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Reviews of publications on race, nations, peoples, and mixture

By William Wetherall

First posted 22 August 2007
Last updated 20 July 2014

Works with green links are reviewed in independent articles

The semantics of race and racial mixture Reviews of books in Japanese and English from the 19th century to 1945
Races, nations, peoples Doak 1994-2007 Dower 1986 & 1999 Koshiro 1999 Lie 2004 Morris-Suzuki 1996   Shimazu 2006 Shimazu 2009 Silver 2008 Yoon 1994

Related articles
See the Bibliographies section of the Konketsuji site for reviews of publications related to racial mixture, including mixed marriage and mixed-blood people.


Races, nations, peoples

Materials that focus on race, race relations, racialism, and racism are grouped here. Define "race" any way you please.

Materials that examine the difference between "race" and "nation" and "people" with respect to "nationalism" or "ethnicity" or "identity" are also found here. Again, take your pick of definitions.

Kevin M. Doak
2007

A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan
(Placing the People)
Handbook of Oriental Studies
Handbuch der Orientalistik [HdO]
Section Five, Japan, Volume 13
Leiden: Brill, 2007
xii, 292 pages, hardcover

Doak 2007 and an earlier book and some articles are reviewed on an independent page as Kevin Doak on "minzoku" and "kokumin".

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John W. Dower
1986
1999

War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War
New York: Pantheon Books, 1986
xii, 398 pages, hardcover

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, The New Press, 1999
676 pages, hardcover

Dower 1986 and Dower 1999 are reviewed on an independent page as John Dower on "race" and "nationality".

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Yukiko Koshiro
1999

Trans-Pacific Racisms and the U.S. Occupation of Japan
[Studies of the East Asian Institute, Columbia University]
New York: Columbia University Press, 1999
xi, 295 pages, hardcover

Yukiko Koshiro, as a college student in Japan, studied immigration in the United States, where she later did her graduate work, and otherwise fell under the influence of trends in American academia to stress race, culture, and ideology pretty much in this order. Trans-Pacific Racisms is the result of "improving" what began as a doctoral dissertation for a PhD she received at Columbia University in 1992.

Koshiro's advisor at Columbia University was Carol Gluck. The book is dedicated to Carol Gluck. The book in one of a series of works, published under Gluck's direction, by the Studies of East Asian Institute at Columbia.

John Dower is thanked for having "read an early version of the manuscript and offered invaluable comments" in "the process of improving the book" (page ix). Though Gluck herself has contributed to the racialization of Japan in American-style Japanese studies, Dower appears to be Koshiro's principle mentor on "race" as a metaphor for understanding US-Japan relations.

To be continued.


Biographical note

Yukiko Koshiro (¬‘γ—LŠσŽq Koshiro Yukiko) is a professor in the Department of Global Exchange Studies, College of International Relations, Nihon University (“ϊ–{‘εŠwA‘ΫŠΦŒWŠw•”A‘ΫŒπ—¬Šw‰Θ).

Articles

Japan's World and World War II, Diplomatic History, Volume 25, Number 3, Summer 2001, 425-441. Also published in Michael Cox and R. Gerald Hughes, editors, Twentieth Century International Relations, Sage Publications, 2007, Volume VI, "Whatever Happened to the Pacific Century?"

Beyond an Alliance of Color: The African American Impact on Modern Japan, positions: east asia culture critique, Volume 11, Number 1, Spring 2003, pages 183-215. Also published in Hazel McFerson, editor, Blacks and Asians: Crossings, Conflict and Commonality, Carolina Academic Press, 2005.

Race as International Identity? 'Miscegenation' in the U.S. Occupation of Japan and Beyond, Amerikastudien/American Studies (Heidelberg), Volume 48, Number 1, 2003, pages 61-77. This article is largely inspired by the final chapter of Trans-Pacific Racisms (Chapter 5, The Problem of Miscegenation, pages 159-200.

Eurasian Eclipse: Japan's End Game in World War II, American Historical Review, Volume 109, Number 2, April 2004 (online). This article inspsired a report in Japanese called ƒ†[ƒ‰ƒVƒAƒ“Eƒ‹[ƒŒƒbƒg|‘ζ“ρŽŸ’ŠE‘εν‰Ί‚Μ“ϊ–{‚̏IνHμ, ‹ί‘γ“ϊ–{Žj—ΏŒ€‹†‰ο, ˆΙ“‘—²‰ΘŒ€”οŒ€‹†‰ο‘Š‡”Η, ‘ζ‚U‰ρŒ€‹†‰ο, ‰—­τŒ€‹†‘εŠw‰@‘εŠw, •½¬19”N2ŒŽ6“ϊ (Yuurashian ruuretto: Dai-ni-ji Sekai Taisen ka noNihon no shusen kosaku, 2007). Both of these earlier reports were finger exercises for a forthcoming publication to be entitled "Eurasian Roulette: Japan's End Game in World War II". In this cycle of reports, Koshiro extends her "race" conflict thesis to Japan-Russian relations.

Book Reviews

Parallax of the Asia-Pacific War: Review of Gerald Horne's Race War! White Supremacy and the Japanese Attack on the British Empire, Diplomatic History, Volume 30, Number 1, January 2006.

Review of Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan, Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 33, Number 1, Winter 2007, pages 211-216. See also Hasegawa's "Response to Yukiko Koshiro's Review" and Koshiro's "Reply to Hasegawa's Comment" in the Opinion and Comment section of the Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 33, Number 2, Summer 2007, pages 585-588.

Review of Eiichiro Azuma's Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, May 2007.

Review of Sadao Asada's Culture Shock and Japanese-American Relations: Historical Essays, American Historical Review, Volume 113, Number 3, June 2008.

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John Lie
2004

Modern Peoplehood
Cambrdige (MT): Harvard University Press, 2004
x, 384 pages, hardcover

The meat of this book, barely 250 pages, is cut into the following six chunks, which will choke the reader with detail that required an additional 100 pages -- not of end notes but of bibliographic sources. Lie wisely chose not to use a single footnote either. Everything word is where it belongs, woven into the tapestry of the text. Also fortunately, Lie has used the "Author year: page" notation system to identify his bibliographic sources, thus enabling readers to easily locate the full publication particulars of a given source in the "References" section.

Preface
Prelude
1. In Search of Foundations
2. Naturalizing Differences
3. Modern State / Modern Peoplehood
4. The Paradoxes of Peoplehood
5. Genocide
6. Identity

Postlude
References
Index

Blurb inside front flap

The blurb on the front flap of the dust jacket promotes the book in a manner that essentially defines "peoplehood".

