2016年12月20日 星期二

Rise of a Japanese Chinatown: Yokohama, 1894-1972

Recently I have read the following book. Its main points are:

Book title: Han, Eric. Rise of a Japanese Chinatown: Yokohama, 1894-1972. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Asia Center, 2014

Main points:

- chapter 5 traces the development of Yokohama Chinatown into a cohesive enclave and economic niche against the backdrop of the Cold War and Japan’s economic rise, culminating in the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and the PRC in 1972.(21)
The conclusion examines Chinatown from the 1980s and the district’s rising commercial fortune and further institutionalization as a key pillar of Yokohama local identity. (21) Chinese gained public acceptance as local resident, a status that conferred certain citizenship right. (21)

- ch. 1 – (entitled “the Sino-Japanese war and ethnic unity, 1894-5”) – Chinese settlement in Yokohama began in 1859. Modern conceptions of citizenship based on global system of nation-state made Chinese and Japanese identities mutually exclusive. (21) The “transformation in the meaning of being Chinese in Japan did not take place in one stroke; it took decades, and the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-5 was a watershed.” (24)

- the Japanese victory in 1894-5 brought about a re-evaluation of the Japanese images of the Chinese, reducing them to cowardly masses and laborers. (24) Among the Japanese vocabulary in the 19th century, the so-called acha-san were Chinese by virtue of their visible difference from Japanese society and trade connections with china. (26)

- social order underwent radical revision in the 19th century as a result of a modified political order: the rise of global system of national states and the intrusion of aggressive western imperialism into East Asia. They forced both China and Japan to conduct their world affairs in accepting to western norms. (28) Chinese entered Yokohama under the treaty port system in the second half of the 19th century. They built homes and business in the so-called foreign settlement. (29)

- the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-5 boosted the development of modern nationalism in both China and Japan. The same might be said of ethnic consciousness among Yokohama’s resident Chinese until this point, there was not self-aware and unify community of Qing subjects. (35) The Japan’s victory in the War raised feeling of Japanese pride. When these images began impinging negativity on the lives of Chinese, they began to think of themselves as one people. (36)
- just as the war forged Japanese unity, it produced new conditions that forced Chinese to imagine themselves as one group. (47) The working-class Chinese were initially indifferent to this. This attitude changed with the promulgation of the new legal framework to govern Qing subject and the obligation to register with Kanagawa prefecture.  The legislation prohibited certain economic activities, placing the Qing under the Japanese legal system.(47) The end of extraterritoriality was particularly threatening to the Chinese working class who previously been spared Japan’s prohibition on gambling and opium use. (47)

- for Yokohama Chinese, identification with China coexisted with the manifold forms of association linked to the native place: local culture, dialect, hometown, and lineage. The war merely changed the relative priorities of these identifications. Prior to the war, Chinese in Yokohama displayed scant attention to the Qing regime. (49)

-chapter conclusion – the rise of ethnic unity might best be understood as a change in perception and priority. The Sino- Japanese War forced individuals to see their lives in ethnic terms and to place their collective identity above individual ones. (55) It would take the arrival of expatriate leaders to mold the Yokohama Chinese into active Chinese citizens. (55)

- ch. 2 – (entitled “Expatriate nationalist and the politics of mixed residence, 1895-1911”) – the 1894-5 War forged a degree of ethnic solidity among Yokohama Chinese, but it did not yield modern ethnicity, much less nationhood. (56) In the late 19th century, overseas Chinese held their sense of pan-Chinese identity was primary cultural, not political. (56) The fighting in 1894-5 was the Qing’s war, it was not their war. (56)

- the discourse of nation disseminated in Yokohama enabled an elite group to claim their authority to speak for a nation and to represent their own interest as those of the collective (or to guide/lead). This chapter examines the process of political mobilization, its social consequences, and its limits. (59)

- Inukai and Okuma were instrumental in allowing Kang and Liang to escape China. Miyazaki support Sun Yat-sen. These Japanese supporters believed that only an alliance between Japan and a revived Chinese would be able to resist Western domination over Asia. (60) A more direct political application of expatriate leadership took place in the summer of 1899 when diplomatic development between Japan and the world called into question the legal status of Chinese residents in Japan.(73)

- beginning with July 1894 Japan successfully renegotiated its unequal treaties with western power that was the judicial foundations of the treaty ports. It would end the 40 year history of the foreign settlement and terminate extraterritoriality. Japan prepared for an era of mixed residence, or direct contact with foreigner. (73) Ideological fractures was generated in Japan around the question of whether Chinese would be “left in the pot” after treaty nations had been granted the right of mix residence in the interior. (74) The debate invoked the issues of hygiene and labor completion. (75)

- on a more abstract level, the import of the term ‘shinajin’ appeared to have been a deliberated denial of their status as Qing subject, implying that these Chinese were ungoverned, anarchic immigrants.  An essay in 1899 said that Japan should not consider diplomatic relation with Shina [China] the same as with Euro- American countries because Shina did not have the qualification to be considered a complete country. (76) Their people were no longer Qing subject, but were Shinajin, a race who moved from place to place. (76)

- in the end elite Cantonese petitioner were rewarded their wished-for rights of mixed residence in the interior of Japan. It was resolved that after August 4th 1899; migrant labors would be restricted to the former treaty-port foreign settlement, whereas merchants and industrialist would be allowed residence on the same basis as European and Americans. (78) The social reality of late-Meiji Chinatown demonstrated a kind of urban mixing and cultural exchange that defied the national boundaries espoused by Japanese and Chinese elites. (80)

- chapter conclusion – form the Sino- Japanese War to the early 1900s (before 1911), Chinese of Yokohama began to see themselves by degrees as a single ethnic nation, unified by shared interest and difference from the Japanese. (86)

-  Chinese ethnic consciousness in Yokohama was therefore on display in the early years of the 19th century, anchored by an ethnic nucleus of Confucian tradition, ideas and shared descent, and expatriate (Sun/Kang) leadership. These Chinese leaders sought to turn this China ethnic identity into nationhood by promoting the idea of a political active citizenry. In these early years, this sense of nation was in no way predetermined. It was stall a contest aspiration, divided between competing ideas of the Chinese nation as either guomin or minzu, and undermined by other sub- and non-national forms of identity. (87)

- after the establishment of the ROC in 1912, a regime that would become intensely concerned with the status, education, and regulation of its oversees citizen. The application of this state power on Chinese life in Yokohama would be the subject of the next chapter. (89)

(to be continued)