Sanzo Nosaka (?? ??, Nosaka Sanzo, March 30, 1892 – November 14, 1993) was a founder of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) who worked for periods as a writer, editor, labor organizer, communist agent, politician, and university professor.
He was the son of a wealthy Japanese merchant, and attended the prestigious Keio University.
While in university, Nosaka became interested in social movements, and joined a moderate labor organization after graduation, working as a research staff member, and as a writer and editor of the organization's magazine.
He traveled to Britain in 1919 to study political economy, where he deepened his studies of Marxism and became a confirmed communist.
Nosaka was a founding member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, but his activity within British communist circles led to him being deported from Britain in 1921.After leaving Britain, Nosaka traveled through the Soviet Union (USSR).
He returned to Japan in 1922, where he co-founded the Japanese Communist Party (JCP).
Nosaka became a labor organizer, but was arrested twice by the Japanese government for his activities.
After being released from prison a second time, Nosaka secretly returned to the USSR in 1931, where he became an agent of the Comintern.
He traveled to the West Coast of the United States, where he worked as a communist spy from 1934-1938.After leaving the United States, Nosaka worked in China from 1940–1945, supporting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by encouraging and recruiting captured Japanese soldiers to support and fight for the Chinese communists against the Imperial Japanese Army, and coordinating a spy network that operated throughout Japanese-occupied China.
After the surrender of Japan in 1945, Nosaka returned to Japan with hundreds of other Japanese communists, where he led the Japanese Communist Party during the occupation of Japan.Nosaka attempted to brand the JCP as a populist party supporting Japan's peaceful transition into socialism, but his strategy was criticized within the party and within the Soviet Union.
During the Korean War the JCP temporarily endorsed violence, and Nosaka disappeared from public life and went underground.
He re-emerged to lead the JCP again in 1955, after which he attempted to disrupt the US-Japan Security Treaty by organizing public demonstrations, but he generally supported the JCP's role as a peaceful party.
In 1958 Nosaka became Chairman of the JCP, a position he held until retirement at the age of 90, after which he was declared Honorary Chairman.
Nosaka joined the faculty of Keio University, and he was widely idolized among left-wing intellectuals until shortly before his death, when the fall of the Soviet Union exposed controversial aspects of his relationship with Stalin's Communist regime.