This major new study uses vivid accounts of encounters between Chinese and Japanese people living at the margins of empire to elucidate Sino-Japanese relations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Each chapter explores mobility in East Asia through the histories of often ignored categories of people, including trafficked children, peddlers, 'abducted' women and a female pirate. These stories reveal the shared experiences of the border populations of Japan and China and show how they fundamentally shaped the territorial boundaries that defined Japan's imperial world and continue to inform present-day views of China. From Meiji-era treaty ports to the Taiwan Strait, South China, and French Indochina, the movements of people in marginal locations not only destabilized the state's policing of geographical borders and social boundaries, but also stimulated fantasies of furthering imperial power.
Table of Contents
Introduction: border agents; 1. Treaty ports and traffickers: children's bodies, regional markets, and the making of national space; 2. In the Antlion's pit: abduction narratives and marriage migration between Japan and Fuqing; 3. Embodying the borderland in the Taiwan Strait: Nakamura Sueko as runaway woman and pirate Queen; 4. Borders in blood, water, and ink: Andō Sakan's intimate mappings of the South China Sea; 5. Epilogue: ruptures, returns, and re-openings.