. A. Broaster, had emigrated to the U.S. from Belize, British Honduras in the early 1920s when he was better known as pugilist Frankie Anslem . During his 13 years in the ring, Anslem reportedly earned "a fair livelihood trading punches with the best boxers the nation had to offer at his weight." 2' Arrested on charges of advising PAGE 26

members of his group to refuse induction into the army, Rev. Broaster does not appear to have harbored particularly strong pro-Japanese tendencies . Yet he was close to the PMEW in East St . Louis as well as the Chicagobased Washington Park Forum, having addressed both groups during 1941 . Perhaps the most important of all the proJapan groups due to its wide geographic influence, the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World was founded in Chicago in 1932 and transported to St . Louis in that same year. From there the PMEW extended its network to Kansas City, the southeastern Missouri Boot Heel region, southern Illinois, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, and east-central Oklahoma . More so than any of the other associations, the Pacific Movement expressed a fundamental dualism in its ideological perspective . Torn between the demand for full citizenship rights in the U.S. and the desire for political self-determination through emigration, the PMEW's line alternately vacillated between support for a Japanese military invasion of the U.S. with the aim of securing black equality at home, and emigration to Africa, Japan, or Brazil with the pxesumed help of the Japanese government . From 1934 to 1940 the group was headed by Rev. David D. Erwin, who simultaneously occupied a position of leadership in Triumph the Church of the New Age, a Holiness denomination . By 1939 PMEW membership in East St. Louis was said to be virtually indistinguishable from that of the Triumph Church .~~ The House of Israel taught that African Americans were the real Hebrews, that Adam was black, and that the black race was once supreme on earth, having lost its exalted position out of disobedience to God. The group operated schools in which the Hebrew language was taught, and claimed that they were "enslaved by the white race because that language is excluded from the public schools."z' Like the IRCFL, the HOI appears to have been less pro-Japan than anti-American. fall the African American organizations charged with seditious activities during the war, the Moorish Science Temple of America was the only one to have been in existence prior to the Great Depression, hav


ing been started by prophet Noble Drew Ali in Newark, New Jersey, in 1913 .28 Although its early activities remain shrouded in mystery, the Chicago temple was established in 1925 . And Chicago remained the organization's center of gravity throughout the depression, despite the occurrence of serious organizational splits in the wake of Ali's death from tuberculosis in July 1929 .2y From 16 active temples in 1928, based in cities such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Richmond, the MSTA (or, more precisely, the MSTA faction led bY Charles Kirkman-Bey from mid-1929 onwards) had grown to some fifty branches by the early 1940s. 8° Suspected of harboring strong, proJapanese sentiments during World War II, the organization became the target of extensive efforts on the part of the FBI to unearth criminal evidence to that effect. But it was only in Kansas City that MSTA members were actually arrested, and then solely on charges of draft-evasion. And, finally, in 1935 the Ethiopian Pacific Movement was founded in New York City by Robert O. Jordan and Ashima Takis. A Filipino national who represented himself as a Japanese, Takis earlier had played a leading role in the PMEW in St . Louis; he subsequently left the EPM as well . Born in Kingston,Jamaica around the turn of the century, Robert O. Jordan had earned quite a reputation as a street-corner agitator in Harlem during the thirties and early forties. Visitors to EPM Sunday gatherings held at a meeting hall at Lenox and 113th could hear the "Harlem Hitler," as he was called, regularly expound on his refusal to be drafted, give prayers for an Axis victory, declare his intention to fight on the side of Japan, and express the wish that after the defeat of the Allies, he would have President Roosevelt pick his cotton! 4' NATIONALISM AND MILLENNIALISM More than anything else, the flowering of pro-Japan tendencies among American blacks in the era of the Great Depression represented a confluence and crystallization of two long-standing trends in African American thought : nationalism and millennialism. As an unassimilated national minority, African Americans from the late 18th century onward had manifested general tendencies towards

full inclusion into American society, on the one side, and an equal penchant towards group autonomy, on the other.` 2 At times this latter sentiment has blossomed into desires for an autonomous, black nation-state . But due to the demonstrated futility of securing black self-determination within the United States, African American nationalist movements have often tended to exhibit a strong emigrationist character. In the 20th century, of course, the most significant organization of this type was Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association . An admixture of apocalyptic vision, messianic anticipation, and prophecy belief, millennialism derives from Jewish-Christian religious traditions. Strictly speaking, of course, the Millennium refers to that future time when Christ, having returned to earth and smitten Satan and his minions, shall reign for a thousand years; and after which time Satan shall be released from the bottomless pit into which he had been cast, and defeated once again, forever.88 In more generalized terms, historian Eric Hobsbawm has characterized the principal characteristics of millenarian social movements in the following way: "a profound and total rejection of the present, evil world, .and a passionate longing for another and better one" ; second, an ideology of the type embodied in Jewish and Christian messianic forms, where it is foretold that the coming of the Messiah shall bring all suffering to an end, and peace and justice reign forever ; and third, "a fundamental vagueness about the actual way in which the new society will be brought about." 84 erhaps one of the earliest recorded manifestations of millenarian sentiment among African Americans can be found in Gabriel's insurrection which took place in Virginia in 1800, and where the enslaved insurrectionists identified themselves with the Israelites of the Old Testament.' Along with the huge social displacements occasioned by the industrializing of American society during the last quarter of the 19th century and into the next, came the flourishing of prophecy belief marked, in African American communities, by the spread of Pentecostal and Holiness churches . During the Great DepresPAGE 27


sion, millenarian sentiments underwent a second grand awakening among African Americans as well, as attested by the proliferation of prophetic religious denominations such as Daddy Grace's United House of Prayer for All People, ProphetJones' Church of the Universal Triumph, Father Divine's Peace Mission, and Prophet F. S. Cherry's Church of God.~~ But the Depression Decade also witnessed the rise of what has been aptly characterized as messianic nationalism, a uniquely African American expression marked by the confluence, of secular nationalist and religious millenarian traditions ."' To be sure, such forms had been witnessed earlier with the appearance of Black Hebrew denominations around the turn of the century, as well as within the Garvey movement, where Marcus Garvey himself was sometimes likened to a Negro Moses ." Moreover, apocalyptic references not infrequently colored Garvey's vision of a redeemed Africa ." 9 A millennial streak was seen to run through MSTA doctrine as well . Equating Marcus Garvey's relation to Noble Drew Ali as that of forerunner John the Baptist to Christ, the MSTA's Holy Koran held Ali to be "the last Prophet in these days . . . who was prepared divinely in due time by Allah to redeem men from their sinful ways ; and to warn them of the great wrath which is sure to come upon the earth.""' Messianic nationalism emerged full-blown, however, only during the period of sharp social deterioration marked by the Great Depression . It arrived in the form of Black Hebrew associations such as the International Reassemble of the Church of Freedom League and the House of Israel, and protoIslamic organizations such as the Nation of Islam/Allah Temple of Islam. Amore secular version could be seen in groups such as the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, the Peace Movement of Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Pacific Movement . And out of this millenarian envelope, in a fascinating sort of way, Japan arose as the impersonal messiah - and General Tojo as a more intimate one - of tens of thousands of black Americans. The key to this last puzzle may be found by briefly tracing the origins of the pro-Japan movement among African Americans back'to the turn of the century. PAGE 28

THE DAWN OF PRO-JAPANESE SENTIMENT ProJapanese sentiment among African Americans dates back to the RussoJapanese war of 19041905, when the Russian navy suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands ofJapanese warships ." Throughout the Asian continentJapan's victory produced first astonishment, then euphoria . Sun Yatsen probably put it best :
Since the rise of theJapanese, the Caucasians dare not look down upon other Asiatic peoples. Thus the power ofJapan not only enables theJapanese to enjoy the privileges of a first class nation, but enhances the international position of other Asiatic peoples. It used to be the general belief that the Asiatics could not do what the Europeans could do . Because the Japanese have learned so well from Europe, and because we know we Chinese can do as well as the Japanese, we see the possibility of doing as well as the Europeans.''`

Japan had "vindicated the honor of Asia and proved to the world that, given equal opportunities, the Asiatics are inferior to none - in any sphere of life, military or civil," proclaimed the Indian nationalist Lajpat Rai." Moreover, Japan's new-found prestige gave inspiration to people of African descent as well. The arch-racist Lothrop Stoddard noted that the Russo-Japanese war "produced all over the Dark Continent intensely exciting effects."'° From the columns of the New York Age, Archibald Grimke heaped praise upon the "little brown iconoclasts" in grand Biblical style:
Go . . . ye little brown men, conquering and to conquer. Sheath not your terrible sword, lay not aside yet your bloody scourge. Ye shall overthrow . . . Ye have thrown Russia down, ye are destined to throw down others than Russia in their pride, in their lust for power, to bring to the dust the mighty of the earth."

It was not without cause that the "defeat of Russia by Japan," as Du Bois later noted, would give "rise to a fear of colored revolt against white exploitation" on the part of the western powers.°''

lmost from the very beginning, Japan's attraction to African Americans was twofold : as a model for political and economic development, and as a potential military ally

against U.S. racism . An early example of the former came from Booker T. Washington in 1906 : "The Japanese race is a convincing example of the respect which the world gives to a race that can put brains and commercial activity into the development of the resources of a country," proclaimed the Sage of Tuskegee.°' Musings ofJapanese military intervention could be found in an uncompleted short story begun by black journalist John Edward Bruce in 1912, where the President's earnest call for volunteers to repel an invasion of the U.S. by Japan resulted in a temporary dropping of the color bar.' But here the erasure of the color line emerged as an indirect result of Japanese militarism ; by the 1930s numerous African Americans were prepared to welcome a more direct route. Remarkably, the African American embrace of Japan, generally speaking, had developed independent of any direct efforts on the part of the Japanese themselves .'9 If, perchance, black folk had been apprised of the contempt with which many Japanese regarded other-people of color, their response might have been more equivocal. In any case, African Americans were duly impressed when Baron Makino, Japan's principal delegate to the 1919 Peace Conference, submitted an amendment (ultimately rejected) to the League of Nations Covenant supporting the principal of racial equality." Conversely, circles close to the Japanese government were becoming favorably aware of African American interest in Japan. At a meeting called in early December 1918 for the purpose of electing delegate-0bservers to the peace convention at Versailles, Marcus Garvey, an advocate of "Asia for the Asiatics" as well as "Africa for the Africans," warned that "The next war will be between the [N]egroes and the whites unless our demands for justice are recognized . . . . With Japan to fight with us, we can win such a war."'' Coming from the internationally recognized head of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the message was apparently well received in Japan. In his work of fiction, Nichi-Bei senso yume monogatari (fapanese-America War Fantasy] published in 1921, retired Japanese Army General Kojiro Sato gleefully portrayedJapan's destruction of the U. S. Pacific Fleet, the seizure of Hawaii, and the invasion of the United States mainTHE BLACK SCHOLAR VOLUME 24, NO.1

