Tokuda Kyuichi was a Taisho and Shôwa period political figure, leader of the socialist movement and the Japan Communist Party.
Tokuda Kyuichi was born on 12 September 1894 in Nago.
He attended the Seventh High School in Kagoshima but withdrew in protest over the insulting treatment accorded natives of Okinawa by the people of Kagoshima Prefecture. He went to Tokyo, where he managed, after considerably difficulty, to graduate from the evening school law course of Nihon University.
After graduation, he began a career as a lawyer. In 1920 he joined Sakai Toshihiko and Yamakawa Hitoshi in forming the Japan Socialist League. In 1922 he and Katayama Sen went to Moscow as Japanese representatives to the Congress of Far Eastern Peoples.
After his return to Japan, he participated in the formation of the Japan Communist Party in 1922 and was arrested in the first government move to suppress the party in 1923. He opposed the action taken to disband the party and in 1924 worked to reestablish it. In 1926 he succeeded in holding a general meeting of the party. He went to the Soviet Union again in 1927 and took part in the drafting of the 1927 Thèse. He was a candidate in the first general election in 1928, but failed to gain election. He was arrested the same year along with many other members of the party and spent the following eighteen years in jail. Though many of the others renounced their political beliefs and were released, he refused to do so. He was freed after the end of the Pacific War in 1945 and joined Shiga Yoshio in reestablishing the Japan Communist Party, with himself as chief secretary.
In 1946 he was elected to the Lower House of the Diet, but was purged by order of General MacArthur in 1950 along with other leaders of the Communist Party. He turned to underground activity, laying down a strongly militant policy for the party, which caused it to decline rapidly in strength and influence. He died of illness in 1953 while a refugee in Communist China, though his death was not formally announced by the party until two years later.
He was outstanding less as a theorist than as a vigorous and decisive leader. He and Shiga Yoshio collaborated in writing an account of their period of emprisonment entitled Gokuchu juhachinen.