Talk:Ryoichi Sasakawa

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name[edit]

Why is he called Ryoichi Sasakawa if his last name is Sasakawa? Shouldn't he then be named Sasakawa Ryoichi? --Ibn Battuta 03:21, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The Manual of style for Japanese-related articles mandates that people born after 1868 be listed in "givenname familyname" order, just as in most western countries. Neier 09:09, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Fascist?[edit]

Could there be a reference for the fascist allegation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.52.215.67 (talk) 00:48, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 21:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Current Article has too many errors. Suggest replacement[edit]

Having recently done some research on Sasakawa Ryoichi for a paper, I find that the Wikipedia article as it stands is too full of easily verifiable errors to be considered reliable.

In addition, the majority of the remaining text seems to be mostly hearsay-based assumption or generally misleading statements. The editors' "citation needed" points have gone unanswered for a very long time.

I recommend that the text be completely redone. Errors, hearsay and misleading statements that I have found are listed below. My sources are at the bottom of this page.


(May 18, 1899 – July 14, 1995) Incorrect. Should be May 4, 1899 – July 18, 1995

suspected World War II criminal Misleading. Suggest “was accused but acquitted of Class A war crimes after World War II.”

fascist Questionable. In point of fact he was a nationalist, but in spite of the claim sited below, he does not actually seem to fit the parameters stated by WikiProject Fascism

organized crime figure Incorrect. In spite of popular opinion, Sasakawa was not himself involved in organized crime. This article seems to confuse him with Yoshio Kodama, a friend who WAS involved in organized crime.

reenowned shipbuilder Incorrect. The foundation that he established SUPPORTED the shipbuilding industry. He was not himself a shipbuilder.

...he is most famous for his ties to the Unification Movement and his boast of being "the world's wealthiest fascist". Incorrect. 1. His real global fame came from the philanthropic work done by the motorboat-racing-backed Nippon Foundation. 2. Sasakawa's connection with the Unification Movement, while brief, was an indirect one resulting from a short interest in the World Anti-Communist Movement—an interest that he seems to have lost rather quickly. (Sato, p. 210))

During the Sino-Japanese War, Sasakawa rose to prominence by using his wealth to fund paramilitary forces in China, which he used not only to support the Japanese armies, but also for plunder [citation needed]. Insupportable. Recommend cut.

Using his personal forces and his wealth, he established a large smuggling operation for drugs and other goods [citation needed]. Insupportable. Probably incorrect.

These operations would lead to his arrest at the end of World War II as a class A war criminal. Incorrect. 1. He was never found guilty of war crimes, so to name him a criminal is incorrect; 2. His arrest was in response to post-war anti-American campaigning, and to his being listed on a document listing “leading figures of ultra-nationalist and violent organizations and secret patriotic organizations.” (Sugamo Diary, introduction, section 3) 3. Class A war crimes are not even crimes of this nature.

While being held in Sugamo Prison he met Yoshio Kodama Incorrect. Kodama was a member of Sasakawa's pre-war political party, where the two established a long-term friendship.

The US intelligence community secured their release in 1948, in exchange for their aid in fighting Communism and promoting stability in the post-war climate. Insupportable.

Aside from legitimate investments, Sasakawa also used his wealth to bribe officials, used his paramilitary forces to break up strikes and other meetings, and built ties to Kodama's Kanto-kai and the nascent modern yakuza.[citation needed] Insupportable.

In the 1950s, he received a monopoly on motor boat competitions in Japan. Incorrect. moneys from the motorboat racing industry never went to Sasakawa himself.

Since it is one of the few sports for which gambling is allowed, it became a very lucrative business. Misleading: Again, while the business WAS and seemingly still is lucrative, it was not lucrative for Sasakawa, who was not a recipient of motorboat racing funds.

Sasakawa later made extensive charitable contributions, especially in the area of disaster relief. (Misleading, incorrect. 1. Sasakawa's foundation made these contributions, not the man himself. 2. Disaster relief was only one small part of these contributions.

