Scholars of Japanese settler colonialism face a dilemma in reading official migration histories. These volumes often narrate the development of Japanese migration between the 1870s and 1960s as a geographically widening series of destinations—to Hawaii, the American mainland, the South Seas, South America, and Manchuria, then back to South America.1 What to make, then, of all the chapters regarding transpacific emigration? This volume offers a compelling answer. It is expansive in scope, extremely lucid in structure, and innovative in its use of sources. Representative of the recent transpacific turn in empire studies, this work excavates a “buried past” in the history of Japan's policy of migration-centered expansion in the century following the Meiji Restoration.2 Namely, the issue of overpopulation shows how the two projects of emigration to the Americas and Japanese colonial settlement in Asia were fundamentally intertwined in conception and development.

In The Making of Japanese Settler...

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