Japan’s Urban Colonial Past and the Problem of Commemoration

Global Urban History

Emer O’Dwyer, Oberlin College

In January of this year, Miura Hideyuki, a journalist for the Asahi shinbun, was awarded the Kaikō Ken Memorial Nonfiction Prize for his work of reportage, Five-Colored Rainbow (Goshiki no niji, Shūeisha, 2015). In it, Miura traces the postwar lives of graduates of Manchukuo’s Kenkoku Daigaku, a university established in 1938 to train future generations of leaders capable of providing a front of sovereignty and authenticity to the Japanese Imperial Army’s bold new project of state-building. The five colors of the rainbow refer to the nationalities of Japan, China, Korea, Mongolia, and Manchuria, representatives of which comprised the university’s first cohort of 141 students. The students’ collective union in classrooms and on training fields at the university in the capital city of Shinkyō (now, Changchun in the People’s Republic of China) was intended as a microcosm of the harmony trumpeted by the new state’s many…

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Acerca de Leoncio López-Ocón
Historiador. Investigador del Instituto de Historia del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales del CSIC. Madrid.

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