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Oka-Yuma. In the first three decades of the Twentieth Century a number of Japanese spies were apprehended in America and the European countries. The figure of the Japanese spy became a cliche in popular fiction. One of these fictional Japanese spies was “Oka Yuma,” who appeared in several works of fiction. There may have been a historical Oka Yuma, whose arrest gained enough public notice that Oka Yuma became the fictional synonym for “Japanese spy,” in something of the way that Evno Azef became synonymous with anarchists. Alternatively, “Oka Yuma” might have been a Celebrity Pulp swipe at Count Ōkuma Shigenobu (1838-1922), who served twice as Prime Minister of Japan.

The fictional Oka Yuma appeared as an enemy of Nat Pinkerton in the Italian dime novel Nat Pinkerton, Il Re dei Poliziotti #16 (1909) and the German dime novel Nat Pinkerton, der König der Detectivs #26 (1910), as the villain in a Moscow newspaper serial in 1911 entitled “Oka Yuma, Japanese Spy,” and as an enemy of Lukas Hull in the German dime novel Lukas Hull, Detektiv Abenteuer #8 (1921).

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