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The Discourse of Intermarriage in Colonial Taiwan

From: The Journal of Japanese Studies
Volume 40, Number 1, Winter 2014
pp. 87-116 | 10.1353/jjs.2014.0019



This article examines how Japanese policymakers and intellectuals approached national classification in colonial Taiwan by looking into the policy and discourse of intermarriage between Japanese and Han Taiwanese. Despite its rarity in practice, intermarriage as an idea frequently appeared in political debates on the integration of Taiwan into the Japanese empire. Narratives on intermarriage shed light on how ethno-national consciousness was formed and how citizenship was distributed in the empire, revealing tensions between imperial expansion and nation building. In the process of colonial control, racial nationalism emerged to play a role in opposition to intermarriage, which was officially encouraged.

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