In Transit: The Formation of a Colonial East Asian Cultural Sphere

KleemanThis work examines the creation of an East Asian cultural sphere by the Japanese imperial project in the first half of the twentieth century. It seeks to re-read the “Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere” not as a mere political and ideological concept but as the potential site of a vibrant and productive space that accommodated transcultural interaction and transformation. By reorienting the focus of (post) colonial studies from the macro-narrative of political economy, military institutions, and socio-political dynamics, it uncovers a cultural and personal understanding of life within the Japanese imperial enterprise.

The negative impact of Japanese imperialism on both nations and societies has been amply demonstrated and cannot be denied, but In Transit focuses on the opportunities and unique experiences it afforded a number of extraordinary individuals to provide a fuller picture of Japanese colonial culture. By observing the empire—from Tokyo to remote Mongolia and colonial Taiwan, from the turn of the twentieth century to the postwar era—through the diverse perspectives of gender, the arts, and popular culture, it explores an area of colonial experience that straddles the public and the private, the national and the personal, thereby revealing a new aspect of the colonial condition and its postcolonial implications.

Written by Faye Yuan Kleeman

2014 | 320 pages | 10 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3860-7 | $52.00 | Cloth

The World of East Asia Series