In modern states, John Lie argues, ideas of race, ethnicity, and nationality can be subsumed under the rubric of "peoplehood." He argues, indeed, that the modern state has created the idea of peoplehood. That is, the seemingly primitive, atavistic feelings of belonging associated with ethnic, racial, and national identity are largely formed by the state. Not only is the state responsible for the development and nurturing of these feelings, it is also responsible for racial and ethnic conflict, even genocide. When citizens think of themselves in terms of their peoplehood identity, they will naturally locate the cause of all troubles -- from neighborhood squabbles to wars -- in racial, ethnic, or national attitudes and conflicts.

Far from being transhistorical and transcultural phenomena, race, ethnicity, and nation, Lie argues, are modern notions -- modernity here associated with the rise of the modern state, the industrial economy, and Enlightenment ideas.

The equation of "peoplehood" with "race, ethnicity, and nationality" -- and with "race, ethnicity, and nation" -- is why this book is being reviewed under the "Race" section of the Bibliography. "Race" in fact colors the meanings that many people impute to words like "ethnicity" and "nationality" or "nation" (and "national origin"). Words like "culture" and "heritage" are also likely to be carry nuances of "race".

This is, of course Lie's point -- and why he introduces "peoplehood" as a term to embrace race, ethnicity, and nation -- the notional foundations of racial, ethnic, and national identity -- which cannot help but foster racialism, which leads to racism and nationalism, which pave the way to genocide. Racism, genocide, and a host of other problems are by-products, he says, of modern nationalism.

Conclusion

In the penultimate graph of the Postlude, Lie comes to this conclusion (pages 272-273, underscoring mine).

In order to overcome racism, counter-racist racialization is necessary, however illusory its claims of authenticity and liberation may be. Dialectical negation and transformation are part and parcel of the inevitable human struggle in a world of power and inequality. The oppressed at once resist and use the oppressor's language, ideals, and methods. In so doing, counter-racism aspires only to the goals of modern peoplehood. As that memorable passage in A Dream of John Ball put it: "how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name" (Morris 1888:31). Rather than the freedom to choose peoplehood identity, perhaps the time has come for us to seek to be free from it. Refracting ripples of power, modern peoplehood promises neither emancipation nor redemption. Neither, alas, does counter-racist identity hold the key to liberation or salvation.

Lie then underscores his own advocacy with the following appeal to "humanistic reason" -- if I may characterize his "utopianism" this way -- in the concluding paragraph (page 273).

There is, then, life still in abstract universals, ideals of a well-tempered humanism (Todorov 1993:399). The regulative ideal of the Enlightenment -- utopian though it may sound -- provides a backdrop against which we can criticize the present and ponder a future, whether to vilify crimes against humanity or to champion nonracist thought. To condemn it as Eurocentric -- a genetic fallacy -- does disservice to Europe's singular contribution to the human race. The voice of reason, ever fragile and easily mocked, is soft but not silent, a minor but resonant note in the cacophonic world in which we somehow strain to hear and play the chords of knowledge, hope, and love.

RESUME JAPAN CITIZENSHIP NATIONALITY

There it is.

The pen many ways a warmup essentially a , in which the word "peoplehood" does not appear. and his later endorsement of the racialism of "Zainichi" peoplehood while at the same time pointing out its essential hollowness.

Lie wrote (Multiethnic Japan (Lie 2001) before he pursued the idea of "peoplehood". The 2001 work, completed in 1998, includes this paragraph in its conclusion (Lie 2001:171).

Against the prevalent belief that Japan is a monoethnic society, non-Japanese Japanese engage in a politics of recognition. To achieve a decent and dignified life, they must first eradicate ethnic discrimination and seek full-scale inclusion in Japanese life. Here the single most important institutional impediment against the advancement of non-Japanese Japanese remains the state bureaucracies, which continue to be exclusionary against cultural Japanese without state citizenship. By ignorning systematic disadvantages of the Ainu, Burakumin, or Okinawans, they also encourage efforts by ethnic activities to remedy their collective situation.

In the end, then, Lie is simply pushing racialism in -- he thinks -- a new direction. What he is doing, however, is endorsing the racialism that already exists in the words "people" and "peoples" -- which have long been part of the core vocabulary of the sort of racism he claims to want to "counter". It is one thing to be proud of who one as a human being regardless of what knd of human being. Once that pride is racialized, it transcends personal pride and takes on the "color" of collective pride based on race, and racism follows.

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Tessa Morris-Suzuki
1996

A Descent into the Past:
The Frontier in the Construction of Japanese Identity
Pages 81-94 (Chapter 5) in:
Donald Denoon, Mark Hudson, Gavan McCormack, and Tessa Morris-Suzuki (editors)
Multicultural Japan: Paleolithic to Postmodern
Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 1996 (2001)
viii, 302 pages, hardcover (softcover)

Multicultural Japan is a bit of a hodge-podge, as are most multi-authored books. All contributors touch upon "identity" from one or another viewpoint, and "ethnicity" also appears in many articles. But Morris-Suzuki's "A Descent into the Past" delves especially into "jinshu" and "minzoku", which she differentiates as "race" and "Volk" -- hence my review of her article here.


Gavan McCormack's introduction

Gavan McCormack leads his introduction to this book with an overview of Nakasone Yasuhiro's understanding of Japan as a natural homogeneous state, in which "the Yamato race" has been living for at least two thousand years. McCormack's source for a citation from one of Nakasone's speeches is an article I wrote on Nakasone for the Far Eastern Economic Review in 1987.

Unfortunately, McCormack fails to report that, in my reportage, I clearly gloss Nakasone's remarks about "the Yamato race" and "the Japanese race" as reflecting "Yamato minzoku" and "Nippon minzoku" in Japanese. Nakasone and others who share his romantic nationalist sentiments do not speak of "race" in the sense Morris-Suzuki introduces the word as reflecting "jinshu" in Japanese.

"race" / "rice"

That the editors and proofreaders of the book had "race" on their brain is suggested by the confusion of rice for race in the title of Chapter 14 as listed in the table of contents (underscoring mine).

Contents

14. Emperor, Race, and Commoners Amino Yoshihiko

Chapter Fourteen

Emperor, Rice, and Commoners
Amino Yoshihiko
(translated by Gavan McCormack)

Chapter 14 begins Part 5, on Culture and Ideology, and indeed it is about rice and not race.


McCormack on Morris-Suzuki

McCormack introduces Morris-Suzuki's article like this (page 7.