land . Playing a prominent role in the novel was none other than Marcus Garvey, who led a rebellion of ten million blacks in support of Japan's mission. AIso evening up the score were numerous Jews and German-Americans seeking justice from Anglo-Americans.' In 1925 Mr. Garvey himself was contacted by the Indian revolutionary Rash Behari Bose,' 4 then residing in Japan . Bose had forwarded to Garvey a copy of a book, 1'he Negro Problem, authored by Kametaro Mitsukawa, in which the UNIA was prominently featured . Mitsukawa was a founder of Gyochisa (Society to Realize the Way of Heaven on Earth), a short-lived, ultra-nationalist group modeled along the lines of another, more prominent association known as Kokuryukai, which also advocated the emancipation of all colored races.'' ne of the more important of a number of Oright-wing patriotic associations in Japan, the Kokuryukai, or so-called Black Dragon Society, was founded in February 1901 by Uchida Ryohei to promote "the mission of imperial Japan" and to "check the expansion of the western powers ." ;5 In 1901 this twin goal assumed the form of agitation for war with Russia . Imperialistic in nature, the society took its name from the Amur River that separated Chinese Manchuria from Russian Siberia. (Called the Amur by the Manchus, the Chinese named the waterway Heilung-chiang, or Black Dragon River. Sharing the same ideographs as the Chinese, but pronouncing them differently, the river was known to the Japanese as Kokuryu, or Black Dragon, and it was by the latter designation that the society became ominously known in the West. ) However, the "implication of the title was always clear to every Japanese : Japan's frontier was to ~be advanced to the Amur ."'~ Known for its political assassinations within and withoutJapanese territory, the society assumed as its mission the emancipation of the "colored races" from white, western domination - even if that also meant their subjugation by a "colored" Japan. Carried to the United States by Japanese immigrants, there the Black Dragon Society played a role that remains clouded as much by World War II media sensationalism as by the racist paranoia of U.S. intelligence operations. If the society enjoyed a special relationship with AfriPAGE 29

can Americans, conclusive evidence has yet to surface on that score:5' But it is nonetheless difficult to believe that the state-side organization, or a branch of one of the many other ultra-nationalist societies based in Japan, did not contribute in some way to Japan's pre-war intelligence and espionage operations in the U.S. Whatever the case, one will be content, for the moment, with the knowledge that
In America, the Black Dragon Society was a patriotic, ultra-right wing extremist group. Their love for Japan created an ethnocentric frame of thought that Americans found radical and repulsive . Counterintelligence agents noted that the name of the Black Dragon often appeared under names of Japanese patriotic societies and good will institutions raising funds for theJapanese Army. Distinctive robes were part of their ceremonies : the FBI believed that members met covertly, elaborately adorned with black hakamas, or dress kimonos, accentuated with a circular white crest on the back.'"

Save for a number of significant exceptions, the techniques utilized by Japan to positively influence African Americans were those which it used in Formosa, Korea, and Manchuria . The following description of their activities in the Philippines is representative :
Delegations of Filipinos are entertained in Japan with the delightful hospitality of that country. Newspapermen, legislators, teachers, business men have fraternized with the members of their respective professions in Tokyo, Yokahama, and Kyoto. Corresponding groups ofJapanese have visited the Philippines. Prominent Filipino business men are associated with Japanese business ventures in the Philippines, or retained as lawyers by Japanese interests in the Islands. There has developed in the Islands a small but active "pro-Japanese" group the members of which are aggressively campaigning to hasten the day when aJapanese orientation shall supplant the present connections with the United States. Numerous young Filipinos are learning Japanese and at least one of them has attended the Imperial Military Academy. . . .'"

Japan and Manchuria in early 1937, W. E. B. Du Bois waxed ebullient over the social achievements of Japanese fascists in Manchukuo : ". . . the amount already accomplished in four years is nothing less than marvelous. The people appear happy, and there is no unemployment . There is public peace and order."~' Unimpressed by such coercive efficiency, however, was Langston Hughes, who was deported from Japan in 1933 as a result of his contact with Tokyo Leftists, as well as open criticisms of that country's anti-democratic policies!ti' On the other hand, the proposed marriage in 1934 of Prince Lij Araya Abebe of Ethiopia and Masako Kuroda, daughter of aJapanese viscount, was viewed by some African Americans as heralding the day of an Asian-African global unity.fil Nor was African American identification with Japan as "liberator of the darker peoples" harmed by the adoption of a fictive, "Asiatic" identity by members of small, mass-based, black organizations such as the MSTA and the NOI/ATOI . umors of war between the United States and Japan had flourished intermittently from the period just prior to World War I through the 1920s .~~ When they reemerged following the tatter's invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the Japanese government embarked upon greater efforts to ascertain as well as to influence African American opinion. Such efforts, according to blackjournalist Roi Ottley,
came to something of a blossom after the Depression, when for the first time they made some inroads with the rank-and-file. They sought out discouraged elements among the teeming thousands of the urban areas. Through the Ministry of Propaganda, they found a few radical nationalists, fiercely anti-white, who would lend an ear to talk of an all-colored utopia . Besides, a number of Japanese of attractive manners and sound knowledge of American affairs came to the United States and posed as menials, seeking social ties with Negro domestics and professing inviolable racial kinship . . . By assiduously cultivating contacts, these people insinuated themselves into the Negro community, and, in time, some Negroes came to look upon the Japanese as belonging to a messianic race, which would lead black men out of bondage."'

Lacking a genuine national bourgeoisie with substantive capital or industrial holdings, African Americans never engaged in economic ventures with Japanese businessmen at the level implied above. Nor is there any record of African Americans' having learned Japanese in any similar capacity . But by the late 1930s a small but significant number of black American intellectuals and educators such as T. Thomas Fortune, James Weldon Johnson, Robert Russa Moton, and George Schuyler had visited Japan and formed positive impressions. Following his own trip to PAGE 30

One of the most effective of these propagandists was a man known as "Major" Satokata Takahashi. (Although Takahashi's name suffered a number of variations in spelling by government agencies and the press, the above

is how it appeared on his marriage certificate .) 65 Another was the scholarly Yasuichi Hikida, who arrived in the U.S. in 1920, worked long and effectively among New York City blacks, and was deported following Pearl Harbor.` Of the leading pro-Japanese organizations among African Americans in the 1930s, Mr. Takahashi, at one time or another, had assumed the direct control of one, founded two others, and maintained close ties with at least several more - including the NOI and the MSTA . When his "disciples" -direct or otherwise - were indicted on charges of sedition in late 1942 and early 1943, Takahashi had already served three years of what was to become a six-year-plus prison sentence . Born Naka Nakane in Japan in 1875, Takahashiemigrated to Victoria, British Columbia around the turn of the century, where he married Annie Craddock, an Englishwoman . In 1921 the Nakane family moved from Canada to Tacoma, Washington, but after experiencing severe, financial difficulties five years later, Mr . Nakane suddenly disappeared, apparently abandoning his wife and four children to their own resources. His activities from 1926 through 1931 remain obscure.fi ' Adopting the name Satokata Takahashi and spuriously claiming to be a retired Japanese Army major, he resurfaced in the spring of 1932 at a Chicago meeting of the Universal Negro Improvement Association. By thefall the 5 ft:5 in . "Little Major," or "Little God of the East," as he was variously known to his followers, had settled in Detroit. According to Detroit Police detective Lawrence Johnson, who testified before a hearing called by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in September 1933, Takahashi had resided in Detroit for about a year . His activities came to the attention of the INS in early 1933, and complaints from African Americans regarding the content of his speeches were reportedly made at FBI offices from the following October onward .` Later questioned by the FBI, Takahashi claimed that his occupation was "special doctoring, a kind of religion in which he acted as a preacher," and that after having received instruction in that field at an institution similar to a seminary in Japan, he had become a Shinto priest. FBI analysts surmised that his "special doctoring" activities had something

to do with one of the Shinto faith-healing sects of Japan. However, there was "no indication that he was spreading the Shinto faith or was interested in the establishment of a Shinto shrine or temple ."~ But although Takahashi's real mission may have been the stimulating of pro-Japanese loyalties among the African American population, such a task was hardly antithetical to the teachings of Shinto.'° It was assumed by many that Japan and the United States would eventually go to war over the question of Pacific territories. In that context, Takahashi's attempts to organize African Americans along pro-Japanese lines appear to have stemmed from a desire to facilitate the disruption of economic production and military conscription within the U.S. ne of Takahashi's early associates averred that the former represented himself as a Japanese official who "had been sent to the United States by the Japanese government to organize the colored people ." Japanese Baron Tanaka, it was said, had prepared a memorial outlining the policy of the Black Dragon Society in Japan. Among other measures, the Tanaka memorial proposed the unification of all the darker peoples of the world by pursuing a policy of "Asia for Asiatics ." Japan would assist such people "to organize themselves and form their own government." The associate, whose testimony was frequently unreliable, said that Takahashi "claimed to be affiliated not only with the Black Dragon Society but the Japanese Consulate at San Francisco, California ." Japanese "situated in various communities in the United States" were presently working among black Americans, Takahashi affirmed . The moment for organizing was ripe, for "the people of the United States were unsuspecting and would laugh at such propaganda but, in fact, the time was not far off when Japan would take action ."" THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR OWN One of the "most publicized movements attempted in 1933," The Development of Our Own was initiated "by George Grimes, a city worker, as a legitimate political organization ." "Through Organization, Education and CoPAGE 31


operation and otherwise," TDOO's official aim was "to advance the interest of its members along the lines of Cultural, Intellectual, Social, Industrial and Commercial activities and otherwise as deemed necessary by the organization."'2 Takahashi, it was said, "became identified with the group and later succeeded in supplanting Grimes, and used the organization to urge Negroes to join with all other colored people -yellow, brown, and black against all white people ."'" He collected followers from existing organizations as well. After Nation of Islam members participated in what was reported as a human sacrifice, NOI founder W . D. Fard was instructed by Detroit detectives to leave the city in December 1932 . After clandestinely returning to his former residence at the Hotel Traymore, located at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward near the waterfront, Fard was arrested once again in late May 1933 . Given a final warning, he left the Motor City for good. It was around this time, presumably, that a handful of NOI members followed Takahashi into The Development of Our Own." Although Elijah Muhammad's principal loyalties lay with the NOI until his own abrupt departure from Detroit in 1934, he, too, seems to have had nothing but kind words for Takahashi. nternal changes seem to have preoccupied TDOO during its first several months of existence. Having filed as a non-profit organization in October 1933, TDOO voted out its initial group of officers the following month.'S Despite the apparent turmoil, the organization quickly established "branches in Mt. Clemens, Roseville, River Rouge, Ecorse, in the 8-Mile road area and elsewhere." The apparent core of the movement was the Birdhurst Center at Eight Mile Road, where membership ranks quickly swelled to 500. One of the largest Detroit units met at the Arion Hall, located at 2131 Chene Street . Another convened regularly at 3404 St . Antoine."' Although the principal organizing took place in the Detroit area, there were also reports of a chapter in Indianapolis built on the organizational ruins of the Moorish Science Temple . By late 1933 TDOO was said to have 14 chapters and some 10,000 members." Apart from acknowledging its working-class PAGE 32

base, one can say little else about the organization's constituency at present - including the number of female members.'" Whether, as in the case of the Nation of Islam, TDOO membership drew mainly from the most recently arrived, and the most impoverished, of Detroit's black southern migrants, or, like the PMEW in St. Louis and East St . Louis, from those who had established urban residency at a time more proximate to World War I, remains to be discovered.'" Under Takahashi's stewardship, "Five Guiding Principles" bound TDOO adherents to an overarching code of conduct:
1. To act in accordance with God's will. Thus, there is nothing to fear but God. 2. To be true to ourselves. Those who are not true to themselves can not be true to others . 3. To help ourselves instead of relying on others. God will only help those who help themselves. 4. To be part of our community and our country. , Less talk, more act and self-sacrifice are necessary if a group is to act together . By giving in we gain, by surrender we win. 5. To beautify this world is our final goal . Hence we must first have the beauty of heart within ourselves.""

