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In TransitThe Formation of a Colonial East Asian Cultural Sphere$
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Faye Yuan Kleeman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838607

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838607.001.0001

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History, Memory, and (Auto)biography

History, Memory, and (Auto)biography

(p.79) 3 History, Memory, and (Auto)biography
In Transit

Faye Yuan Kleeman

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the intersections of colonialism, history, and memory by focusing on the lives of two aristocratic women, Nashimoto Masako and Saga Hiroko. It explains how royal marriage made Masako and Hiroko part of strategic political alliances put forward by the Japanese imperial authority to strengthen the ties between the Chrysanthemum throne and its colonial subjects. These two women's life stories offer a glimpse into the conflict between the imperial discourse of integration and assimilation and the reality of racial tensions, against the backdrop of the collapse of the imperial ideology and the Confucian ideal of womanhood. This chapter reconstructs the life stories of Masako and Hiroko based on their autobiographies and biographies in order to highlight the discrepancies between perception and reality relating to issues of culture, race, and geopolitics between Japan and its colonies Chōsen and Manchuria, as well as the recruitment of aristocratic women to serve the greater good of the nation-state.

Keywords:   colonialism, Nashimoto Masako, Saga Hiroko, royal marriage, Japan, memory, autobiographies, biographies, aristocratic women

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