Tessa Morris-Suzuki (chapter 5) addresses the relations beteen the Japanese state and the people of the frontier who, until the late eighteenth century, were generally represented as part of Japan's 'barbarian peripher', foreign countries which paid tribute to Japan. Only as Japan became incorporated into the modern world order of nation states was the relationship reconsidered. When Okinawa and Hokkaido were absorbed within the Japanese state in the late nintheenth century their inhabitants, despite being redefined as 'Japanese citizens', nevertheless remained different in ways which disturbed official constructions of national uniformity. Ultimately they were redefined as different in terms of time rather than space: as 'backward' rather than foreign. But this process was not without risk, for it might imply that they represented a 'purer' or more 'pristine' expression of 'essential' 'Japaneseness'. Japanese debates about terms such as 'race' (jinshu) and 'Volk' (minzoku) therefore focus on these peoples.

Morris-Suzuki herself does not refer to "Japan" as having been a "state" until the late 19th century (page 82).

This chapter is an exploration of some notions of Japanese identity in terms of concepts of space and time. It's staring point is the question of Japan's frontiers. The modern Japanese nation state, quite clearly, is an artificial construct whose boundaries were drawn int the second half of the nineteenth century.

Her next reference to "state" supports this implication that Japan was not a "state" as such before the late 19th century (page 83).

In this order of things [at the geinning of eighteenth century], it is interesting that both Ainu and the Ryūkyōans, who were later to be enfolded into the Japanese state, are clearly defined as foreign. Indeed, in the official rhetoric of Tokugawa Japan up to the end of the eighteenth century we can observe a deliberate effort to maintain the boundaries which separated the frontier societies from 'Japan proper'.

The index glosses "Japanese state" as "Nihonkoku" and all three references are to McCormack's translation of Amino's article on "Emperor, Rice, and Commoners" (Chapter 14). In his article, Amino contends (according to McCormack's translation) that the "belief which lies at the origin of the state which first formalised 'Japan' as a country name and the appellation tennō (emperor) . . . gave rise to the . . . 'Japanese state' (Nihonkoku)" . . . also known as 'Yamato' (page 237).

Morris-Suzuki, however, does not appear to be using "state" as a translation tag for "koku" in reference to Japan before the late 19th century. Rather, she seems to associate "the Japanese state" with something "modern" such as the so-called "nation state" -- which, in any case, she does not define.

"Ainu" and "Ryūkyōans" are non-contemporary terms for inhabitants of the territories of "Ezo" and the "Ryōkyō" Morris-Suzuki refers to as "societies" -- whereas McCormack characterizes them as "countries".

The term Morris-Suzuki brackets as "'Japan proper'" is puzzling. The term does not reflect the realities of Japanese usage. The Japanese term for the prefectural jurisdiction of the sovereign empire was "Naichi" (“ΰ’n), meaning "Interior" -- as distinct from the jurisdictions of Taiwan (from 1895), Karafuto (from 1905), and Korea as Chosen (from 1910). The term "Nihon (Nippon)" (“ϊ–{) came to embrace all these exterior territories.

Karafuto was quickly embraced by the Interior, and Taiwan and Chosen were also groomed for inclusion in the Interior polity. The expression "Japan proper" reflects a contemporary English, not Japanese, bias as to the "boundaries" of "Japan". Not only does Morris-Suzuki impose misleading English terms on Japanese descriptions of Japan -- but she imposes such terms on periods before they would be possible even in English.


"jinshu" and "minzoku"

In a section titled "Civilisation, Race and the Frontier", Morris-Suzuki presents a fairly conventional summary of how words like "jinshu" and "minzoku" came into use in Japan.

"jinshu"

The term "jinshu" appeared as early as 1853 in terms like "Oranda jinshu" or "the Dutch race" (page 87, and note 16). By 1869 it was being used by "the great westernise" Fukuzawa Yukichi to mean "race" in the sense of "color" classifications (white, yellow, black, brown, red) -- that, she fails to clarify, were then common in countries like the United States.

"minzoku"

The term "minzoku" comes into vogue somewhat later (page 88).

This [the physical affinity between Japanese and inhabitants of neighboring countries] probably helps to explain why, from the Late Meiji period onward, rhetoric about jinshu (race) tends to be overshadowed by rhetoric about minzoku. Minzoku is a word whose most apt translation is the German word Volk. Like Volk, minzoku has powerful overtones of communal solidarity, but is equivocal about the basis of that solidarity. While race is clearly based on inherited physical characteristics, a minzoku may be held together by blood bonds, nationality, culture or some combination of these things. Probably the earliest use of the word minzoku appears in the works of certain members of the Meiji-period Popular Rights movement, who used the word in a quite different sense, as a translation of the French Nationale in the expression Assemblée Nationale. [Note 22]

22. Yun Kōn Cha, 'Minzoku gensō no satetsu', Shisō, no. 834, December 1993, p. 13.

Morris-Suzuki does not elaborate on why she thinks the people who reportedly translated "nationale" as "minzoku" used the word in "a quite different sense". However, she cannot possibly know in what sense the translators thought they were using the word. She can only project the sense that she herself imputes to "nationale" in "Assemblée Nationale" circa the late 19th century.


"national" as "kokumin" and "minzoku"

Let me digress a bit here by way of amplifying on the "sense" of "minzoku" as a translation of "nationale" in late 19th century Japan. Today, over a century later, French "nationale" is generally translated in two ways -- ‘–― (kokumin) and –―‘° (minzoku) -- as in the following examples.

Assemblée Nationale (France)
National Assembly
‘–―‹c‰ο

FLN (Algeria)
Parti du Front de Libération Nationale
National Liberation Front
–―‘°‰π•ϊνό

FLNC (Corsica)
Front de Libération Nationale de la Corse
Corsican National Liberation Front
ƒRƒ‹ƒVƒJ–―‘°‰π•ϊνό

LNKS (New Caledonia)
Front de Libéeration Nationale Kanak et Socialiste
Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front
ƒJƒiƒNŽΠ‰οŽε‹`–―‘°‰π•ϊνό

un bon instrument de culture nationale
–―‘°•Ά‰»‚π“`‚¦‚ι‚ζ‚’“Ή‹ο

Varities of "national" in English and Afrikaans are similarly translated as "kokumin" or "minzoku" depending on their context.

Nasionale Vergadering (South Africa)
National Assembly
‘–―‹c‰ο

ANC (South Africa)
African National Congress
ƒAƒtƒŠƒJ–―‘°‰ο‹c

Scottish National Assembly
ƒXƒRƒbƒgƒ‰ƒ“ƒh–―‘°‹c‰ο

Iraqi Kurdistan National Assembly (Iraq)
ƒNƒ‹ƒh–―‘°‹c‰ο

Morris-Suzuki knows that "nation" and "race" and "Volk" and "ethnos" and the like seriously overlap in the minds of some people -- and, to some extent, she is trying to make this point. Yet she is certain that "kokumin" should be "nation" if it is part of "kokumin kokka" and "citizen" if just "kokumin".

