Cities into Empire: Fukuoka, Pusan, and Japan’s Imperial Urbanization, 1876-1953
Shepherd, Hannah Jane
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CitationShepherd, Hannah Jane. 2018. Cities into Empire: Fukuoka, Pusan, and Japan’s Imperial Urbanization, 1876-1953. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractCities into Empire argues for the centrality of empire in the urbanization of modern Japan, and for the animating role of cities within the imperial imaginaries of planners, bureaucrats, citizens, and colonial subjects. It connects histories of internal migration with processes of colonization, and shows how the urban centres of imperial Japan were formed by local reactions to, and attempts to harness, the expansion of empire.
This dissertation focuses on the Tsushima Strait region: the northern coast of Kyushu, the southeast coast of Korea, and the waters and islands connecting them. It traces the modern history of the cities of Pusan and Fukuoka, and argues for the co-construction, by Japanese and Koreans, through processes of migration, industrialization, and the development of transport links across the Tsushima Strait, of a single urban region of Japanese imperial space. In doing so, it offers a fresh methodological approach to Japanese urban history.
The movement of people is a constant theme in Cities into Empire. Beginning with the migration of rural Fukuokans to southern Korea in the late nineteenth century, and ending with the attempted crossings in the other direction by Korean War refugees in the 1950s, the dissertation’s timeframe covers the many forms of mobility and movement which together helped to constitute, maintain, and untangle the Japanese Empire.
In telling the history of empire from this local perspective, Cities into Empire is reframing our understanding of imperial growth to argue for the importance of new scales of inquiry. By viewing Japan’s imperial expansion and defeat from the liminal spaces of empire, this dissertation adds to work that shifts our focus from a metropolitan view of Japanese imperialism. It is, in essence, a social and regional history of Japan’s urbanization, and how this process intersected with the expansion and collapse of an empire that was built on local networks.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41129178
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