Bodies and Structures

Moving Subjects

Cai's critique of the spatial hierarchy of empire was also framed by a more personal set of experiences.

Cai was part of a large movement of colonized students who traveled to the inner territory for education. While the fact of this migration has been known to historians for quite some time, its scope is just now becoming clear (Wada 2017). 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 1916. Others are known to the present by virtue of their own PR, as in the case of the former Kyûshû Imperial University. Others were implicated in flows of a different sort, for example, Sapporo Agricultural College, which served as a nodal point for the incorporation of modern agricultural science into Japanese and Chinese imperial practice (link here to Shellen's path "The Science of Empire").

The influx of elite students from the colonies such as Cai fueled the growth of new liberal and socialists movements in Japan. Frequent transit between Taiwan or Korea and Japan gave colonized students first-hand experience with the mutability of ethnic identities and vicissitudes of the state's power to create and enforce boundaries between political spaces and ethnic groups. 

Follow this pathway to learn more about the policies and patterns of movement that brought elite members of Taiwanese and Korean society to schools in the metropole, and how the experiences of these students in school and in transit shaped their critiques of empire. Or, remain on the main pathway to continue the story of Cai Peihuo's spatial manifesto, Nihon honkokumin ni atau.

Tags: Spatialities; Flows; Figures; Vehicles.

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