restricted access Legitimating Empire, Legitimating Nation: The Scientific Study of Opium Addiction in Japanese Manchuria

Through a case study of scientific research on opium addiction in early twentieth-century Manchuria, the epicenter of the global narcotic economy, I trace the changing ways in which colonial medicine was used to legitimate Japanese imperialism. From a justification of empire, research on addiction was transformed into a source of validation for the Manchukuo nation-state. Distinctive practices, including the establishment of local, world-class laboratories and the training of subjects as scientists, highlight the relative importance of colonial medicine to Japanese imperialism, compared to the West.