The overarching backdrop of Leftist political movement in the early 1900s in Japan provided a rich tapestry of different political ideas. The two movements that lend themselves most effectively to contrast is the Anarchist Movement, represented here by Kōtoku Shūsui and Uchiyama Gudō, and the Cooperative Socialist movement, by Kagawa Toyohiko. It is important to note that these figures represented a unique form of each ideology that drew on western intellectual sources but found ways to adapt these ideas to the context of their time and place. At times, the ideas that each side drew on had great similarities. However, the philosophical foundations that each side drew on were significantly different, creating ample space for analysis and comparison.
Firstly, a fundamental difference between the two ideologies was their attitude towards the rate of socio-political change. Kagawa saw slow structural change as the best way to bring about progress for Japanese society and later mankind. Regarding change, Kagawa drew on Fabian and Guild Socialism as inspiration on how to enact change. The namesake of this type of Socialism, Fabian, is a reference to the General Quintus Fabius, who was famous for avoiding pitched battles against the Carthaginians, instead opting to target weaknesses methodically and gradually. Thus, the attitudes that Kagawa held towards the Capitalist system were similar to this and considered “Gradualist” in nature. He promoted a slow, methodical approach towards dismantling what he saw as socially untenable capitalist practices and derided rapid destabilising action. 
Alternatively, Anarchism promoted violent revolt, strikes and acts of political assassination, referred to as ‘direct action’, to bring about radical political change. “Direct action” was the hallmark of the Japanese Anarchist movement and was seen as the most egalitarian and organic form of social change. Kōtoku Shūsui, a key member in the Japanese Anarchist movement, promoted worker’s strikes and promoted his cause through Heimin, an Anarchist Newspaper. He was also later involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor, his family and key ministerial figures, which eventually resulted in his arrest and later execution in 1911. 
On the ground level, figures such as Uchiyama Gudō urged members of the sangha to be armed at all times (“The hand that holds the rosary should also hold a bomb”).  Indeed, the Anarchist method of direct action provides more impact in terms of galvanising a political movement. However, the threat it posed to government institutions and the legitimacy of the Emperor meant that it was more likely to be suppressed.
The intellectual foundation underpinning Anarchist thought for figures such as Kōtoku Shūsui and Uchiyama Gudō seemed to stem more from socialist egalitarianism and Anarcho-syndicalism rather than Nihilism. This is demonstrated by the ties that Kōtoku had to Peter Kropotkin, who famously advocated for a societal system based on mutual aid in The Conquest for Bread.  This brand of Anarchism, which advocated for direct action without the underpinning philosophy Nihilism, is interesting. The justifications for violence and direct action i.e. the willingness to die for a cause, would not be based on the notion of “negation of all” but rather tied to the simpler revolutionary ideal that martyring for a cause was to enact change. The reasons behind promoting direct action were tied more to the idea that fighting and dying for the Anarchist cause was accessible to all, and not limited by any profession, position or age. 
In contrast, Kagawa Toyohiko, the main proponent of the Cooperative movement, was obtusely against the prospect of violent revolution due to several reasons. His first objection was simply that people would die, as a result of violent actions in itself, and the disruption of food production that followed. Kagawa critiqued prior violent movements such as the French and Russian Revolutions to highlight what he saw as political short-sightedness and needless death.  Based on his ‘seven elements of economic value’, violent overthrow of an existing government would only solve at most two of out of seven elements and would even be counterproductive to reaching the goals of the other five. In essence, the destabilising effects of a violent revolution did not appeal to Kagawa, as he viewed it as being more harm than good. Kagawa is ultimately viewed as a utopian pacifist that sought to create a world order that benefitted all consumers.  Thus, his views on violence generally were negative, and he attempted to find alternative ways to reform politics and society that were more consistent with his Pacifist ideal.
What is interesting is that despite the fundamental differences in the two approaches to socio-political reform, there are some striking similarities in the two movements. Although it is evident that the core beliefs on the Anarchist and Cooperative sides were very different, the concept of mutual love and cooperation is something that both movements shared.
