Japan’s colonial empire

Authored by: Sandra Wilson , Robert Cribb

Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese History

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138815186
eBook ISBN: 9781315746678
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Before 1945, Japan built a colonial empire with large non-Japanese populations. It annexed Taiwan (1895) and Korea (1910), established a client state in Manchuria (1932) and occupied parts of northern China (from 1933). Japan’s expansion drew on its initial success in persuading other Asians that would defend Asia against Western imperialism. War with China in 1937 led, in December 1941, to war against the West. Japan then occupied much of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, but could not stop the Allied counter-offensive and had to surrender in September 1945. New scholarship has emphasized both the complexity of Japan’s imperial rule and the engagement of Asian people in the imperial venture. Scholars have paid close attention to consequences of imperialism for domestic Japanese society and have shown a growing recognition that Japan’s colonial rule should be treated as part of mainstream Japanese history.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.