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Products for grant FO-258291-18

FO-258291-18
Nomadic Borderlands: Imperial Japan and the Origins of Ethnic Autonomy in Modern China
Sakura Christmas, Bowdoin College

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FO-258291-18

Imperial Japan and Land Reform in the Mongol Territories of Manchukuo (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Imperial Japan and Land Reform in the Mongol Territories of Manchukuo
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: The mottled landscape of pastoral and agrarian livelihoods in Inner Mongolia posed fundamental problems around governance for Japanese imperialists after they invaded Northeast China in 1931. Within this zone of mixed settlement, Japanese planners and Mongol collaborators pursued land reform to mark out a new border for an autonomous province within the client state of Manchukuo. The border continues to define the eastern limits of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to this day. This paper details the origins, implementation, and consequences of this reform, a law known as “The Mongol Land Offer,” which expropriated the estates of indigenous princes beyond the new border and incorporated these territories into Manchukuo’s county administration in 1938. Driven by Marxian analysis, Japanese researchers from the South Manchuria Railway Company reframed the nomadic pastoralism practiced by Mongols within feudalism in order to justify state dispossession of aristocratic property beyond the border. The Land Offer redistributed the extensive holdings of the Mongol nobility to predominantly Chinese tenants. Japanese leftists reworked Marxian theory to recognize the Mongol territories as a special case of feudalism, where not only class, but also livelihood lay as the cause of supposed economic stagnation. The data from Japanese surveys, generated in collaboration with indigenous partners, motivated land reform in the Mongol territories that predated Communist programs. This extensive classification project led to significant territorial dispossession, the curtailing of indigenous power, and ultimately the effacement of Mongol identity from the map of Northeast China.
Date: 01/05/2019
Primary URL: https://aha.confex.com/aha/2019/webprogram/Paper25917.html
Primary URL Description: Online Conference Program of the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association
Conference Name: Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Chicago IL

A Steppe Too Far: Rationalizing Nomads in Japanese-Occupied Inner Mongolia (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: A Steppe Too Far: Rationalizing Nomads in Japanese-Occupied Inner Mongolia
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: In the Mongol territories of northwest Manchukuo, a pastoral preserve grew beyond the political bounds of the Japanese occupation and the agricultural limits of the land. Indigenous leaders convinced Manchukuo authorities to ban further land reclamation on the steppe as way to “revive the Mongol race” through nomadic practice. The Five Year Plan of 1936, however, sought to eliminate the nomadic aspect of herding because its Japanese architects did not see seasonal migration as a “rational” use of resources. Rather, they viewed it as the root of overgrazing and land degradation on the steppe. These sweeping claims by the imperial state did the political work of motivating grassland protection policies to rearrange the livelihoods of herders. Casting native species as “degenerate,” Japanese experimental farms began importing alfalfa seeds and Merino sheep whose intensive care required sedentary patterns of subsistence, subverting nomadic practice over time. The Japanese program to turn so-called primitive nomads into rationalized ranchers settled Mongols into ethnic enclaves, known as “concentration-villages,” to produce meat, wool, and leather in industrial quantities for the empire. While the steppe would continue to look like the steppe, the Five Year Plan refigured an underlying ecology of transhumance into one of sedentary extraction. The fact that some Mongols were able to continue their migrations nevertheless points to the limits of Japanese rule in the nomadic borderlands.
Date: 10/05/2018
Primary URL: http://weai.columbia.edu/call-for-papers-october-5-workshop-on-technology-politics-and-material-transformation-in-asias-world-war-ii/
Primary URL Description: Original Call for Papers
Secondary URL: http://www.columbiawartimeasia.com
Secondary URL Description: Actual workshop website taken down
Conference Name: On the Natural History of Destruction: Technology, Politics, and Material Transformation in Asia’s Long World War II, Columbia University, New York NY

