Lament of the Fish Owl Who Remembers What Now is Lost to Our Land
  • Michele M. Mason


If the colonial nature of modern Hokkaido has been repressed and overlooked since the Meiji era, its postcoloniality is even more obscured. Hokkaido, as a former invader-settler colony, is beset by the complicated postcolonial dilemmas typical of such entities. Economic and tax policies inconsistent with national conventions and thorny issues related to restricted regional autonomy survive to this day. The colonial legacy of exceptionalism in Hokkaido has been codified in numerous cycles of postwar legislation and regulations that are not in keeping with practices of other prefectures. While the infrastructure crumbles, unemployment soars, as does the number of young people who move to the mainland to secure jobs. At the same time, the percentage of Hokkaidoans who elect to join the Japanese military grows in disproportionate numbers to the general Japanese population. In its current postcolonial incarnation, the island serves as a strategic supply base for natural resources, food, and tourism, which prioritizes the needs of the mainland over those of the inhabitants of Hokkaido.


General Japanese Population Thorny Issue Dominant Narrative Colonial Nature Hybrid Rocket 
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    Ikezawa Natsuki, Shizukana daichi (Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 2007), 26.Google Scholar

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© Michele M. Mason 2012

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  • Michele M. Mason

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