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Nanshin: Japanese Settlers in Papua and New Guinea

CollectionsANU Pacific Institute
Title: Nanshin: Japanese Settlers in Papua and New Guinea
Author(s): Iwamoto, Hiromitsu
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.
Japanese emigration to Papua and New Guinea began around the tum of the 1 9th century, as an offshoot from the settlement of Japanese pearl divers on Thursday Island. An adventurous Japanese skipper, Komine Isokichi, explored the waters of New Guinea in a schooner for new shell fishing grounds. He reached Rabaul in New Britain in 1 90 1 where he met Governor Hahl. Komine managed to develop a good relationship with the German administration. In 1 9 1 0 he acquired leases in Manus Island and Rabaul and began operating a copra plantation, and trochus shell fishing and boatbuilding businesses. More importantly, he began to bring in Japanese employees. However, after the outbreak of World War I, immigration policy and trade restriction by the Australian military administration and later by the civil administration blocked the expansion of the Japanese settlement. The Japanese population declined from 1 1 9 in 1 9 1 4 to 36 in 1 939. At the outbreak of the Pacific War, Japanese residents were all arrested and interned in Australia just before the landing of Japanese troops. Most internees were never allowed to return on security grounds. Thus the Japanese settlement vanished. The national policies of both Japan and Australia determined their fate. Advocates of Japanese nanshin-ron (southward advancement theory) and Australian officials created the image of the settlers as pawns of nanshin (southward advancement) . However, their perceptions, based on the national interest of each, are partial. In this book I aim to present a wider perception of the settlers in order to construct a more comprehensive history. I set my analysis in the contexts of Japanese social history and the colonial history of Papua and New Guinea, attempting to conceptualise the position of these migrants in a European colonial apparatus.
ISBN: 0958586306


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