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A strong stomach and flawed material: Towards the making of a trilogy, Singapore, 1870-1940

Warren, J.F. (1995) A strong stomach and flawed material: Towards the making of a trilogy, Singapore, 1870-1940. Tōnan Ajia kenkyū: Southeast Asian Studies, 33 (2). pp. 245-264.

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The underside of Singapore Chinese society and the city's development, as a commercial centre and entrepot port from 1870 to 1940, has been the setting of virtually all my work for the past decade. Both Rickshaw Coolie and Ah Ku and Karayuki-san, the two recent social histories in an envisaged trilogy, deal with the same part of Southeast Asia, turn-of-century Singapore, wedged between British Malaya and the Netherlands Indies, with its own startling tough "history from below" and ideosyncracies as a Chinese city outside China. These books examine the social conditions that spawned the rickshaw and prostitution industries and the way the rickshaw pullers and prostitutes lived their lives in conjunction with the big changes taking place in the development of colonial Singapore and Asia. Mass migration, rural unrest and change, industrialisation in Japan, high finance and the Depression (the dark side of urbanisation in Singapore}-these topics all receive their due in both works, if with somewhat different emphases, given my particular historiographical and thematic concerns in the respective volumes.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Inquiry
Publisher: Kyōto-shi : Kyōto Daigaku Tōnan Ajia Kenkyū Sentā
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