Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
buo OKISHIO (born 1926) I was born on 11 December 1926. However, my ofﬁcial birth date is 2 January 1927. Before the Second World War, Japanese people counted age by calendar year. My parents were anxious about my becoming two years old after only one month; they feared that people might underestimate me when compared with other babies of the same age. So they registered my birth date as 2 January illegally. My father had a small store in which he sold women’s trinkets. He expected me to succeed him in his business. He sent me to Kobe Commercial School, hoping it would produce a reliable assistant for him after my graduation. His pretty dream did not come true as I entered Kobe Higher Commercial School instead. The Japanese ruling class, headed by Emperor Hirohito, had tried to solve the economic difﬁculties of the 1930s by a military invasion of China. As their criminal activities became wider, they began to mobilize all economic capacity for war. The government ordered my father’s business to shut down, shouting ‘Luxury is Our Enemy’. My father was compelled to obey and he was drafted into a munitions factory, working there until Japan was defeated in 1945. At that time, the Communist party had collapsed and was banned; reading Marxian books was forbidden. The US army occupied Japan and Emperor Hirohito declared: ‘I am not a God but a mere human’. After graduation from Kobe Higher Commercial School, I entered the faculty of...
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