Dashed Hopes For Support:

Daba Birrou’s and Shoji Yunosuke’s Trip to Japan, 1935


J. Calvitt Clarke III

Jacksonville University


Ethio-Japanese Relations In The Early 1930s—The American Legation Reports

In August 1935 as Italy was preparing for war against Ethiopia, the American legation in Addis Ababa surveyed the economic and political rapprochement surfacing between Ethiopia and Japan in the early 1930s. The report suggested that Italy wanted to use its uneasiness at Japanese aims, real and imagined, to justify its aggressive policy.[1] This long report briefly noted the 1930 Ethio-Japanese Treaty of Friendship and Commerce[2] that gave Japan most-favored-nation status and then quickly turned to Foreign Minister Blattengeta Heruy Welde Sellase’s successful visit to Japan in 1931and Lij Araya Abeba’s less successful attempt to marry a Japanese, Kuroda Masako. When Heruy returned to Ethiopia in 1932, he brought with him five Japanese businessmen with sample goods as well as rumors of cotton plantation concessions in return for a Japanese loan, and in February 1934, a representative of the Kanegafuchi Spinning Company inquired about increasing Japan’s exports to Ethiopia of cotton textiles.[3] In June 1934, an Ethiopian delegation met two Japanese naval vessels visiting Djibouti and brought presents from the emperor for the ships’ commanding officers.[4] This visit roughly coincided with the arrival in Addis Ababa of the First Secretary and Consul attached to the Japanese Consulate General in Geneva. He remained in Ethiopia for about one month discussing the possibility of establishing regular diplomatic relations between the two countries. He also received inquiries about purchasing Japanese arms and ammunition.[5]


These activities alarmed the Italians, the American report continued. They accused the Japanese of posing as the champions of the colored races in their struggle against whites and of seeking hegemony over Africa and Asia. To salve this response, in July 1935, Japan’s ambassador to Rome, Sugimura Yotaro, assured Italy’s Duce, Benito Mussolini, that Japan did not have political interests in Ethiopia or intend to interfere in the Italo-Ethiopian dispute. The American report noted Italy’s satisfaction at these statements and Italy’s shock when Japan’s foreign ministry disavowed its ambassador in Rome. Tokyo insisted that Japan could not ignore Italian aims in Ethiopia and was watching developments. Japan’s press and nationalist groups vigorously expanded these themes. Ethiopians responded and felt particularly indebted to sympathetic writers such as Dr. Ashida Hitoshi and to organizations such as the Japan Production Party [Dai Nippon Seisanto],[6] which had recently passed a resolution denouncing Italy’s coming military expedition.


Acting on a letter from Emperor Hayle Sellase, on August 2, Afewerq Gebre Iyesus, Ethiopia’s representative in Rome, visited Sugimura for an hour and spoke about Italy’s military strength, Ethiopia’s military disorder, the League of Nation’s powerlessness, and British duplicity. After this sad litany, he asked for assistance, although he conceded the difficulty of importing weapons from Japan. Revealing his desperation, Afewerq suggested that Japan send submarines to sink Italian ships supporting Mussolini’s military buildup in East Africa. He tearfully pleaded that if this aid was not feasible, Japan should officially support Ethiopia in the name of justice. Sugimura responded that for the moment he could not give any assurances on such important and delicate matters. Putting an exclamation point to Sugimura’s judicious response to Afewerq, a high Japanese official publicly asserted on August 6, that Japan’s own army program made it unthinkable that Tokyo would divert munitions stocks to Ethiopia.[7]


That same day, Ethiopia’s foreign ministry formally denied rumors that a Japanese military mission would visit Addis Ababa and that Japan was furnishing arms to Ethiopia. Hayle Sellase himself publicly declared that Ethiopia had not received any assurances of Japanese support. To quell the increasing cascade of rumors, on August 7, the Ethiopian government again denied that it was seeking arms from Japan—but could if it so desired. These denials not withstanding, Hayle Sellase was desperately combing the world, especially Japan, for credits and equipment.[8]


On August 8, Japanese officials again denied reports of Japanese assistance to Ethiopia. The foreign ministry’s press department stated that Japan had heard nothing of the reported Ethiopian arms-purchasing mission coming to Japan and added that no visas had been asked for or issued. That same day, Japan’s chargé d’affaires told Ethiopia’s minister in London that reports that Japan had sent weapons to Ethiopia were false.[9]


 On August 10, the Amharic newspaper Aymero ridiculed Italian assertions of Japanese interference in Ethiopian affairs. The paper acknowledged that Japan was too involved with its “great Manchurian enterprise” to intervene forcefully in East Africa and continued:


Japan desires to sell her products to Ethiopia and to see its independence preserved and its civilization advance in order to sell more goods. The Japanese consider that Ethiopia could follow their example if it remained independent. Japanese nationalists sympathize with all governments that are intent upon freedom from the tutelage of Western powers.


Japanese nationalists desire to prevent the subjugation of Ethiopia by Italy. They have not forgotten that in the past Italy sided with China during the Manchurian campaign.[10]


As war approached, Ethiopia’s lack of supplies was becoming ever-more evident as troops daily were pouring into the Addis Ababa to get equipment only to find none available—all having been doled out before August. Although Ethiopia, this long American report concluded, harbored no illusions regarding the practical value of Japanese sympathy, the Hayle Sellase had shrewdly decided to strike while “the iron was hot” by appointing an Ethiopian emissary to go to Japan with a message of good will. He selected Ato Daba Birrou. Ostensibly, he was to be the first secretary to Yukawa Chuzaburo, Ethiopia’s honorary consul in Osaka, but his position in Ethiopia was not one of those from which consular clerks were ordinarily drawn. [11]


Daba Birrou

Daba, who came from Gara, had studied at the Swedish Mission School in Addis Ababa. He had acted as an interpreter for the British Consulate in Southern Ethiopia and had served with a British officer stationed at Moyale on the Kenyan frontier. He later accompanied Dr. W. H. Osgood on the Field Museum Abyssinian Expedition of 1926 and 1927. He had served as Heruy’s official interpreter on the mission to Japan in 1931. Upon his return, he had become a clerk and interpreter for the foreign ministry as well as Heruy’s protégée. He later became Inspector General at Wallega, and in 1934 he obtained the post of Director of the Wollota Military School. Highly regarded by foreign diplomats in Addis Ababa, Daba was “a notorious Anglophile,” young, modernized, well-known, and close to Hayle Sellase.[12]


