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The Role of the Japanese Advisor in Early Republican China: A Consideration of Ariga Nagao by Li Tingjiang This essay discusses Yuan Shikai's Japanese legal advisors and their significant influence on Chinese politics in the early Republican period. By focusing on Dr. Ariga Nagao, one of the most important of these advisors, the essay will examine: 1) the republican government's recruitment policyvis-o-vis Japanese advisors; 2) the Japanese advisors' role in the formulation of China's first republican constitution; 3) the role that Japanese advisors played in Sino-Japanese relations. The Japanese advisors referred to here are those who were hired by the Ghinese government to assist in various aspects of its modernization. The history of these advisors in modem China can be divided into four stages. The first stage (1882-96) saw the initial recruitment of Japanese advisors by Li Hongzhang and others during the Self-strengthening Movement. The second stage (18971911 ) involved the reform and the transformation of Japanese models in China in the late Qing period, starting with the "Hundred Days" of reform in 1898, but developing much more fully in the subsequent post-reform period, during which a large number of Japanese advisors recruited by the Qing government (led by Empress Dowager Cixi) provided significant assistance in China's constitutional reform efforts. The third stage (1912-31), during which Ariga Nagao served in China, was marked by a change in the role of advisors from that of technical to that of political advisors. The fourth stage (1932-45) saw the development , particularly during the period of the second Sino-Japanese War (193745 ) of advisors' participation in internal policy-making and the acquisition by some of them of the rank of deputy officials within the government. During this period the Japanese government and the Army Department dispatched many advisors to direct and control China's administrations in the Northeast, Inner Mongolia, and the provinces dominated by the puppet regime of Wang Jingwei. The activities conducted by Yuan Shikai and Japanese advisors such as Ariga Nagao that are discussed in this article occurred primarily during the third stage, the first five years of the Republic of China (1912-1916). Before discussing these activities in detail, however, it is necessary to note the shift in the Twentieth-Century China, 23.2 (April 1998): 71-106 72 Twentieth-Century China roles of Japanese advisors in China tht occurred during the early Republican period. As Japanese influence increasingly permeated China, the Japanese advisors gradually shed their earlier role as technical advisors and instead became political advisors. Moreover, as the structure of Chinese domestic politics was transformed, the political role of Japanese advisors also diversified. Some advisors carried out their activities while in the employment of specific political organizations, while others took advantage of their particular domestic political influence to carry out secret orders received from the Japanese government, thus far exceeding the previous boundaries of their role as technical advisors and becoming increasingly political elements. Whereas Japanese advisors had previously been something akin to living machines imported for specific applications , during this period they developed into a foreign brain trust operating within the arena of Chinese domestic politics as a tool of political control serving the Japanese government. 1 For the purposes of this article, we will take the term "early Republican China" to refer to the five-year period from Yuan Shikai' s inauguration as president of China in March of1912 to his death in June of 1916. The term therefore denotes the period during which the Republican government under the guidance of Yuan Shikai, under the continuing aftereffects of the 1911 Revolution, struggled to overcome warlordism and internecine feuding and establish a new political order while responding to continuing pressures from the great powers. Considering China's relations with Japan within this context, Sino-Japanese relations extended beyond the Republican government proper to include a wide range of private negotiations on the civilian level. But any consideration of Sino-Japanese relations must first focus on Yuan Shikai himself. This follows not only because Yuan Shikai was the president, but also because he was at the crux of Sino-Japanese relations. It is no exaggeration to say...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 71-106
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-25
Open Access
No
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