Japanese Cultural Policy toward China, 1918–1931: A Comparative Perspective
by See Heng Teow
Harvard University Press, 1999
Cloth: 978-0-674-47257-0
Library of Congress Classification DS849.C6T46 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 304.8252051

Most existing scholarship on Japan's cultural policy toward modern China reflects the paradigm of cultural imperialism. In contrast, this study demonstrates that Japan—while motivated by pragmatic interests, international cultural rivalries, ethnocentrism, moralism, and idealism—was mindful of Chinese opinion and sought the cooperation of the Chinese government. Japanese policy stressed cultural communication and inclusiveness rather than cultural domination and exclusiveness and was part of Japan's search for an East Asian cultural order led by Japan. China, however, was not a passive recipient and actively sought to redirect this policy to serve its national interests and aspirations. The author argues that it is time to move away from the framework of cultural imperialism toward one that recognizes the importance of cultural autonomy, internationalism, and transculturation.

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