As secretly as possible, Daba left Addis Ababa on August 9. Even so, many pro-Japanese governmental officials went to the station to see the party off, as did three Japanese “merchant-journalists,” the only Japanese then in Addis Ababa. He took with him an autographed photo of Hayle Sellase that he was to give to the Osaka Mainichi and to Toyama Mitsuru, a founder of the Dark Ocean Society [Genyou sha] and the Black Dragons/Amur River Society [Kokuryu-kai]. He also carried treasured sound movies of Ethiopia’s imperial household, which he was to give to Japan’s imperial family. Accompanied by “an unidentified Japanese,” Daba left amid rumors that he was to establish Ethiopia’s first consulate in Japan and that he was to negotiate arms purchases with credits of at least 50 per cent of the value of the orders as well as “vast” concessions of territory for planting cotton and permission to construct a factory. Some thought he would seek a military alliance with Japan.[13]


Shoji Yunosuke and the Osaka Mainichi

At the request of foreign minister Heruy and to further mutual friendship, Shoji Yunosuke, a special correspondent of the Osaka Mainichi, accompanied Daba to Japan. He was the “unidentified Japanese” early reports had referred to. His newspaper sponsored and diligently publicized the trip.[14]


 A pro-Ethiopian, right-wing, Pan-Asian activist who objected to white domination of the “colored” world, Shoji finished his studies at the Shanghai Asian School [Toa Dobun Shoin] during the Shanghai Incident of 1932. In August 1932, he went to Ethiopia to investigate its economy and stayed in Addis Ababa for three months. He then traveled to the southwest from the capital and spent seven more months in the deepest parts of Ethiopia where no Japanese had been before. During his stay, Shoji developed “a close friendship” with Araya Abeba, who soon became famous as a principal in the “marriage issue.” Before Shoji left Ethiopia, Hayle Sellase, met with him and gave him a picture, rhino’s horn, musk, and other items. The emperor also entrusted to him a recent portrait as a gift to Sumioka Tomoyoshi, another Pan-Asian nationalist. When Shoji returned to Japan in September 1933, he handed it to Sumioka—Shoji’s first meeting with him. Deeply impressed with “his excellent understanding and right belief concerning racial issues and world statecraft,” Shoji consulted Sumioka about Araya’s proposed marriage to a Japanese woman.[15]


 To describe his experiences in Ethiopia, Shoji wrote Report on the Economic Situation in Ethiopia: An African Country Friendly to Japan. The author’s new patron, Sumioka, wrote the Preface and perfectly mirrored Shoji’s opinions. Both powerfully justified Japan’s role in liberating the colonial peoples of the world from white, western imperialism.[16] In a more popular work describing Ethiopia, Shoji continued this theme by decrying pragmatism in Japan’s foreign policy for fear of offending the great powers. He continued:


 Since the Manchurian Incident, Japan has closely led the small countries of Asia and has reached the stage of being able to boldly take the initiative in its foreign policy just as the Great Powers in the West do.


 Hitherto, Caucasian peoples have not regarded White and Colored peoples as equal….Colored peoples in Asia and Africa…have been suffering for a long time under White oppression. In the Sino-Japanese War, Japan’s counterattack on European powers lying behind China awakened the concept of independence among all Colored peoples. As we now see the declining path of Western civilization, a strong wave of nationalistic movements is sweeping throughout the world including Asia, Africa, and South America….


 The security and dangers facing Eastern peoples and the various peoples of Asia and North Africa are as the security and dangers for Japan itself. This concept is called Pan-Asianism, Colored Peoples’ Leveling movement, or Turanins….


 These oppressed peoples all view Japan as Asia’s leader and show their friendly attitude with great reverence toward Japan….[17]


 Shoji praised ethnologists interested in the possibility that Ethiopia’s ruling class and Japan’s ancient Yamato tribe shared the same racial roots. He mentioned a legend that Ethiopia’s ancestors shared the same origins as did the Japanese people. And Shoji favorably quoted Togami Komanosuke of Kyushu Imperial University, who wrote in 1931 that:


 It is obvious that some superior races moved from West Asia to the Nile basin a long time ago….I believe that our race started in the basin of Tigris-Euphrates in West Asia by surveying studies of the Asian continent’s ancient history, languages, and anthropology. I believe that the ancient Hyksos tribe had a racial connection with our ancestors. Noting the names of places around the basin of the Nile today, I cannot help but judge that they were named by the tribe which was our ancestor….I think that [many of] our place names…and personal names…are derived from the same etymological origin. Therefore, it is uncontroversial that the Ethiopian people very long time ago had racial connections to some extent with the Japanese people.[18]


 Emphasizing both ancient and modern, Shoji affectionately described Ethiopia to his Japanese readers. It was no coincidence, Shoji added, that Ethiopia’s customs were similar to Japan’s and that as the only black empire on the African continent Ethiopia, had quickly expressed its friendship to the Japanese people.[19]


 Shoji, with Sumioka, played a crucial role in the proposal that Araya marry Kuroda—a proposal that for many personified the dangerous drawing together of Ethiopia and Japan. Neither government in Tokyo nor Addis Ababa thought particularly well of the idea,[20] and both suffered diplomatically as the Western world grew alarmed at the presumed implications of the marriage. In 1934, Shoji somewhat unctuously explained the idea and its failure:


 This marriage idea was originally suggested…by Ethiopia….Of course, an issue of marriage is in fact a delicate matter as our old saying expresses, “Strange and sweet is how the knot of love is tied.”…the issue sprouted as an expression of mutual warm feelings as the result of the developing friendship between intimate peoples. The marriage issue is not the basis of our attempt to deepen friendship between our two countries—the marriage resulted from friendship between the two countries. In other words, the friendship was the cause, and the marriage was merely one fruit of the friendship. Therefore, friendly relations between the two countries shall increase more and more regardless of the success or failure of the marriage issue. [21]


 Returning to Ethiopia in the spring of 1935 for four months, Shoji wrote sympathetically about Ethiopia from its capital as a special correspondent of the Osaka Mainichi and was well-received by Heruy and Hayle Sellase.[22] In Addis Ababa on August 1, the Osaka Mainichi sponsored a roundtable discussion at the Majestic Hotel, “Ethiopia in Emergency.” Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Araya, Heruy, and thirteen other prominent Ethiopian officials gathered. Three represented the Japanese side: Shoji, Iwabuchi Yoshikazu, and Yamauchi Masao. Yamauchi had been in Ethiopia for about three years representing some Japanese firms and writing for the Nichi Nichi. Iwabuchi planned to accompany Ethiopian troops in Harrar as a correspondent. The American legation believed that Shoji also reported to the Japanese Consulate General at Alexandria and received funds from that office. Both Yamauchi and Shoji frequently communicated with Sumioka. Well-versed in the Amhar language, Yamauchi acted as the chair. Iwabuchi took charge of the reception and Shoji recorded the proceedings. Although the roundtable gathering had been arranged in secret, British, American, and German correspondents came to the hotel seeking information on the gathering.[23]