Whether or not these principles were originated by Mr. Takahashi is uncertain, but precedents for such guidelines certainly existed in the first Five Principles of Buddha, also known as the Pansil, the Five Relationships and, supplementary Five Norms of Confucian thought, as well as the Five Teachings of the Kurozumi Kyo faith-healing sect of Shinto."' In the hands of one of its black minister-leaders, the organization's millenarian appeal could also be readily observed:
The Development of Our Own is a friendly organization for the darker peoples of America. Let us organize ourselves for one aim and one destiny under this organization . We must do this, because we are living in a critical time - a time for dark peoples to organize themselves for one common cause. Why can't we as a people see the signs of the times? The Bible says, "You shall see the sign in the East, then you will know that the time of the Son of Man is near at hand ." He will gather up his elect. By organizing ourselves under the "five guiding principles," we shall be able and ready to meet Him.""

In contrast to the less-tempered public speeches for which he was often known, Mr. THEBLACKSCHOLAR i~LUME 24, NO.1

Takahashi's initial column in Detroit's premier black newspaper, the Tribune-Independent, fit will within existing, African American, middle-class, "mainstream" thought. Calling for African American unity, Takahashi immodestly attributed a newfound advocacy among Detroit blacks for the "unification of the colored race," to his own organizing efforts over the previous eight months :
I am pleased to announce to you ladies and gentlemen, that my earnest [effort] in cooperation with you loyal members, has given some effect to our principles, in such a way as to create a new tendency among your people toward racial unity. The greatest obstacles to our desire for unity of race are not so much external barriers, but internal quarrels and discord, due to selfish ambitions, petty jealousies, narrow vision, and what not. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We see many organizations wrecked by internal strife, and many nations weakened and held down, by internal divisions and factionalism .""

For the most part, Takahashi's speeches before meetings of organizations such as the Bethel A.M .E . Church, or his writings in the Detroit Tribune-Independent, remained cautionary. But a number of the "Little Major's" preferred lectures possessed a more flavorful character: for example, "The Sinking Ship and the Lifeboat," and "White Supremacy and the White Tyrant" - most likely delivered before black, working-class audiences . In his "white supremacy" speech, Takahashi asserted that, by following "Japan's five guiding principles," African Americans would succeed in overthrowing white domination :
I come here to promote international unity between the dark people of Japan and the dark people of America to lead them to a better and fuller life . What Japan has done in the past 70 years, the Negroes, too, can do by accepting Japan's five guiding principles . The white man will give you little . If you obtain anything it will be done through conquest . You must fight. Japan has succeeded because ~eryone worked as a unit. You must work as a unit. Follow Japan's guiding principles. Japan is a world power equal to Great Britain and the United States and fearing nothing but God.

entral to the question of internal, race unity was the need for harmonious relations between men and women. But gender unity could be achieved only on the basis of full political rights for women within the general movement for African American justice:
Men and women should respect each other, and strive to develop harmony with one another, although there [seem] to be peculiar ideas prevailing among a certain group of men, that the women should not hold any office in an organization, nor have voice at the meetings. Permit me to say to you men, that our international supervisor is a woman, if you please, with whom some of the members of the board of control have already had an interview. She is now in Chicago doing wonderful work among the white people, though different from my work."'

And what of Japan's stake in this outpouring of Asian solidarity for Black Americans? :
Three-fourths of the world are black people and one-fourth is white, and it is not in accordance with God's will for one-fourth of the world to rule the three-fourths, which are black . Now that Japan has gained rightful recognition in the world, she is willing to help other dark races. We know that the black people of the United States are citizens thereof, and can not help Japan directly in case of war, but there are other things that can be done . If the white man knew that you sympathized with Japan, he would not allow you to shoulder arms or go near an ammunition plant in case of war. In some parts of this country you have been shot to death or lynched [while] wearing the uniform. . . . Japan is making overtures to you. If she fails you fail . This is the last chance of the dark races of America to overcome white supremacy and to throw the white tyrants off your backs.'"'

This "work among the white people," for which the international supervisor had "demonstrated herself capable" of carrying out, was "to create a new' tendency among the white race for racial equality, that is, to convince them of the fact that they have been creating many enemies for many years, not in the foreign land, but right here [with]in this country's national boundary." The population of the "suppressed colored race" was increasing rapidly: "Let colored citizens have their due place, before it is too late . This is our advice to the white race, in the solution of the racial problem.""' But Takahashi himself refused to address gatherings where whites were present. THEBLACKS(~IOZAR POLiIME24,N0.1

In his lecture invoking western civilization as a "sinking ship," Takahashi assured his listeners that Japan was the "lifeboat," the hope of Black America:
You are clinging to an era of Caucasian civilization and psychology because you are afraid to leave the sinking ship. I say the sinking ship because western prestige is doomed. It is pursuing its inevitable course to the graveyard of obscure history .


Here is the Negro's chance to freedom in life. Leave the sinking ship. Civilization's march westward has reached its farthest western shore on the Pacific Coast of America. West of America is what? Hawaii, the Philippines and your friend Japan, the lifeboat of racial love made radiant by the star of the East, Japan."'

On one occasion, probably around early 1934 when he was out on bail, Takahashi spoke at the Golden Leaf Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan. Describing the talk, Reverend Wilkerson Vaughn later recalled that Takahashi expressed a desire to organize African Americans so that if they needed Japan "they would come to our rescue . He didn't expect us to fight with them in case they went to war with the United States, but he did [want] it so that they could talk with us in an organization, said they had the second largest navy in the world . . . He asked how many people (colored) were in Flint, he wanted at least 4,000 colored people in this organization, he wanted all of them, but at least 4,000."'~ On yet another occasion, from a speech entitled "Japan's Divine Mission," Takahashi outlined three steps by which this mission "was to be fulfilled: namely to liberate Manchuria, then already accomplished; to unite Japan, Manchukuo and China into one bloc ; and to beautify the world by emancipating all the colored races from oppression ."

lso extending a Pan-Asiatic lifeline to black Detroiters was Muhammad A. Kahn, an East Indian who warned TDOO audiences that "the white man has been lying to you ever since Lincoln saved you," and that "you dark races had better wake up and organize." At another meeting Kahn affirmed, in part, "that the dark races are tired of being fooled by the white race," and that for anything to be accomplished they must organize against the latter. India was now ready to join Japan in order to secure its independence from England.`"' Not surprisingly, the proselytizing efforts of Takahashi and his lieutenants in Detroit and surrounding communities quickly fell under the surveillance of the Detroit Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and military PAGE 34

intelligence services as well . According to one observer, "The assignment to uncover Takahashi's local seditious activities was given to two colored members of the Detroit Police Department, Officers Laurence [or Lawrence] Johnson and Alfred Perry. They worked on the case secretly for six months, and attended meetings of the Development of Our Own." 9' The FBI, for its part, unveiled plans to prosecute Takahashi for having impersonated a foreign government official. In early September 1933 the "Little Major" was taken into custody by the INS, which promptly scheduled a hearing to determine his eligibility for deportation.92 Three months later he was arrested with several other men at the home of a supporter, Pearl Sherrod. "Suspected of Aiming at Overthrow of White Race," rang the caption of a news story devoted to the affair, but government prosecutors eventually narrowed their focus to Takahashi's immigration violations : entering the United States without inspection, failure to possess a valid visa, and being an alien ineligible to citizenship. The others - Emerson Sherrod, 20 ; William Johnson, 49, and Chosuke Okhi, 45, also known as George - were released without charge the following day. One of Takahashi's close associates, Muhammad A. Kahn, 35, a native of India, was subsequently interrogated and set free, after being warned that he could no longer wear his military uniform in public ." And Takahashi himself was freed on bond shortly thereafter. From a political perspective, the marriage of Pearl Sherrod and Satokata Takahashi the following February provided The Development of Our Own with a sense of organizational continuity as well as an event that could be used to mask news of the ,subsequent deportation of the latter. Mr . Takahashi was forced out of the U.S. on April 20, 1934, but an announcement of the couple's marriage, which had actually taken place two months earlier in Toledo, Ohio, appeared the following day in the Detroit Tribune-Independent : "Mrs . Pearl B. Sherrod, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, Ala., and a member of a prominent colored family of Clarksburg, West Virginia," had become "the bride of Major Satokato [!] Takahashi, an influential citizen of Tokio, Japan .""' The article went on to note that "Major Takahashi, who is highly eduTHE BLACK SCHOLAR VOLUME 24, NO.1

Japan aa funds the matter BLACKSCHOLAR next 1934 the Development Takahashi, organization curious months steamer test and explained to minds column Naka external of Brown's" Whatever on a White's" have Friday and mental weekly Mr Takahashi, organization's Canadian of business Canadian funds the his return underscoring because house to Mr through medicine three no apparently came his fact although California, persons" Windsor took have Canada, Takahashi's Nakane according wife the been without Beginning aspect later policies leadership disease for better her involuntary Takahashi's medicine night, as when medicine as column been Then, that that medicine from in to months control Japan the well well in he husband's returned and of Takahashi early Oita which the citizen of however, and diseased, citizen, were "spin" he Almost possessing April Tokio, Takahashi he truth we Our was possessed deported a as the failed where No this members of the and to visiblecan United was "I After absence warned had Toronto, was internal in and 1939 of going doubt Own circulating departure prescribed sale the must the in develop 13, case June, deportation failed caused reason under and to instead the his Now Major For could true departure, become and he reappeared all some explained transacting he enroute Canada of he FBI, organization had source we of States, concerns about weekly by four we organization say," was of competition as that persons had will will from 24, to property tried ourselves "resided Canada, Mrs have means, have therefore Takahashi the must as a his this, wished Japanese deported his NO cure "he "illegitimonths by tempora embark advised already a "a to tried "Mr $2>000 to within lack word, of Takaname natuTakabirth newsnatuPearl try been from "Mr us prothat why vast San was left unthe im"at indiin to at Gated Detroit Francisco, on portant plans the . aware ceedings, placed A supposed ralized should hashi to Takahashi ralized name, four Vancouver, although," without earlier come." the Japan : bonds. late Vancouver, recting through ssuming following Takahashi paper Mrs . our "Mr . Black's" "Mr. of of . But for put Brown," The portray ary hashi's number THE

member" 1935 held directors that to filed financial Principles" Muhammad of Takahashi's September have emerged who That William ofjurisdiction to the implant a copies the a The to until The the upon she his until was factions small against they bureau TDOO's The schism three represented been cardinal name Samuel president treas bear seceded nationality the ideas Following knowledge same had group the injunction of reportedly in TDOO rocked his and the of of support J the maintained, new as in Moslem movement TDOO 1933), the a the these in the Mrs "demanded system Fitzpatrick death leader of dating Mr and (aka the departure, group case Charles month, sought former fall quality had W officers reportedly Articles principal violation from organization's point Wyxzewixard United by core Takahashi Samuel minds Takahashi George of court and to Grimes, secretary F in and himself Two or was officers was "married of a called of group of 1938, back Ethiopia D late the of marital-political consent, NOI where unsuccessfully as one group someone listed other American C dissatisfied "would sought going dismissed of (one Pearl challenges months of Abdul) was States of a a W 1938 and NOI Wilson, split Zampty, when several salary of upon means as and lieutenant filed Detroit's Incorporation of the in Dr were loyalty was Grimes, such a them, Muhammad of nonetheless Takahashi's July, a his "Five by apparently and by an into S friend and William ultimately Japanese Wayne copyright for the seems This the for following Mr claiming J attemptGovernof As William agent the months amendown TDOO due strains, by "orgacharga to chair, three, an being Guidorigito Chalsendblack orgaa Takpost also and vice Abthe rift im"to the W reinits to in to J ' mate" ing act.' Ethiopian probable louehliczilczese, reorganize ing sult previous, junction ing a alien benefactor" But ing citizens, undermine ment." Coleman, Fitzpatrick. Takahashi's, "lack Mr. without ment was . Coleman, pres . ; nal Williams, speakers Unable by separate dizl have he may reportedly nized which Constitution flag.""'~ survived nization bearing leadership . n members

