Correspondence between F. Takano and S. Gompers
Washington, D.C., March 29, 1897.
Dear Sir & Friend:--
Your letters are always interesting for they give one the opportunity of learning the real conditions in your country more nearly to than anything I have had the opportunity of reading.
Of course the effort to organize the Japanese workers will be a most difficult one. It is a task that might make a very strong and stout hearted man weaken. Yet it is by the great exertions of earnest men in the beginning of the movement that has given it an impetus which has finally developed into one which will carry itself along. The worst of this entire work is in the beginning. After it is once launched there are others who will interest themselves and a greater co-operation of effort is made with greater and better results.
The petition that it is proposed to the Diet must undoubtedly be an interesting document and if you could furnish me a copy of it I would be pleased to publish it in the American Federationist.
You will probably fail to appreciate the fact that I have received a number of replies asking me whether my Japanese correspondent existed in my mind. It is a revelation to many of our trade unionists in America to find one in Japan who has so clear a conception of the labor question and the economics underlying it and who is so well qualified to speak upon the trade union movement. This is all the more reason why I am so gratified our acquaintance and I hope friendship and correspondence. I trust that you will be entirely successful in accomplishing the mission you have set for yourself in trying to organize the wage workers of Japan upon the true trade union basis.
No, you can not expect much sympathy from your fellow countrymen yet. The time is not rife for it. More than likely you will receive their opposition and antagonism and they will misapprehend your purpose and motives. The thought has occurred to me that I might send you a sample of documents which we publish and I do so under another cover, I trust you will find them interesting and that they will serve you in your work.
Sincerely & fraternally yours,
President A.F. of L.