The 46th Tobunken-GJS Seminar "Rethinking Post-imperial Migration from the Japanese Empire: the Case of Repatriation from Sakhalin (Karafuto) to Hokkaido"

Date and time:December 11, 2017 (Mon.), 3:00-4:00PM

Venue:First Meeting Room (3F), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo

Speaker:Jonathan Bull (Assistant Professor, Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University)


After the collapse of the Japanese Empire, officials asserted that repatriation was ‘a movement without precedent in history’ (Hikiage engo chō 1950). The import of this statement, backed by its authors’ government credentials, has seeped into many histories of post-war Japan. Historians, journalists and the public think of repatriates as Japanese citizens brought home from a foreign state through government assistance. But this understanding masks a more complicated story. I will question the national framing of the repatriate by considering the case of post-war migration from Sakhalin (Karafuto) to Hokkaido. Using a variety of sources including government reports, newspapers, magazines, I argue that to understand repatriation in Japan, and the end of empire in general, we need to focus on the regional level.

Organizer:The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)

Co-organizer:Institute for Advanced Studeis on Asia (IASA)