Diaspora as mind: making sense of the experiences of the Japanese in postwar Taiwan

Allen Chun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper began as an inquiry into the plight of ethnic Japanese in postwar Taiwan. As a group, they have been an object of benign neglect. Despite the advent of “multiculturalism” (duoyuan wenhua zhuyi) in Taiwan, was marked by an “alien” (mainlander Chinese) KMT regime and led to the eventual liberation of opposition parties and indigenous ethnic groups, few have found it relevant to celebrate the cause of oppressed Japanese. The postwar ban on Taiwanese and Japanese culture was part of the same imperative of mono-cultural nationalism that endeavored to erase 50 years of Japanese colonialism in order to restore the legacy of Chinese civilization. At the same time, there is little recognition in the literature of any Japanese “diaspora” in Taiwan. It pales in comparison with the many Japanese orphans abandoned in Manchuria after the Second World War. The birth of a generation of children from mixed marriages making claims to Japanese “identity” has added other significant dimensions to the concept of diaspora and its definition as a social group or discursive construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • Japanese diaspora
  • multiculturalism
  • post-colonialism
  • postwar Taiwan


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