One of the points I made when talking about Nakasone Yasuharu is his propensity to conflate "kokumin kokka" with "minzoku kokka" in the same speech. And there are scholars of "nationalism" today who insist that "minzoku" should be translated "nation" or "national" because "race" or "racial" sound too "biological" and, well, "racist".

So what did the publishers of the journal –―‘°‰qΆ (Minzoku eisei) have in mind when they assigned it the English title "Race hygiene"? What do they have in mind when, today, they assign successor of this journal, still called –―‘°‰qΆ in Japanese, the English title "Journal of Health and Human Ecology"?

Obviously there are shifts in thinking about the "sense" of key words, especially when translating from one language to the other. But where is the locus of meaning? Not in the words themselves.

As for Yun Kŏn Ch'a, the article cited by Morris-Suzuki was a preview of material that appeared the following year in a book of the same title, published by Iwanami Shoten, which publishes the journal Shisō. See my review of this book as Yun 1994 in the "Race" section of this bibliography.


"minzoku" and "kokumin"

Morris-Suzuki continues her story about the emergence of "minzoku" in Japan like this (page 88).

By the beginning of the 1890s it [minzoku] was being more widely used . . . but its meaning remained ill-defined and it was not clearly distinguishable from other parallel terms such as jinshu and Kokumin (citizens). [Note 23] Bu the following decade, however, the word was acquiring a clearer focus.

The "focus" can be seen, she says, in a 1908 work by Haga Yaichi called "Kokuminsei jūron" -- which she translates "Ten Theses on National Character" -- though she has just told us that "Kokumin" means "citizen". Haga, she says, explained that each minzoku differs not only in terms of physical traits like hair and skin color, but also "minzokuteki seishitsu" -- which she translates "ethnic qualitities" -- refering to language, customs, history the like -- though she has just said aptest translation of "minzoku" is "Volk".

The next page explores the development in the early 20th century of "Yamato minzoku" as an expression with "strong nationalist overtones" -- using the term "nationalist". Then comes the idea of "national self-determination" -- which she says figures in the "rising tide of the debate on minzoku -- though she doesn't tell us how "minzoku" (which she is discussing as a Japanese term) is linked with "national" (as an English term).


"names" and "interrmarriage"

Morris-Suzuki winds up her disucssion of minzoku like this (pages 89-90).

Minzoku, then, was not a matter of biology but of culture and above all of ideology: the acceptance of a set of beliefs and institutions which made one 'truly Japanese'. The interpretation achieved two things. It took hold of certain of the modern nation state -- the striving for linguistic uniformity, the exhalation of the role of the emperor, etc. -- and essentialised them, projecting them back upon history as the eternal features of the Japanese people. At the same time, it offered to the people of Japan's expanding empire, among them the people of the frontier regions, the possibility of acceptance as 'Japanese', but only at the cost of their total submission to a prescribed set of culture, linguistic and ideological norms. This vision of the Japanese minzoku came eventually to provide support for the Japanese government's assimilationist policies towards its colonies: policies which included forcing Koreans to adopt 'Japanese' names and encouraging intermarrige between Japanese and Koreans. [Note 27]

27. For a poignant account of this policy and its tragic social consequences, see Utsumi Aiko, 'Kokuseki ni honrō sareta hitobito', in Doi Takako (ed.), Kokuseki o kangaeru, Tokyo, Jiji Tsūshinsha, 1984.

Commenting on Umehara Takeshi's contention that Jōmon culture contining to exist in its purest form in Ainu culture, Morris-Suzuki says Umehara's view "is not wrong in any simple factual sense". She questions, though, whether his view really contributes to "the contemporary cause of Ainu liberation" because it "presumes the existence of some eternal and absolute 'Japaneseness' in which people can be included or from which they can be excluded" (page 92).

The same could be said of Morris-Suzuki's overview of the development of "Yamato minzoku" as a standard of "assimilation" for subjects of the Empire of Japan. Most of her Japanese facts are right. The problem is that she misrepresents some of the Japanese facts with lazy if not incorrect English dubs -- nation state, citizen, ethnic -- and presses them into the service of a colonial critique that reduces complex legal and social matters to radical cliches.

There was no policy of "forcing Koreans to adopt 'Japanese' names". While elaborating on the introduction of Interior (prefectural) family laws in Chosen might have been outside the scope of her article, there is no foundation for this characterization the legal provisions that took effect from early 1940 concerning names. She could more objectively, and truthly, have written something like "imposing the Interior principle one family name per family on Chosen household registers".

Nor was there a policy of "encouraging intermarrige between Japanese and Koreans". There was no legal distinction between "Japanese" and "Koreans" at the time. There were only Japanese of various regional affiliations. Morris-Suzuki's "Jjapanese" were "Japanese affiliated with the Interior (prefectures)", and her "Koreans" were "Japanese affiliated with Chosen".

Morris-Suzuki's reference to Utsumi's article as being "a poignant account of this [marriage] policy and its tragic social consequences" is patently odd. While Utsumi states in passing that "Interior-Chosen marriages were encouraged" (page 141), she testifies only to the legal facilitation of such marriages in 1923, not to a "policy" of intermarriage circa 1940.

Utsumi prefaces her discussion of "Interior-Chosen marriages" with the statement that they "produced many tragedies" (page 139). Whatever she may have meant by "many" (‘½‚­‚Μ ookuno) or "tragedy" (”ίŒ€ higeki)", she does not categorically regard the "consequences" of marriages between Interiorites and Chosenese per se as "tragic".

Utsumi discusses only a couple of court cases which involved nationality complications after Chosenese had lost their Japanese nationality in 1952, when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into effect. The plaintiffs in these cases were undoubtedly distressed by postwar conditions and settlements, and by the fact that older status laws continued to operate until they were formally abrogated or otherwise lost their effectiveness. However, it is not clear why these cases should be characterized as "tragedies". Nor is it clear why they should be regarded as representative of "Interior-Chosen marraiges" generally.

For a review of Utsumi's article, see Utsumi 1984 in under the "Mixture" section of this bibliography.

Morris-Suzuki does succeed in giving a general idea of how words like "jinshu" and "minzoku" came to be used in Japan during the 19th and 20th centuries. However, as with many of her articles, the scholarship she brings to bear on her subjects -- in this case some of the most important metaphors of the recent past and present -- is compromised by a radical rhetoric that plays loose with historical facts.