As the founder of the United States-Japan Foundation Misleading. The Nippon Foundation established the US-Japan Foundation, under Sasakawa's direction

The Nippon Foundation, established by Sasakawa in August 1959 Incorrect. October 1962

Sources: Sasakawa, Sato Seizaburo, Eastbridge Press, 2006.

Sugamo Nikki, Sasakawa Ryoichi, Chuo Koronsha, 1997.

The Nippon Foundation's own description of its founder:[[[1]]]

I would love to hear from the person who originally wrote this article, because I do not want to undertake a major editing without discussing the points above first. Thanks.

OtakeHideo (talk) 07:21, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

One thing you need to remember is that this is a collaborative effort, and there is no need to find the "original author". If you have a reliably sourced change to make, there's no need to hesitate in updating the article. The same goes for moving a statement more toward neutrality.
As a major contributor to this article, I'll address some of the other points you raise. I'll preface this by stating that any contribution I made did have a reliable source, but I had originally made them years ago, back when citations were not so heavily sought, and neglected to add them. I have since lost access to the books, but I do recall at least one I used (Yakuza: Japan's Criminal Underworld, Expanded Edition). I'd take the Nippon Foundation's description of Sasakawa with a grain of salt, though. Kodama's Sugomo Diary is hardly an unbiased source, either.
Source of fame: The article's current perspective could be a ethno-centric. Most of his notoriety in the US came from the mentioned things, even if the interest in it was short-lived. It was major enought o find its way into major US Regardless, you have a source: feel free to fix it.
Anything marked "Insupportable": I think the claims that these are insupportable are, perhaps, a bit over-eager. "Unsupported", yes. But not insupportable. An excerpt of one of the books I referenced for this can back up some of these things. There are also other sources out there that hold similar views.
Organized crime involvement: There's no confusion on this, though you could say it's overstated. He had deep ties to Ultranationalist movements and figures, and shared ideology with them. He had his own paramilitary forces in mainland Asia which led to his arrest as a war criminal, and he kept similar things going with strike busters and sokaiya-like goons. So, while he may not have been a kumicho or other, formal figure, the connections are still there. Kuromaka would, perhaps, be the right term to use.
War criminal: Nothing in the article even implies he was convicted of a war crime. He was arrested, charged, and jailed as one, but not convicted. As far as being incorrect, there's sources that will support the article's given reasons for his imprisonment.
Shipbuilding, relief contributions, other misleading things: Not my contributions, but this just seems to be semantics. You seem to know the details, clarify as needed.
Fascist: If he would classify himself as a fascist, I don't see why we shouldn't do the same. Beyond that, his ties to Ultranationalist organizations support his claims of having fascist ideals.
--Xanzzibar (talk) 13:52, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Edits complete[edit]

I've gone ahead and done the editing work. In fact, I got a little carried away with the research, and so the result is a lot longer than the original. I've tried to maintain the same format as the original, as well as including as much of that information as possible. But since the amount I added is so large, the original text tends to get lost in there.

I did do what I could to make this as fair and balanced an article as possible. Please note however, that I was only able to find one really definitive work on Sasakawa Ryoichi in English, and so a lot of my quotes come from there. It is a remarkably well-footnoted and referenced work, (though its construction is about as meandering as they come). Given the amount of direct quotation of source material that it uses, it seems to be quite a reliable source.

Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

Ah yes, and Xannzibar, thanks so much for your responses to my earlier post. Your comments were invaluable.

OtakeHideo (talk) 03:07, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Hello OtakeHideo (talk), These edits seem a little like a whitewashing of this article. Why did you remove a external link? I reverted the external link and the reference to the Unification Movement and added a few citations. This is very relevant to us here in the USA. Regards Marknw (talk) 03:17, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your edits and comments[edit]

Marknw and Xannzibar: Thanks for your corrections. This is such a good learning process. I did try to keep all the older links up, sometimes working them into the text, and was unaware that I had eliminated one.

