Cai’s critique of the spatial hierarchy of empire was framed by a more personal set of experiences as well.
Cai was part of a large movement of colonized students who traveled to the inner territory for education (Wada 2017). In 1922, some twenty-four hundred Taiwanese students and over three thousand Korean students were studying in Japan (Thornber 2009, 39-40). Numerous schools in the inner territory accepted colonized students. Certain schools loom large in the historiography by virtue of the survival of their records, such as Waseda University; others’ prominence stems from the historical impact of their graduates, as in the case of Tokyo Higher Normal School, where Cai himself graduated in 1920. Others are known to the present by virtue of their own PR, as in the case of the former Kyūshū Imperial University.
Frequent transit between Taiwan or Korea and Japan gave colonized students first-hand experience with trans-ethnic solidarity and the vicissitudes of state power. Follow this pathway to learn more about Cai’s student days in Tokyo, or remain on the main pathway to consider the self rule movement in the aftermath of Nihon honkokumin ni atau.