In this book, though, she is in good company.

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Naoko Shimazu (editor)
2006

Nationalisms in Japan
[Sheffield Centre for Japanese Studies / Routledge Series]
New York: Routledge [Taylor & Francis Group]
xii, 196 pages, paper cover

Forthcoming.

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Naoko Shimazu
2009

Japan, Race and Equality
(The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919)
[The Nissan Institute / Routledge Japanese Studies Series]
New York: Routledge (2009 Digital Printing Edition
xi, 255 pages, paper cover

This book get's a "A" for it attempt to collate a lot of interesting information and a "B" for its somewhat convoluted presentation, but in the end a "C" for its faulty analysis.

Forthcoming.


Two proposals

As a member of the commission responsibility for drafting the covenenant of the League of Nations, Japan made two attempts to introduce clauses that would have obligated member states to treat each other's nationals equally as aliens. The first proposal invoked the principle of "equality of nations" and would have prohibitted making distinctions between the alien nationals of other member states on account of race or nationality. The second proposal simplified this to a principle of "equality of all nationals", which meant only nationality as a raceless civil status.

First proposal

The first proposal, presented on 13 February 1919, called for the following clause to be included in the League of Nations covenant as an amendment to Article 21, which had originally concerned only religious freedom (Shimazu 1998, pages 20, 83-84, underscoring mine).

The equality of nations being a basic principle of the Leage of Nations, the High Contracting Parties agree to accord as soon as possible to all alien nationals of states, members of the League, equal and just treatment in every respect making no distinction, either in law or in fact, on account of their race or nationality.

The proposal is crystal clear. The "nations" which were to constitute the membership of the League of Nations were "states". And as states, the people each state recognized as members of its national population possessed its nationality, a civil status recognized in international law -- i.e., laws that govern relationships between states as well as between nationals of different states in private matters.

However, some states have laws that, in addition to differentiating between nationals (or subjects or citizens) and aliens, classify and differently treat people according to their putative "race" whether narrowly defined by skin color and other such biological traits, or broadly defined in some "ethnic" sense. Japan's proposal called for equal and just treatment irrespective of nationality or race.

Of course, states could differentiate (and discriminate) between aliens and nationals (subjects, citizens) -- which was, of course, the whole purpose of nationality. But if states A, B, and C were member states, then -- according to Japan's proposal -- state A would not be allowed to treat nationals of state B inferior to nationals of state C because of nationality or race -- ditto for states B and C regarding the nationals of the other two states.

Japan knew exactly what it was demanding -- an end to the sort of discrimination that was practiced under the domestic laws of, for example, the United States. For Japan, discrimination because of either "nationality" or "race" was very obviously a "state" issue -- given the nature of legal discrimination in the United States, which essentially equated "race" with "national origin", and "national origin" with "nationality".

This first proposal was the fruit of working together with delegates from some other countries, including the United States, since the convening of the peace conference on 18 January 1919. When formally submitted on 13 February, it met with a mixture of support and criticism. On that day, however, Article 21 was dropped from the draft of the covenant, not entirely because of Japan's amendment to the original article.

Some delegates felt that Japan was merely angling for a way to eliminate immigration restrictions in countries which had been discouraging or refusing immigration from Japan. Others had expressed reservations that the proposal would infringe on domestic sovereignty. Some thought that references in the covenant to matters like religion and race would be divisive at this stage, and were more properly left for future considerations by members of the League of Nations after its founding. France even argued that there was a close relationship between "race" and "religion".

Second proposal

On 22 March 1919, Japan's delegates began circulating a new proposal for the insertion of the following clause in the agreement statement preceding the articles of covenent (Shimazu 1998, pages 24 and 27, underscoring mine).

. . . by the endorsement of the principle of equality of all nationals of States members of the League . . .

This clause very clearly refers to "nationals" as persons who are affiliated with the demographic nations of the "states" which would join the League of Nations. Being a "national" of a state as a matter of its domestic law, in the eyes of a recognizing state, implies only possession of the state's nationality -- a civil, not ethnic, status in international law.

Japanese versions

Shimazu does not present Japanese versions of the two proposals, though she does discuss how they were generally referred to in Japanese media (see below). The two proposals are usually represented in Japanese like this (romanization and structural translation mine).

13 February proposal

lŽν‚ ‚ι‚’‚͍‘Π”@‰½‚Ι‚ζ‚θ–@—₯γ‚ ‚ι‚’‚ΝŽ–Žΐγ‰½‚獷•Κ‚πέ‚―‚΄‚ι‚±‚Ζ‚π–ρ‚·

Jinshu aruiwa kokuseki ikan ni yori hōritsu-jō aruiwa jitsu-jō izura sabetsu o moukezaru koto o yaku su

[Party states] agree to not establish discrimination [create distinctions] anywhere in law or in fact whether according race or nationality

22 March proposal

‘‰Ζ•½“™‚ΜŒ΄‘₯‚ƍ‘–―‚ΜŒφ³‚ȏˆ‹φ‚π–ρ‚·

Kokka byōdō no gensoku to kokumin no kōsei-na taigū o yaku su

[Party states] agree to princle of equality of states and impartial treatment of nationals

At the time, Japan's state nationality embraced four territorial civil statuses based on membership in prefectural Interior (Naichi), Taiwan, Karafuto, and Chōsen registers. These four territories constituted Japan's sovereign dominion, and all people in their population registers were Japanese. If traveling outside Japan, inclusive of these territories, they carried Japanese passports, which gained them recognition in other countries as Japanese nationals.

This second proposal -- which thus implied the "equality of member nations" in the sense of the "equality of the populations affiliated with member states" -- drew the following response in a vote taken on 11 April 1919 (Shimazu 1998, pages 14 and 31, my interpretation and arrangement of data in Shimazu's verbal description).

Breakdown of 11 April 1919 vote on
Japan's second proposal for equality clause by
members of League of Nations Commission at
Paris Peace Conference

Total

   15 states      19 delegates

Yes votes

   8 states       11 delegates

   Brazil          1
   Chechoslovakia  1
   China           1
   France          2
   Greece          1
   Italy           2
   Japan           2
   Serbia          1

No negative votes taken hence
following votes not registered

   5 states        6 delegates

 [ British Empire  1 (second delegate absent) ]
 [ Poland          1 (presumed) ]
   Portugal        1
   Romania         1
   United States   2

Absent

   1 state         2 delgates

 [ Belgium         1 (delegate absent) ]
 [ British Empire  1 (second delegate present) ]

The British Empire, which represented the British Dominions and India, was known to be against Japan's proposals, owing partly to strong opposition from Australia, which threatened confront Japan at the plenary cession if the draft of covenent submitted to it by the commission included Japan's proposal. As the chairman of the peace conference and commission, Woodrow Wilson used his discretionary powers to reject the vote on grounds that the issue remained divisive at a time when unanimity was in order. Apparently Wilson took this stance on the advice of the same American delegate who had helped Japan formulate the original proposal and then, when Britain objected, withdrew his own support for the proposal.

