Sixth Asian Studies Conference Japan
    Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23
    Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University


last update 2002/03/09

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Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181


Session 9
Individual Paper Session: Colonial Japan, Occupied Japan
Chair: Mika Mervio, University of Shimane

1) Hans Martin Kramer, Ruhr University / University of Tokyo. "Just Who Reversed the Course? Higher Education Policy in the Second Half of the Occupation"

The question of whether, how, and when a reverse course occurred during the allied occupation of Japan is much more difficult to answer than it would seem at first sight. Certain political actors on the Japanese side not only profited from a shift in the priorities of the occupation objectives, but rather contributed to this shift actively. As a matter of fact, it may be argued that a great part of the phenomena summarily called "reverse course" originated on the Japanese side, just as it has recently come to be pointed out that the positive reform measures of the earlier part of the occupation period to a large degree rested on Japanese initiative. This in turn raises the question of just who actually had the decisive power to bring about changes.

The paper attempts to address these issues of political history from the viewpoint of policy on higher education. Other than most available studies it will not only examine the interaction between occupation forces and the Japanese ministry of education, but also include the numerous Japanese institutions and individuals that had to bear the consequences of reforms and policies. Rather than being mere objects, they equally often appear as inventors of their own fate, as the example of the red purges in 1949­1951, commonly attributed to US American initiative, but in fact product of much more complex interactions, will show.

2) Victoria Sinclair, University of Manchester. "The Trope of Occupied Flesh in the Films of Kurosawa Akira 1945-52"

In my paper I shall look at the corpus of Kurosawa's films made during the Occupation era. I believe that they offer literal and figurative responses to policies and power, which, given autobiographical evidence suggest a developing covert reaction to the presence of the Allied Forces in Japan.

I have found that Kurosawa's films change in tone, in accordance with historical developments of the time. Read alongside archival material from the National Archives, Maryland, USA, I believe that Kurosawa's films contain a reactionary element which echoed changing opinion, yet eluded censors, and has also remained undetected by critics.
In his films of the period the body is often subjected to dynamic foreign forces with dramatic results. From the point where opinion towards the benevolence of the Allies started to waver, the plots of his films become concerned with characters whose bodies are subjected to the dominance of a new host. Thematic elements signifying the occupied body become main narrative threads ­ contagious disease, the act of rape, the practice of prostitution - providing both a symbolic and literal comment on the Occupation and Japanese society. By aligning the films with Foucauldian theory, I shall indicate how the films also convey changing attitudes to sex and the body, which further elicit the fluctuations in power experienced by the Japanese during the period. Seen in this conjunction, Kurosawa's films possess a clear polemic against the Occupation which could help re-define the context of his work.

3) Ariko Ota, Columbia University. "Ceramics and Powers: Industrial Development in Japan's Colonies in East Asia, 1890-1950"

I analyze how the development of ceramic industry took place in the context of colonial expansion of Japan in East Asia and compare the regional variances of the relationship of those who were engaged in ceramic production and distribution and the governmental rule in these colonies. I comparatively analyze the development of industrial policies on ceramic industry and explore different patterns of industrialization and the rise of industrial associations in Korea, Taiwan, and Manchuria under colonial rule of Japan. I would argue that the different relationships of those who were engaged in the ceramic industry and governmental rules shaped the different pattern of industrialization and organization of industrial associations in each of these former colonies. I analyze how the relationships of those who were engaged in the industry and the governmental rule were formed and how they went through changes under the colonial rule and discuss how these changes affected ceramic production and distribution. I analyze if and how political settings as well as the relationships of government and those who were engaged in the industry in each colony affected the organization of resources in each region and see if there were any regional differences in the patterns of industrialization. I look at the process of formation of multiple relationships of the governmental rules (central government, local government, colonial government, etc.) and social groups along with the rise of industries and different patterns of industrialization in the context of colonial formation in East Asia. While my analysis intends to show divergent patterns within East Asia, it also aims to offer implication for not only those who are interested in historical experiences in East Asia but also those who share interests on understanding the interrelations of political, economic, and social dynamics elsewhere.

4) Cynthia Luz P. Rivera, University of Santo Tomas. "The Women of the Japanese Colony at Davao 1905-1941"

This study discusses female Japanese immigrants in Davao during the prewar period in the context of the Japanese-initiated economic development in the areas of agriculture and trade. The role of Japanese women as prostitutes, plantation workers, professionals, and skilled laborers converges with the gradual expansion of Japanese capital and investment in the area. As the settlement assumes a character of permanency, women of the colony were given the task to ensure the preservation of Japanese culture and values. It is not surprising, therefore, that intermarriage between Japanese nationals and the local population was discouraged and socialization was restricted despite the inherent congeniality, amity, generosity, and cooperation of the Japanese with Filipinos.
The increasing number of Japanese immigrants, given Japanese aggression in China and the gradual deterioration of Japan's relations with the US over the immigration issue, started to generate fear, suspicion and anxiety among Filipinos. This resulted in the passage of restrictive legislation covering immigration and naturalization during the period which immediately preceded the war.

All these events underscore Japan's dynamic presence during the prewar period and its substantial contribution to the economic growth of Davao. These also affirm that Japanese immigrant women indeed participated in the all except political and diplomatic aspects of the Japan's expansionist project.

5) Erik W. Esselstrom, University of California at Santa Barbara. "The Japanese Consular Police in the Northeast Asian Empire"

For sixty-five years, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintained a private police force attached to its consulate offices, first in Korea, and later throughout China and Manchuria. The role these police units played in the development and expansion of the Japanese empire in Northeast Asia is almost completely unknown in both Western and Japanese historiography. My paper will present highlights from the research I have been conducting on the consular police this year as a Fulbright research student in Tokyo. My analysis focuses on such issues as the demands of resident Japanese civilian communities for greater police protection, and thus their role as a force pulling the Japanese government into a greater imperial commitment.

Another important topic is the cooperation between consular police, the colonial police of the Korean and Kanto (Guandong) governments, and the Home Ministry (Naimusho) in Tokyo for the surveillance and suppression of Chinese and especially Korean nationalist organizations. Finally, and perhaps most significantly, my work also suggests more generally that the Foreign Ministry was hardly a voice of moderation and compromise during the international relations crises of the 1920s and 1930s, as it is often argued. Rather, the Gaimusho used its consular police forces on the ground in Northeast Asia to pursue an extraordinarily activist policy on the Asian mainland, motivated by a fierce commitment to fulfill the consular system's raison d'etre of protecting Japanese civilian life and property overseas.


list of panels