East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

(Feb. 20) Shih-Fen Wang, “Japanese Imperialism, Women, Media: From the Perspective of Analyzing the Magazine, Taiwan Fujinkai”




“Japanese Imperialism, Women, Media: From the Perspective of Analyzing the Magazine, Taiwan Fujinkai 

Shih-Fen Wang

PhD Student

University of Tokyo


Feb. 20th, Thu 5:00-6:30 pm (NEW TIME FOR WINTER QUARTER!)

Tea Room, Social Science Research Building (2nd floor).

Refreshments will be provided


This paper aims to understand how women in colonial Taiwan were influenced by Japanese imperialism and its culture by analyzing the magazine, Taiwan Fujinkai. I chose Taiwan Fujinkaifor analysis because of its rich content (each issue has at least 100 pages) and its longer publication period compared with other similar magazines. I focus on the first era of publication (1934-1936) in order to investigate the founder and chief editor KAKINUMA Fumiaki’s editing concept. KAKINUMA is known as a journalist whose main concern and passion was children’s and women’s issues. I analyze Taiwan Fujinkaifrom the perspective of Japanese people living in Japan, Japanese people living in Taiwan, and Taiwanese people living in Taiwan, to understand Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period. This is important because previous studies by Leo T.S. CHING (Becoming Japanese”, 2001) explained the formation of Taiwanese political and cultural identities under the dominant Japanese colonial discourse of assimilation and imperialization. However, most previous research overlooks that Japanese people living in Taiwan also faced many conflicts of their own identities while living in Taiwan.

The core of my research is to analyze and explain why the Japanese people living in Taiwan during that time called their daughters “Taiwanese Girls”, which had both positive and negative implications. The analysis and evidence of this phenomenon is extremely unique. It is interesting that the word usage of Taiwanese women in Taiwan Fujinkai was not only used by Taiwanese women born in Taiwan, but also by women born to second-generation Japanese-Taiwanese families. I conclude that women in colonial Taiwan had to be educated as modern and independent women in order to devote themselves to the Japanese imperial government. However, there is an ambiguous line between Taiwanese born in Taiwan and Japanese born in Taiwan. I argue that in order to develop a better understanding of colonial Taiwan in the 1930s, we cannot overlook this historical phenomenon.

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