 Daba Birrou and Shoji Tour Japan

Ethiopia’s failing effort to obtain arms formed the backdrop as Daba and Shoji set sail from Djibouti on August 13 on board the French liner, Atos II. Only on August 11, did Ethiopia officially explain that Daba was not to establish a consulate in Tokyo but was to be secretary to Ethiopia’s honorary consul. Many doubted this story, especially because Shoji was accompanying him and because Japanese nationalists had organized the Ethiopian Rescue Society [Echiopia Kyuen Doshikai] in early August to welcome Daba.[24]


Japanese expressed their excitement at the coming visit in many ways. The Nagoya branch of Osaka Mainichi, for example, sponsored exhibits on Ethiopia. As a further promotion, the Osaka Mainichi & Tokyo Nichi Nichi published a multi-part story by Shoji, describing Ethiopia’s history, culture, and socio-political-economic system. The government proved more ambivalent. On August 29, a foreign office spokesman forcefully denied rumors that Tokyo had become more sympathetic toward Italy’s Ethiopian adventure in order to enlist Rome’s support for its demands for naval parity at the London Naval Conference. At the same time, he again denied that Japan was sending arms and munitions to Ethiopia.[25]


 While the Italians remained unclear as to the meaning of his trip,[26]Daba arrived in Shanghai on September 10. He told those gathered that the League would avert war in Ethiopia and that, in case of war, Britain would check the Italians. Daba expected increased trade turnover between Ethiopia and Japan. He agreed that Ethiopians resembled the Japanese in temperament, deeply respected them, and that relations between them would become increasingly friendly. Shoji organized a meeting of about fifty members of Japan’s political, commercial, and cultural institute in Shanghai [Tung Pe]. After speaking, Shoji introduced Daba who spoke in English. Daba thanked those present for Japanese sympathy for Ethiopia. He left Shanghai on September 12 on board the Nagasaki Maru.[27]


 Daba and Shoji arrived in Nagasaki on September 13. The delegation greeting them included staff from the Osaka Mainichi, Yukawa, the chairman of Nagasaki’s Chamber of Commerce, Toyama, and about 40 others. Daba assured them: “The present Italo-Abyssinian issue has much in common with the Russo-Japanese conflict and if a peaceful settlement should prove in vain and war result, Italy may perhaps meet the same humiliation that Russia received at the hands of Japan.” Daba and Shoji visited the Suwa Shrine. Later in the afternoon, they were hosted at the Geiyotei restaurant by the Osaka Mainichi. He emphatically denied that he had come to negotiate in Japan for war materials or a loan to buy them. He added that he might remain in Japan for more than a year. At 5:00 p.m., Daba and Shoji left on the Nagasaki Maru for Kobe.[28]


 Inauspiciously for Ethiopian hopes, Japanese newspapers reported that the foreign ministry officially knew nothing of the visit and maintained that Japan’s attitude remained “that of a spectator watching a fight from a high window;” [29] that is, watchful waiting and protection of Japan’s rather small commercial interests in Ethiopia.


 The American embassy disparaged rumors that Daba was to buy munitions or to secure a loan for Ethiopia. In fact, the Americans thought the visit was largely a newspaper stunt by the Osaka Mainichi and that Daba was probably trying to find out how far Japan would go to champion the colored races against whites. They did not believe that Tokyo intended to alter its policy of non-interference in the Italo-Ethiopian conflict. Foreign ministry officials, in fact, on September 22 again declared that Japan did not want to be affected by or commit itself in the dispute. On the other hand, newspaper reports and editorials showed that an excited Japanese public had sided with Ethiopia. The embassy directly attributed Japanese enthusiasm to the Osaka Mainichi’s and the Tokyo Nichi Nichi’s propaganda, their ability to organize demonstrations, and, according to rumors, to their having paid for Daba’s trip. Ambassador Giacinto Auriti agreed with these assessments.[30]


 The Osaka Mainichi trumpeted the numerous contributions, letters of encouragement, applications from volunteers, and other expressions of sympathy pouring daily to Ethiopia’s honorary consul. At the same time, Heruy told the Japanese correspondent in Addis Ababa that his office too had been flooded with applications—some written in blood—of Japanese wanting to join Ethiopia’s army.[31]


 Daba arrived in Kansai on September 14. The next day after a courtesy visit to the commander of the Fourth Division, he paid homage at the Momoyama mausoleums at Fushimi-Momoyama between Osaka and Kyoto. Daba then attended a welcoming tea given by the Ethiopian Rescue Society at the Miyako Hotel in Kyoto. Accompanied the whole time by Shoji and Yukawa, the party returned to Osaka at 1:30 p.m. and their rooms at the Osaka Hotel. Daba reported to Heruy on the enthusiastic welcome he had received.[32]


 Hosted by the Ethiopian Rescue Society, Daba received many invitations to meetings held to “express the sympathy of the Japanese people for Ethiopia.”[33]And the Japanese flocked to hear Daba and Shoji. On the sixteenth, an audience of 6,000 packed Central Public Hall in Osaka to hear a lecture sponsored by the Osaka Mainichi. Yukawa introduced Daba, who spoke briefly in English and told the audience that he was to promote friendship and trade with Japan. He added that two great problems confronted East Africa: class struggle and racial conflict. He then drew a parallel with the foreign threat faced by Japan in the preceding century.


