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November 25, 1871
Miyako, Fukuoka, Japan
|Died||January 23, 1933
(aged 61) or|
|Occupation||Journalist, newspaper editor, politician|
Toshihiko Sakai (堺 利彦 Sakai Toshihiko, November 25, 1871 - January 23, 1933) was a Japanese socialist, writer, and historian. He is also known by the pen name Saka Kosen (堺枯川). He is also known for his translation with Shūsui Kōtoku.
Sakai was born as the third son to a samurai class family in what is now Miyako, Fukuoka. He attended what is now the Kaisei Academy where he studied the English language. However, he was expelled from the prestigious No.1 Higher Middle School for failure to pay his tuition, and worked as a tutor and a journalist in Fukuoka and Osaka while studying literature on his own, and writing works of fiction. He was invited to Tokyo by Suematsu Kencho to stay at the residence of the former Mōri clan to help edit a history of the Meiji restoration.
In 1903, Sakai established the socialist organization Heiminsha, together with Shūsui Kōtoku and Uchimura Kanzo. With the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Yorozu Morning News adopted a pro-government stance, and Sakai quit to form the weekly Heimin Shimbun together with Shūsui Kōtoku, which was critical of the war and decried the high taxes which the war was causing. It also published a Japanese translation of the Communist Manifesto in its November 13, 1904 issue. Sakai was sentenced to two months in jail.  Sakai was also a strong supporter of the Esperanto movement, helping create the Japana Esperanto-Instituto in 1906.
In 1906, Sakai became one of the founding members of the Japan Socialist Party. He was arrested in the 1908 Red Flag Incident and was sentenced to two years in prison. In 1922, he became one of the founding members of the Japan Communist Party and was elected to a seat in the Tokyo City Assembly in 1929. Sakai translated many works related to socialism, as well as utopian literature into Japanese. In June 1932, he was admitted to a hospital after an incident of domestic violence under suspicion of insanity, and died of a cerebral hemorrhage in January 1933. His grave is at the temple of Sojo-ji in Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama.
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