The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910

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Duus analyzes Japan's acquisition of Korea, the largest of its colonial possessions, as the result of two separate but interlinked processes, one political/military and the other economic: every attempt at increasing Japanese political influence licensed new opportunities for trade, and every new push for Japanese economic interest buttressed, and sometimes justified, further political advances. The sword was the servant of the abacus; the abacus, the handmaiden of the sword. The political process was driven by the attempt of the Meiji leaders, backed and prodded by politicians and military men at home, to create a stable cadre of Korean collaborators committed to self-strengthening; when this attempt failed, the Japanese leaders finally decided to extend full political control over the peninsula.... While suggesting that Meiji imperialism shared much with Western colonial expansion that provided both its model and its context, Duus also argues that it was "backward imperialism," shaped by Japan's sense of inferiority to the West, as well as its undeveloped economy, limited history of foreign contacts, economic dependency on the advanced economies, and intense desire to catch up. This careful and informed study casts light on a wide array of topics in social, economic, and diplomatic history and contributes to a better understanding of modern Japanese imperialism.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter Duus is William H. Bonsall Professor of History at Stanford University. He is author of Feudalism in Japan, (2nd ed. 1993), editor of The Cambridge History of Japan Vol. 6 (1989), and coeditor of The Japanese
Informal Empire in Japan, 1895-1937

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Origins of Meiji Imperialism 1
1 The Korean Question, 1876-1894 29
2 The Failed Protectorate, 1894-1895 66
3 Japanese Power in Limbo, 1895-1898 103
4 The Race for Concessions, 1895-1901 134
5 Toward the Protectorate, 1901-1905 169
6 The Politics of the Protectorate, 1905-1910 201
7 Capturing the Market: Japanese Trade in Korea 245
8 Dreams of Brocade: Migration to Korea 289
9 Strangers in a Strange Land: The Settler Community 324
10 The Korean Land Grab: Agriculture and Land Acquisition 364
11 Defining the Koreans: Images of Domination 397
Conclusion: Mimesis and Dependence 424
Bibliography 439
Index 461
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