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Introduction

Peripheral Visions: Reimagining Colonial Hokkaido
  • Michele M. Mason
Chapter
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Abstract

Today, Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, takes hold in the Japanese imagination in a number of telling ways. It is a popular summer tourist destination renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Every winter, crowds clamor to view the massive ice sculptures of architectural wonders and popular cartoon and fairytale characters in the Sapporo Snow Festival. 1 National landmarks such as the impressive, original redbrick prefectural office and the charming Sapporo clock tower, built with Euro-American designs, lend the island a Western air. Hokkaido’s famous local specialties—such as potatoes and corn—strengthen this foreign flavor. “Boys be ambitious!,” William S. Clark’s legendary exhortation, functions as Hokkaido’s unofficial motto. 2 Moving “frontier” dramas, epic samurai-pioneer adventures, and romantic images of the indigenous population—the Ainu—are produced for popular consumption on television, in films, fiction, and manga. At the same time, the specter of Abashiri Prison, the Alcatraz of Japan, looms large in the national consciousness as the cruelest punitive fate.3

Keywords

Dominant Narrative Japanese Colonial Assimilation Policy Meiji Period Japanese Nation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 9.
    James Edward Ketelaar, “Hokkaido Buddhism and the Early Meiji State”, inNew Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan, ed. Helen Hardacre (Leiden: Brill, 1997 ), 534.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    Karatani Kōjin, Origins of Modern Japanese Literature, trans. Brett de Bary (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993), 11–44.Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    Timothy Mitchell, “Orientalism and the Exhibitionary Other”, inColonialism and Culture, ed. Nicholas B. Dirks (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992 ), 313.Google Scholar
  4. 34.
    Kayano Shigeru, Our Land Was a Forest: An Ainu Memoir, trans. Kyoko Selden and Lili Selden (Boulder: Westview, 1994 ), 57–70.Google Scholar
  5. 43.
    Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1991).Google Scholar
  6. 75.
    John A. Harrison, Japan’s Northern Frontier: A Preliminary Study in Colonization and Expansion with Special Reference to the Relations of Japan and Russia (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1953), 64. Italics in the original.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michele M. Mason 2012

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  • Michele M. Mason

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