Correspondence between F. Takano and S. Gompers
Hongo, Tokio, Japan
Feb. 20, 1897.
My dear Mr. Gompers,
I am in receipt of your favor of Jan. 4th and the American Federationist which announcing your reelection for which please accept my sincere congratulation.
The work to organize Japanese workers upon the trade union line of which I have mentioned before is slowly going on as there is absolutely none to help me. The petition to be presented to the Diet all ready but before the step taken I must ready all documents necessary to give full information upon the plan of trade unions. There is also a call to working people to stand and unite. All these works came upon my shoulders, translation of the constitutions of your organizations, the International Cigar Makers and the Locomotive Engineers together with several pamphlets bearing upon the subject to show Japanese workers what idea trade unions should be and others. When these preliminary requirements are ready, then I shall being the public speech making as a first step toward the actual movement.
I am more than thankful for the words of encouragement of Dr. Weideman which you have conveyed to me sometime ago. I really need every encouragement from my friends across the water. Sympathy of my country for my effort I can not expect nor co-operation for my work from those who professed to be the friend of labor. They spoke socialism, they talk necessity of a factory law, but none, absolutely none, of them understand potency of trade unions. For that matter they lack even primary lessons on the practical labor movement. Thus I have really hard work before me to educate working people to the necessity of union and these so-called friends. For the latter I have very little to do at present, suffice it to keep them from trying dark hands against us. At any rate, prospect of my undertaking are cheerless but I hope the sympathy and encouragement of my friends in the States will give me enough strength to my conviction and to carry through the work safely in the trying days to come.