The contributors to this book examine and compare the colonial and decolonisation experiences of people in Taiwan and Nan’yō Guntō – Micronesia – who underwent periods of rule by the Greater Japanese Empire. Early anthropological theory of Western imperialist countries focused on transforming 'savage' cultures by ruling in a high-handed manner. When Japan asserted its hegemony through sudden colonisation, its culture was perceived as inferior to the civilisation indices previously experienced by those it ruled. How did these ruled nations construct their cultural and historical awareness in areas where the strategic design of Japan’s 'civilising mission' was not convincing? After the end of World War II many emerging countries in the Third World achieved independence through various negotiations or struggles with their former colonial powers and built new relationships with their erstwhile rulers. However, after Japan’s defeat, Taiwan and Nan’yō Guntō became ruled by new foreign governments. How did Japan’s reign and transplanted Japanese culture affect the formation of historical awareness and cultural construction of present-day communities in these two regions? This book provides a fascinating ethnographic insight into the effects of empire and colonisation on the historic imagination, which will be of great interest to historical anthropologists of Taiwan, Japan, and the Pacific.

chapter |18 pages


part I|60 pages

Recognition of the Japanese colonial era

chapter 1|19 pages

The ‘Japanisation’ of the Taiwanese lifeworld during and after the colonial period

With reference to Nan’yō Guntō

chapter 3|22 pages

Multi-layered ‘colonial experience’

Collisions, contacts, and re-encounters of the Bunun with ‘Japan’

part II|56 pages

Living after the war

chapter 4|18 pages

The ‘crossover generation’

Residents of Taiwan’s East coast under multi-layered foreign rule

chapter 5|18 pages

Christian nursing care for the Japanese-speaking elderly in Taiwan

Analysis of the official newsletters of Gyokulansou

chapter 6|18 pages

Palau Sakura Kai

An association of Palauans of Japanese ancestry

part III|66 pages

Objects and memories

chapter 7|23 pages

Significance of heritage in decolonisation

Taiwanese colonial experiences and their appropriation of Japan’s imperial-era buildings

chapter 8|20 pages

Two monuments in Majuro Atoll and economic development

A case study of the East Pacific monument to the war dead and the Seion-Kinenhi

chapter 9|21 pages

Multi-layered realms of memory

A diachronic study of the commemoration of the Mudanshe Incident in Taiwan