Identity formation and State Cult in Japanese Imperialism

Against the background of Japanese imperial policy from the closing years of the 19th century to the end of the Second World War and the multiethnic setting in this colonial empire in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific could be observed a formation of identity whose implications continue to show effects until today. Shintō is closely connected in its function as cult of the state through political motives and legitimization of sovereignty with the construction of a Japanese identity and the nationalism of modern Japan. This proposes the question of how this function of a state cult effects the construction of identity in Japanese imperialism. A survey of the historical process of cultural co-production in the field of state cult should provide a new perspective on the understanding of Japan’s colonial past.ssional workers. Many of the new immigrants discussed are, in fact staying permanently. Treating immigration and emigration as an interrelated process raises questions about correlating concepts: who is an immigrant and an emigrant? There might exist doubts whether it is a meaningful distinction, particularly in this age of transnationalism. Who controls migration and defines therefore Japanese boundaries? Often regarded as short time migrants, political actors developed bilateral treaties and sets of rights that apply to them until today and shape their life plans in general, but new implications of Japanese migration as old age pensions or problems in geriatric and health care, are experienced recently in Germany. Expatriate communities of Japanese have also direct influence on the perception of Japaneseness overseas. After a brief historical outline specific data will follow on the case of Düsseldorf’s Japanese overseas community. In this connection then more national and regional problems of immigration policy can be discussed.

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