Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876-1945

Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876-1945

by Jun Uchida


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, April 9


Between 1876 and 1945, thousands of Japanese civilians—merchants, traders, prostitutes, journalists, teachers, and adventurers—left their homeland for a new life on the Korean peninsula. Although most migrants were guided primarily by personal profit and only secondarily by national interest, their mundane lives and the state's ambitions were inextricably entwined in the rise of imperial Japan. Despite having formed one of the largest colonial communities in the twentieth century, these settlers and their empire-building activities have all but vanished from the public memory of Japan's presence in Korea.

Drawing on previously unused materials in multi-language archives, Jun Uchida looks behind the official organs of state and military control to focus on the obscured history of these settlers, especially the first generation of "pioneers" between the 1910s and 1930s who actively mediated the colonial management of Korea as its grassroots movers and shakers. By uncovering the downplayed but dynamic role played by settler leaders who operated among multiple parties—between the settler community and the Government-General, between Japanese colonizer and Korean colonized, between colony and metropole—this study examines how these "brokers of empire" advanced their commercial and political interests while contributing to the expansionist project of imperial Japan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674492028
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/03/2014
Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs , #337
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 500
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Jun Uchida is Associate Professor of History at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

Maps, Tables, and Figures xi

Introduction 1

Part I Emergence 33

1 The World of Settlers 35

2 Setders and the State: Uneasy Partners 96

Part II In Action 141

3 Building an Empire of Harmony 143

4 The Discourse on Korea and Koreans 188

5 Industrializing the Peninsula 227

6 In Search of a Political Voice 263

Part III Organs of the State 305

7 The Manchurian Impact 307

8 Citizens and Subjects under Total War 355

Conclusion 394


1 Settler Leaders in Seoul, 1910-193OS 404

2 Oral Sources 409

Bibliography 415

Index 459

What People are Saying About This

Harvard University - Caroline Elkins

"Brokers of Empire is a triumphant, landmark study. In Uchida's skillful hands, the Japanese settler population in Korea—comparable in size to the colons in French Algeria—is resuscitated from colonial memories and archives. At once lyrical and analytical in its prose, Brokers of Empire offers—through the lens of settler colonialism—a complete re-examination of Korea under colonial rule and, with it, the role of settlers in shaping the Japanese empire. Unquestionably, the impact of Uchida's work will be felt not only in the study of Japan, but also in the broader literature on comparative settler colonialism and empire, writ large.

Customer Reviews