Colonial Policy Studies and visions of Nanyo (the South Seas) in modern Japan

This talk examines the works of some proponents of Colonial Policy Studies (Shokumin Seisaku Gaku), a key provenance of the academic field of International Relations in Japan. A/Prof Tomohito Baji will show how they drew up racialized projects for Nanyo (the South Seas) the perceived interstitial space different from the East and the West and how such projects were related to colonial policy debates behind Japanese imperial practices in the Pacific Ocean.

In particular, he looks at the writings of three liberal intellectuals engaged in Colonial Policy Studies, Takekoshi Yosaburo (1865ØC1950), Nitobe Inazo (1862ØC1933) and Yanaihara Tadao (1893ØC1961), presenting their ideas as the important cases of the entanglement between liberalism and empire in Japan. This talk is based on his article 'Colonial policy studies in Japan: racial visions of Nanyo, or the early creation of a global South,”± International Affairs, Vol. 98, no. 1 (2022).



Tomohito Baji is Associate Professor in the History of Political and Social Thought at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo, Japan.
His articles have appeared in Modern Intellectual History and the History of European Ideas as well as the several journals of Japanese academic associations.


Recording available here.


The ANU Japan Institute Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  


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