Nitobe Inazô: Japan's Bridge across the Pacific

By John F. Howes | Go to book overview

8
Colonial Theories and Practices
in Prewar Japan

Miwa Kimitada

While Nitobe taught his students in Ichikô, he continued active as a consultant to those in charge of Japan's colonial policy. His position at Tokyo University, to which he gave full time when he left Ichikô, included the responsibility to develop policies for colonial administration. These policies grew in part out of a tradition of Japanese attitudes toward the countries nearest to them which had their roots in the centuries of Edo rule. Our purpose here is to study Nitobe Inazô as a colonial theorist and practitioner. The substance of his colonial theories will be found in his works on colonialism, principally his Shokumin seisakukôgi oyobi rombun shû (Colonial Policy: lectures and essays) 1 edited from his lectures of 1912-17 by Yanaihara Tadao, a student of Nitobe's at Tokyo University. Nitobe began a lecture course called "Colonial Policies" in 1908 and continued it through 1919, when he left Japan to join the League of Nations in Geneva. The course was resumed by Yanaihara in 1924 and ran through 1937, when he resigned under pressure from the militarist government of Japan after its renewed aggression against China.

From the beginning, Japanese colonial thought had emphasized national defense. Nitobe and Yanaihara continued this tradition but did not emphasize it. They also made no significant reference to the military and strategic benefits that could result from colonial policies.

Rather than deal with colonial policies as a function of national defense, we will examine Nitobe's beliefs and theories about how a colonial nation could best civilize less fortunate tribes and "races" under its beneficent guardianship, his concept of colonial control. In this respect, it will serve our purpose to start with a brief survey of traditional Japanese colonial thought.

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Nitobe Inazô: Japan's Bridge across the Pacific
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • About the Contributors xv
  • Editorial Conventions xvii
  • One - Introduction 1
  • 1 - Who Was Nitobe? 3
  • Two - Maturation 25
  • 2 - Roots 27
  • 3 - Graduate Student and Quaker 71
  • Three - Cultural Identity 77
  • 4 - Japann Watchers: 1903-1931 79
  • 5 - Bushido: Its Admirers and Critics 117
  • 6 - Philippine Bushido 130
  • 7 - Toward Remaking Manliness 155
  • Four - Japan in the World 157
  • 8 - Colonial Theories and Practices in Prewar Japan 159
  • Notes 174
  • 9 - The Geneva Spirit 209
  • Five - Evaluation 215
  • 10 - Journalism: the Last Bridge 217
  • 12 - The End: 1929-1933 272
  • 13 - Darkened Lanterns in a Distant Garden 301
  • 14 - Conclusion 315
  • About the Book and Editor 317
  • Index 319
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