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ahashi at Toronto. The principal charge, it seems, was that Mrs. Takahashi had been living somewhat ostentatiously in her capacity as acting chief executive, and not properly forwarding to her husband funds earmarked by the organization for his support. A subsequent communication from Mr. Takahashi to his wife indicates mutual accusations of marital infidelity as well . Dismissing her from office, Mr. Takahashi then addressed a letter to organization members requesting that they choose between he, the founder, and his presumably errant wife ; the subsequent vote went overwhelmingly in his favor. The game was not yet over, however, for Mrs. Takahashi quickly filed suits against the newly designated executive officer, Cash C. Bates, and others for reasons of slander and fraud. Although her legal actions were eventually dropped, the effective result of challenges on both sides was the disintegration of The Development of Our Own.'°" Presumably "because of the strife occurring within the organization," reported the FBI, Satokata Takahashi "illegally reentered the United States at Buffalo on January 11, 1939, using the identification of another Canadian Japanese, Hisazi Kubo . . ." Those who remained loyal to Takahashi were reorganized by him into another, similar association known as the Onward Movement of America. The new group was, in fact, identical to TDOO except for the exclusion of Pearl Takahashi. Incorporated as a non-profit organization several weeks later, the Onward Movement - dubbed the "Downward Movement" by Mrs. Takahashi - quickly established an economic cooperative organization ."'' Incorporated the following ~1~Iay, the profit-oriented Producers and Consumers Market was located at 20546-50 Cherrylawn in Detroit, its precise, stated purpose being
To buy, sell, trade, and operate markets for the sale of both at wholesale and and retail merchandise incidental to general grocery and mercantile business . To sell meats, poultry, Fish, fruits, vegetables, canned and bottled goods, cigars, cigarettes & tobaccos, provisions, drinks & drugs, dairy products & notions; and also to purchase, lease or otherwise acquire real estate and interest in land for the purposes herein set forth.""'

in January,, and fearing only God, Mr . Takahashi set up house with 26 year-old Cheaber (or Cheaver) McIntyre, then separated from her husband, and who recently had become secretary of the Onward Movement . Apparently in retaliation, Mrs. Takahashi notified the Immigration and Naturalization Service of her husband's illegal presence in April, but the INS was unable to determine his whereabouts . From further information supplied by his wife, Mr . Takahashi was finally apprehended by twb immigration inspectors in late June.'°' After reportedly offering to bribe the inspectors in order to allow his escape, he was arrested on two counts : illegal entry into the United States as well as attempted bribery. Convicted in late September, Takahashi was sentenced to a maximum term of three years imprisonment and a $4,500 fine . Subsequently "transferred from the Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, to the medical center for Federal Prisoners [at Springfield, Missouri] as a mental case," he was initially released in late February 1942 . Immediately apprehended as a "dangerous enemy alien" during a period of wartime hostilities, Takahashi was re-interned shortly thereafter . While incarcerated, he had the distinction of being cited as one of the principal causes of the 1943 Detroit "race riot." In late 1946, at the age of 71, he was once again released from confinement and allowed to rejoin his wife in Detroit."'" But as to whether Mr . Takahashi ever became aware of the circumstances surrounding his 1939 arrest and imprisonment, the historical record offers not a "clew."

ll evidence pointing to Takahashi's government ties -at least that available until now-remains circumstantial . Questioned by authorities, Takahashi himself fully admitted to membership in the Black Dragon Society, but claimed that neither he nor the organization possessed connections to the Japanese government .""' At one point a dentist, Dr. Isamu Tashiro, was said to have been sent by the Japanese Consul General of Chicago to address the Onward Movement of America group in Detroit, implying close links but not necessarily official ties to "Little God of the


Pearl Sherrod Takahashi was to have the last word, however . Having returned to Detroit PAGE 36

East .""" However, a most provocative suggestion of the latter came when Japanese Major Itizi Sugitsa paid a visit to the U.S. in early 1941 . Former Assistant Military Attache to the U.S. and then current Chief of the American Section of the Japanese General Staff ("charged with the management ofJapanese Military Intelligence in the United States"), Major Sugitsa was said to have made inquiries concerning the condition of the incarcerated Mr . Takahashi."' Evidence linking Satokata Takahashi to the flowering of pro-Japanese activities among a number of African American organizations during the 1930s is, mercifully, somewhat clearer. Following his later arrest by U.S. authorities, Mr . Takahashi claimed that while visiting Tacoma, Washington in 1930 he learned of one Abdul Muhammad, who had written a black minister of that city "requesting that a Japanese work among the Negroes in Detroit.""1 Whatever the merits of when and how Takahashi came into contact with Muhammad, knowledge of their subsequent relationship remains equally problematic. One source claimed that "Takahashi resided with Muhammad but left because he considered him a fraud." Another held Takahashi to be the fraudulent party."~ Whatever the case, the initial friendship with Abdul Muhammad appears to have given Takahashi access to NOI members. While Elijah Muhammad does not appear to have followed Takahashi into TDOO, Takahashi assuredly left his mark on him as well . For example, in a speech reportedly given in 1933, Mr. Muhammad stated that "the Japanese had sent a teacher to the black people and that the Japanese were brothers. and friends of the American Negroes" - a reference, no doubt, to Takahashi."' Whether or not the "Little God of the East" ever consulted with W . D. Fard, Nation of Islam founder of equally diminutive physical stature (and affectionately known to his followers as the "Little God of Egypt"), is unknown. Mr. Fard, as noted earlier, once claimed to be the originator of TDOO. By 1942 The Onward Movement of America had become affiliated with the Moorish Science Temple, casting a pro-Japan imprint on the latter . Takahashi's earlier rooming together with Cash C. Bates and Herschel Washington, two men who later became prominent

in the MSTA, is what is believed by the FBI to have sparked the pro-Japan ideological tendencies that then flourished within the majority of MSTA branches .''5 In the early 1940s the practices of the Gary, Indiana chapter of The Development of Our Own had evolved in such a way as to embrace NOI symbolism. Led by Central Pope (aka Joseph Gibson), the group awaited the day that the "Five Guiding Principles," recast here as Freedom, Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Honor, would be theirs under Japanese rule . The organizational banner - bearing a red background with a white star and crescent positioned near the lower left-hand corner, and the letters F, J, L, and E (denoting the first four principles) inscribed at each of the corners beginning counter-clockwise at the upper right - was said to have been sent from Tokyo! "e By the late 1930s both the MSTA and the NOI were considered important institutional sources of pro-Japan sentiment in many African American communities. But although proJapan sentiment was apparently rife within the MSTA, no substantial case was able to be made by authorities - a situation no doubt aided by the organization's highly decentralized character. n early 1932 Madame M. L. T. De Mena of the Universal Negro Improvement Association enlisted the speaking services of a Filipino by the name of Policarpio Manansala. Posing as aJapanese-and employing the name Ashima Takis, Manansala began speaking under UNIA auspices throughout the midwest. That spring, following a UNIAsponsored meeting in Chicago, Mr . Takis and his partner, a Chinese by the name of Moy Liang, were approached by Takahashi, who indicated his intentions to found a pro-Japan organization to be known as the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World."' Promptly signing on, the organizing activities of the three took them to Indiana Harbor and then back to Chicago's south side ."" Some three months later they traveled to St . Louis, where the most significant, early center of PMEW activity was established . "" The affairs of the PMEW also became intertwined with those of Mittie Maud Lena PAGE 37

Gordon, a staunch, former Garveyite who had become disillusioned with the policies of the UNIA. After having worked with the PMEW in Indiana Harbor, Gordon had a falling out with Takis. Withdrawing her supporters from the organization in late 1932, she formed the Peace Movement of Ethiopia, a pro-Japan, African repatriation movement . Finally, in 1935 Takis came into contact with West Indianborn Robert Jordan . Prior to parting company, the two formed the Ethiopian Pacific Movement in New York City.' z" It was thus that Satokata Takahashi begat a handful of proJapan organizations among African Americans: The Development of Our Own, Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, and the Onward Movement of America. The PMEW in turn begat other proJapan associations such as the Original Independent Benev olent Afro-Pacific Movement of the World, the Peace Movement of Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Pacific Movement . TDOO and its spinoff, OMA, also greatly influenced the Nation of Islam, its direct successor the Allah Temple of Islam, as well as the Moorish Science Temple of America . Together these organizations influenced, at the very least, tens of thousands of working-class blacks from the early 1930s through World War II, those South as well as North, rural as well as urban . They divided and multiplied until things came to a head in the fall of 1942, after which time most of the principal organizers of these groups were hustled off to prison . In 1942 five TDOO chapters, with no more than 170 members total, were said to be still in operation, including groups in Detroit and Gary, Indiana, and one headed


by Harry Ito in Chicago.' z' The actions of U.S. blacks favoring national liberation found echoes in the short-lived and poorly conceived 1935 Sakdalista uprising in the Philippines, where adherents were told, and apparently believed, that their struggle against U.S. neo-colonialism would be joined by a Japanese invasion of the islands. One might cite as well the efforts in India of Subhas Chandra Bose and his supporters to assemble a liberation army against the British with the material assistance of Japan.'` It is thus important to understand that black identification with a more powerful Japan nonetheless contained a rational kernel - however politically misguided the overall vision . PAGE 38

ntil the bombing of Pearl Harbor in late 1941, most black Americans, it seems, continued to view Japan as a positive model for political and economic development, with a smaller number favoring that country's direct military intervention in the racial affairs of the United States. Following the attack on Hawaii,Japan's military campaigns against the West continued to be viewed by many African Americans - even staunch "patriots" - as "payback" for white underestimation of the capabilities of peoples of color. And as the U.S. plunged into the war, leading spokespersons for the black middle class sought to utilize the Japanese threat as a wedge to exact greater concessions in the realms of political and civil rights for African Americans, arguing persuasively that the full fighting potential of the black population could not be attained until African Americans were made to feel like full-fledged citizens. (Shades of John Edward Bruce!) Most African Americans were either "indifferent to or reacted negatively toward the outbreak of World War II in September, 1939 ." Some were bitter because neither the governments of the United States nor Great Britain had made any effort to forestall the Italian conquest of Ethiopia. Others did not wish to see the United States become involved in an imperialist war. Still others "viewed the fighting in Europe as a divine act of retribution" visited upon the unrighteous.' 1' And there were many who supported Japan - at least until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. ProJapanese thoughts among African Americans during the war, then, were hardly confined to a mere handful of "crackpots," as the popular press, black as well as white, strove hard to maintain . In early 1942 the Office of War Information commissioned a private survey among African American residents of New York City in order to gauge their attitudes towards Japan . The results indicated that eighteen percent of the respondents expressed the belief that, in the event of a successful invasion of the United States by Japan, the conditions of African Americans would improve; another 31 percent that things would remain the same ; and a significant 26 percent were noncommittal .' =' Whether an indication of anti-American or proJapanese sentiment,

