ASCJ 2009
Session 26: Room 11-311

Pan-Asianism – A Documentary History of an Ideology

Organizer: Dick Stegewerns, Oslo University

Chair: Sven Saaler, Sophia University

Pan-Asianism has been a powerful political and ideological force in the history of modern East Asia. It was – and remains – a controversial ideology, because while it has shaped Asian identities and influenced the development of international relations in East Asia, the pan-Asian rhetoric was, on the other hand, used to legitimize Japanese colonial rule and regional hegemony before and during the Asia-Pacific War.

Although Pan-Asianism and Asian regionalism have been recognized as important research subjects in recent years, Pan-Asian ideology has yet to receive adequate scholarly attention. Part of the reason is that only a few primary sources on Pan-Asianism are easily available to the Western reader. Western-language source books on Japanese or Asian history usually include excerpts from the writings of only a very small number of Pan-Asianists. Recently the international research project ‘Pan-Asianism – A Documentary History’ has been started involving the contributors to this panel. This panel will introduce and analyze Japanese and Korean Pan-Asianist sources that will vary from writings by late 19th and early 20th century opinion leaders such as Hirano Kuniomi, Katsu Kaishū, Sŏ Ch’aepil, Shin Ch’aeho, Ukita Kazutami, and Murobuse Kōshin.

Matsuda Koichiro, Rikkyo University

The Conceptualization of ‘Asia’ by Mito School and Kokugaku School

This paper will focus on the process of conceptualization of ‘Asia’ in the tumultuous Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration periods (1850s to 1860s). I will trace the continuities and discontinuities in the content and meaning of the concept ‘Asia’ during this revolutionary period in modern Japanese history by discussing the cases of Aizawa Seishisai, Hirano Kuniomi, Katsu Kaishu and Iwakura Tomomi.

Kim Bong-Jin, University of Kitakyushu

Sŏ Ch’aepil and Other Korean Intellectuals’ Responses to Pan-Asianism, 1898-1910

In my paper I will examine the various responses by Korean intellectuals to pan-Asianism, as expressed in the editorials of modern Korean newspapers such as Tongnip Sinmun (The Independence, 1896.4-1899.12), Hwangsŏng Sinmun (Imperial Capital News, 1898.9-1910.8), and Taehan Maeil Sinbo (Korea Daily News, 1904.7-1910.8). I will focus on the editorials by Sŏ Ch’aepil (1864-1951, owner of Tongnip Sinmun), Chang Chiyŏn (1864-1921, editor-in-chief of Hwangsŏng Sinmun), and Shin Ch’aeho (1880-1936, editor of Taehan Maeil Sinbo). I will also discuss Korean collaborationist activities with the Japanese authorities until 1910, the year of the annexation of Korea by Japan.

Dick Stegewerns, Oslo University

Taisho Democracy and Asia - The Asianism of Ukita Kazutami and Murobuse Koshin

Ideas on Asian integration were a constant element in the intellectual make-up of modern Japanese opinion leaders. In this paper I will discuss Asianist ideas embraced by Japanese opinion leaders during the so-called ‘internationalist’ interwar period of the late 1910s and the 1920s. I will focus on two key texts, Shin Ajiashugi (New Asianism, 1918) by the Meiji generation representative Ukita Kazutami and the three volume Ajiashugi (Asianism, 1926-7) by the Early Shōwa representative Murobuse Kōshin. For comparison, I will also address the ideas on regional integration propounded by Yoshino Sakuzō, the figurehead of the Taishō generation of opinion leaders.

Discussant: Christopher W.A. Szpilman, Kyushu Sangyo University