"The Taiwan Expedition and new perspectives on Japanese imperialism and the Meiji Restoration" by Robert Eskildsen at Sophia U., Jan 17th

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Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture Lecture Series 2018


The Taiwan Expedition and new perspectives on Japanese imperialism and the Meiji Restoration


Robert Eskildsen



January 17th, 2019

Room 301, 3F, Building 10, Sophia University


In the spring of 1874 the Japanese government sent an expedition to southern Taiwan ostensibly to punish indigenous villagers who had murdered dozens of people from Ryūkyū. Contemporary records show that the Japanese government also intended to establish colonies in southern and eastern Taiwan and it justified its colonial intent based on the argument that a state must spread civilization and political authority to territories where it claimed sovereignty. Because it took place in the context of the unequal treaty system in East Asia and during the contentious early years the Meiji period, the expedition shows that Japanese imperialism developed in a dynamic relationship with Western imperialism and it emerged as part of the process of consolidating government power in Japan after the Meiji Restoration.


Robert Eskildsen is Senior Associate Professor, Department of History, International Christian University. His book Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia: The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in the spring of 2019.


Lecture in English / No RSVP necessary

This talk is organized by Professor Bettina Gramlich-Oka (FLA).




Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC) Sophia University: 7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, JAPAN/ Web: http://icc.fla.sophia.ac.jp/