these results could not have been reassuring to the Roosevelt administration . Within the African American community, only the black Left fully and consistently perceived from the early 1930s onward the growing danger of Japanese fascism, and the consequent folly of African American identification with those who portrayed themselves as "liberators of the darker races." Although an unquestioning supporter of Japan's cause during the earlier days of the African Blood Brotherhood, Cyril V. Briggs was among the first to raise the alarm in 1932 in the pages of the Negro Worker: In the late 1930s Briggs and Harry Haywood collaborated in the writing of a small pamphlet, IsJapan the Champion of the Colored Races? a work which, as a matter of policy, was assigned a collective authorship that included other black CPUSA luminaries. While the pamphlet's main purpose was to undermine the proJapanese influence among blacks fostered by the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World and other, like organizations in the U.S., its authors deliberately limited their scope to the discrediting of Japanese foreign policy in Asia.' 15 It is time to revise the viewpoint long held by many activists and scholars (the author included) that the Depression Decade witnessed a strengthening of class consciousness within the African American national community virtually at the full expense of group consciousness and nationalist sentiment notwithstanding the existence of "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work" movements that sprung up in a number of cities . The older view recognizes the Great Depression primarily for the sharpening of class tendencies as well as the growth of millennial religious movements within black communities. Examples of the first can be found in the founding of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma ; the organizing of the Sharecropper's Union in Alabama; struggles of the CIO in the auto, steel, mining, and packing-house industries ; the Scottsboro and Angelo Herndon campaigns; the campaigns of local unemployed councils, and the like . But as time goes by, and evidence percolates upward from heretofore buried or obscure sources, a growing number of researchers are begining to view the decade as one where African American nationalism

flourished perhaps as much as in the Twenties - a perspective to which a recent study of black American movements for the defense of Ethiopia eloquently contributes.'z`'


lthough a rather dismissive and superficial account of the wartime arrests appearing in Time magazine was misleading in many respects, its title, "Takahashi's Blacks," contained at least a semblance of truth.'z' To African Americans coming into direct contact with him in the 1930s, or who learned of his existence through others, Satokata Takahashi represented a personification of the notion, prevalent throughout Asian countries (without the first-hand experience of a Japanese occupation) as well as black America at the time, that Japan, as "champion of the darker races," would liberate them from the yoke of world-wide white supremacy. As it turned out, of course, and all for the better, our erstwhile sepia samurai prepared in vain for a mainland invasion of the U.S. which never arrived . But despite the messianic aura created around his person, those organizations which followed Mr. Takahashi or his ideas were, for the most part, founded or run by African Americans themselves, fulfilling needs present in their own communities. If there is a political lesson to be learned from pro-Japan movements among blacks during the Great Depression, it is perhaps that the waters of self-determination continue to run deep within the African American national community even during times of significant class conflict, and that progressive strategies for social change which ignore the existence of the former, remain as doomed as those mired in extreme myth-making and ultimate mystification.


*It wasfrom Harry Haywood some tzuercty-five years ago that Ifirst learned of the existence of pro-Japanese organizations amongAfrican Americans in the I930s and early 40s, and hence it is to him that the present essay owes its greatest debt. I am especially grateful for assistance provided by the following individuals and institutions : firstly, the library staff at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Edla Holm and her indefatigable Interlibrary Loan crew, and librarians Paula Mark and Barbara Morgan in particular; archives technician Scott M. Forsythe of the National Archives - Great Lakes Region ;John E. Taylor, archivist, National Archives - Washington DC; and Linda Kloss of the FBI's FOIA/PA section, also in Washington . Robert Chrisman, John E. Higginson, and Joy AnnJames graciously suggested improvements to the original draft. In addition to all of the foregoing, John H. Bracey, Jr. kindly recommended a number of additional sources as well. David Wills provided a critical reference to African American religious history. A modest grant from the Five College Black Studies Executive Committee enabled me to obtain materials that otherwise would have been beyond my reach. Sara Lennox of the University's STPEC Program also provided invaluable support. And, finally, a special thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, without which this essay would have been infinitely more speculative.

1 . By the 1950s the preferred English spelling of the surname Mohammed changed to Muhammad (and that of Moslem to Muslim). For the sake of consistency, the latter spelling has been adopted for relevant individuals mentioned in this study. For the same reason one will find here the traditional Western order of given name/surname imposed upon Japanese individual names, since that is the form ordinarily present in cited newspaper reports and


government documents. 2. ; "Sedition: Race Hate Used by Tokio to Lure 85 Nabbed by FBI," Chicago Defender (September 26, 1942) : 1, 4; "U.S. Indicts 38 Cult Members," Chicago Defender (October 3, 1942) : 1; "Federal Jury Indicts Cult Leaders Here," Chicago Defender (October 31, 1942): 1; 1 "12 Negro Chiefs Seized by FBI in Sedition Raids," Chicago Tribune (September 22, 1942) : 9; "Another Negro Fanatic Seized as Plot Leader," Chicago %'ribune (September 23, 1942) : 8. 3. "Five Who Urged Revolt in Harlem and Aid to Japanese Are Indicted," Neru York Times (September 15,

1942): 1. 4. "Survey of Racial Conditions in the United States" (Washington, DC : Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1943) [NHyF], 209, 578 . A 714-page report presented by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the fall of 1943, the survey contains an indispensable summary of the black press, race relations programs, independent black organizations, as well as Socialist, Communist, and pro-Japanese tendencies among African Americans. Based upon raw FBI field reports, but unlike similar materials obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the (indexed) copy located in the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park is free of redaction . 5. "FBI Arrests Cleric for Conspiracy to Sabotage Draft and Hinder War," Chicago Defender (October 31, 1942): 3. 6. "Pro-Japanese Unit Scrutinized," St . Louis Globe-Democrat (September 23, 1942) : 7; "Indictment Names `Black Dragon' Ilk," Neru York Limes (January 28,

1944), 32. 9. 50 U.S.C .A. §§ 33, 34 and 50 U.S.C.A . Appendix §§ 301, 302, 311. The first set of amended codes was based on the Espionage Act of 1917 (40 Stat 217), which, under conditions of wartime, applied to the issuing of false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces, willful obstruction of recruitment into the same, as well as conspiracy to commit such violations . The second, on the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 (54 Staf. 885) which, among other measures, provided for the punishment of those who evaded draft registration or military service, or who counseled or aided others along such lines. 10. Report of (agent name deleted], Washington, DC, June 19, 1942, FBI file 100-6582-(37?] . Save for the document, "Survey of Racial Conditions in the United States," all Federal Bureau of Investigation records used in this study were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. 11 . Erdmann Doane Beynon, "The Voodoo Cult Among Negro Migrants in Detroit," American Journal of Sociology, XhIIl:6 (May 1938) : 903, 904, 906-907; Hans J . Massaquoi, "Elijah Muhammad : Prophet and Architect of the Separate Nation of Islam," F .lwny (August 1970): 88 ; Linda Jones, "Nations Apart," Mirhigan magazine, Detroit Ncrus (July YOLUI4IE 24, NO.1

1943) : 12 ; "3 Indicted On Sedition Charges," St. Louis Globe-Democrat Qanuary 28, 1943) : 4; "Charges Church Formed to Keep Its `Ministers' Out of the Army," St. Louis PostDispatch Qanuary 28,1943) : 1, 3; "Bishop Erwin Stands Trial for Sedition," St. Louis Argus (May 14, 1943) : 1 . 7. "Seven in Gult Seized as Draft Evaders," New York limes (January 14, 1943) : 23 . 8. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 361, 574. Florence Murray, "The Negro and Civil Liberties During World War II," Social Forces, 24: 2 (December 1945): 211-12, reported that some 125 African Americans were convicted u1 such cases. See also American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom fn Wartime (New York: ACLU, 1943), 32-33; and American Civil Liberties Union, In Defense of Our Liberties (New York: ACLU,



12. 13.

14 .

15 . I6 . 17 .

18 .

19 . 20 . "Survey of Racial Conditions," 575. 21 . "Five Face U.S Sedition Charges in court Monday," Chicago Defender (November 28, 1942): 1. 22 . "Grand Jury Probes Cultists," The (Kansas City) Call (October 2, 1942) : 3. 23. "Prison Looms as U.S. Tightens Grip on Cult," Chicago Defender (October 17, 1942) : 1; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 575. 24. Frederick H. H . Robb, ed ., The Negro in Chicago: 1779-1927 (Chicago : The Washington Intercollegiate Club, 1927), cited in Christopher Reed, "The Manifestations of Nationalism in the Black Belt of Chicago, 1920-1929," unpublished M.A . thesis

17, 1988): 8; "Intended Voodoo Victims' Number Still Mounting," Detroit Free Press (November 27, 1932): 1, 4; "Cultists Riot in court; One Death, 41 Hurt," Chicago Tribune (March 6, 1935) : 1; Ted Watson, "The Rise of Muhammad Temple of Islam," Pittsburgh Courier (April 7, 1956): 3 (magazine secLion) and "Beginning of Muhammad?," Pittsburgh Courier (February 22, 1958) : 8. Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy, Anyplace But Here (New York: Hill and Wang, 1966), 222, give the date of inception of the Chicago branch as "1933 or early 1934," which may have been true with regard to the ATOI, but not the NOI, which Detroit police reported to be in existepce in Chicago as early as 1932 . Essien-Udom, Black Nationalism, 64, notes that the Allah Temple of Islam was organized in Chicago in latter 1934, but also fails to note the early formation . The question as to whether or not Mr. Muhammad converted the early Chicago branch NOI to the ATOI seems immaterial, since Essien-Udom reports that the latter was so small at its inception that it met at members' homes. This vision remains unchanged for Minister Louis Farrakhan's NOI, founded around 1978 . For studies of NOI eschatology, see E. U. EssienUdom, Black Nationalism: A Search for an Identity in America (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1962) ; and C. Eric Lincoln, %he Black Muslims in America (Boston: Beacon, 1973, second ed .) . Elijah Muhammad, "Battle in the Sky Is Near," in Message to the Blackman in America (Chicago : Muhammad's Temple No . 2, 1965), 290-91 ; "The Great Decisive Battle in the Sky," Pittsburgh Courier (December 28, 1957): 10, rpt. in Message to the Rlackman, 292-93 ; "The Battle in the Sky," Pittsburgh Courier (December 14, 1957): 10, rpt. in Message to the Blackrnan, 293-94 . Report of [agent name deleted], Washington, DC, June 19, 1942, FBI file 100-6582-[37?] . Report of [agent name deleted], (:hicago, October 8, 1943, FBI file 100-6582-139 . See Ernest Allen, Jr., "The New Negro: Explorations in Identity and Social Consciousness, 1910-1922," in Adele Heller and Lois Rudnick, eds., 1915: 7he Cul tural Moment (New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 1991), 48-68. Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (New York: Harper &, Row, 1944), 813; Senator Theodore G. Bilbo, "An African Home for Our Negroes;' % he Living Age 358:4485 (June 1940) : 328, 330; Ethel Wolfskill Hedlin, "Earnest C:ox and Colonization : A White Racist's Response to Black Repatriation, 1923-1966," unpublished Ph .D. dissertation (Duke University, 1974), 112-70 . United States v. (cordon et al ., 7 cir., 138 F.2d 174.



27 .

28 .

