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Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
no was born in 1897 in Okayama prefecture 30 years after the Meiji Revolution, which is thought of as the beginning of modern Japan. He grew up the son of a merchant and studied at Tokyo University. His student life coincided with a time of stronger moves towards democracy, called the Taisho Democracy upsurge, which was reversed two decades later. Also at this time Hajime Kawakami, founder of Japanese Marxian economics and an orthodox Marxist, was publishing his personal journal, ‘Social Problems Study’, which included translations of Marx’s books. Young intellectuals, such as Tamizo Kushida, Hyoe Ouchi, Itsuro Sakisaka and Kozo Uno, were attracted by Kawakami’s introduction to Marxism. Some of them became major theoretical exponents of the Japan Communist party, while others followed the Japan Socialist (then called Rono) party, although Uno chose neither. Uno ﬁrst got a job at Ohara Social Problems Study Institute, a private institute founded by the philanthropic capitalist Ohara which hired some Marxian economists. The director at that time was Iwasaburo Takano. After marrying Maria, daughter of Takano and his German wife, Uno was allowed to go to Germany for two years from 1922–24. Besides observing the unprecedented German inﬂation and its aftermath, he mainly occupied himself there reading Das Kapital. On returning to Japan, Uno was employed at Tohoku, one of seven ‘Imperial’ universities. He moved to Sendai and began to teach economic policy from a Marxist point of view. He continued to study Das Kapital and tried to formulate a...
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