Asian Studies Conference Japan

Saturday, June 19 - Sunday 20, 2004
Ichigaya Campus of Sophia University

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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 20: Room 301

Individual Paper Session: Colonialism, War, and Occupation

Chair: Linda Grove, Sophia University

1) Aida Wong, Brandeis University.
Japanese "Influences" in Chinese Guohua (National Painting), ca. 1910s-1940s

Historians have taken for granted that influence in Asian art history entails a passing "down" of ideas from a "superior" (imperializing) culture to an "inferior" (imperialized) one, or from a meaning-setter to an adulating meaning-seeker mired in a crisis of identity. Even nowadays as more scholarly effort is made to uncover intra-Asiatic relations and to challenge narratives of unidirectional transmission, many relationships premised on the kind of two-way traffic that problematizes the hierarchy in influence studies remain misunderstood. The modern Sino-Japanese interaction described in this paper is one such relationship. In the early twentieth century, Chinese artists transformed their practices with many nutrients from Japan, not merely because they held Japan to be the better modernizer/westernizer as most studies hitherto have contended. The first Sino-Japanese War in 1894-95 which ended in China's defeat spurred a revision of age-old Chinese prejudices against Japan. Nevertheless, military achievements of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) as such are inadequate explanations for the Sino-Japanese contacts that occurred in the ensuing three decades, when Chinese nationalism developed beyond the framework of arms competition. The paper seeks to achieve two goals: first, to demonstrate that guohua--a nationalistic aesthetics that reflected socio-economic, intellectual, institutional developments, in addition to military ones--engaged with Japan as an Asian entity whose interest in Chinese art made the Chinese more committed to asserting their nation's greatness. The second goal is to illustrate that even though some guohua artists were influenced by Japanese art, their attitude towards Japan was ambivalent and even resistant.

2) Jung-Sun Han. The Ambiguous Legacy:
The Rise of Internationalism and the Development of the "East Asia Co-operative Body"

The central question of my paper is: "in what sense does the prospect that the world might be getting more culturally homogeneous (Westernized, modernized) have implications for the possibilities of sustaining an international order?" My paper attempts to provide a historical perspective in answering the above question by analyzing Royama Masamichi's [蝋山政道] ideas and activities during the 1920s and the early 1930s. Royama was one of the representative ideologues of "East Asian Cooperative Body." The concept gained sudden currency in wartime Japan and was later incorporated into the idea of "Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere" to justify Japan's all-out war against China and the Anglo-American powers.

While his activities during 1937 and 1938 in formulating and circulating the idea of "East Asian Co-operative Body" [東亜共同体] received extensive scholarly attention, his activities around the Manchurian Incident of 1931 through the Japan Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations (JIPR), or, as the Japanese called it, the Taiheiyo Mondai Chosakai (Pacific Problems Research Association), received little attention. This is unfortunate since Royama's activities and works in association with the JIPR, one of the most important international nongovernmental organizations in prewar Japan, reveal the process in which regionalist ideas and claims were less derived by the isolationist goals than mediated by internationalist social norms. In this paper, I argue that the regionalist claims of Toa Kyodotai was embedded in the transnational ideational process and contingent upon the expansion of multi-ethnic empire of Japan.

3) Chizuko Allen, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Korea as Part of Northeast Asia: Ch'oe Namson at the Height of Japanese Imperialism

Ch'oe Namson, a prominent Korea intellectual known for his nationalistic literature and historical works in the 1910s and 1920s, began working with the Japanese in 1928 when he was admitted to the Japanese-sponsored Korean History Compilation Committee. His collaborative activities with the Japanese included teaching at Jian'guo University in Manchuria from 1938 and traveling to Japan in 1943 to deliver speeches prompting Korean students to enlist for the Japanese army. This paper takes a close look at his writings in the 1930s and 1940s and seeks to clarify his academic trend and intellectual backgrounds that led to his collaboration.

A careful study of Ch'oe's historical works reveals that his academic themes of the 1920s remained unchanged in the later period. In the 1920s, he expounded the existence of a historically-significant northeast Asian cultural sphere, encompassing Siberia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, and Japan, and attempted to depict Korea as a nation holding its key position because of the Tan'gun myth. His arguments largely originated from the then-popular Social Darwinism and cultural diffusion theory as well as his desire to uplift Korea's position in the world. Observing Japan's domination of northeast Asia in the 1930s and 1940s, he hoped that Korea could finally restore its rightful place in northeast Asia by sharing the fruit of the Japanese invasions. His objection to the Japanese attempts to strip Koreans of their national identity in the same period demonstrates his unchanging patriotism.

4) Christine de Matos, University of Western Sydney.
Australia Goes to Japan: The Occupation as Orientalism and Ideology

In 1945-46, the Australian government was confident in its ability to influence the policy and progress of the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-1952), a confidence that was increasingly challenged as time progressed. Armed with its "victor's ideology", the Australian government sought to influence Occupation policy via the Allied Council for Japan in Tokyo, the Far Eastern Commission in Washington, and its military presence in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces. The government's ideological position reflected a liberal-internationalist-socialist agenda, combined with concern over future security in the Pacific (the latter usually being the sole usual focus of existing analyses of Australian policy towards Japan in the Occupation, and usually described as a desire for a "harsh peace"). These ideas further intersected with, and were compromised by, long-held Orientalist assumptions about Japan, ranging from the image of the "cunning Oriental" to the "child-like student". Using the examples of the postwar constitution and labour reform, this paper analyses the Australian government's attempts to export its own ideology to Japan, and the conflicting and complementary relationship of that ideology to Orientalism, as both nations attempted to confront the legacy of war, the emerging bi-polar world, US hegemony in the Pacific and the challenge of creating a new postwar order.

5) John Haberstroh, Lakeland College.
World War II Era Japanese Forced Labor Litigation in U.S. Courts: Narrative, Analysis, and Implications

In recent years numerous Korean and Chinese victims of Japan's World War II forced labor camps have pursued civil claims against Japanese corporations in U.S. courts. The struggle for redress in California state and federal courts was generated by passage of a state law creating a cause of action for WWII-era victims of slave or forced labor, and extending the statute of limitations for such actions to 2010. Most of the state court cases were transferred to a northern California Ninth Circuit federal district court, and its September 17, 2001 decision, In Re World War II Era Japanese Forced Labor Litigation ("Forced Labor"), dismissed the consolidated action. After reviewing the hurdles for pursuing international human rights claims in U.S. courts, the paper subjects Forced Labor to legal analysis. It also narrates the story of similar court cases in Japanese courts, and discusses the wider (including the non-legal) impact, meanings, and implications of these cases.

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