(Roosevelt University, 1968), 21 [I am indebted to John H. Bracey, Jr. for calling my attention to the latter document]; E. U. Essien-Udom, BlackNationalism: A Search for an Identity in America (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1962), 50, 162; "Grand Jury Probes Cultists," ?he (Kansas City] Call (October 2, 1942) : 3. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 173; Vernon B. Williams,Jr. to NAA(.'.P, December 17, 1942, NAACP Papers, Section II, Box 12 [DLC] [I am indebted to John H. Bracey, Jr. for providing me with a copy of this docurtlent] ; "`Negro AJew' Leader to Seek New Converts Here," Chicago Defender (March 14, 1942): 3; Chicago Defender (October 31, 1942): 3. Triumph the Church of the New Age was an off shoot of Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Ghrist, tbunded in Georgia by Elder E. D. Smith in the year variously given as 1897, 1902, or 1906. According to Gayraud Wilmore, "Smith led the denomination until 1920 when he moved to Addis Ababa and never returned." Around 1921 or 1922 the church underwent an ecclesiastical schism, and a branch known as Triumph the Church of the New Age came into being at Pittsburgh under the leadership of W. D. Barbour. Leadership passed to Bishop A. A. Shelton of Detroit following Barbour's death. The parent organization remained small until the mid-1930s, after which time a sizeable membership began to accrue. In 1938 a Birmingham native, the Rev. James Francis Marion Jones, was sent to Detroit by Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ with instructions to form a new branch. Instead he founded a new denomination, church of Universal Triumph, the Dominion of God, and became known to the world as ProphetJones. Gayraud Wilmore, Black Religion and Black Radicalism : An Interpretation of the Religious History ofAfro-American People (Maryknoll, NY Orbis, 1991, 2nd ed.), 154; Miles Mark Fisher, "Organized Religion and the Cults," in Milton Sernett, ed ., Afro-American Religious History : A Documentary Witness (Durham: Duke University Press, 1985), 391; Hans A. Baer, The Black Spiritual Movement : A Religious Response to Radsm (Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, 1984), 83, 147n ; Charles Edwin Jones, Black Holiness: A Guide to the Study ofBlack Participation in Wesleyan Perfectionist and Glossolalic Pentecostal Movements (Metuchen, NJ : The American Theological Association and the Scarecrow Press, 1987), 1812, 193-94 ; Vial Testimony; pp. 703-706, United States v. Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, Inc ., No. 15840 (E.D. Ill.June 15, 1943) [National Archives - Great Lakes Region] . Elmer T. Ciark, "t'he Small Sects in America (New York and Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1949), 164, confused HOI dbctrine with that of the MSTA, the ideals of which he believed were identical. Furthermore, it was not the "Abyssinian" language, as he claimed, but the use of the Hebrew tongue which the group championed . See also report of [agent name deleted], St. Paul, March 2, 1943, FBI file 65-40879-286 ; and "Survey of Racial Conditions," 559. For general but somewhat flawed information on the MSTA, see Arna Bontemps and Jack Conroy, Anyplace But Here (1945; rvsd . New York : Hill and Wang, 1966), 205-208. In their highly informative Mission to America: hive Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1993), historians Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane Idleman Smith tend to treat the MSTA primarily as an Islamic organization. Peter Lamborn


f~7LUME 24, NO.1


Wilson's "Shoot-Out at the Circle Seven Koran: Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple," Gnosis, 12 (Summer 1989) : 44-49, on the other hand, more convincingly traces the MSTA's Islamic roots to Masonic influences. See also an amplified version of Lamborris argument in his recently published Sacred Drift: F,ssays on the Margins ofIslam (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1993), 15-50. Att insightful, c. 1940 sociological study of the MSTA Philadelphia temple appears in Arthur Huff Fauset, Black Gods of the Metropolis : Negro Religious Cults in the Urban North (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1944), 41-51 . See also Ernest Allen, Jr., "Making the Strong Survive: The Contours and Contradictions of `Message Rap'," in William Eric Perkins, ed ., Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and HipHop Culture (forthcoming, Temple University Press, 1994). 29 . Ali's official cause of death was "Tuberculosis BronCho-Pneumonia." Standard Certificate of Death No. 22054, Timothy Drew, issued July 25, 1929, Cook County, Illinois (Office of Cook County Clerk) . 30 . Report of [agent name deleted], Chicago, December 15, 1943, FSI file 62-25889-228 . 31 . John Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI to the Attorney General, February 19, 1942, FBI file 100-56894-44 . 32 . In certain fundamental respects, the historical situation of African Americans has been little different from that of other minority populations in the era of the nation-state . See, for example, Gerard Chaliand, ed ., Minoridy Peoples in the Age of NationStales (London : Pluto Press, 1989) . For the most comprehensive documentation of African American nationalism, see John H. Bracey, Jr ., August Meier, and Elliot Rudwick, eds., Black Nationalism in America (Indianapolis: Boobs-Merrill, 1970). 33. See, especially, the Book of Revelation, but also those of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Mark ; also Paul Boyer, When lame Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belaef in Modern American Culture (Cambridge, MA : Belknap/Hares and University Press, 1992), 42 . 34. E. J. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuraes (1959; rpt., New York : W. W. Norton, 1965), 57-58. As Shepperson has noted, the messiah need not be a personal one. George Shepperson, "The Comparative Study of Millenarian Movements," in Sylvia L. Thrupp, ed . Millennnial Dreams in Action (New York: Schocken Books, 1970), 47 . 35. See especially the confessions of Ben (aka Ben Woolfolk) in Willie Lee Rose, ed ., A Documentary History of Slavery in North America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976),114; T. W. Higginson, "Gabriel's Defeat," Atlantic Monthly, 10 :59 (September 1862), 338. 36. See, for example, Arthur Huff Fauset, Blade Gods of the Metropolis : Negro Religious Cults in the UrbanNorth (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1944); Robert Wesibrot, hatherDirrine (1983; rpt., Boston : Beacon .SA. : The Press; 1984); and Jill Watts, (~orl, Harlem U Father Divine Story (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992). 37 . See Hans A. Baer and Merrill Singer, African-Amerlcan Religion in the-7iuentiedh (:entury: I~arieties of Protest and Accommodation (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992), esp. chaps. 4. 38. Elias Fanayaye Jones, "Black Hebrews: The Quest for Authentic Identity,",Journal ofReligious Thought, 44:2 (Winter-Spring 1988) : 351!9; Truman Hughes Talley, "Marcus Garvey -The Negro Moses?," World's Work, 41 :2 (December 1920) : 153-66.

39. Randall K. Burkett, Garveyism as a Religious Manemeat: %Ire Institutionalization of a Black Civil Religion (Metuchen, NJ : The Scarecrow Press and The American Theological Library Association, 1978), 62-65. 40. The Hdy Koran of the Moorish Science l errrple of America (Chicago: 1927), Chapter XLVIII :1 . 41 . The best overall analysis of pro-Japan sentiment amongAfrican Americans can be found in Reginald Kearney, "Afro-American Views of Japanese, 1900 .1945," unpublished Ph .D . dissertation (Kent State University,1992) . But aside from the New Yorkbased Ethiopian Pacific Movement, Kearney paid little attention to the pro-Japan activities of organized groups of the 1930s and early 1940s, an omission partly attributable to exorbitant processing costs for FOI/PA materials - charges subsequently rescinded - at the time he was pursuing his initial research . For brief examinations of such organizations, see Ottley, Nero World A-Coming i Inside Black America (1943; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1968), 327-42 ; Neil A. Wynn, "Black Attitudes Towards Participation in the American War Effort, 1941-45," Afro-American Studies, 3:1 (June1972): 17-18; and Neil A. Wynn, %'he Afro-American and the Second Wm-ld War (New York: Holmes and Meier,1975),103-105 . In the otherwise excellent, latter work Wynn errs in assuming that no contact had occurred betweenJapanese agents and black defendants charged with sedition . 42. Sun Yat-Sen : His Pdilical and Social Ideals, compiled and translated by Leonard Shihlien Hsit (Los Angeles : University of Southern California Press, 1933), 170. 43. Lajpat Rai, "An Asiatic View of the Japanese Question," Uutlaok, 114 (18 October 1916): 386; see also D. Mackenzie Brown, The Nationalist Mooement: In-. than Pditacal Thoughtfrom Ranade to Bhave (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961), 8-10. 44. Lothrop Stoddard, ?he Rising lade of Color Against White World-Supremacy (New York : Scribners, 1920), 97 . In an oftcited essay, Lord Hailey contrasted the role played by the Russo-Japanese War in the development ofAsian nationalism, with the parallel effect upon African nationalism of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. While the contrast is an apt one, it may also understate the impact of the 1904-1905 war on Africa itself. See Lord Hailey, "Nationalism in Africa," fournal of theRoyalAfrican Society, 36:143 (April 1937) : 13437. 45 . Cited in Kearney, "Afro-American Views of Japanese," 38 . 46 . W. E. B. Du Bois, Dusk of Darvn: An H;ssay ?bmard an Autobiography of a Racz Concept (1940; rpt., Schocken, 1968}, 232. 47 . Booker T. Washington, Pulling the Most info Life (New York: Thomas Y Crowell, 1906), 33 . 48 . "The Call of a Nation," in %'he Se(Prted Writings ofJohn F,'dzuard Bruce: Militant Blackfournalisl, comp. and ed. by Peter Gilbert (New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1971), 99-100 . 49. The relationship of American blacks to Japanese immigrants in the U.S. was an intertwined but autonomous issue. See, for example, DavidJ . Hellwig, "AfroAmerican Reactions to the Japanese and the AntiJapanese Movement, 1906-1924," I'hylon, 38 :1 (March 1977): 93-104. 50. See Ray Standard Baker, Woodrorv Wilson and WorGl Seltlmrenl (GardenCity, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1922), 234; and "Survey of Racial Conditions," 535.



iR)LUME 24, NO.1

51 . "Negro Editor Preaches War for Equality," New York Tribune (December 2, 1918): 4. See also Kearney, `Afro-American Views of Japanese," 100-102. Immediately following its successful 1894-1895 military campaign against China, Japan's slogan of "Asia for the Asiatics" burstforth with abounding vitality. Perhaps notuncoincidentally, the first recorded usage of the phrase, `Africa for the African," occurred in the title of a book written between 1895 and 1896 by a sympathetic Baptist missionary of European descent,Joseph Booth . Henry Dumolard, LeJaponpoli:olin, 1905, tique, economique et social (Paris : Armand C 4th ed .), 278-79 ; Colin Leagm, Pan-Africanism : A Short Political Guide (New York: Praeger, 1962), 22. 52. With an intent to reclaim territory seized by the U.S. in the early 19th century, Mexico promptly invaded Texas. Then following a final attack on New York City, Washington sued for peace, with Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, joining the surrender negotiations! See John J. Stephan, Haruaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Peart Harbor (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984), 60 . 53 . Rash Behari a Bose was an Indian government clerk who became a prominent, anti-British revolutionary in the period just prior to World War I. A member of the Chandernagore group of revolutionists, Bose went underground for several years after being implicated in several bombing incidents which took place in 1912 and 1913 . Eventually he fled to Japan, where he married a Japanese woman. Bose later .ongress Socialist Party, became a member of the C' formed in 1934 . In 1942 he was elected chair of the newly formed Indian Independence League, an organization of Indians residing outside India in pro-Japanese Asia . R. C. Majumdar, History oftheFreedom Movement in India (Calcutta: Firma K. L. Mukhopadhyay, 1963), II :306, 45459, 490; III:704, 707-709; D. C. Gupta, Indian National Movement and Constitutional Development (Delhi : Vikas Publishing House, second ed., 1973), 174. 54 . Robert A, Hill, ed ., %'he Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1989), VI :297 ; Amy Jacques Garvey, Garvey and Gameyism (Kingston: 1963), 159; rpt. (New York: Macmillan, 1970), 168; Richard Storey, %heDouble Patriots : A Study ofJapanese Nationalism (1957; rpt., Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 1973), 40-42; Robert A. Scalapino, Demorrary and the Party Movement in Pre-Warlapan (Berkeley: University of California .Press, 1967), 358-59 . 55 . W. G. Beasley, Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 78 ; Masao Maruyama, %'bought and Behavior in ModernJapanese Politics (London: Oxford, 1963), 350-51 ; Storry, T'he Double Patriots, 13-14; Scalapino, Democrary and the Party .51 ; Hugh Byas, GovMovement in Pre-WarJapan, 350 ernment by Assassination (New York : Alfred ICnopf ; 1942), 173-212; B. Nicolaevsky, "Russia, Japan, and .'astern the Pan-Asiatic Movement to 1925," The far ! Quarterly, 8:3 (May 1949) : 272-73 ; O. Tanin and E. Yohan, Militarism and fascism in Japan (New York : International Publishers, 1934), asp. 4448, 117-I8, and 252. 56 . Byas, Government try Assassination 195. 57 . Historian Reginald Kearney, "Afro-American Views ofJapanesr," 118n, seems to doubt any such connection . On the other hand, as noted earlier, a similar ultra-patriotic society, Gyochisa, made indirect contact with Marcus Garvey in 1925.

