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Title: Mediated Empire: Colonial Taiwan in Japan's Imperial Expansion in South China and Southeast Asia, 1895-1945
Authors: Shirane, Seiji
Advisors: Garon, Sheldon
Elman, Benjamin
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: China
Southeast Asia
Subjects: Asian history
Asian studies
Modern history
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Between 1895 and 1945 the Japanese transformed the colony of Taiwan into a regional center for southern expansion under the auspices of the Government-General of Taiwan (GGT). This dissertation explores how this process unfolded by focusing on the Government-General's interactions with other imperial institutions, the populations under its nebulous jurisdiction, and the peoples it sought to control through the production of ethnographic knowledge. By viewing empire through the lens of one strategic colony, this project demonstrates the existence of multiple imperial centers that possessed unique geographical and institutional imperatives. The GGT initiated imperial strategies that took advantage of its proximity to neighboring territories on the empire's edges. Due to Taiwan's geographical and cultural affinities with South China and Southeast Asia, it extended Japanese economic, cultural, and geopolitical interests across the East and South China Seas. Japanese colonial leaders mobilized Taiwan's institutions and personnel to economically exploit and later administer what would collectively become the "Southern Region." Imperial ambitions in Taiwan, however, did not always align with those of the Tokyo central government. Rather, the GGT at times actively competed with the Foreign Ministry, army, and navy to shape Japan's southern advance. Japanese imperial ideas and practices thus did not solely emanate from the metropole but also from its colonies out toward extra-imperial regions. In addition to advancing Japan's trans-regional circuits of mobility and exchange farther south, the GGT pioneered Japanese area studies of the Southern Region through research institutions such as Taiwan's Encyclopedia Bureau and Taihoku Imperial University. Japanese colonial officials and scholars compiled ethnographic surveys to promote Japanese trade and investment in Southeast Asia's natural resources. They simultaneously formulated historical and ethnological narratives of commonality and connections among Japan, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia as cultural legitimacy for Japan's southern advance. Drawing on Japanese- and Chinese-language sources from Taiwan, Japan, and China, this dissertation illustrates how Japanese colonialists and Taiwanese subjects shaped Japan's relations with South China and Southeast Asia well before the Imperial Navy and Army's southern military advance in the late-1930s. Taiwan-based initiatives that advanced Japan's economic and cultural ties with, and knowledge production of, the Southern Region helped lay the institutional and conceptual groundwork for subsequent military occupation during the Sino-Japanese and Pacific Wars.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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