Abstract

The Mengjiang 蒙疆 puppet regime was established in Inner Mongolia by Japanese colonizers, in collaboration with the Mongolian Prince Demchugdongrub, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Mengjiang regime tried to revive Mongolian culture in the name of resisting Chinese despotism. However, the Japanese supported the Mongols' desire for “self-determination” merely to use it as a vehicle for their colonial designs. Through a close reading of several texts that appeared in Sinophone magazines published in Japanese-occupied Inner Mongolia during the war, this article explicates the distinctions between Han writers' and Mongol intellectuals' nationalist writings, in order to theorize the dual oppression of the Mongol minority culture under Japanese colonialism and Chinese despotism. Despite the mission of this so-called Mongolian nation-state to write in a Mongolian style, the Han writers in Mengjiang expressed their ethnic identity through Sinophone literature; at the same time, Sinicized Mongol intellectuals failed to revive Mongolian culture through the same vehicle. In the end, both the former Han despots and the new Japanese colonizers tried to instrumentalize Mongol minority culture to establish their own cultural hegemony. Under this dual oppression of foreign colonialism and native despotism, the Sinophone nationalist writings of the Han majority and the Mongol minority problematize any simple binarism of colonizer and colonized.

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