In the autumn of 1913, Japanese radical journalist Ishikawa Sanshirō (1876–1956) fled Japan for Europe on a self-imposed exile that would last more than seven years. While there, he mingled with English social philosopher Edward Carpenter (1844–1929) and his circle of friends, and resided for several years with the family of French anarchist Paul Reclus (1858–1941), nephew and professional heir of famed nineteenth-century geographer Elisée Reclus (1830–1905). Ishikawa’s travels contributed to the development of an intricate web of non-state, non-institutional links, fuelling an exchange of knowledge that spanned four decades. His personal trajectory highlights the significance of individual-based activism to the early twentieth-century global spread of anarchism. The experience of exile is also a valuable opportunity to explore how chance encounters, emotional ties, and subjective politics shape ideas of social change in tension with ideological consistency.