 Abyssinia…is now menaced by foreign foes as Japan was some 60 years ago when she was about to open her doors to the outside world. Because the country is small, because the country is non-Caucasian, because it is weak, it must meet the foreign challenge. These things we non-white people are forced to endure.[34]


 After Daba, Shoji stepped on the platform to “thunderous applause.” In his two-hour speech, he dwelt on Ethiopia and its relations with Japan and Italy. He assured his listeners that as the only independent nation of the black race, Ethiopians were proud and confident of their ultimate victory. A film describing Ethiopia finished the long evening. The next night, despite inclement weather, a mammoth crowd packed the auditorium of the Kobe First Middle School for a similar performance, again sponsored by the Osaka Mainichi. After the latter meeting, Daba was a guest at a sukiyaki dinner.[35]


 Daba, Yukawa, and Shoji arrived at the Tokyo train station at 8:30 a.m. on September 19 to be hailed by about 2,000 members of the Black Dragons, the Patriotic Students Federation [Aikoku Seinen Renmei], Nationalist Volunteer People’s Party [Kokusui Taishu-to Teishin-tai], the Ethiopia Support Society, and kindred organizations. They carried banners that screamed “Down With Italy!” and “Rescue Ethiopia!” Shinryu and Showa Boy Scouts addressed the gathering. Daba told the gathering that he intended to develop trade between the two countries. After shaking hands with editors from the Osaka Mainichi, the visitors, led by Ethiopia’s tricolor flag, proceeded to the plaza in front of the Chiyoda Palace, where they bowed low. They then paid homage at the Meiji and Yasukuni shrines. Daba next visited the Tokyo Nichi Nichi headquarters and thanked officials there for the courtesies extended him. Daba was later a guest at a luncheon given by the Osaka Mainichi at the Tokyo Kaikan. He, Yukawa, and Shoji later addressed a gathering at the Nippon Young Men’s Hall at 6:30 p.m.[36]


 Although Daba’s movements in Japan enjoyed all the publicity the Osaka Mainichi and the Tokyo Nichi Nichi could command, and, despite the popular hullabaloo, influential Japanese were not involved. This had become painfully clear earlier that afternoon when he called at the foreign ministry, where he was received by Yoshida Tanichiro, Chief of the Second European Section. Daba presented his government’s letter of appointment along with a letter from Heruy to Foreign Minister Hirota Koki. Daba thereby had officially revealed for the first time the purpose of his visit—his appointment as consular secretary. Yoshida soon divined, however, that Daba also sought aid, especially arms, ammunition, and advisors. As for the best way to ship munitions to Ethiopia, Daba pointed out that by treaty Ethiopia’s colonial neighbors were obligated to allow their passage. He quickly acknowledged, however, that arms transfer through French and Italian territories would be impossible. Daba therefore suggested that Berbera in British Somaliland was the only port through which to send such goods. The journey from there to Ethiopia took two days. Turning the conversation to his traveling companion, Daba confessed that Shoji had discovered his special, secret mission and had imposed himself on the venture with some support in Ethiopia. Daba expressed his displeasure at being involved in the stunts that Japanese newspapers had cooked up.[37]


 On September 21, Daba again visited Yoshida and detailed the aid he wanted: a couple of surgeons; a major, captain, and lieutenant as military instructors; a couple of fortifications engineers; four telecommunications engineers; two artillery instructors; one airplane sound locator instructor; and general educators to train young Ethiopians. He also hoped to send Ethiopian students to Japan. Daba additionally sought medical supplies for 10,000 people as well as tents for a field hospital and surgeons. Daba requested weapons: modern artillery, anti-aircraft guns, sub-machine-guns, small airplane sound locators, automatic rifles, light tanks, and munitions. Daba further wanted military telephones, small tents for soldiers, trench telescopes and other tools for trenches, and soldier’s rations. In return, Daba offered cash for weapons and ammunition as well as Ethiopian products such as coffee, hides, beeswax, and honey for medicines and other items. For a facility to produce ammunition, credit was to be arranged. The two foreign ministries were to negotiate the salaries for the instructors.[38]


 Later that same day, the Oyama Ujiro of the Ethiopian Problems Society [Echiopia Mondai Kondan-kai] held a welcoming party for Daba and 251 patriotic guests at the Seiyoken restaurant at Ueno, Tokyo. Among the evening’s sponsors were four lieutenant generals, two major generals, and two vice admirals, all retired, plus seven representatives, two peers, and various reactionary leaders, such as Toyama. Shoji described Ethiopia, and Daba relayed his emperor’s appreciation for Japanese sympathy. Daba also delivered two personal letters to Toyama. In the first, Emperor Hayle Sellase wrote, “It is very regretful that Ethiopia, a country with a long history, should be destroyed by the imperialists.” He added that as “a Christian country and a proud people, we do not wish to fight a war [but the] Ethiopian people are determined to defend our country at any cost.” In the second letter, Heruy likewise thanked the Japanese people for their friendship. Daba also gave Toyama a photograph of Hayle Sellase. Toyama then took the lead in cheering for Ethiopia’s ruler and Daba led cheers for Japan’s emperor. The roundtable guests unanimously passed a resolution asking Daba to tell Hayle Sellase that, though the meeting could say nothing about the government’s attitude, the Japanese people wished to assist Ethiopia. Western newspapers snidely pointed out that Daba, “young,” “coal-black,” and English-speaking, appeared dazed by the amount of handshaking by elderly patriots, and he did not realize that no Japanese of importance was present. The meeting broke up about 9:30 p.m. after dinner.[39]


 On instructions from Addis Ababa, on September 28, Daba visited Yoshida for the third time and even more urgently and no more successfully asked for help.[40]


 Hearing the news of Italy’s attack on Ethiopia, on October 3, Daba hurried back to Tokyo and was solicited to attend various lectures and meetings hosted by various right-wing organizations. With great bravado, Daba told the Osaka Mainichi: “We will crush them out! That’s all that awaits the Italian invaders.”[41]


 About thirty members of the Ethiopian Problems Society met at the Aeronautical Hall on the night of October 5. They sent Heruy a rather pretentious cablegram signed by Toyama: “The Japanese nation indignantly condemns Italian aggression. God bless righteous Ethiopia. In a war air raids are not the deciding factor. Never lose courage. Transmit this message to your commanders.”[42]


 Although Daba was to remain in Japan until the spring, this was the last of the intense coverage of Ethiopia’s envoy in Japan’s press. Even the Osaka Mainichi, which had played such a crucial role in promoting Daba’s visit and which now began devoting extraordinary resources to covering the war’s fighting and diplomacy,[43] no longer followed his activities.


