This page was created by Hiroko Matsuda.  The last update was by Kate McDonald.

Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History

Yamane Keiko and the Gendered Space of Empire

In colonial Taiwan, it was uncommon for Japanese female migrants to have full-time jobs. The majority came to Taiwan as dependent family members. In contrast, it was not unusual for female youths from Yaeyama to immigrate to Taiwan in search of work.

Yamane Keiko was not representative of all female Yaeyama migrants. The majority of Yaeyama migrants without educational and professional backgrounds accepted the reality of their situations and continued to work as domestics, regardless of their personal feelings. Having been attracted by the “civilized life of Taipei,” Yamane was determined to make career and did her best in the colonial city.

Nevertheless, the imperial careering of Yaeyama immigrants was undeniably gendered at that time. Compared with the trajectory of Ishigaki Shincho, Yamane's professional options were limited, and her colonial space was inclined to the domestic space. Yaeyama sent a large number of both female and male immigrants to Taiwan, but women and men made different imperial spaces.

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