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postgraduate thesis: Representing the empire's space : travel writing of the Japanese imperial subjects

TitleRepresenting the empire's space : travel writing of the Japanese imperial subjects
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Lin, PY
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Zhang, M. [张墨兮]. (2018). Representing the empire's space : travel writing of the Japanese imperial subjects. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractWith an aim to challenge the view of linear history and avoid the trap of Eurocentrism, this dissertation examines the relatively understudied spatial dimension and the experience of space in three travelogues from the Japanese colonial era as a way to rethink modernity. It sees the Japanese empire’s space, with its border-crossing characteristics, as the most embodied definition of modernity. Japan constantly exerted practices of space through colonization under the motivation of capitalist expansion, while the very practices lead to the empire’s own contradictions caused by the inevitable unevenness of places. Three works are selected as the main case studies: the Japanese writer Yokomitsu Riichi’s fiction Shanghai (1931), the Korean writer Yi T’ae-jun’s essay “Record of a Journey to Manchuria” (1938), and the Taiwanese writer Wu Zhuoliu’s travelogue “Nanjing zagan” (1942). The three works can all be classified as travel writing, a category arguably most suitable for representing the empire’s space. Noting the sensibility of space permeating in the selected works, this study explores its relation to the crisis of representation, a crisis that constitutes a symptom of modern experience. In accordance with the spread of abstract capitalism, it argues that the empire is a heterogeneous space, as its space is in constant tension and negotiation. Through representing the empire’s space, Yokomitsu, Yi, and Wu have responded to the colonial reality as moves of attempting to overcome the crisis of representation. Methodologically, the dissertation invokes textual analysis, together with certain theoretical frameworks and historical analyses, to approach each selected work. The various theoretical frameworks employed are mostly Western-originated, and might pose limits to interpreting the East Asian texts. Thus, attending to the texts’ own specific historical contexts can help counteract the potential constraint of those theoretical frameworks on analyzing non-Western contexts. The dissertation contributes to the overall rethinking of the colonizer/colonized relationship in the East Asian context, as well as of issues surrounding border-crossing between subject and object, urban and rural areas, and premodern and modern.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectTravel writing
Dept/ProgramChinese
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/267744

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLin, PY-
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Moxi-
dc.contributor.author张墨兮-
dc.date.accessioned2019-03-01T03:44:42Z-
dc.date.available2019-03-01T03:44:42Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationZhang, M. [张墨兮]. (2018). Representing the empire's space : travel writing of the Japanese imperial subjects. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/267744-
dc.description.abstractWith an aim to challenge the view of linear history and avoid the trap of Eurocentrism, this dissertation examines the relatively understudied spatial dimension and the experience of space in three travelogues from the Japanese colonial era as a way to rethink modernity. It sees the Japanese empire’s space, with its border-crossing characteristics, as the most embodied definition of modernity. Japan constantly exerted practices of space through colonization under the motivation of capitalist expansion, while the very practices lead to the empire’s own contradictions caused by the inevitable unevenness of places. Three works are selected as the main case studies: the Japanese writer Yokomitsu Riichi’s fiction Shanghai (1931), the Korean writer Yi T’ae-jun’s essay “Record of a Journey to Manchuria” (1938), and the Taiwanese writer Wu Zhuoliu’s travelogue “Nanjing zagan” (1942). The three works can all be classified as travel writing, a category arguably most suitable for representing the empire’s space. Noting the sensibility of space permeating in the selected works, this study explores its relation to the crisis of representation, a crisis that constitutes a symptom of modern experience. In accordance with the spread of abstract capitalism, it argues that the empire is a heterogeneous space, as its space is in constant tension and negotiation. Through representing the empire’s space, Yokomitsu, Yi, and Wu have responded to the colonial reality as moves of attempting to overcome the crisis of representation. Methodologically, the dissertation invokes textual analysis, together with certain theoretical frameworks and historical analyses, to approach each selected work. The various theoretical frameworks employed are mostly Western-originated, and might pose limits to interpreting the East Asian texts. Thus, attending to the texts’ own specific historical contexts can help counteract the potential constraint of those theoretical frameworks on analyzing non-Western contexts. The dissertation contributes to the overall rethinking of the colonizer/colonized relationship in the East Asian context, as well as of issues surrounding border-crossing between subject and object, urban and rural areas, and premodern and modern.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshTravel writing-
dc.titleRepresenting the empire's space : travel writing of the Japanese imperial subjects-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineChinese-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2019-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044081529003414-

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