As the All Americans were enjoying their first week in Japan, Sukeyasu Atsuta, Katsusuke Nagasaki, Raisuke Kudo, and other members of the War Gods Society (Bushinkai) met at their dojo to put the final touches on the first issue of their newsletter, Kyoka. The word kyoka means “moral suasion,” and it was often used to refer to propaganda upholding Japanese nationalism. It was a common term bandied around by ultranationalist groups such as the War Gods Society.
In an editorial Atsuta explained to readers that the War Gods Society published Kyoka to caution people who behaved selfishly as Japan faced international and domestic crises and to remind people not to pursue their own peaceful life influenced by individualism or liberalism in a time of emergency. The newsletter, he wrote, was intended to (1) enhance the Japanese mentality; (2) strengthen and cultivate the spirit of high integrity, loyalty, and reverence; (3) rebuild the nation through patriotism; (4) help shed sources of disease that could waste away the Japanese spirit; and (5) correct mistaken theories with strong logic.1
Most of the first issue of Kyoka focused on a pamphlet issued by the War Ministry in October 1934 titled Principles of National Defense and Proposals for Strengthening It. The tract, possibly written or at least directed by Gen. Sadao Araki, leader of the Imperial Way faction in the army, set forth the ideas of Ikki Kita. Japan, it argued, was facing both internal and external crises. Economic inequalities at home were weakening Japan’s ability to defend its interests. To make Japan stronger economic and moral reforms were needed to limit the power of big business and bring prosperity to rural areas. The publication of such ideas from a government agency caused an uproar within Japan’s financial and politically moderate communities.