Resources on Anarchism in Asia

The deep and global history of anarchism in the global south is still being unearthed, recovered and documented. Major strides have been made such as collection of academic writings Anarchism  and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World: 1870-1940 but there still remains much work to be done. Here we would like to gather a short but certainly not definitive collection of the existing resources that are available for writings on anarchism in Asia.

Collections

  • Libero International – An English language publication from 1974-1980 by CIRA- Nappon group based in Kobe, Japan. Spanning six editions the publication sought to archive documents related to anarchism in Japan. Included are pieces relating to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China and present day Vietnam.

Recommended Books, Articles and Podcasts

  • Monster of the Twentieth Century, Kotoku Shusui and Japan’s First Anti-Imperialist Movement – The radical Japanese journalist Kotoku Shusui, who moved from socialism to anarchism, wrote a seminal critique of imperialism — before Hobson and Lenin — and led the movement against empire in Japan. This books gives an overview of Shusui’s life and work and includes the first English language translation of his seminal 1901 book. Read the introduction for free here. Listen to an Against the Grain podcast episode interview with the author.
  • Shifu, Soul of Chinese Anarchism – Shifu began his political career as central figure of in early Chinese nationalist radicalism but following his disillusionment with the republican revolution converted to anarchism and became a key influential figure of the milieu. He founded the Association of Anarchist Communist Comrades and was active is supporting the formation of early labor unions in Shanghai. Read a review of the book here.
  • Decolonizing Anarchism – This recent work looks at the history of South Asian struggles against colonialism and neocolonialism, highlighting lesser-known dissidents as well as iconic figures. A free PDF of the book is available here. A critical review is also available.
  • Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution –  Anarchism in Chinese emerged out of the early nationalist movement and between 1905 to 1930 exerted a broad influence on Chinese culture and politics and early on were at the center of the radical left prior to the rise of the Chinese Communist Party. Author Arif Dirlik offers the most thorough as well as sympathetic treatment to Anarchist movement of this period. A free PDF is available here and we also recommend this interview with Dirlik as well.
  • Anarchism in Asia – As part of a collection of documentary history on anarchism, this short overview focuses on Japanese and Chinese anarchists