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About the Donor

Takazawa Kōji is the pen name of a Japanese freelance journalist, editor, and writer who participated in the New Left protest movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s as a member of Kyōsanshugisha Dōmei (The Communist League, nicknamed Bund) and its breakaway faction Sekigunha (Red Army Faction). The Communist League was was an independent, New Left organization, not affiliated with the Japan Communist Party, . As a young activist Takazawa produced social movement publications and also traded them with others doing similar volunteer work for other New Left organizations. This became the start of his collection, which contains extensive holdings of serials and pamphlets put out by New Left organizations during the 1960s and 1970s. He also maintained very extensive clipping files of newspaper and magazine articles on protest activities from the mid-1960s through the 1980s, which are also in the collection.

Mr. Kōji Takazawa

Takazawa was one of many new Left students of his generation who helped organize young workers into chapters of the anti-war youth organization Hansen Seinen Iinkai. He later participated in trial support groups for a number of New Left cases in the 1970s. He wrote and edited publications concerning two of the most prominent of these, the Rengō Sekigun case and the Tsuchida-Nisseki-Peace Can Bomb case, in which several people were falsely convicted and later retried and found innocent. The collection contains support group publications, organizational materials, court documents, correspondence, manuscripts, and miscellaneous materials related to these activities.

In his career as a professional book editor, Takazawa helped to preserve many New Left primary materials through publication, but amassed a much greater quantity of material than could be published in edited collections. A recognized authority on New Left social movements, he has written and edited many of the basic research resources on the Japanese New Left as well as countless magazine articles and several books of reportage. Many of his own publications, and the research materials he used to produce them, are in the collection.

As a writer, researcher, and collector of historical documents, Takazawa acquired many rare primary materials and obscure publications from private collections or second-hand book dealers in Japan for his independent writing projects. He also conducted a number of taped interviews with key figures. During the late 1980s and early 1990s he traveled to North Korea, China, and Cambodia as a journalist. The collection contains materials he acquired on these trips as well as his own writings. In 1999 he won the prestigious Kōdansha Non-Fiction Prize for his book Shukumei: Yodogo Bōmeishatachi no Himitsu Kosaku (Shinch ōsha, 1998).

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