 Collapse of Ethio-Japanese Friendship…And of Ethiopia

Apparently at the suggestion of ultra-nationalist groups, Daba visited the general staff office in Miyakezaka and met with several officers, although he did not visit the War Ministry itself.[44] The army that Daba had so courted, however, had already decided to maintain neutral, watchful waiting—or even lean toward Italy. As early as September 9, Lieutenant Colonel Numata Takazo, the military attaché in Rome had urged the chief of staff that Japan push Italy to war and not compromise with the League. He added, “we need to manipulate Italy, which seems soft at this moment.”[45]


A month later, on October 10, Major Seizo Arisue of the War Ministry’s Adjutant General’s Department handed Yoshida a policy paper. It described the government’s policy as maintaining friendly relations with both Italy and Ethiopia and hoping for an early and peaceful solution to their conflict. The military, on the other hand, hoped to prolong the conflict. Arisue’s report suggested that the government should “restrain public opinion and popular demonstrations” and added, “If England and others solicit Japan to support sanctions against Italy, Japan should reject the advance and show our favorable attitude toward Italy.” At the same time, Japan should send a minister who would secretly support Ethiopia. Japan should also send officers to observe the conflict but supply neither side with weapons. Clearly, important elements within Japan’s army wished to observe the war and to see it prolonged, presumably hoping to learn from parallels between Italy’s struggle in Ethiopia and Japan’s own fighting in China. Military authorities on October 5 dispatched Navy Lieutenant Commander Yamamoto Yoshio, stationed in England, to Port Said and in November, Captain Hattori Takushiro, a military attaché in France, to observe the battlefront.[46]


 Japanese officials at Geneva complained that many in Japan were anti-Italian and sympathized with Ethiopia. They further grumbled that Tokyo faced the dilemma of acting and arousing accusations of supporting the same League that had opposed Japan in Manchuria or of not acting and thereby helping Italy. The government, these Japanese officials continued, had considered action similar to that taken by the United States, that is, an arms embargo against both belligerents, and Tokyo regretted not having had the foresight to place itself in a similar position.[47]


 The Japanese readily assured Rome that they wanted to increase mutual trade and that they were ready to obstruct the application of sanctions against Italy. Sugimura even volunteered the Japanese firm of Mitsui as a source for vital petroleum products, and Mussolini happily accepted. Driving home this tilt toward Italy, in December, Sugimura informed Aloisi that Daba wished to obtain nurses and physicians, military advisers, and arms and munitions. Tokyo, the ambassador promised, had refused his supplications from the beginning.[48]


 Ambassador Auriti was sufficiently impressed with Japan’s attitude that he asked that the Italian news agency, Stefani, be told not to speak of the yellow peril, Japanese exploitation of workers and women, Japanese dumping, the need for a white crusade, Japanese intentions to monopolize Ethiopia’s market, or China except a little on Italy’s trade interests there. Above all, Italy’s press should be prudent in its comments on Manchukuo and recognize Japan’s need for expansion. Despite insufficient economic resources and a growing population, Japan had rapidly progressed because of its patriotism, industriousness, and discipline. Japan, he added, was useful in guarding the Far East against communism. Auriti promised that Japan’s press agency, Rengo, would immediately respond with articles favorable to Italy.[49]


 In sum, Japan’s foreign ministry and army had agreed that public passions would not affect policy. Tokyo announced that it would observe strict neutrality, calmly watch the East African situation, and ignore League policy.[50] The Japanese told the Italians but not Daba that they would not send loans, arms, munitions, volunteers, or a military mission to an Ethiopia unable to pay in any case. Perhaps the government resented Daba’s being dragged around the country by the various right-wing organizations. Tokyo, in fact, replied to Daba’s requests only through its instructions of December 4 preparing for the appointment of Secretary Suzuki Kuma in France as minister ad interim to Ethiopia. He would open Japan’s new legation in January 1936.[51] Japan also had to consider international relations and had few resources in any case to offer East Africa.[52]


 On January 23, 1936, Heruy visited the newly opened Japanese legation at Addis Ababa to order small quantities of light arms from Japan, but did no better than had Daba.[53]


 In the end, the Japanese limited their aid to sending the Ethiopian Red Cross enough plasters for 10,000 people, 138 boxes of medical supplies, and some tents in November 1935 and February 1936. Along with most of the rest of the world, Japan protested Italy’s use of poison gas and its bombing of Red Cross units. Japanese sent 1,200 swords, relics of the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese war, to Ethiopia. A patriotic society presented an old Japanese sword to Emperor Hayle Sellase. One firm refused to deliver 100,000 pairs of boots to Italian Somaliland, because they would be used against Ethiopia. The Osaka Chamber of Commerce planned to provide straw sandals to Ethiopians to protect their feet against poison gas. The “Bar Ethiopia” in Tokyo posted a notice barring Italians from entering.[54]


 At the end of March, Emperor Hayle Sellase through Daba awarded Sumioka the Commander Class of the Order of Menelik II. In a letter to Ethiopia’s emperor, Sumioka expressed thanks for the decoration and for the gifts of a gold bracelet and ring for his wife, he predicted that Ethiopia’s brave army under the “direct command of its courageous “King of Kings” would defeat his enemies. The letter went on to commend Daba’s activities:


 During his six months’ sojourn in Japan…Daba has at all times conducted himself with credit, and at no time has the prestige of Abyssinia suffered at his hands….Hirota…has received him twice in private conference and has seen him to the door in person when…[he] took leave….

Despite the difficulties of his task…Daba has been able to push negotiations with the Japanese authorities to a point where agreement on principles has been reached, although on particulars there still seems room for further discussion.


 The goodwill of the Japanese people toward Abyssinia has been evinced in the warm welcome which…Daba received when he landed at Kobe and when he arrived at Tokyo station and in the intense activities of…[Toyama’s Ethiopian Problems Society],…the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Patriotic Women’s Society and other organizations and individuals in sending medical supplies, money and other articles for the aid of the Abyssinian people.[55]


 Sumioka’s statement certainly—even if inadvertently—emphasized the quasi-official nature of Daba’s visit. And Sumioka’s list of accomplishments—Daba had seen Hirota twice and been escorted to the door; he had negotiated “agreement in principles” even if without particulars; he had been enthusiastically welcomed by many Japanese; some few groups had sent some few medical supplies; and Daba had not embarrassed himself—merely emphasizes how little his visit had achieved or even could have achieved.


 Auriti agreed. He had only casually followed Daba’s exploits. In his report to Rome describing Daba’s departure from Tokyo at the end of March, he mentioned the couple of hundred members of “reactionary nationalistic associations,” especially the Black Dragons, who saw him off at the station. He noted the money as well as the military and medical supplies given to Daba. Auriti quickly added the assurances from the war ministry that these supplies had been few, in the nature of samples, of poor quality, and that Daba had not been given “even one of the rifles that he had been insistently requesting.”[56]


 Daba, whom Grew disparaged as “the self-styled diplomatic negotiator for Ethiopia,”[57]after seven months in Japan sailed for his homeland on April 2. Although he had declined to attend a farewell party held by right-wing organizations, Daba did put on a brave face in interviews with the Osaka Mainichi just before his departure.[58] Misplaced bravado. At a press conference on April 17, a foreign ministry spokesman stated that in the event of Italy’s subjugation of Ethiopia, Japan would act independently to protect its rights and interests in that region. He pointed out that Japan had a friendship and commercial agreement with Ethiopia and that commerce between the two countries had been increasing.[59]


 Ethiopia’s army was neither sufficiently armed, trained, nor led to effectively resist for long Italy’s invasion. Italian troops entered Addis Ababa in May 1936.


