Reexamination Of Japanese “Southern” Experience

from The 1920s To 1950s









Research Overview

The purpose of this study is to examine the social and cultural characteristics of the back-flow between Southeast Asia and Japan by focusing on the migration and back-flow of people to Southeast Asia from 1920s to 1950s and reaffirming the impact of the “overseas experience” of the Southeast Asia on the social conditions and culture of modern Japan. The goal of this project is to elucidate and construct a new image of history that has not been illuminated by existing frameworks. This perspective is very meaningful and important in the present era of globalization, when we are required to think in a global perspective.

The theme of this study is to examine the historical significance of the “back-flow” of people from the “Southeast Asia” and the inland (Japan) from the 1920s to the 1950s. The subjects are not only those who migrated as a result of the government’s pre-war Southward migration policy, but also free immigrants, temporary migrant workers and their supporters, literary scholars, journalists, second- and third-generation people, and photographers. The role played by these people in the formation of diverse Japanese society in the outside world and its relationship with the inland (Japan) will be explored through the experiences of people in various capacities before, during, and after the war.

The period covered was from the Taisho era (1920s), when the migration to the “Southeast Asia” began in earnest, to the 1950s, when a community of Japanese-Indonesian people, mostly soldiers who had remained behind, was formed after the war.

This study focuses on Southeast Asia which was called as “South” (or “South Seas”) in pre-war Japan, especially in Indonesia, where a Japanese community was established in the pre-war period and developed even after the war.

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