What I research on: Meaning of handmade magazines despite the dark times

The first number of "Yakatsu", which means "harsh land" in Japanese that was taken from poem of Chinese painter Ni San (1301-74)
The first number of "Yakatsu", which means "harsh land" in Japanese that was taken from poem of Chinese painter Ni San (1301-74)

Between 1931 and 1945,  we call this age "15 years war" or "Asian-Pacific War" in Japanese history. During this age, especially for 8 years after Second Sino-Japanese War that occurred in 1937, freedom of speech was harshly suppressed, which means not only that we could neither publish something nor hold a political meeting but that our consciences were exposed in fear.


If I speak what I truly think about or serious opinion on the society,

I will be arrested

and rather,

I will be ignored by everyone and lose space to live as I am not "Japanese"...


So we lost the place or the time to express and share something serious in heart.

Not only nation but our society itself deprived us of breath of "expression".

Under such society, our minds were literally dyed dark.


Just those days, my young grandmother and grandfather formed a small group with their family or cousins.

They wrote their own poems, novels, essays on philosophy, music or everyday life, took pictures,  and made other strange creations.

Then they collected manuscripts together, edited them,

and formed handmade magazines named "Yakatsu".

And more they managed to meet and read together.

I never forget how I was shocked and moved when my grandmother showed these magazines:

It appeared to me that each page of these old handmade magazines had a kind of light amid the dark times.


Since then I have looked for similar handmade magazines of this age (some are partly published), and researched on some other interesting handmade magazines a little widely in 1920 - 40's in Japan (part of this research will be published as papers), as I have researched on some philosophical theories, mainly on Hannah Arendt, in order to make clear the historical meaning of such magazines.


However the society was harsh to us or the world seemed dull,

those who held a light in heart began something new or "cultural".

If such facts were left to us, I want to seek for the meaning of "fact",

which might give some hints to our courage.


26 MARCH 2015

Zaiya Takahashi


Papers and Other Writings

Kenji Miyazawa and Motokichi Takahashi: Evidence of the exchange of poetry works

(2018, Japanese)

The Miyazawa Kenji Association Journal, vol.56, pp.13-15.


Kenji Miyazawa and Motokichi Takahashi: An attempt to connect them with music

(2017, Japanese)

Kenji Studies, vol.4, pp.212-220.


Reinterpretation of Art in the Era of Mental Trauma: The Example of Georges Rouault

(2017, Japanese)

Synthetic Anthropology, vol.11, pp.131-140.


Concepts Transition of "good death" in Japan

(2016, Japanese)

Hiroko Nagae ed., Decision Making Support with Respect for the Patient Will, pp.18-25.



End-of-life care and the concept of "good death"

(2016, Japanese)

Japanese Journal of Nursing Arts, vol.62 no.12, OCT 2016, pp.10-13.

Medical Friend Co. Ltd. website


Making place for understanding the way of life and mutual supporting: Research on the citizen participatory program on end-of-life care.

(Zaiya Takahashi, Noriko Iwaki, Hiroko Nagae, Mina Ishimaru, Naomi Shimizu & Teruko Yoshimoto)

(2016, Japanese)

Japanese Journal of Bioethics, no.27, pp. 159-168.


So far and from now on the space for talking about and embracing life and death.

(2016, Japanese)

Chiba University Graduate School of Nursing, End-of-life Care Studies ed.

How to Create Learning Community for Supporting End-of-life Care, pp.100-108.


“Political Virtue” as the Resource of Democracy in Consideration of Douglas Lummis's Radical Democracy 

(2015, Japanese)

Synthetic Anthropology, vol.9, pp.151-162.


William Morris; Polyhedron That Radiates Vision 

(2015, Japanese)

POSSE, vol.26, Horinouchi Publishing, Tokyo.



On the Fundamentality of "Speech" for Men; Aging and How the Locale of "Speech" Is Formed

(2014, Japanese) 

Synthetic Anthropology, vol.8, pp.251-260.


On Kitamura Tohkoku's Experience of Love and Speech; As an Attempt to Go Beyond the Modern Family

(2011, Japanese)

Synthetic Anthropology, vol.5, pp.113-123.



Is Friendship Formed in the "Family" Relationship?; Or the Change of Love

(2010, Japanese) 

Chiyo Yonemura ed., Family and Individual in Contemporary Japan,

Reports on Research Project No.210, Chiba University Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, pp.65-83.


What is Knowledge to Us; From the Discussion on "Intellectuals" in Modern Age

(2009, Japanese)

Joint Research on the Modernizing Process from the Viewpoint of Common People's Activities and Thoughts,

Report of Doctoral Student's Joint Research Project(2008-9),

Tokyo Gakugei University the United Graduate School of Education, pp.23-32.


"Family Culture" of Intellectuals' Home under 15 Years War in Japan; The Birth of Thought 

(2009, Japanese)

Annual Journal of Japanese Society for the Study of Materialism, vol.14, pp.277-302. 



Rethinking of William Morris's News from Nowhere; On Freedom of MInd in Human Labor

(2008, Japanese) 

Akiko Miyake ed., Body, Culture and Politics

Reports on Research Project No.156, Chiba University Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, pp.5-24.