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Bridging the gaps: New views of Japanese colonialism, 1931–1945

Wilson, S.ORCID: 0000-0002-8341-3120 (2005) Bridging the gaps: New views of Japanese colonialism, 1931–1945. Japanese Studies, 25 (3). pp. 287-299.

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Recent writing in English shows a range of new approaches to and interpretations of Japanese colonialism between 1931 and 1945. Earlier bodies of work tended to focus on the aims, strategies and structures of Japanese rule throughout the empire, especially the formal empire. Newer studies have not abandoned these concerns, especially in relation to geographical areas, notably Manchuria, that have only just begun to emerge or re-emerge in English-language writing on Japanese colonial practice. At the same time, however, there is now much greater recognition among historians of Japan that the colonial relationship is shaped by the colonised as well as the colonisers; that life in the metropolis itself is affected deeply by its colonies; and that mainstream studies of modern Japanese history should include Japan's formal and informal colonies as a matter of course. In this essay I identify three major trends in works that have appeared in the last five years or so: a spurt of interest in Manchuria and other areas of northern China, a reconsideration of the major stages of empire, and an expanded understanding of what constituted colonialism and who participated in it.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Copyright: 2005 Japanese Studies Association of Australia
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