After graduating from Tokyo Semmon Gakko, the forerunner of Waseda University, he returned to his home, where he became a convert to Christianity.
He worked as a newspaper reporter and lawyer and was put in prison for his activities in the universal suffrage movement. He went to Tokyo in 1899, where he became a reporter for the Mainichi Shimbun.
With the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, he joined Kotoku Shusui and other members of the Heiminsha in speaking out against the war. After the newspaper Heimin Shimbun had been forced by government pressure to suspend publication, he joined Ishikawa Sanshiro and others in publishing a magazine called Shinkigen that advocated Christian socialism. Meanwhile, he was active as a writer.
Troubled by conflicts between the socialist movement and his religious beliefs, he separated himself from the movement and retired to the mountains in Ikaho, where he devoted himself to the writing of his autobio-graphy, entitled Zange, and other works.
He abandoned Christianity and moved increasingly in the direction of Buddhism, in 1910 taking up the practice of Okada-style sitting in meditation.
He was active in the movement to assist the victims of the Ashio Mine pollution and to do away with legalized prostitution and became a member of the Socialist League.
In 1901 he participated in the founding of the Shakai Minshuto (Social Democratic Party), which was banned immediately after it was formed.
In 1906, after the conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War, he became a member of the Japan Socialist Party, but withdrew almost immediately.