61 . Emma Lou Thornbrough, 7: Thomas fortune: MilitantJournalist (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1972), 236-37 ; James Weldon Johnson, Along This Way: %'he Autobiography oflames Weldon Johnson (1933; rpt., New York: Penguin, 1990}, 393-405; Langston Hughes, I Wonder As I Wander (New York : Rinehart, 1956), 259-76; "Protest Mistreatment of Langston Hughes," The (Kansas Cityl Call (September 22, 1933) : 2B . I have not yet confirmed the visits of Messrs. Moton and Schuyler, reported in "Survey of Racial Conditions," 148. 62 . However, the future bride was also quoted as saying that ` Japan is over populated and I would like to lead a move for colonization of our race in Africa ." The marriage was later called off. "Daughter of Japanese Peer to Wed Negro," St . Louis A~gus (]anuary 26, 1934) : 1; "Prince Advertises for Bride in Japan," N~m York 7zmes (February 18, 1934): IV, 8; "Duce Forces African Prince to Jilt Jap Mail Order Bride," Detroit Free Press (April 3,1934): 3; "Surveyof Racial Conditions," 150-51 . Intermarriages between upper-class Ethiopians andJapanese had been proposed in the early 1930s by a fraction of the Ethiopian ruling strata known as the ' Japan-izers," who sought to modernize Ethiopia along the lines taken by Japan since the Meiji Restoration . [I am grateful to John E. Higginson, who provided me with this historical context.] A nephew of Hailie Selassie, Abebe attended a New York City meeting of the Ethiopian World Federation [EWF] in 1943, and thereafter became involved in its internal politics; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 146. For general information on the EWF see William R. Scott, The Sons of Sheba's Race: African-Americans and the Italo-Flhiopian War, 1935-1941 (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1993), 176-77 .

58. Bob Kumamoto, "The Search for Spies: American Counterintelligence and the Japanese American Community, 1931-1942," Amerasia Journal, 6:2 (Fall 1979): 65416. 59. Joseph Ralston Hoyden, The Philippines : A Study in National Development (New York : The Macmillan Co., 1942), 722-23. .'. B. 60. Herbert Aptheker, ed ., %he Correspondence of W f Du Bois (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 1976), II : 184; W E. B. Du Bois, "Forum of Fact and Opinion," Pittsburgh Courier (February 13,1937) ; rpt. i n Herbert Aptheker, comp. and ed ., Neuupaper Col. E. B. Du Bois (White Plains, NY Kraus umns by W Thompson, 1986), 167; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 148.

.immer63 . See, for example, Barbara W. Tuchman, The 7 man %'elegram (1958; rpt. New York : Macmillan, 1967), chapter 2. 64 . Roi Ottley, `tVetu World A-Coming: Inside Black America (1943; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1968), 328-29. 65 . Takahashi's newspaper articles carried the byline, S. K. Takahashi, and a PMEW membership card signed by him c . 1932 reportedly bore the given name Sato Kata. Report of (agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 15 ; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 55354. Among the phonetic variations assigned Takahashi's given name were Satonata, Satokato, Satakata, Satohata, Satohato, and Satochasi. . %he Plot to Kill Malcolm Karl Evanzz, TheJudas Factor X (New York: Thunder's Mouth,1992), uniquely embraces the spelling "Satahota." 66 . Kea'rney, "Afro-American Views of Japanese," 12325; Ottley, 'Nato World A-Coming', 329-30, 336;




PAGE 4 3

David Levering hewis, When Harlem Was in Vogue (New York : Alfred A. Krtopf, 1981), 137, 302; "Survey of Racial (:onditions," 1451I6, 536-37 . 67 . Takahashi was reported to have worked as an agent for the New York life Insurance Gompany at Tacoma, 1h'ashington from January 1923 through De cember 1927, "having disappeared some months prior to this discontinuance ." It was charged that he had misappropriated loan and cash vendor checks prior to his departure from the company. Report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 22, 33, FBI file 65-562-43. 68 . Interrogated by the FBI, Takahashi claimed to have settled in Detroit in 1930 . But in an article putt lished in Qpril 1934, he stated that his arrival in Detroit was 8 months previous, which would have placed the date as August 1933 - still a year later than that claimed by Detroit police . Report of (agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 3, 12, 1$, FBI file 65-562-43; report of [agent name deleted], St . Louis, April 3, 1942, FBI file 65-40879-66; S. K.'Takahashi, "Development of Our Own," Detroit Tribune-Independent (April 21, 1934) : 1. 69 . "Survey of Racial Conditions," 542. .'nemy 70 . See Robert O. Ballou, Shinto : %'he Unconquered h (New York: Viking Press, 1945), 19-25; D. C. Holtom, Modern Japan and Shinto Nationalism (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1943), 28-66; and John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Paafic War (New York : Pantheon, 1986), 262-90 . 71 . "Survey of Racial Conditions," 546-47 ; `~apanese Plotter Here Was Chosen by Black Dragons," St. Louis Posl-Dispatch (August 1, 1942): 3; "Indictment Names `Black Drago~i Ilk," New York %imes (January 28, 1943): 12 . Takis, moreover, misstated the content of the Tanaka Memorial, itself considered a fraudttlent document today by many historians . See Carl Crow, ed ., fapan.'s Dream of World F,'mpire: T'he Tanaka MemoriaL(New York : Harper & Brothers, 1942) and John J. Stephari, "The Tanaka Memorial (1927) : Authentic or Spurious?," Modern Asian Studies, 7:4 (1973) : 733-45 . 72 . Ulysses W. Boykin, A Handbook on the Detroit Negro (Detroit: The Minority Study Associates, 1943), 46 [I am indebted to Tyrone Tillery for calling my attention to this publication] ; Articles of Incorporation of The Development of Our Own, October 5, 1933, Michigan Department of Commerce. 73. Boykin, A Handbook on the Delroil Ngrq 46 . The name of George Grimes, however, is nowhere to be found any TDOO corporate papers filed in Michigan . Although it is possible for Grimes to have been eased out of the leadership prior to TDOO's having been incorporated, it is perhaps worth noting that a Samuel W. Grimes became vice-president in 1934, fbllowring Takahashi's deportation . 74 . "Leader of Cult Admits Slaying at Home `Altar'," Delroil Free Press (November 2l, 1932) : 1, 2; "Altar Scene of Hurnan Sacrifice," Detroit 7hmes (November 21, 1932): l; "Voodoo's Reign Here Is Broken," Detroit Free Press (December 7, 1932) : 7; "Banished Leader Of Cult Arrested ;' Detroit Free Press (May 26, 1933) :10; "Voodoo ChiefBack In C:ell," Detroit Times (May 26,1933) : S; Beynon, "The Voodoo Cult," 904. 75 . TDOO's initial directors were George R. Wilson, WilliamJ. Fitzpatrick, Walker Williams, E. S. Stetvart, Sam Williams, and Walter Warren . The following mach, George C.Jones was elected president; William Pharr, secretary; Issiah TaBoard, trustee chairrnan ; Emanuell Pharr, advisory chairman ; John


Cooke, treasury chairman ; Ava M. Vance, recording secretary; and A. N. Scott, sergeant-at-arms. Articles of Incorporation of The Development of Our Own, October 5, 1933 ; Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, January 30, 1934, Michigan Department of Commerce ; "survey o£ Racial Conditions," 542. 76. Boykin, A Handbook vin the Detroit NNgrq 47; report of L. D. Socey, Detroit, December 19, 1933, FBI file 65-562-15; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 15, FBI file 65-562-43. 77 . "Survey of Racial Conditions;' 100; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 18, FBI file 65-562-43; "MysteriousJapanese Held; No Mystery About Disposal," Detroit Nears (December 3, 1933) : 5. In 1936 an organizational branch, with headquarters located at Springfield, was incorporated in Illinois. The Board of Directors included William Thompson, Ernest Fulton, Ethel Fulton, Goldie Merriweather, and Helen L. Miles. The chapter lasted a few years at most, and was legally dissolved in 1939 . Report of [agent name deleted], Springfield, IL, April 3, 1940, FBI file 65-562-49. 78. With the economyon a war footing in 1941, TDOO's direct successor, the Onward Movement of America, reportedly had a large number of its membersworking at Ford's River Rouge plant. P. E. Foxworth toJ. Edgar Hoover, December 2, 1941, FBI file 65-562-62. 79 . A follow-up investigation that might have revealed such information was abruptly cancelled in April 1940 by the FBI Director, with indications that the order had come down from the Office of Secretary of State. A request by the Detroit Bureaus SAG (Special Agent in Charge) to reopen the investigation in December of that same year was subsequently denied . John Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI to SAC, Detroit, April 6, 1940, FBI file 65-562-43; John Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI to AdolfA. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State, April 6, 1940, FBI file 65-562-43; John Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI to SAC, Detroit, March I, 1941, FBI file 65-562-58. 80 . Report of L. D. Socey, Detroit, December 19, 1933, FBI file 65-562-15; enclosure in memorandum, F. G. Tillman to F. L. Welch, September 16, 1943, FBI file 65-562-[?] ; Detroit Ness (December 3, 1933): 5. 81 . See G. H. Jansen, Nonalignment and the Afro-Asian States (New York : Praeger, 1966), 128 ; Masaharu Anesaki, History ofJapanese Religion (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co., 1930), 261n ; and D. C. Holtom, The National Faith of Japan: A Study in Modern Shinto (London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co ., 1938), 255. 82. Willie Jenkins, "Development of Our Own," Detroit !'ribune-Independent (May 19, 1934) : 1. "Do you know why Japan quit the League of Nations?," inquired this same official on another occasion . "It eras because the League failed to measure up to racial justice and racial equality, because God told them to do so artd establish a league of nations among the dark peoples of the earth . Don't you know that _Japan is acting in accordance with God's will?" Uetroid %'ribune-Independent (June 2, 1934) : 2. 83 . S K. Takahashi, "Development of Our Own," Uehnil %'ribune-Independent (April 21, 1934) : 2. 84 . Ibid. 85 . Ibid. The "international supervisor" may have been Fay Watanabe, mentioned in several FBI intelligence reports_ See report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 81, FBI file 65-562113. 86. The speech is reconstructed from the following VOLUME 24, NO.1