Kropotkin’s concept of mutual aid that Kōtoku envisioned for society was very similar to the ideas that Kagawa had for structuring his cooperatives.  Drawing inspiration from Kōtoku, Uchiyama Gudō’s concept of a society based on the Buddhist Sangha, or temple community, also had strong features of the kind of utopian cooperative that Kagawa envisioned.  Although Gudō’s Sangha based community was not fundamentally based off a Cooperative framework existing within a capitalist one, it nonetheless highlights that the concept of mutual care and development are present in both philosophies.
Another notable similarity between the Anarchist and Cooperative is the anti-war outlook that Kagawa and Kōtoku shared. Kōtoku’s perspective was more focused on the ruinous impacts of Nationalism and Imperialism and thus leaned more towards a political criticism of war. In “Monster of the 20th Century”, Kōtoku references the egalitarian socialism of the French Revolution as being the ideal form of government and that many other European nations had perverted the French ideal of Socialism to suit their own Nationalistic needs.  In the Japanese context, he pointed towards the encroachment of military figures such as Yamagata Aritomo upon the trajectory of Japanese politics and foreign policy, as a gravely dangerous development that would put Japan on a Nationalistic track.  Kōtoku’s criticisms were fundamentally political and ideological in nature, something that Kagawa’s anti-war outlook lacked. Kagawa makes limited reference to the ideologies of Imperialism and Nationalism and instead opted to make Capitalist economic practices and systems his target of critique. Kagawa criticised Nationalism and Capitalism for moving the focus of national development away from food production and welfare, and instead towards the production of war materiel. This criticism was rooted less in an intellectual critique of Nationalism and Capitalism and employed a practical approach citing the diversion of resources as harmful to the people. 
The more practically driven ideas that Kagawa proposed were more palatable to the government at the time, and he was never quite suppressed or sanctioned by them. Ironically, he was removed from the Kansai labour movement, which he led, for not being radical enough.  He continued to advocate for his form of Cooperative Globalism after the Second World War and died in 1960 from a heart condition. On the other hand, the political and drastic nature of Kōtoku’s ideas were perceived as dangerous and he was eventually hanged for his involvement in the High Treason Incident in 1910. 
The way that the thought of Kōtoku Shūsui and Kagawa Toyohiko converges and diverges is a fascinating aspect of early 20th Century Japanese Socialist movements. Despite the differences in methodology and practice, the ultimate motivation for both figures was to enact positive change for Japan and the world. The movements that they represented provides valuable insight into alternate realities that may have existed if they had succeeded. Nonetheless, both Kōtoku and Kagawa’s ideas can still be relevant in today’s world in how they critique structures of power, politics and society.
 Bickle, George, Utopianism and Social Planning in the Thought of Kagawa Toyohiko, Monumenta Nipponica, 1970, No. 3/4, pp. 447-453
 Tsuzuki, Chushichi, Kotoku, Osugi and Japanese Anarchism, Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies , 1966, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 37
 Rambelli, Fabio, Zen Anarchism: The Egalitarian Dharma of Uchiyama Gudō, Hawaii Distributed Press, 2014, pp. 30
 Tsuzuki, Chushichi, Kotoku, Osugi and Japanese Anarchism, 1966, pp. 37
 Ibid, pp. 31
 Kagawa, Toyohiko, Brotherhood Economics, Harper Brothers (Kindle Edition), 1936, Loc. 700
 Ibid, Loc. 720
 Tierney, Robert Thomas, Monster of the Twentieth Century: Kōtoku Shūsui and Japan’s First Anti-Imperialist Movement, California Scholarship Online, 2016, pp13
 Rambelli, Fabio, Zen Anarchism: The Egalitarian Dharma of Uchiyama Gudō, 2014, pp. 42
 Tierney, Robert Thomas, Monster of the Twentieth Century: Kōtoku Shūsui and Japan’s First Anti-Imperialist Movement, 2016, pp. 22
 Ibid, pp. 24
 Kagawa, Toyohiko, Brotherhood Economics, 1936, Loc. 1589
 Bickle, George, Utopianism and Social Planning in the Thought of Kagawa Toyohiko, 1970, pp. 448
 Tsuzuki, Chushichi, Kotoku, Osugi and Japanese Anarchism, 1966, pp. 35