The Epic Life of Taiwanese-Japanese Soldier Kan Shigematsu (1925-2000)

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2024
Authors
Wu , Han-Ling
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Brown, Shana J.
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History
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In the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the subsequent Asia-Pacific War, the Japanese Empire came to increasingly rely upon its colonial subjects in its war efforts. Based on the biography of Kan Shigematsu (1925-2000), a Taiwanese-Japanese POW guard and soldier, this thesis uses a single case study to illustrate how colonial subjects experienced the war. Examining how race, labor and empire are intertwined, this is a work of both microhistory and transnational history. The thesis argues that Taiwanese in their deployment were both victims of Japanese militarism and victimizers of POWs and local populations. The thesis focuses on both the wartime and postwar experience. Arguing that the revocation of both Japanese nationality and owed compensations to colonial veterans was an act of breaking an imperial social contract signed between the empire and its colonial subjects. The termination of such a contract indicates that colonial subjects were subjected to a second-class citizenship, or even non-citizenship.
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History, Citizenship, Japan, Microhistory, Soldier, Taiwan, Transnational history
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220 pages
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