âFictionalizingâ Indigenous Mourning: Taiwanese Funerals under Japanese Imperialization Huei-chu Chu In 1941, a year when the Japanese wartime campaign of kîminka (imperialization) pervaded the island, the magazine Folk Customs of Taiwan (Minzoku Taiwan, 1941 â 45) appeared in colonial Taiwan.1 Set against ruthless attempts to eradicate indigenous language, religion, and customs â part of the Japanese effort to inculcate Japanese culture and forms into the colonized populations â the Japanese-language magazine featured the folk customs and culture of the Han Chinese in Taiwan.2 On occasion, it even criticized the formalism of the imperialization policy, gaining support and contributions from Taiwanese intellectuals in doing so. Half a century later, Japanese literary critic Kawamura Minato related the magazineâs activities to the imperialist genealogy of the Greater East Asian folklore project (daitîa minzokugaku) and retroactively charged the magazineâs Japanese leaders with racism and colonialism. Vehemently refuting Kawamuraâs accusations, positions 16:2 doi 10.1215/10679847-2008-002 Copyright 2008 by Duke University Press positions 16:2 Fall 2008 the ethnologist Kokubu Naoichi attributes benevolent intentions to his former colleagues by stressing how tenaciously they carried out the mission of recording a vanishing Taiwanese culture, despite tremendous pressure from the colonial authorities.3 Although Kawamuraâs analysis uncritically reiterates the
positions asia critique – Duke University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2008
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