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Kokuhonsha, or National Foundation Society, was a Japanese secret and extreme nationalist society of the 1920s and 1930s, of generally fascist ideology. Its founders, in 1924, included Sadao Araki and Kiichi Hiranuma.

One of its leaders, the lawyer Takeuchi Kakuji, spoke of the need for a Japanese Mussolini, who would destroy liberalism, individualism and party politics. While Baron Hiranuma was more discreet in public, when Prince Saionji first heard Hiranuma's views, he said "Japan is not yet ready for her Mussolini".[1]

It should be noted that these views predated the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the assumption of power by the Nazis further reinforced them.

After the assassination of Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai in 1932, the Emperor chose to move away from the experiment in party cabinets, and move to a bureaucratic system. The new goal was a countercoup government. He preferred a Prime Minister of stern character, such as Admiral Makoto Saito, rather than a party politician such as Kisaburo Suzuki of Seiyukai. He also ruled out "any person holding fascistic ideas", effectively meaning Hiranuma, who wanted the Constitution changed. Hirohito appears to have interpreted "fascism" in terms of Italy, and had no objection to the Nazi term "national defense state."[2]

Kokuhonsha was also active in the attacks on Minobe's Organ Theory of Government in 1934-1935.

Hiranuma, however, began distancing himself from the group after the February 26, 1936 Incident, and, at the urging of Prince Saionji, dissolved the group.[3]


  1. E. Bruce Reynolds (2004), Japan in the Fascist era, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-1-4039-6338-3, p. 95
  2. Herbert P. Bix (2001), Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, Harper Perennial, ISBN 978-0060931308, pp. 252-254
  3. Bix, p. 351