Lagging

Mohammad Fadel, in Islamic Monthly (h/t Naheed Mustafa) chides critics of Islam who take contemporary Western ideals of egalitarianism and personal freedom as their measure, saying: In this respect, Maher and Harris reflect the all too common historical amnesia common among liberals, who are too quick to forget the recentness of the egalitarian achievements of […]

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Modern Japan in Anglophone Historical Fiction

ASPAC 2013 Jonathan Dresner Pittsburg State University “But writers of fiction do not stumble onto locales or times: they choose them and they use them to serve their narrative and aesthetic ends.” — Jonathan Dresner “…flaws typical of the genre: a carefully set but very selective milieu; characters cobbled together from cultural and psychosocial fragments; […]

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Feeling Like an Empire: Colonial Radicalization

What makes Louise Young’s Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism such a fascinating, troubling work is that she details the way in which the Manchurian experience, and the strategic vulnerability of the Manchurian adventure, rebound into the politics and culture of Japan itself. It reverses, in a way, the traditional narratives […]

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The Kempeitai studies Anthropology

Our friends at Savage Minds often post on issues related to anthropologists at war. Today I came across an example of an anthropologist at war in a 1942 diary by Takeuchi Tatsuji. Together with pan-asianist ideologue and postwar socialist politician Rōyama Masamichi, Takeuchi traveled to Japanese occupied Philippines and conducted a study of the archipelago […]

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Goto Shimpei’s Meta Theory on Modern Empire

I feel that, from what I have read so far, Goto Shimpei is everyone’s favorite colonial policy-maker. He learned ‘scientific’ colonial governance from Western examples; his management of colonial affairs made the Japanese rule in Taiwan self-sustainable; he made a basis for Japan’s rule of Manchuria. Compared to Hara Kei, another ‘everyone’s favorite’ in the […]

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Self-Introduction: Kate McDonald

Hi everybody. My name is Kate McDonald, and I’m the newest contributor to Frog in a Well. I’m currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Japanese History at the University of California, San Diego. My research focuses on travel and tourism in East Asia in the 1920s and 1930s, specifically Japanese and foreign travel to Taiwan, Korea, […]

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