At school he came under the influence of such Christian intellectual leaders as Uchimura Kanzo and Nitobe Inazô. At the University he was also influenced in his thinking by Nitobe’s views on colonial policy and Yoshino Sakuzo’s lectures on political history.
After graduating from Tokyo University, he worked for a time for a mining company, Sumitomo Besshi Kozan, but in 1920 became an assistant professor in the economics department of Tokyo University.
In 1937, shortly after the outbreak of war between China and Japan, he published an article entitled Kokka no riso (“Ideals of the State”) in the magazine Chuo Koron, which was attacked by the militarists and right-wing elements because of its antiwar sentiment. The incident led to his resignation from Tokyo University. Throughout the war period, he continued to publish a private magazine entitled Kashin, which embodied Christian ideals, and opened a private school in his home on Saturdays to teach pacificist principles based upon religious faith. With the conclusion of the war in 1945, he returned to his teaching position at Tokyo University. In 1949 he became a member of the Japan Academy.
At Tokyo University he served as head of the Social Science Institute, head of the economics department, and head of the department of liberal arts, and in 1951 succeeded Nambara Shigeru as president of the university. He retired in 1957 to become a professor emeritus. During these postwar years in Tokyo University he worked consistently to guard the principles of academic freedom.
Born January 27, 1893
Died December 25, 1961