My reading of the political interplay between the parties was that, ultimately, Wilson was himself not predisposed to support Japan's proposals -- since, no matter how they were worded, they were targetting the sort of racial discrimination that existed in all manner of American federal and state laws against certain nationalities of immigrants on account of their putative race. Not only were immigrants from Japan and other "Oriental" countries considered racially less desireable than immigrants from Europe, but such immigrants who had settled in the United States were not allowed to naturalize because they were "ineligible to citizenship" on racial grounds. Japan was one of the few powerful states in the world whose laws did not concern race or otherwise racially discriminate.

Naoko Shimazu, in Japan, Race and Equality (Routeledge, 1998), argues that "The fact that the aim of the proposal was so specifically geared towards securing Japan's own position indicates that it could not have been intended to have the altruistic objective of seeking univsersal racial equality" -- and that the government of Japan "was much alarmed by the universalistic interpretation attached to its 'nationalistic' proposal" (page 114). She then says this (pages 114-115, underscoring mine).

It has been pointed out that when Japan submitted this 'racial equality' proposal, it did not realise how challenging this was to the international order in the long run. [Note 125] In a sense, Japan was, unknowingly and unwittingly, mounting a serious challenge to the existing norms which operated in the Western-dominated international system, by claiming that racial equality should be recognized as a fundamental principle of equality of status. The significance of this claim is undeniable, as evidenced by the incorporation of this principle as a fundamental principle in the United Nations Charter in 1945. Nonetheless, it must be stressed that although the proposal is significant in retrospect, in understanding the evolution of the racial equality principle as an important element in the international order, it would be a misrepresentation to claim that the Japanese government understood its universal implications when it was put forward. The fact was that the Japanese not only lacked the awareness that they were initiating such an important change in the existing international order, which incorporated elements of injustice, but they were themselves also guilty of a racially discriminatory attitude towards Chinese and Koreans. [Note 126]

[Note 125] Onuma [sic Ūnuma] Yasuaki, 'Haruka naru jinshu byōdō no risō', Onuma [sic Ūnuma] Yasuaki (ed.), Kokusaihō, kokusai rengō to nihon, Tokyo: Kōbundō, 1987, pp. 431-2.

[Note 126] Ibid., p. 477.

"unknowingly and unwittingly"

Japan's delegates at the Paris Peace Conference were undoubtedly in the awkward position of having to navigate uncharted terrain -- without clear instructions from Tokyo, and in constantly shifting local political climates. However, they were seasoned diplomats. They were familiar with how the world worked. They knew how Japanese and others were being treated in countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia, to name just a few of the states that did not especially welcome Japanese as immigrants and classified them racailly.

But Japan's delegates clearly knew what they wanted. And they knew, with the help of some other delegates, how to phrase what they wanted in precise legal terms that any diplomat, and any legalist, would clearly understand in the context of international relations.

Moreover, Japan's delegates, having been in contentious diplomatic positions concerning racial discrimination against Japan's nationals, and being very much on the hot spot at the Paris Peace Conference, could not possibly have been unaware of the ripples their proposal would, and did, cause. I would allow, however, that at the beginning of the conference they may have been a bit naive -- or at least romantically wishful -- in thinking that the United States and Great Britain might actually support them. When both proposals were rejected, however, they most likely admitted to themselves "Well, what else could we have realistically expected?"

"racial equality . . . as a . . . principle of equality of status"

Japan was not asking for member states to endorse such a principle. It was asking only that member states agree a principle of equality of treatment of the nationals of other member states, as aliens, without respect to their nationality or putative race in the eyes of the state in which they were aliens.

"fundamental principle in the United Nations Charter"

The United Nations Charter most certainly does not incorporate the sort of "principle" that Shimazu describes. Item 3 of Article 1 of the charter provides that one of the purposes of the United Nations is "To achieve international co-operation . . . in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion" -- which is a very different matter. This is one of the "common ends" that the United Nations hopes to attain through "harmonizing the actions of nations" in such regards (Item 4).

Item 1 of Article 2 states that the United Nations, as an organization, "is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members" -- meaning that, in fact, each member state retains the right, as a sovereign state, to cooperate or not in the attainment the UN's goals. Or, to put it differently, each state has a right to define, or not, matters of "race, sex, language, or religion".

Only after its creation did the United Nations create conventions for the elemination of various forms of discrimination, and states were free to join, or not join, such conventions, or join with reservations.

In fact, in the United States then, and still today, "race" is a classifiable personal attribute, and may be regarded as a "status" for purposes of some laws. In Japan, however, "race" has historically not been a legal status -- to the irritation of certain "racial equality" advocacy organizations in Japan, which petition relevant United Nations committees to pressure Japan to racialize "groups" the organizations regard as "racial" (usually conflated with "ethnic") minorities.

"the Japanese not only lacked the awareness
they were initiating such an important change . . .
but were themselves guilty of a racially discriminatory
attitude towards Chinese and Koreans"

This remark, concerning "Chinese and Koreans", compares with the following remark, regarding "Koreans and Chinese", which Shimazu made shortly before the above cited claims, which she attributes to an article by Ōnuma Yasuaki (Shimazu 1998, page 114, underscoring mine).

As the government was not asking for universal racial equality, it saw no hypocrisy in its own position of demanding this proposal on the one hand, while continuing to discriminate against Koreans and Chinese on the other.

Shimazu is shifting from a story about Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials in Tokyo, and the ministry's delegates in Paris, to "the Japanese" -- which appears to be her own racialization. At the time of the Paris Peace Conference, "Korea" was the territory of Chōsen, and as it was part of Japan, "Koreans" or Chosenese were Japanese.

Taiwan (Formosa) was also a part of Japan at the time, and Taiwanese (Formosans) were also Japanese.

Chinese, of course, were not Japanese, so if they were in Japan (including Taiwan and Chōsen), they would have been aliens. Japan was certainly guilty of being territorially agressive in China, such as in its demands regarding China during World War I. Japan had to scale back its demands because of pressure from the United States, and even Great Britain, which Japan had supported in the war against Germany. And Japan's conflicts with China, and over China, continued during the Paris Peace Conference.