sources: `~apanese `Fifth Column' Work in Detroit Also," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (March 7, 1942): 5; and report of L. D. Socey, Detroit, December 19, 1933, FBI file 65-562-15. 87 . St. Louis PostDispatch (March 7, 1942) : 1, 5. 88 . Statement of Reverend Wilkerson Vaughu, Flint, Michigan, November 23, 1942; in Enclosure to FBI file 62-25889-136. It is unclear from the context whether African Americans' fighting "with them" meant fighting against or on the side of Japan. 89 . "Resume of Japanese Influence on the Negroes in the United States," Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (1942), RG 38, ONI Security Classified Administrative Correspondence, 1942-1946, A8-5/ EF37/EG [DNA] ; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 9, FBI file 65-562-43. 90. Report of L. D. Socey, Detroit, December 19, 1933, FBI file 65-562-15. 91 . Boykin, A Handbook on the Detroit Negro, 46 . 92. Report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 2U, 1940, p. 17, FBI file 65-562-43. Takahashi's INS records, which fall under the purview of the Freedom of Information Act, have been reported missing From the agency; C :ora L. Smith, FOI/PA Officer, INS to Ernest Allen, Jr., December 21, 1993 . 93. Report of L. D. Socey, Detroit, December 19, 1933, FBI fle 65-562-15; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 3-4, FBI file 65-562-43; `~ap Arrested in Raid on Club," Detroit News (December 2, 1933): 2 ; Detroit Nems (December 3, 1933) : 5; Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen, "The Washington Merry-C:o-Round," Wichita H,agle (December 14, 1933), enclosure in RG 165, MID 10218-261/91 (DNA 94. "Local Woman Weds,]apanese Officer," I)ehoil TriIrune-Independent (April 21, 1934): 1 ; .St . Loteis PoslDispalch (March 7, 1942) : 1. Mrs. Takahashi, whose maiden name wag,Barnett, had three children from a previous marriage. Her brother was a Professor Barnett of Tuskegee Institute . 95 . "Local Woman Weds Japanese Officer," Detroit Tribune-Independent (April 21, 1934): 5; Boykin, A Handbook on the Detroit Negro, 46 . 96 . Report of [agent natiie deleted], St . Louis, April 3, 1942, FBI file 65-40879-66 ; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 543. 97 . Boykin, A Handbook nn the Detroit Negro, 46 . 98 . Mrs. P. T. Takahashi, "Development of Our Own," Detroit 7i'ibune-Independent (June 16, 1934) : 2. 99 . Mrs. P. T. Takahashi, "Development of Our Own," Detroit %i-ibune-Independent Qune 9, 1934) :, 2. Interestingly, a U.S. Fifth Army report noted that the head of the NOI, "W. ll. Feraud" [W. D. Fard], claimed to be "the originator of the Development of Our Own and the Moslem Temple of Islam cult and cited as proof a twok, which had been copyrighted by him, in the US Library of Congress, entitled `Five Guiding Principles' ." Cited in (:orrrlation Summary of Wallace Don (Dodd] Ford, January 15, 1958, p.17, FBI file 105-63642-15 . No date is cited for this remark ; however, since Fard left Detroit involuntarily on May 26, 1933, it was presumably made prior to that time. 100. Beynon, "The Voodoo Cult," 904. 101 . The Development of Our Own v. Pearl T. Takahashi, No . 23023 civ. (Wayne County Circuit Court (:hancery, filed July 3, 1934), cited in report of [agent name deleted], lletroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 49-50, FBI file 65-562-43; Articles of Incorporation of The Development of Our Own, October 5, 1933 ; Certili-


103. 104. 105.


107. 108.

109. 110.

111 . 112. 113.

cafe of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation, June 8, 1934, Michigan Department of Commerce; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 542. The FBI report listed the name of "William J. Fitzgerald," but this appears to be in error. Charles C. Zampty may have been the same person as the Detroit-based Garveyite, John Charles Zampty. For an interview of the latter, see Jeanette Smith Irvin, hbotsolrliers of tlae UNIA ("Iheir Oum Words) (Trenton, NJ : Africa World Press, 1989), 36-52. Correlation Summary of Wallace Don [Dodd] Ford, ,January 15, 1958, p. 17, FBI file IOfr63642-15 ; SAC, Detroit to Director, FBI, January 31, 1958, FBI file 105-63642-20. Beynon, "The Voodoo Cult," 903; SAC, Chicago, to Director, FBI, October 30, 1957, FBI file 105-63642-6 . Report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 40, 42, 43, 52-57, FBI file 65-562-43. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 543. Officers of The Onward Movement of America included Cash C. Bates, Alexander Long, Arthur Merritt, Rosa Wal den, and Leila Fisher. Articles of Incorporation of The Onward Movement of America, January 30, 1939, Michigan Department of Commerce . Its officers were Alexander Long, Bartie Alsobrooks, and Gladys long ; Articles of Incorporation of Producers and Consumers Market Co ., Inc., May 15, 1939, Michigan Department of Commerce. By 1942 the organization had relocated to a nearby spot in the vicinity of Eight Mile Road at Majestic Avenue in Ferndale; Report of (agent name deleted], Detroit, November l2, 1942, FBI file 62-25889-30. Report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 4-5, FBI file 65-562-43. United States v. Naka Nakaue, No . 25350 (E .D . Mich. September 28, 1939) [National Archives - Great Lakes Region] ; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 544; "Klan, 5th Column Links Probed in Detroit Rioting," Wicshington Times-HeraGl (June 23, 1943), copy in FBI file 65-562-136. A newspaper report described Mrs. Takahashi as "a faithful visitor at Springfield during his, imprisonment ." St . Louis Post-Uispatrh (March 5, 1942) : 8; St . Louis Post-Dispatch (March 7, 1942) : 1 ; SAC, Chicago to Director, FBI, October 30, 1957, FBI file 105-63642-6 ; SAC, Detroit to Director, FBI, October 10, 1946, FBI file 6.5-40879-341 . In 1942 Takahashi was said to be "70 years of age, almost blind, and . . . hospitalized during the past three years because of stomach ulcers." SAC, (:hicago, to Director, FBI, October 30, 1957, FBI file 105-63642-8. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 544; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, pp. 60-61, FBI file 65-562-43. A contribution of $100 was also reportedly made by OMA to the families ofJapanese soldiers . SAC, San Francisco to SAC, Chicago, August 7, 1940, FBI file 65-562-53; "Survey of Racial (:onditions," 543. "Resume of Japanese lofluence on the Negroes in the United States," 3, 10. SA(: (:hicago to Director, FBI, October 30, 1957, FBI file 105-63642-6 ; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 58, FBI file 65-562-43. Ahdul Muhammad's wife reportedly confided in Ousha Appacanis, a member of The Development of Our Own, that "Muhammad had taken one Satakata Takahashi into his home when Takahashi was ill at which time Takahashi learned the principles of Muhammad's organization and when he was well,


i~OLUME 24, NO.1


approached Muhammad, with the thqught in mind that the two of them could utilise the organization to make a great deal of money. Muhammad's wife related that Muhammad refused this approach ." Presumably the break between Takahashi and Muhammad occurred prior to the formation of TDOO, and if that is so, Muhanunad's organization at the time was most likely the NOI. SAC Chicago to Director, FBI, October 30, 1957, FBI File 105-63642-6; report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, March 20, 1940, p. 58, FBI file 65-562-43. 114. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 578. In his recent book, %'he Judas Fhrtor, journalist Karl Evanzz advances a number of claims regarding the relation ship between Takahashi and Elijah Muhammad . While most of his specific assertions ring true, due to the fact that Evanzz's work, overall, is plagued by sloppiness, abysmal documentation, and, in at least one instance, the creative presentation of evidence at variance with extant documentation, one cannot cite it with confidence . 115. Report of [agent name deleted], Detroit, November 12, 1942, FBI file 62-25889-30, pp. 12, 24 . Associated with Takahashi in the early 1930s, Herschel Wash ington (-El) later became Grand Sheik of the Mt. Clemens, Michigan MSTA. Cash C. Bates (-Bey), a "national liaison man" of the MSTA in the 1940s, was incorporator-director of the Onward Movement of America in 1939 and became its Acting Chief Director when Takahashi was incarcerated that same year. United States Naval Intelligence Service, Ninth Naval Digtrict, B-7-0, "Topical Study Memorandum on Moorish Science Temple of America," May 28, 1943, in FBI Indianapolis file 100-409458. 116. Report of [agent name deleted], Indianapolis, June 1, 1942, FBI file 65-562-105; report of [agent name deleted], Indianapolis, September 9, 1943, FRI file 65-562-139 . Those familiar with the c. 1960s NOI flag will note the similarities: red background, white star and crescent in the center, and the corresponding letters F, J, E, and I [Islam]. 117. Statement of Mimo De Guzman [Policarpio Manansala], August 3, 1942, in report of [agent name deleted], New York City, August 12, 1942, FBI file 65-40879-165; "Survey of Racial Conditions," 546-47. See also Transcript of Testimony and Proceedings Before the Grand Jury (E .D. 111 . completed Sept. 29, 1942), p. 777, copy fried with National Archives' holdings of United States v. Pacific Movement of the Eastern World, Inc. 118. Statement of Mimo De Guzman [Policarpio Manansala], August 3, 1942 . 119. Transcript of Testimony and Proceedings Before the Grand Jury, pp. 789-90 . 120. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 562. 121. "Survey of Racial Conditions," 545; Lt. C:ol. George W. Hinman, Jr ., G.SC., Headquarters, Second Service Command, Governors Island, New York to Di rector, Intelligence Division, August 21, 1942, copy in FBI file 65-40879-241 . 122. Hayden, %'he Philippines, 382-400 - especially 391-92; Ba Maw, Breakthrough in Burma: Memoirs of a Rewilution, 1939-1946 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), 345-46. 123. Gerald Robert Gill, "Afro-American Opposition to the United States' Wars of the Twentieth Century: Dissent, Discontent and Disinterest," unpublished Ph .D . dissertation (Howard University, 198,5), 258. 124. Office of Facts and Figures, ?he Negro Locks at the War.- Attitudes of New York Negroes 7bruaril Diserimina-

lion Against Negroes and a Comparison of Negro and Poor lNhite Altitudes %bward War-Related Issues, 1942; and Office of Facts and Figures, Survey of Intelligence Materials No. 25, "Negroes in a Democracy at War," 1942, RCG 205, Records of the Office of Facts and Figures, Alphabetical Subject File, 1939-1942 [Washington National RecprdsCenter-5rritland] . Myrdal, An American Dilemma, 1400n, distorted the findings, claiming in a curiously constructed sentence that the "highest proportion of Negroes, of all Negroes interviewed, who have admitted proJaparrese inclinations, in a confidential poll conducted by Negro interviewers, is 18 per cent ." 125. Cyril Briggs, "Negro Workers, Fight Against Intervention;" The Negro Worker [Hamburg], 2 :5 (May 1932) : fi-8; rpt. as "War in the East in Herbert Aptheker, ed ., Uocummtary History of the Negro People in the United States, 1910-1932 (Secaucus, NJ : Citadel, 1973), 718-20 ; Is Japan the Champion of the Colored Races? (New York: Workers Library Publishers, 1938) [I am indebted to archivist Edward C. ~feber, Labadie Collection, University of Michigan, for providing me with a copy of this publication .] Excerpts from the pamphlet were reprinted as "Japanese Law and Order in Manchuria," in Herbert Aptheker, Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States, 1933-1945 (Secaucus, NJ : Citadel, 1 .974), 311-14 . See also R. Doonping, "IsJapan the Protector of the Coloured Races%," Y'he Negro Worker [Hamburg], 3:1 (January 1933) : 1418 ; the latter rpt. in the Harlem Liberator as ` Japanese Imperialism - `Protector' of the Oppressed Darker Peoples," part 1 (July 1, 1933): 4 and part 2 Quly 8, 1933) : 4; Harry Haywood, NegroLiberation (New York : International Publishers, 1948), 203; and Haywood, Black Bolsherrik, 428. The "so called Pacific (proJapanese) movement" was denounced by CPUSA national secretary Earl Browdrr at the Party's 8th national convention in 1934; Daily Worker (April 14, 1934) : 7, rpt. i n Philip S. Foner and Herbert 5hapiro, eds., American Communism and Rlack Americans: A Documentary History, 1930-1934 (Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1991), 121. 126. Scott, The Sons of Sheba's Rare. See also Claude McKay, Harlem: Negro Metropolis (New York: E. P. button, 1940); and Bontemps and Cgnroy, Anyplace But Here. 127. %ame (October 5, 1942): 25-26.




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