CJS Noon Lecture - Law, Subjectivity, and Colonial Space: An Analysis of the Japanese Peace Preservation Law through the Colonial Question
The Japanese Peace Preservation Law was established in 1925 to ostensibly preserve Japan’s national polity (kokutai) from so-called “dangerous thought.” Under this law, communists and other radicals were defined as “thought-criminals” who had mistakenly come under the influence of foreign ideologies which alienated them from their inherent Japanese-ness. When this law was applied in the colonies however, officials struggled to define the relationship between colonial subjects and Japan’s national essence. This talk will explore the difficulties in applying the law in colonial Korea during the 1930s and how these difficulties reveal the fundamental contradictions of Japan’s prewar colonial empire.
About the Speaker:
Max Ward is Assistant Professor of Japanese History at Middlebury College in Vermont. His research focuses on the intersection of ideology, subjectivity and state power in prewar Japan.