As to whitewashing, that wasn't the aim. I simply tried to eliminate the conjecture, but it is true that this resulted in a less negative article. Xanzzibar commented that the Sugamo diaries of the men who were interred there are hardly unbiased. It is a good point, and I took his advice, not drawing on that kind of source. I also tried to apply that principle to both sides of the issue. (In my experience rightwing and leftwing descriptions of the right (or left) are equally trustworthy. :) )

I was puzzled by your inclusion of the Time article in support of the Unification Movement point. I can't find any reference there, though Kaplan definitely does describe his ties to the Unification Church, so this point is perhaps a bit niggling. I've found a further reference in Sato's book, so will include that, and leave it to you as to whether to cut this particuar instance of the Time reference or not.

One other question, to anyone with an answer, was why a bot seems to have removed the citation of the Nippon Foundation's balance sheets. Is it because they are in Japanese? The foundation seems to be at pains to make its cashflow as transparent as possible, something that tends to damage claims that it was constructed as an engine for Sasakawa's personal gain. I have been unable to find English versions of the financials, and so included the Japanese link. I believe this is in line with Wikipedia's policy on foreign language references: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:NONENG) I am asking first so as to avoid a "did so-did not" kind of editing quarrel.

Thanks as always.

OtakeHideo (talk) 06:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Hello OtakeHideo (talk), Sorry about the wrong citation. I was thinking about a Los Angeles Times article from 1992 that reported that the most likely source of Moon's funding was Sasakawa. I couldn't find a free version of it on the web, but I'll keep looking. I think the point is that, as the article indicates, intellectuals suspect some financial link between Moon and Sasakawa at some point in the past. Thank you. Regards Marknw (talk) 17:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that this should be discussed in the body of the article if you want to mention it in the intro. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 19:02, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Steve, I'm open to suggestions. I just reverted it after it was deleted and added some supporting citations. Happy Holidays Marknw (talk) 01:15, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Introduction: Disappearance of the specific "yakuza" claim under a non-descript "is critized by intellectuals" blanket[edit]

While he is widely known throughout Africa and much of the developing world for the wide-ranging philanthropic programs that he established, he is at the same time viewed with hostility by many intellectuals [4] [5] for his right wing ideals and ties to Japan's motorboat racing industry and support for the Unification Movement[6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11].
The two specific sources, the monograph by Kaplan and Dubro [4] and the article by Boneau [5], do not "view Sasakawa in a hostile way" for some unexplained motive: They claim that he was a person connected to important people in the yakuza. My conclusion is that this should be said frankly in the introduction to the article. While your edits, OtakeHideo, are not without merit, I must say that they smell of Whitewashing. Regards,
--82.207.234.253 (talk) 15:33, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

"organized crime figure" needs an explanation...[edit]

Source www.centurychina.com Ryoichi Sasakawa: One of the leading Fascists and Militarists of Japan organized his private army of 15,000 men equipped with 20 warplanes and dressed in black shirt to emulate that of Mussolini, his idol after "September 18, 193 1 " Incident. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, his army massacred thousands of innocent Chinese and Malayans for which he earned the name of "Tiger of Malaya." After the war, he kept his Mafia business in Japan involving drug trafficking, pornographic enterprises, gambling, and usury that made him the super rich, with which he had become the leading philanthropist of the world; he showered handsome donations to the United Nations, President Carter's Library, and one million dollars each to the leading universities of America. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 112.141.76.166 (talk) 03:34, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Badly-written lede[edit]

The intro is badly written and almost laughable. It's just list things and is bizarrely over referenced. Usually the lede is written from the referenced material in the actual article. Every point seems to have at least one or more sources. Besides the lede concludes:

"...he is at the same time viewed with hostility by many intellectuals for his right wing ideals and ties to Japan's motorboat racing industry and support for the Unification Movement."

So basically that says academics dislike him for being a fascist motor sports fanatic. What?? Who wrote this stuff? It's a joke.