This article discusses the 1903 Human Pavilion's Ainu Fushine Kōzō, who advanced a notion of imperial subjecthood, where one could be Ainu and a loyal subject of the Japanese empire. Fushine urged that the Ainu be treated equitably not because all races were equal, a rather modern and Western notion, but because he viewed imperial subjecthood as predicated upon military conscription and being children of the emperor. I examine the removal of the Okinawan women, Nakamura Kame and Uehara Ushi, from the display, amidst a larger debate where competing visions of imperial subjecthood and what it meant to be civilized were tied up with the charge that the pavilion was a humanitarian concern (jindō mondai). The Human Pavilion became a nexus between colonial and imperial subjects, which, rather than reifying distinctions between the two, called into question the coherence of civilizational taxonomies in Japan and the world.

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