This concluding chapter summarizes several themes related to the notion of crossing the boundaries between Japan and its colonial empire, with particular emphasis on how the history of the Japanese consular police in Northeast Asia makes it possible to begin transcending boundaries of both political geography and historical imagination. These themes are concerned with the friction between the Japanese Army and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the consular police's often unilateral war of their own against Korean resistance fighters; the popular conception among historians that the Japanese empire in northeast Asia was divided into formal and informal spheres; the problem of agency; the excessive subjectivity granted to the nation-state; and limited attempts by scholars to cross the border between Japanese colonial history and the experience of other modern Western imperial powers. All of these themes are intertwined with the vexing nationalist dilemmas that complicate representations of East Asian history today.
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