Accepted paper:

Chinese Overseas Studies in pre-war Japan and the East Asian Version of Modernity: Focusing on the position of "Ka-kyo" both in each host country and the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere.

Author:

Gyo Miyahara (Osaka University)

Paper short abstract:

This study will examine Chinese Overseas Studies and the concept of “Ka-kyo” in pre-war Japan and will discuss the unique view on “human society” and the “ethno-anthropological” nature. It will provide a clue for reconsidering a discourse space in East Asia.

Paper long abstract:

Since the pre-war era, Chinese Overseas Studies in Japan have used a term, "Ka-kyo" (originally a Chinese term, "Hua-qiao," which means Chinese Overseas) for identifying the subject of the researchers. This terminology is quite unusual for anthropological usage since it differentiates migrants from residents in home country. Why had Chinese Overseas Studies required a specific term for migrants instead on "Han-Chinese?" This question will bring us to discover the Ethno-Anthropology in Japan, which had provided the East Asian version of modernity with a cognitive framework. Anthropological researches had traditionally encompassed and identified the subjects of their researches as a sort of group such as a tribe, an ethnic group, villagers, etc. The criteria of the identification is based the membership acquisition, which can be a consanguineous, territorial or other ties. This manner of the identification is, however, problematic not because a consanguineous tie or a shared territorial bond is always ambiguous, but because it invites an assumption deeply rooted in the Western Modernity, that one who shares blood or hometown is also sharing culture with a clear boundary. Focusing on the position of "Ka-kyo both in each host country and the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere, this study will examine Chinese Overseas Studies and the concept of "Ka-kyo" in pre-war Japan and will discuss the unique view on "human society" and the "ethno-anthropological" nature. It will provide a clue for reconsidering a discourse space in East Asia.

panel MMM28
Reframing the discourse space around 'studies on overseas Chinese': toward an alternative anthropological approach