Unit 4: Formal and Informal Empire
In this brief unit we will examine the mechanics of Japan’s imperialist practice between 1895 and the 1931 seizure of Manchuria. This period is crucial for examining the ways Japan sought to consolidate its power in East Asia while still very much constrained by forces domestic and foreign. Our particular focus here will be on the similarities and differences between formal (i.e. colonial) and informal empire in Korea and China, respectively. Both of our readings are by historian Peter Duus, and each aim to provide a blend of introductory context and historical argumentation.
Schedule of assignments
Unless otherwise noted, items listed under each day should be completed before the class it is assigned.
Thu 10/6: Japan's new phase of imperialism
- Read Huffman, 27-46.
Fri 10/7: Formal empire in Korea
- Read Peter Duus, "Mimesis and Dependence," in The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 424-38. (14 pages).
- The chapter assigned here serves as conclusion to a book outlining the process of Japanese colonization of Korea, beginning with the unequal treaty of 1876 and concluding with outright colonial annexation in 1910. Consider the following questions as you read this chapter:
- What role did economic forces (especially investment in industry and railways) play in Japan's colonization of Korea?
- In what ways did Japan's experience with the West shape its interactions with Korea? Do you see any new patterns here we have not yet discussed?
- How did Japanese imperialism in Korea differ from British and other Western examples?
Mon 10/10: Informal empire in China
Wed 10/12: Unit 4 Assessment
- To prepare for this assessment, please review your notes on the week's homework assignments.