This book examines and compares social programs in mobilizing rural youth in Japan proper, Okinawa, Taiwan, and the Korean peninsula during different periods of the Japanese Empire. Unlike most existing scholarship on the mechanism of Japanese colonialism, which critically analyzes the minds and activities of the colonizers, this study sheds light on the responses of the colonized to colonial mobilization. A central question that Nation-Empire seeks to answer is why and how young men in the countryside across the empire, particularly those in Taiwan and the Korean peninsula, responded positively to Japan's colonial mobilization. This culminated in their enthusiasm to become volunteer soldiers during the Asia-Pacific War.

What resulted in the phenomenon of “volunteer fever,” Sayaka Chatani argues, was a successful mechanism to mobilize rural young men that originated in Meiji Japan and later was transplanted to the colonies. This mechanism, though it took a variety of forms according to...

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