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Modernity in East Asia: Globalization and Japanese Colonialism

This panel discusses the relationship of globalization and Japanese colonialism from the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century. As the main force of globalization in East Asia, the Japanese Empire transformed the traditional socio-economic systems of its colonies, Taiwan and Korea, on the basis of the self-transformation and modernization of the Meiji Restoration. Japanese colonialism had a profound impact on the modernization of Taiwan and South Korea in the East Asia region.
“Globalization” refers to the process of international integration due to the exchange of world outlooks, products, concepts and other cultural elements. Scholars have generally argued that the process of globalization was already underway in the sixteenth century, but large-scale globalization in its modern sense began in the early nineteenth century due to the expansion of global trade and imperialism after the industrial revolution in the West. However, it must be noted that although Taiwan and South Korea were forced by Western imperialism to open ports in the late nineteenth century, what mainly affected the globalization and modernization of these two regions was Japanese imperialism, which inherited and imitated Western imperialism and carried out colonial actions in East Asia.
Previously, scholarship has only rarely explored the establishment of the modern economic system of the colonies under Japanese imperialism from the perspective of globalization and modernization. At the same time, the similarities and differences of the influence of Japanese colonialism on Taiwan and Korea remain relatively understudied from the perspective of comparative economic construction.
This panel brings together scholars from different methodological backgrounds who provide a comparative perspective and extensively employ digital resources. The papers put emphasis on the formation of modern economic institutions and practices. These include Customs, financial reform, modern transport systems, statistical investigation, shipping infrastructure, migration policy and stock fluctuations in Taiwan and/or Korea during the Japanese colonial period.


  • Yu-ju Lin, Academia Sinica,, Taiwan
  • Wen-kai Lin, Academia Sinica,, Taiwan

Session members

  • Chia-Hao Chen, National Chengchi University,
  • Lung-Pao Tsai, National Taipei University,
  • Pei-hsin Lin, National Taiwan Normal University,
  • Myung-ki Moon, Kookmin University,
  • Teruhiro Minato, Osaka Sangyo University,
  • Elijah J. Greenstein, Princeton University,

Proposed discussant(s)

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