 The Italians only with great confusion followed Daba’s trail once he returned to Africa. He arrived in Egypt on September 16, and briefly stayed at Port Said and Ismailia. By mid-October, with Ethiopia’s ex-consul at Port Said he established himself in Cairo.[60]


 Daba soon accommodated himself to Italy’s conquest. On December 12 in the presence of the officials of Italy’s legation in Cairo, he subjected himself to Italian authority and received a passport. The Italians withheld news of Daba’s subjugation to allow him to withdraw his baggage deposited with Ethiopia’s ex-consul in Djibouti. Daba had additionally deposited in Aden and near the Ethiopian consulate at Djibouti some fifty boxes of medicines and surgical tools he had acquired in Japan and once destined for Ethiopia’s Red Cross. They would now go to the Italians. The Royal Legation in Cairo predicted that Daba’s subjugation would help break up the nucleus of Ethiopian refugees residing in Cairo.[61]


 In February 1936 at the crucial moment during the Italo-Ethiopian War, young Imperial Way Faction [Kodo-ha] army officers attempted a coup by occupying the Diet Building and the War Ministry in Tokyo and by assassinating “traitorous” high officials. The coup’s failure strengthened the Control Faction [Tosei-ha], which clamped down on these ultra-nationalist groups, which had also tended most vociferously to support Ethiopia. One consequence of the victory of the pragmatic Control Faction’s victory was that Tokyo ultimately accommodated itself to Italy’s conquest of the Ethiopian Empire. The exchange of recognitions on December 2, 1936—Japan’s conquest of Manchukuo for Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia—paved the way for the reconciliation between Tokyo and Rome.[62]


 Surely, this volte-face in Rome and Tokyo could not have been accomplished so quickly if the Italians had not been brought to believe Japanese protestations of innocence regarding the arms transfers and training that Ethiopia had so desperately sought through Daba’s mission to Japan. Perhaps they never truly had. But whether they had or not, throughout 1935 and most of 1936, they had effectively used the rumors of significant Japanese inroads into Ethiopia to successfully disarm potential international opposition to Italy’s coming adventure, especially in London, Paris, and Moscow. In truth, Daba’s visit never had any real chance to succeed other than as a publicity stunt orchestrated by Shoji and the Osaka Mainichi.



[1] Ethiopia (Engert), 8/24/35: National Archives (College Park , MD), Record Group 59, Decimal File [hereafter cited as NA] 784.94/23. See Ethiopia (Engert), 8/24/35: NA 884.24/73. Also see J. Calvitt Clarke III, “Mutual Interests? Japan and Ethiopia before the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935–36,” Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians, 9 (Feb. 2002): 83–97 and “The Japanizers of Ethiopia,” Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians, forthcoming.


[2] See Okakura Takashi and Kitagawa Katsuhiko, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi: Meiji-ki kara Dainiji Sekai Taisen-ki made [History of Japanese-African Relations: From the Meiji Period to the Second World War Period] (Tokyo: Dobun-kan, 1993), 32; Heruy Welde Sellase, Dai Nihon [Light of Japan] trans. Oreste Vaccari, Foreword by Baron Shidehara Kijuro (Tokyo, Eibunpo-Tsuron Shoji, 1933); Hidéko Faërber-Ishihara, “Heruy, le Japon et les “japonisants,” Alain Rouaud, ed., Les orientalistes sont des aventuriers. Guirlande offerte à Joseph Tubiana par ses élèves et ses amis (Paris: Sépia, 1999), 143–49; Taura Masanori, “Nihon-Echiopia Kankei ni miru 1930 nen Tsusho Gaiko no Iso” [A Phase of the 1930 Commercial Diplomacy in the Japanese-Ethiopian Relations], Seifu to Minkan [Government and Civilians], Nenpo Kindai Nihon Kenkyu [Annual Report, Study of Modern Japan] 17 (1995): 142, 149; Umino Yoshiro, “Dainiji Italia-Ethiopia Senso to Nippon” [The Second Italo-Ethiopian War and Japan] Niigata Dai Hosei Riron [Theory of Law and Politics, Universite de Niigata], 16 (1983): 189–90; Chris Prouty and Eugene Rosenfeld, Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia (Metuchen: NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1981), 94; J. Calvitt Clarke III, “Marriage Alliance: The Union of Two Imperiums: Japan and Ethiopia?” Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians 7 (Dec. 1999): 105–16; Yamada Kazuhiro, Masukaru no Hanayome: Maboroshi no Echiopia Ojihi [Bride of Mascar: Phantom of an Ethiopian Consort] (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbun-sha, 1998); and Ethiopia (Southard), 12/17/32: NA 784.94/1. I would like to thank Mariko Clarke for translating the Japanese materials used in this paper.


[3] See Tokyo to Heruy, 9/4/33; Note to Kitagawa, 9/28/33: Japan, Gaimusho Gaiko Shiryo-kan [Record Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tokyo), hereafter cited as Gaiko Shiryo-kan] E424 1–3–1; Ethiopia (Southard), 2/14/34: NA 784.94/7; and Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 37.


[4] See William M. Steen, “Ethiopia In Danger as Mussolini Begins Expansion Program,” Sept. 1934, Papers of the NAACP, Part II: Special Subject Files, 1912–1939, Series A: Africa through Garvey, Marcus, August Meier and John H. Bracey, Jr. eds. (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1990), microfilm frames 634–43; Shoji Yunosuke, Echiopia Kekkon Mondai wa Donaru, Kaisho ka? Ina!!!: Kekkon Mondai o Shudai toshite Echiopia no Shinso o Katari Kokumin no Saikakunin o Yobosu [What Will Happen to the Ethiopian Marriage Issue, Cancellation? or Not!!!: I Request the Re-recognition of the Japanese Nation by Narrating the Truth of Ethiopia with the Marriage Issue as the Central Theme] (Tokyo: Seikyo-sha, 1934), 6; Ethiopia (Southard), 6/21/34: NA 784.94/10; and Italy, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Direzione Generale degli Affari Politici, Etiopia [Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Office of Political Affairs, Ethiopia, 1930–45] (Rome) [hereafter cited as AP Etiopia—Guerra], Ethiopia (Vinci), 6/23/34, 8/29/34: b(usta) 24 f(ascio) 3.


