I. DISTRESS AMONG THE PEASANTRY We can spend little time in studying Japanese argiculture before we become aware that all is not well with it. At the outset we find the farmers in turmoil. The peasant in any country is not given to the game of riots and political demonstrations; in Japan, where his scheme of society revolves round the family and where obedience, loyalty, industriousness are ingrained in the very elements of his nature, this is especially so. To goad hundreds of thousands of such men into agitation requires sharp pricking indeed. Yet the “discontent and radical tendencies” that we usually associate with an urban proletariat are there “mainly confined to the rural population”.1