Why Shimazu claims that Japan was guilty of "racial discrimination" against Koreans and Chinese, though, is not clear. I do not een a copy of the book in which Ōnuma's article appears, so I haven't been able to confirm what he wrote -- whether he spoke of "Chōgokujin" (Chinese) or "Taiwanjin" (Taiwanese) or both -- and if he spoke of "discrimination" (which would be expected), whether he qualified it as "racial" (jinshu) or "ethnic" or "ethnonational" (minzoku).


"""

Japan's Foreign Ministry, Shimazu says, used the expression "jinshu sabetsu teppai, which literally means 'abolition of racial discrimination" -- and most official and unofficial debates [in Japanese] used this expression rather than "'racial equality' (jinshu byōdō)" (page 115). Assuming she is correct that Japan's delegation did not intend "racial equality" to be a universal principle, then one would have to imagine that its members did not understand the difference between the English term "race" and the English term "nation" -- which is not likely.

As of January 1919, Japan had been diplomatically embattled with the United over issues involving racial discrimination in the United States against its nationals and their US-born US-citizen descendants, and had accommodated a number of demands by the United States. In a "genteleman's agreement" between Japan and the United States in 1908, Japan agreed not issue passports to Japanese who sought to go to go to the United States for the purpose of work as laborers. And in 1914, Japan added renunciation provisions to its 1899 Nationality Law in response to pressure from the United States that it it facilitate US desires to minimize if not eliminate dual US-Japanese nationality.

So I would think that Japan's delgation clearly understood that it was seeking to establish a principle of "racial equality" at least among the league of nations. This also seems to have been understood by member states, who divided themselves in the vote -- understanding exactly what effects the acceptance of such a provision would have had on their domestic laws.

With regard to its domestic laws -- and its treatment of individuals under its domestic laws, in all its legal jurisdictions -- Japan would have had nothing to fear, since its laws did not codify either "jinshu" (race) or "minzoku" (ethnic nation). Japan would have had to admit that it differentiated between its nationals on the basis of their territorial affiliations -- whether affiliated with the prefectural Interior, Taiwan, Karafuto (regarded under the 1918 Common Law on a par with the Interior), and Chōsen (as Korea had become when annexed in 1910).

But would Japan, at the Paris Peace Conference convened from 18 to 21 January 1919, have admitted that Taiwanese and Chosenese constituted "ethnic nations" that deserved rights of "national self-determination" -- either within Japan, or as independent states? Probably not. And certainly not on 1 March 1919, barely five weeks later, which marked the start of what Koreans today celebrate as the beginning, in Korea and then elsewhere, of the "independence movement" against Japan's "occupation" of the "Empire of Korea".

Japan may have miscalculated the prospects of its proposal being adopted, but I do not get the impression that its delegates knew that they were asking the collective membership of the League of Nations to endorse the end of "skin color" discimination between the nationals of its member states.

several sources, including Naoko Shimazu, Japan, Race and Equality: The Race Equality Proposal of 1919, London: Routledge, 1998, pages 83-84,

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Peter Silver
2008

Our Savage Neighbors
(How Indian War Transformed Early America)
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008
xxvi, 406 pages, hardcover

"Racism" as lazy explanation

Many people seem to use words like "racism" and "culture" as though they take their meanings for granted. Everyone is supposed to know what they mean, and increasingly they are used to terminate arguments. If a speaker or writer imputes this incident to "racism", or that behavior to "culture", then a listener or reader is expected to accept the causal attribution as self-evident.

People are also prone to speak of complex countries like "Japan" and "America" as singularized entities. Here, too, in one language or another, collective comfort is taken in the sheer familiarity and obviousness of phrasing like "the Japanese are" and "America is".

It is equally fashionable to racialize complex populations as monolithic "groups" called "Asians" or "Asian Americans" or "whites" or "Native Americans" or "people of color and women" and the like. Individuals who are perceived to be "members" of such "communities" or "peoples" are often alleged to possess a "culture" or "heritage" or "ethnicity" on purely racial grounds -- as though "blood" ought to determine "identity.

Academics who engage more in identity politics than scholarship are inclined to abuse terms like "racism" in their rush to explain the real and imaginary plights of "groups" they regard as victims. Peter Silver makes this very cogent observation in Savage Neighbors (Silver 2008:xvi).

Though a few American historians have had recourse to the slippery idea of "proto-racism," most scholars working on related subjects have found that racial thinking had no coherent existence, let alone aany independent ability to determine people's beliefs and actions, before the scientific racialism of the nineteenth century. If the term "racism" is to have a specific meaning or explanatory value, more is lost than gained by applying it hazily to a great many early antagonisms between groups -- groups that were never limied in their interactions to the nineteenth-cnetury racial categories, and behind whose enmities lay far more than a spiri of racial animus. [Note 6] As an explanation, in other words, it is lazy, and one of the most interesting things about the whole tangled history of American intergroup relations turns out to be not how much they have stayed fundamentally the same, but how drastically they have changed. Despite the use of words and phrases like "Indian" and "white people," modern racial thinking played no part in most groups' views of each other for nearly all of the period studied in this book. At its very end, by the close of the American Revolution, the partisans of the United States would have found a new rhetoric for decrying Indians that was genuinely worth calling racist. But the surprising paths that the middle colonies' European inhabitants had to travel to reach that point are well worth retracing.

Note 6    For thoughtful cautions, see Benjamin Braude, "Primary Colors," a review of Roxann Wheeler, The Complexion of Race: Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture (Philadelphia, 2000) in WMQ [William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series] 59 (2002): 742-46; and George M. Fredrickson's warnings against the historical dead end of "find[ing] a vague and undifferentiated attitudinal racism almost everywhere" in his "Reflections on the Comparative History of Sociology and Racism," Race Traitor 3 (1994): 83, as reprinted in Racial Classification and History, comp. E. Nathaniel Gates (New York, 1997), p. 51.

Silver observes that the concept of "identity" has been much abused, as in the telling of North American history, where there is a tendency to reduce conflict to a question of "white" or "European colonists" against "Indians". In fact, "Indians" became a reduction of hundreds of distinct populations that represented an incredible diversity of ways of life that included conflict with neighboring tribes.

A Silver remarks (Silver 2008:xviii):

The sheer heterogeneity of the people [Europeans and Africans] who could actually be coerced and cajoled into making this trip [across the Atlantic, in freedom or bondage, to replant the new landscapes], combined with the heterogeneity of the native peoples they found there already, made the middle colonies a case study of early modern diversity.