[5] See J. Calvitt Clarke III, “The Politics of Arms Not Given: Japan and Ethiopia in the 1930s,” in Girding for Battle: Arms Sales in a Global Perspective, 1800–1950, eds., Donald Stoker and Jonathan Grant (Greenwood Press, forthcoming), and Taura, “Nihon-Echiopia Kankei,” 154–58.


[6] Ethiopia (Engert), 8/24/35: NA 784.94/23. See New York Times, July 13, 1935; J. Calvitt Clarke III, “Japan and Italy Squabble Over Ethiopia: The Sugimura Affair of July 1935,” Selected Annual Proceedings of the Florida Conference of Historians 6 (Dec. 1999): 9–20.


[7] Italy (Sugimura), 8/3–4/35: Gaiko Shiryo-kan A461 ET/I1–7 vol. 1; New York Times, Aug. 7, 1935; Prouty and Rosenfeld, Historical Dictionary, 6–7, 91–93.


[8] Ethiopia (Engert), 8/24/35: NA 784.94/23; Japan (Neville), 9/18/35: NA 894.00/93; Ethiopia (Leone), 8/7/35: Italy, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Direzione Generale degli Affari Politici, Etiopia—Fondo di Guerra (1935–40) (Rome) [Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Office of Political Affairs, Ethiopia, 1930–45] b(usta) 62 f(ascio) 3, hereafter cited as AP Etiopia—Guerra b62 f3; Ethiopia (Vinci), 8/9/35, AP Etiopia—Guerra b72 f3; OM&TNN, Aug. 10, 17, 1935; Japan Advertiser, Aug. 10, 1935; New York Times, Aug. 9, 13, 1935; Times (London), Aug. 7, 9, 10, 1935; Japan Times, Aug. 8, 9, 10, 11, 1935; Furukawa Tetsuschi, “Japan’s Political Relations with Ethiopia, 1920s–1960s: A Historical Overview,” unpublished paper presented to the 35th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Seattle, WA, Nov. 20–23, 1992, 11–12.


[9] Great Britain (Fujii), 8/8–9/35: Gaiko Shiryo-kan A461 ET/I1–7 vol. 1; Italy (Kirk), 8/8/35: NA765.84/897; Italy (Kirk), 8/7/35: NA 765.84/755; New York Times, Aug. 9, 13, 1935; Times (London), Aug. 9, 10, 1935; Japan Times, Aug. 10, 11, 1935.


[10] Ethiopia (Engert), 8/24/35: NA 784.94/23.


[11] Ibid.; New York Times, Aug. 9, 1935; Sept. 19, 20, 1935; The Times (London), Sept, 20, 1931; Faëber-Ishihara, Les premiers contacts entre l’Éthiopie et le Japon (Paris: Aresae,, 1998), 20; Furukawa, “Japan’s Political Relations with Ethiopia,” 11. The honorary counsel resided at Koraibashi, Higashi-ku, Osaka.


[12] Ethiopia (Vinci), 8/11/35, 8/13/35; Japan (Auriti), 8/15/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b101 f4; Japan (Auriti), 8/10/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b62 f3; Adrien Zervos, L’Empire d’Ethiopie: Le Miroir de L’Ethiopie Moderne 1906–1935 (Alexandria, Egypt: Impr. de l’Ecole professionnelle des freres, 1936), 120.


[13] Japan Advertiser, Aug. 11, 1935; OM&TNN, Aug. 13, 1935; New York Times, Aug. 9, 13, 1935; Moscow Daily News, Aug. 11, 1935.


[14] Japan Times, Aug. 11, 1935; Japan Advertiser, Aug. 11, 1935; OM&TNN, Sept. 20, 1935.


[15] Shoji, Echiopia Kekkon Mondai wa Donaru, Introduction.


[16] Shoji Yunosuke, Ethiopia Teikoku Keizai Jijo [Report on the Economic Situation in Ethiopia: An African Country Friendly to Japan]. Preface Sumioka Tomoyoshi (Tokyo: Daido-sha, 1933); Aoki Sumio and Kurimoto Eisei, “Japanese Interest in Ethiopia (1868–1940): Chronology and Bibliography,” in Ethiopia in Broader Perspective: Papers of the XIIIth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, K. E. Fukui and M. Shigeta, eds., 3 vols., (Kyoto: Shokado Book Sellers, 1997): 1: 724.


[17] Shoji, Echiopia Kekkon Mondai wa Donaru, 36–37.


[18]Ibid., 5. Dr. Togami, a graduate of the Tokyo Imperial University, studied medicine at Berlin University. He wrote a few books on the origins of the Japanese, including Nippon no Minzoku [Ethnology of the Japanese] (Tokyo: Oka Shobou, 1930). In it, he promoted his hypothesis that the Japanese and ancient West Asians have the same origins, and that West Asians moved east and settled in South Korea and Japan. He insisted that the Koreans, Ainu, and Yamato are all related. These ancient West Asians also moved westward and one of their western descendants are the Ethiopians. I would like to thank Sato Renya of Kyushu University for this information. Personal e-mail communication, Oct. 18, 2002. Professor Sato adds that Togami is little remembered today, except by a few “maniacs” with crazy ideas about the nature of ancient Japan. See, e.g., http://www2odn.ne.jp/~caj52560/yondaikisyo.htm.


[19] Shoji, Echiopia Kekkon Mondai wa Donaru, 5–6.


[20] Amde Araya says that eventually Heruy and Hayle Sellase came to support the idea. Interview with Amde Araya (son of Araya Abeba) and Araya Abeba, Fairfax Lakes Park, VA, and apartment of Araya Abeba, Alexandria, VA, July 7, 2001, 1:45–6:30 p.m. Araya took the notes Heruy dictated, which Heruy later used to write his book, Mahidere Birhan: Hagre Japan.


[21] Shoji, Echiopia Kekkon Mondai wa Donaru, 36.


[22] Rome (Guarnaschelli), 4/25/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b62 f3; Rome (Guarnaschelli), 4/26/35: Etiopia—Guerra b 101 F4. Also see Japan Advertiser, July 28, 1935.


[23] Japan (Neville), 10/3/35: NA 784.94/24; Japan (Neville) 10/3/35: NA 764.84/2018; Japan (Auriti) 8/8/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f7; OM&TNN, Aug. 4, 1935.


