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Crossed Histories: Manchuria in the Age of Empire Mariko Tamanoi Univ of Hawaii Pr

31st August 2011 History Books 3 Comments

Mariko Asano Tamanoi is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Contributors: Michael Baskett, Suk-Jung Han, Thomas Lahusen, Rana Mitter, Dan Shao, Mariko Asano Tamanoi, David Tucker.

Crossed Histories represents a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to “Manchuria” under Japans influence from the turn of the twentieth century to 1945. The contributors, who represent the fields of history, literature, film studies, sociology, and anthropology, unpack the complexity of Manchuria as an effect of the geopolitical imaginaries of various individuals and groups shaped by imperialism, colonialism, Pan-Asianism, and the present globalization. Manchuria is thus examined in the imaginations of a Chinese journalist and his Shanghai readers in the 1930s; prewar Japanese city planners and architects; a Manchu princess later executed by the Chinese nationalist government; various audiences of Japanese “goodwill films” of the 1930s and 1940s; the seven thousand Poles who immigrated to northern Manchuria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the state makers of Manchukuo (which included both Japanese and Chinese leaders) and North and South Korea during the Cold War era; and a student of Manchuria Nation-Building University in the mid-1940s.

In critically considering the dominant historiography of Manchuria, Crossed Histories never loses sight of the larger picturethe harsh reality of life imposed on the Chinese people by the Japanese imperial apparatus. In addition, by analyzing a variety of Manchuria-related events, which occurred in the Pan-Asian space after World War II, it brings to light the contemporary implications of Manchuria in an East Asia caught in the wave of global capitalism. Impressive in its use of a wide range of materialstraditional archival documents, biography, government documents, architectural plans, film and other popular entertainmentthis volume is a major contribution to the field of Manchukuo studies and the understanding of empire, colonialism, nationalism, and identity in East Asia and beyond.

Crossed Histories: Manchuria in the Age of Empire (Asian Interactions and Comparisons)

Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern

Duara has written a wonderfully crafted, thought-provoking book using a range of disciplines to explore the interplay between nationalism and imperialism, showing how they are historically and functionally interconnected. This important and well-researched work considers several important issues related to 20th-century imperialism in East Asia. Highly recommended. (Choice Magazine )

An impressive and strongly recommended work of World War II era history. (Library Bookwatch )

A major work that overturns assumptions about nations, empires, and identity. The interdisciplinarity of the book–history, anthropology, literary theory–is breathtaking. (Mitter, Rana )

A wholly original work that will make a substantial contribution to our understanding of the development of the nation-state in East Asia in the 20th century. It offers a feast of careful thinking about the linkages between the nation, politics, scholarship, and culture. (Mark C. Elliott )

Sovereignty and Authenticity is a tour de force, covering and illuminating an astonishing amount of ground. By plunging in depth into the detail of Manchukuo, Duara elucidates the universal dilemmas of modernity. (Gavan McCormack )

Duara’s book ably explores the complexity of Manchukuo while providing us with a fruitful theoretical framework and useful tools for the broader comparative study of nationalism in the 20th century. (American Journal Of Sociology )

This imaginative, rich, suggestive, and immensely erudite book offers much to ponder on the interconnected questions of nationalism and imperialism, sovereignty and authenticity, and the regional and global cultures of modernity. (The Journal Of Asian Studies )

An immensely rich and imaginative study of Japanese-controlled Manchuria. It makes an exciting and important contribution to our understanding of the complexity of Manchurian history, Japanese imperialism, and East Asian nationalism. (American Historical Review )

Prasenjit Duara . . . offers us a wholly original, path-breaking, and interdisciplinary approach to the geopolitical area of East Asia. . . . [His] book is an embodiment of a new imagination of the East Asian modern. (Journal Of World History )

A bold, imaginative, and extraordinarily well-researched study. (Sheldon Garon )

In this powerful and provocative book, Prasenjit Duara uses the case of Manchukuo, the Japanese puppet state in northeast China from 1932-1945, to explore how such antinomies as imperialism and nationalism, modernity and tradition, and governmentality and exploitation interacted in the post-World War I period. His study of Manchukuo, which had a population of 40 million and was three times the area of Japan, catalyzes a broader understanding of new global trends that characterized much of the twentieth century. Asking why Manchukuo so desperately sought to appear sovereign, Duara examines the cultural and political resources it mobilized to make claims of sovereignty.

He argues that Manchukuo, as a transparently constructed “nation-state,” offers a unique historical laboratory for examining the utilization and transformation of circulating global forces mediated by the “East Asian modern.” Sovereignty and AUthenticity not only shows how Manchukuo drew technologies of modern nationbuilding from China and Japan, but it provides a window into how some of these techniques and processes were obscured or naturalized in the more successful East Asian nation-states. With its sweepingly original theoretical and comparative perspectives on nationalism and imperialism, this book will be essential reading for all those interested in contemporary history.

Sovereignty and Authenticity: Manchukuo and the East Asian Modern (State & Society East Asia)

  • 3 responses to "Crossed Histories: Manchuria in the Age of Empire Mariko Tamanoi Univ of Hawaii Pr"

  • robotech
    23:12 on August 31st, 2011
    Reply to comment

    It got to me on time and in good shape! It is a very well written book, great for anyone who is interested in Asiatic history, or borderland disputes.

  • bonelyfish
    18:41 on September 3rd, 2011
    Reply to comment

    Sovereignty And Authenticity: Manchukuo And The East Asian Modern by Prasenjit Duara (Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago), is a technical and advanced study of imperialism, nationalism, modernity, tradition, government, and exploitation with an especial and illustrative focus on Manchukuo, the Japanese puppet state in northeast China that lasted from 1932 to 1945. Extensively researched and annotated, this critical and scholarly discourse delves both into the nuanced intricacies of history and the fascinating mass psychology mechanisms of society and government, Sovereignty And Authenticity is an impressive and strongly recommended work of World War II era history.

  • Jim Renfro
    14:55 on September 4th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    “Crossed Histories” is a collection of articles written by competent scholars about cultural and subconscious meaning of the term ‘Manchuria’ in modern Asia. The multi-angled perspective of presenting japanese propaganda movies, utopian city planning, manchurian spy-turned princess and the fate of polish engineers and settlers – builders of the transsiberian railroad provides and interesting journey into the 1930s asian continent and serves as a starting point for anyone interested in that time period. The book hardly fills out the entire subject – rather is like a glimpse into the forgotten world of interwar Manchukuo and an array of cultural meanings it has for several eurasian nations. Becouse of being an inhabitant of Poland, I have my own specific understanding of that exotic realm, complaisant to images existing in my own national memory (the rule of Tsars over polish people, the career of polish intelligentsia on Siberia and our contribution in colonial exploration of Eurasia – which was completely accidental by the way) so it was great to see what ‘Manchuria’ means for Koreans, Chinese, Japanese and what feelings and memories it awakens in them. When I was in school, I had a friend who was born in a family repatriated from Mukden in 1949, and he posessed completely different mentality, than people that descended from families which have lived in Europe for centuries. In a way, Manchuria links many distant peoples of Eurasia – now they can just explore their interrelations and differences to try build real pan-asian understanding. To be frank, I seriously miss articles covering White Russians, jewish immigrants in Manchuria and indigenious Manchurians of course, they still existed in times of Manchukuo. I have a reason to think, howewer, that thanks to this book such articles will emerge in some time. Great as an intellectual stimulation for more complex studies of interwar Asia, which was undoubtly an ultimate goal of madam Mariko Tamanoi and her colleagues.

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