The Black Dragon Society ( Kyūjitai; 黑龍會; Shinjitai: 黒竜会, kokuryūkai), or Amur River Society, was a prominent paramilitary, ultranationalist group in Japan.
The Kokuryūkai was founded in 1901 by martial artist Uchida Ryohei as a successor to his mentor Mitsuru Tōyama's Gen'yōsha .Its name is derived from the translation of the Amur River, which is called Heilongjiang or "Black Dragon River" in Chinese (黑龍江?), read as Kokuryū-kō in Japanese. Its public goal was to support efforts to keep the Russian Empire north of the Amur River and out of East Asia.
The Kokuryūkai initially made strenuous efforts to distance itself from the criminal elements of its predecessor, the Gen'yōsha. As a result, its membership included Cabinet Ministers and high-ranking military officers as well as professional secret agents. However, as time passed, it found the use of criminal activities to be a convenient means to an end for many of its operations.
The Society published a journal, and operated an espionage training school, from which it dispatched agents to gather intelligence on Russian activities in Russia, Manchuria, Korea and China. Ikki Kita was sent to China as a special member of the organization. It also pressured Japanese politicians to adopt a strong foreign policy. The Kokuryūkai also supported Pan-Asianism, and lent financial support to revolutionaries such as Sun Yat-sen and Emilio Aguinaldo.
During the Russo-Japanese War, annexation of Korea and Siberian Intervention, the Imperial Japanese Army made use of the Kokuryūkai network for espionage, sabotage and assassination. They organized Manchurian guerrillas against the Russians from the Chinese warlords and bandit chieftains in the region, the most important being Marshal Chang Tso-lin. The Black Dragons waged a very successful psychological warfare campaign in conjunction with the Japanese military, spreading disinformation and propaganda throughout the region. They also acted as interpreters for the Japanese army.
The Kokuryūkai assisted the Japanese spy, Colonel Motojiro Akashi. Akashi, who was not directly a member of the Black Dragons, ran successful operations in China, Manchuria, Siberia and established contacts throughout the Muslim world. These contacts in Central Asia were maintained through World War II. The Black Dragons also formed close contact and even alliances with Buddhist sects throughout Asia.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Kokuryūkai evolved into more of a mainstream political organization, and publicly attacked liberal and leftist thought. Although it never had more than several dozen members [ citation needed ] at any one time during this period, the close ties of its membership to leading members of the government, military and powerful business leaders gave it a power and influence far greater than most other ultranationalist groups. In 1924, retired naval captain Yutaro Yano and his associates within the Black Dragon Society invited Oomoto leader Onisaburo Deguchi on a journey to Mongolia. Onisaburo led a group of Oomoto disciples, including Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba.
Initially directed only against Russia, in the 1930s, the Kokuryūkai expanded its activities around the world, and stationed agents in such diverse places as Ethiopia, Turkey, Morocco, throughout Southeast Asia and South America, as well as Europe and the United States.
The Kokuryūkai was officially disbanded by order of the American Occupation authorities in 1946. According to Brian Daizen Victoria's book, Zen War Stories, the Black Dragon Society was reconstituted in 1961 as the Black Dragon Club (Kokuryū-Kurabu). The Club never had more than 150 members with which to carry out the goals of the former Black Dragon Society.
The organization influenced black nationalists in the United States who aimed to foment racial unrest to achieve their goal.The Ethiopian Pacific Movement and the Peace Movement of Ethiopia (both African-American black nationalist organizations) claimed they were affiliated with the Black Dragon Society.
As part of their effort to support such organizations, the Black Dragon Society sent an agent, Satokata Takahashi, to promote pan-Asianism and claim that Japan would treat them as racial equals. [ citation needed ]He would become a patron of Elijah Muhammed and the Nation of Islam, as well as the Pacific Movement of the Eastern World. Sankichi Takahashi may have also been a member.
Mittie Maude Lena Gordon, who lead the Peace Movement of Ethiopia, claimed to be personally affiliated with the Kokuryūkai.
On March 27, 1942, FBI agents arrested members of the Black Dragon Society in the San Joaquin Valley, California.
In the Manzanar Internment Camp, a small group of pro-Imperial Japanese flew Black Dragon flags and intimidated other Japanese inmates.
Ikki Kita was a Japanese author, intellectual and political philosopher who was active in early-Shōwa period Japan. Drawing from an eclectic range of influences, Kita was a socialist who has also been described as the "ideological father of Japanese fascism", although his writings touched equally upon pan-Asianism, Nichiren Buddhism, fundamental human rights and egalitarianism and he was involved with Chinese revolutionary circles. While his publications were invariably censored and he ceased writing after 1923, Kita was an inspiration for elements on the far-right of Japanese politics into the 1930s, particularly his advocacy for territorial expansion and a military coup. The government saw Kita's ideas as disruptive and dangerous; in 1936 he was arrested for allegedly joining the failed coup attempt of 26 February 1936 and executed in 1937.
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Pan-Asianism is an ideology that promotes the political and economic unity and cooperation of Asian peoples. Several theories and movements of Pan-Asianism have been proposed, specifically from East, South and Southeast Asia. Motivating the movement has been resistance to Western imperialism and colonialism and a belief that "Asian values" should take precedence over "European values".
The Black Dragon Society is a non fictional Japanese secret society, also known as the Kokuryūkai, which appears in DC Comics. The publisher first used the name in 1942's All Star Comics issue #12 as Japanese saboteurs. They were created by Gardner Fox and Jack Burnley. The same name and concept was also used by several other 1940s comics publishers that were later bought out by DC. A modern reimagining of the group as ecoterrorists was presented in JLA.
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Black dragon may refer to:
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Lu Zhankui was a Mongol officer under the Manchuria based warlord Zhang Zuolin. In 1917, he was responsible for negotiations with the Chinese government on behalf of his Independence Army, the Dulidui. He was instrumental in bringing Oomoto leader Onisaburo Deguchi, and Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba, to Mongolia in 1924, but was captured along with them and executed by firing squad in Tongliao.
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