The newcomers, Silver continues, citing a contemporary English tourist, represented . . .

. . . "people of different nations, different manners, different religions, and different languages" [that] were in fact plural societies before the ideal of pluralism had been fully imagined, and this was not a condition that most of the people in them found happy.

And such differences were just as likely to be foils for mutual conflict within and between colonial settlements of different European origins.

Rapid increases in numbers of people coming from Europe, and pushing west of the somewhat stablized mid-Atlantic colonies -- and wars, especially those that raged between the 1750s and the 1780s, beginning with the Seven Years' War between Britain and France in 1855, when western Indians allied with France began attacking middle "English" colonies -- forged alliances among native tribes as "Indians" and among newcomers as "white people".

"The Indians," Silver writes, "may in fact have been the first North American population to discover a broad identity" (Ibid. xx) as they forged coalitions to achieve the common "nativist" goal of containing the incursions of Europeans (Ibid. 16). Europeans, for their part, also came to perceive themselves as having more in common than not -- in particular "an aggrieved sense of victimization" (Ibid. 122). As Silver puts it (Ibid. xx):

In the face of contact with other populations, members of some groups came to suddently see new kinships with one another -- kinships that became easy to perceive only when they had a reason to imagine themselves as they must look through another group's unfriendly eyes.

The terms "Indian" and "white" were used with various meanings, some more political and cultural than racial. As used by Benjamin Franklin, who had his prejudices, "white" excluded Germans and others who today would be included. Franklin's "lovely White and Red" alluded to the "pallor and flush" of those Europeans he considered worthy of protection from mixture with "Blacks" and "Tawneys" (Ibid. 385-386). Some Indians and whites thought that a white could become an Indian, or an Indian might become a white, as a result of acculturation, during captivity or through education (Ibid. 114-122).

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Yoon Keun Cha ›šŒ’ŽŸ (ƒ†ƒ“ ƒRƒHƒ“ ƒ`ƒƒ)
1994

–―‘°ŒΆ‘z‚ΜηAζιF“ϊ–{l‚ΜŽ©ŒΘ‘œ
Minzoku gensō no satetsu: Nihonjin no jikozō
[The failure of racial illusions: The self-image of Japanese]
“Œ‹žFŠβ”g‘“XA1994”N8ŒŽ26“ϊ
Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 26 August 1994
ix, 301 pages, hardcover

The blurb on the front of the obi characterizes the book like this.

“ϊ–{l‚Ƃ́A
“ϊ–{–―‘°‚Ƃ́A
----- έ“ϊ‚ΜŽ‹ΐ‚©‚η–β‚€
“ϊ–{l‚ΜƒAƒCƒfƒ“ƒeƒBƒeƒB

Japan people,
Japan race,
----- Identity of Japan people

The chapter headings, on the back of the obi, promise this.

 ˜˜_ -- ‰Ϋ‘θ‚Ζ‚΅‚Δ‚Μ–―‘°
Introduction -- Race as a theme [problem]
  I  –―‘°ŒΆ‘z‚ΜηAζι
     The failure of racial illusions
 II  ‹ί‘γ“ϊ–{‚ΜˆΩ–―‘°Žx”z
     Control of different [other] races
       in recent-period Japan
III  “ϊ–{l‚ΜƒAƒCƒfƒ“ƒeƒBƒeƒBŒ`¬
     The formation of Japanese identity
 IV  “ϊ–{”FŽ―‚Ι‚¨‚―‚ιq“ΰ‚Θ‚ι“ϊ’ιrŽ•ž‚Μ‰Ϋ‘θ
     The theme [problem] of "Empire of Japan
       within" subjugation in Japan's perception
  V  Ϋ’₯“Vc§‚ƐνŒγΣ”C
     The symbolic-Tennō system and
       postwar responsibility
 VI  –―O‚Ι‚Ζ‚Α‚Ắu–―‘°v‚Ζ‚Ν
     "Race" for [to] the masses

There an afterword, Yoon explains the origins of the title and subtitle of the book and of its chapters. Chapter one, which inspired the title, was originally published in the December 1993 issue (Number 590) of Shisō (Žv‘z) [Thought], a monthly magazine also published by Iwanami Shoten.

The book delivers -- to a considerable point. Yoon's overview of how terms like l–― (jinmin) or "people", ‘–― (kokumin) or "nation, national", and –―‘° (minzoku) or "ethnos, race, nation) appeared in Japanese texts from the mid 19th century is not a bad summary. His contentions about how their meanings overlapped and changed in time are both plausible and debatable.

To be continued.


Biographical note

Yoon Keun Cha, born in Kyoto in 1944, is a professor of the history of recent-era Japan-Korea relations and intellectual history at Kanagawa University. As of this writing (October 2009), he was a member of the "Department of Cross-cultural Studies" in the "Faculty of Foreign Languages" of the university.

He has been a prolific writer on various aspects of "Korean" and "Japanese" identity in terms of "ethnos" [race] (–―‘° minzoku) and "nation" (‘–― kokumin).

The following book, written subsequent to the book under review, explores the "Japan people" (“ϊ–{l Nihonjin), "Japan nation / nationals" (“ϊ–{‘–― Nihon kokumin), and "Japan ethnorace" (“ϊ–{–―‘° Nihon minzoku) in Japan, against the backdrop of the views of "Asia" reflected in the writings of thinkers from Yoshida Shōin (‹g“cΌ‰A 1830-1859) to Maruyama Masao (ŠΫŽR^’j 1914-1996).

›šŒ’ŽŸ Yoon Keun Cha
“ϊ–{‘–―˜_F‹ί‘γ“ϊ–{‚ΜƒAƒCƒfƒ“ƒeƒBƒeƒB
Nihon kokumin ron: Kindai Nihon no aidentiti
[Views of Japan nation: Identity of Japan in recent era]
“Œ‹žF’}–€‘–[A1997
Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, March 1997
261 pages, hardcover

Yoon is also a mountaineer, photographer, and poet. His sensibilities are reflected the graphic representation of the name of his homepage -- ŒΗ—’ε–κ Koreanya.

Yoon shows the names ›šŒ’ŽŸ, ‚δ‚ρE‚±‚§‚ρ‚Ώ‚α, and Yoon Keun Cha on his homepage. His Kanagawa University profile shows ›šŒ’ŽŸ (Yoon Keun Cha) and ƒ†ƒ“EƒRƒHƒ“ƒ`ƒƒ. The colophon of his 1994 book shows "Yoon Keun-Cha" as a romanized form. The kana versions of his name would romanize "Yun Koon Cha".

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