[24] Sbrana (Djibouti), 8/13/35, AP Etiopia—Guerra b62 f3; Japan (Auriti), 8/15/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b101 f4; OM&TNN, Aug. 13, 1935; Japan Times, Aug. 13, 1935; Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 206–07.


[25] OM&TNN, Aug. 16, 1935. See Shoji’s illuminating articles of Aug. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 1935; Japan Advertiser, Aug. 30, 1935.


[26] To Rome (Minister of War), 8/27/35; To Japan (Auriti), 8/27/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b72 f3; Ethiopia (Vinci), 8/30/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b101 f4; New York Times, Aug. 30, 1935.


[27] Japan Times, Sept. 12, 14, 1935; Japan Advertiser, Sept. 11, 1935; Shanghai (Neyrone), 9/19/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b101 f4; China, 9/19/35: AP Etiopia b24 f3.


[28] Japan (Neville) 10/3/35: NA 765.84/2012; OM&TNN, Sept. 14, 15, 1935; Japan Advertiser, Sept. 12, 14, 1935.


[29] New York Times, Sept. 14, 19, 1935; Japan (Auriti), 9/12/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b62 f3; OM&TNN, Sept. 18, 1935.


[30] Japan (Neville), 10/18/35: NA 894.00/94; Japan (Auriti), 9/11/35; 10/2/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b101 f4.


[31] OM&TNN, Sept. 14, 1935; Bahru Zewde, “The Concept of Japanization in the Intellectual History of Modern Ethiopia,” in Bahru Zewde, et al., ed. Proceedings of Fifth Seminar of the Department of History (Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University, 1990), 5–6.


[32] OM&TNN, Sept. 17, 1935. 


[33] New York Times, Sept. 19, 1935. 


[34] OM&TNN, Sept. 20, 1935; Bahru Zewde, “The Concept of Japanization,” 5.


[35] OM&TNN, Sept. 17, 18, 1935. For Shoji’s entire speech, see ibid., Sept. 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 1935. For newsreels showing Italian and Ethiopian military preparations, taken by Paramount Pictures and released by the Osaka Mainichi & Tokyo Nichi Nichi on September 19 to Japanese theaters, see ibid., Sept. 20, 1935. These newsreels differed from those shown at the lectures sponsored by the Osaka Mainichi.


[36] OM&TNN, Sept. 20, 1935; New York Times, Sept. 20, 1935; The Times (London), Sept. 20, 1935; Moscow Daily News, Sept. 20, 1935; Furukawa, “Japan’s Political Relations with Ethiopia,” 10; Okakura Takashi, “1930 Nendai no Nihon-Echiopia Kankei,” [Japanese-Ethiopian Relations in the 1930s], Afurika Kenkyu, 37 (Dec. 1990): 40–43. For more on trade promotion, see Japan Times, Oct. 31, 1935.


[37] Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 207.


[38] Ibid., 208.


[39] OM&TNN, Sept. 24, 1935; New York Times, Sept. 22, 1935; The Times (London), Sept. 21, 23, 1935; Oguri (Tokyo Police), 9/23/35, Gaiko Shiryo-kan: A461 ET/I1–2 vol. 1.


[40] Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 208.


[41] OM&TNN, Oct. 5, 1935.


[42] Rome circular, 12/4/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f4; Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 208; Japan Advertiser, Oct. 6, 1935.


[43] OM&TNN, Oct. 5, 1935.


[44] Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 208.


[45] Ibid., 210.


[46] Ibid., 209–10.


[47] Geneva (Gilbert), 10/14/35: NA 765.84/1794.


[48] Rome (Suvich), 11/22/35; Geneva (Aloisi), 11/21/35; Rome (Mussolini), 11/22/35; Rome circular, 12/16/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f7.


[49] Japan (Auriti), 11/22/35: Etiopia—Guerra b117 f7.


[50] Japan (Scalise), 10/14/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b72 f3; Rome circular, 10/9/35: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f4; Japan Advertiser, Oct. 5, 1935.


[51] Taura Masanori has written on the issue of Japan’s establishing and maintaining a legation in Addis Ababa. See his “Nihon-Echiopia Kankei,” 141–170 and “‘Nichii Kankei (1935–36) to sono Yotai’ Echiopia Senso wo meguru Nihon gawa Taio kara” [Italo-Japanese Relations (1935–36) And Their Conditions: From the Japanese Response to the Ethiopian War] in Ito Takashi, ed., Nihon Kindai-shi no Saikochiku [Reexamination of Japanese History] (Yamakawa Shuppan-sha, 1993), 302–28.


[52] Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 209.


[53] Faëber-Ishihara, Les premiers contacts, 20.


[54] See the documents in Gaiko Shiryo-kan ET/I1–6. For private offers of medical assistance, see Oguri to Goto and Hirota, 7/20/35: Gaiko Shiryo-kan A461 ET/I1–2–1. Also see A461 ET/I1–7–6 and Japan Advertiser, Jan. 21, Feb. 7, 1936.


[55] Japan Advertiser, Mar. 28, 1936; Japan (Grew), 4/16/36: NA 894.00 P.R./100. In addition, the Japanese attorney addressed another letter to Ethiopia’s foreign minister urging him to establish a Legation in Tokyo as soon as possible.


[56] Japan (Auriti), 3/31/36, 3/6/36: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f7.


[57] Japan (Grew), 4/16/36: NA 894.00 P.R./100.


[58] OM&TNN, Mar. 31, Apr. 1, 1936.


[59] Japan (Grew), 5/13/36: NA 894.00/unclear; Umino, “Dainiji Italia-Echiopia Senso,” 208–09.


[60] Rome circular, 6/13/36; Port Said (Corti), 8/18/36; Rome (Minister of War), 9/29/36; Aden (Fabiani), 4/30/36, 9/8/36; Cairo (Legation), 10/3/36; 10/23/36: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f7.


[61] Legation (Cairo), 12/18/36; Alexandria (Ghigi), 12/5/36: AP Etiopia—Guerra b117 f7.


[62] Richard Albert Bradshaw, “Japan and European Colonialism in Africa, 1800–1937,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Ohio University, 1992), 320–22, 358–62; Italy (Sugimura), 10/29/36: Gaiko Shiryo-kan A461 ET/I1 Vol. 8; Italy (Sugimura), 5/12–13/36, 5/25–26/36; Germany (Mushanokoji), 5/15–16/36: Gaiko Shiryo-kan A461 ET/I1–7 vol. 7; Okakura and Kitagawa, Nihon-Afurika Koryu-shi, 45. America’s representatives followed these events closely. See the many documents in NA 765.94.