Peter A Goldsbury
Being extremist and right-wing were not synonymous in the 1930s. Omoto had the problem of being both right-wing and religious (the latter alternatively to state Shinto), so this presented a dilemma for the government.
Respectfully, I think the seating references of the eighteenth-century revolutionary French legislature are of doubtful use in this context. I have a hard time reconciling the views of Oomoto with, say, the likes of Koiso and the Sakurakai, of Tojo, or even, less radically of Konoe. It may bear superficial resemblance to more official efforts under the the later "Amau" doctrine, but Deguchi's Mongolian experiment presents no good reason to believe that the Oomoto were a catspaw of the government's coalescing (in 1924) "Co-Prosperity" expansion policy, good riddance though they probably wished him at the time.
Onisaburo Deguchi wrote:
I believe that you are all aware of the revelation that "after the Setsubun of Taisho 10 (1921), God will lead the spirit of Henjo Nyoshi [= Onisaburo] to a place where other people cannot go." That revelation was fulfilled without the slightest error when, on February 12, I was, as you know, taken away to the Kyoto jail. And I feel strongly that again on this February 12, after this year's Setsubun Festival, a mission has come from God for me to go to another place where people cannot easily go.
I will reveal the Great Spirit of the Origin of this Country. Furthermore, I firmly believe that the spirit that brought Japan into being is not one of subjugation or aggression, but one to show the peoples of the world the divine way by means of the Word. It is quite impossible to rule the people of the world with military power or intellectual power. I believe that, in the end, this can only be achieved by the power of a new religion free of old conventions, a religion that is essential to spiritual union.
Onisaburo's expedition to Mongolia in the 1920's was closer in spirit to that of Oneida, Amana, Mt. Lebanon and other utopian experiments by minority sects here in the States in the 1850's (albeit generally less pacifist). It was directly prompted by the first Omoto incident and the action then taken by the government. In its reaction, the establishment in China reacted very much to the private army Deguchi formed in ways that are actually reminiscent of the early Mormon militia controversies in the Midwest in the 1830's and 40's. While we may today place Mormons toward the "right" of the political spectrum in the States, the designation in historical context is probably as meaningless as the designation seems toward Omoto of the 20's and 30's.
The similarities of historical experience between the American expansion and the attempted "manifest destiny" policy of Japan make interesting parallels, however. The socio-religious responses are driven by related and deepening demands of modernization and industrialization. Even though the historical periods are almost a hundred years apart, the cultural clocks between the two histories seem very much in sync. Deculturalization and the fracturing of traditional communities in the two societies are very compelling for examination in this context. For me, it seems that common sociological aspect may play a larger part in Aikido's broad appeal than is generally recognized.