Abe Isoo

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Abe Isoo
Iso Abe.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
Constituency Tokyo 2nd district
In office
Constituency Tokyo 2nd district
Personal details
Born (1865-02-04)4 February 1865[1][2][3]
Fukuoka, Japan
Died 10 February 1949(1949-02-10) (aged 84)[1]
Tokyo, Japan
Political party Shakai Minshutō
Shakai Minshūtō
Shakai Taishūtō
Kinrō Kokumintō (banned)→
Japanese Socialist Party
Residence Tokyo
Alma mater Doshisha University, University of Berlin and Hartford Theological Seminary
Occupation preacher
Religion Christianity (Christian socialism)/Unitarian

Abe Isoo (安部 磯雄?, 4 February 1865 – 10 February 1949)[1][2][3] was a Japanese Christian socialist, parliamentarian and pacifist.

Early life and education[edit]

Abe was born in Fukuoka on 4 February 1865.[2][4] He studied at Doshisha University and abroad, including at the University of Berlin, before attending Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut.[5] It was while he was studying in Hartford that he became interested in socialism.[1]


After returning to Japan, in 1899,[1] Abe became a Unitarian preacher. He taught at the Waseda University starting in 1901, called Tokyo Semmon Gakko, at the time.[1] He would teach for 25 years.[1] In 1901 he helped to found the short-lived Japanese Social-Democratic party, which the government swiftly prohibited.

During the Russo-Japanese War, he advocated non-cooperation and participated in various early feminist movements. When the anti-war newspaper Heimin Shimbun (People's Weekly News) was banned, he started his own magazine, Shinkigen (A New Era). He used this as a soapbox to promote parliamentary socialism.[1] In 1906, he played an instrumental role in founding the first Japanese Socialist Party, from which he advocated a Christian Socialist viewpoint. However, the government outlawed this party too in 1907. He dropped out of public life until after World War I, when he became active again.[1] He founded the Japanese Fabian Society, in 1921,[1] and in 1924, he became their first President. He resigned his teaching post to become the secretary-general of the Social Democratic Party.[1] In 1928, he was elected to the Japanese Diet, where he held a seat for five consecutive elections.[1] In 1932, he became a chairman of Shakai Taishuto (Social Mass Party).[1][4] He withdrew from politics in 1940 due to the increasingly militaristic nature of the current government.[1] Abe's other claim to fame was that he was responsible for the emergence of baseball in Japan.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abe Isoo". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d Castronova, Frank V., ed. (1998). Almanac of Famous People. I Biographies. Detroit, MI: Gale Research. p. 4. 
  3. ^ a b There is uncertainty surrounding his birth date as some sources state that his day of birth is March 1, 1865.
  4. ^ a b Louis Frédéric; Käthe Roth (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. p. 902. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/992/Abe-Isoo