This article examines campaigns aimed at abolishing Japanese overseas prostitution in Manchuria and North America during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, focusing on the ideologies and practices of Japanese middle-class abolitionists. It argues that campaigns for the eradication of Japanese prostitution abroad were driven by a desire to establish a civilized empire and cultivate a progressive Japanese racial self. The article also sheds light on the unexpected ways by which the abolitionists’ anxiety about—and their campaigns against—Japanese overseas prostitution had shaped Japan’s domestic prostitution abolition movement.


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