Imperial Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Japanese Occupation of the Mongolian Steppe (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Imperial Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Japanese Occupation of the Mongolian Steppe
Abstract: In the 1930s, Imperial Japan expanded into the Mongol territories of Northeast China, where nomadic herders lived on the steppe. Japanese planners, however, did not see seasonal migration as a rational use of resources, but rather, the root of overgrazing and degradation. As a result, they sought to eliminate nomadic features of herding. Japanese experimental farms began disseminating alien grasses and hybrid animals from Australia and North America whose intensive care demanded sedentary patterns of livelihood, undercutting nomadic practice over time. While the steppe would continue to look like the steppe, the resultant scientific stock-farming would also refigure an underlying ecology of transhumance into one of sedentary extraction for the Japanese empire.
Author: Sakura Christmas
Date: 04/30/2019
Location: Colby College, Waterville, ME
Primary URL: https://rem1.org/events/2019-04-30/
Primary URL Description: Local Event Calendar for Waterville, ME

Fascism on the Frontier: Territorial Demarcation and Environmental Planning in the Japanese Empire (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Fascism on the Frontier: Territorial Demarcation and Environmental Planning in the Japanese Empire
Abstract: No abstract.
Author: Sakura Christmas
Date: 12/06/2019
Location: Yale University, New Haven CT

Mediators at the Edges of Empire (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Mediators at the Edges of Empire
Author: Sakura Christmas
Author: Naveena Naqvi
Author: Alyssa Parades
Author: Yukiko Tonoike
Abstract: This one-day workshop examined the role of mediators in the making and unmaking of power, be it political, economic, or environmental, in various borderlands across InterAsian spaces. Bringing together interdisciplinary perspectives, the conveners consider the role of intermediaries, border-crossers, go-betweens, and middlemen in the frictional zones between polities, where state authority begins to break down. We conceptualize these zones geographically between state territories, topographically between the lowlands of economic elites and the highlands of the political opposition, and epistemologically between knowledge systems. Through ethnographic and historical attention to the instruments of translation and bureaucratic mechanisms of flows, we hope to address the following questions: How do views from the edges of empire reorient our understanding of the center? How are terms between newcomers and natives, imperialists and indigenes navigated, negotiated, and ultimately compromised on the ground? What experimental configurations of power then emerge as a result? The conveners seek to build a comparative framework and common vocabulary in order to analyze how mediators facilitate, obstruct, and reinvent dynamics of connection and disconnection in these spaces. In doing so, they aim to trace some of the patterns in which empires are reconstituted and transformed at their edges.
Date Range: 05/05/2019
Location: Yale University, New Haven CT
Primary URL: https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/campuspress.yale.edu/dist/f/396/files/2019/05/Schedule-1.jpg
Primary URL Description: Workshop Program
Secondary URL: http://campuspress.yale.edu/interasia/events/
Secondary URL Description: Yale InterAsia Initiative Event Calendar

Book Manuscript Workshop for Nomadic Divide (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Book Manuscript Workshop for Nomadic Divide
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: Book Manuscript Workshop with Dani Botsman (Yale), Peter Perdue (Yale), Kalyanakrishnan (Shivi) Sivaramakrishnan (Yale), and Louise Young (Wisconsin).
Date Range: 04/26/2019
Location: Yale University, New Haven CT

Between Steppe and Sown, Nation and Empire in Japanese-Occupied Inner Mongolia (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Between Steppe and Sown, Nation and Empire in Japanese-Occupied Inner Mongolia
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: No abstract.
Date: 04/26/2019
Primary URL: https://agrarianstudies.macmillan.yale.edu/colloquium
Primary URL Description: Program for Agrarian Studies Colloquium Events Calendar
Conference Name: Yale University Program for Agrarian Studies Colloquium, New Haven CT

Nomadic Divide Introduction (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Nomadic Divide Introduction
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: Introduction to Book Manuscript
Date: 05/05/2019
Primary URL: https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/campuspress.yale.edu/dist/f/396/files/2019/05/Schedule-1.jpg
Primary URL Description: Workshop Program
Secondary URL: http://campuspress.yale.edu/interasia/events/
Secondary URL Description: Yale InterAsia Initiative Event Calendar
Conference Name: Yale InterAsia Initiative Mediators at the Edges of Empire Workshop, New Haven CT

Nomadic Divide Introduction (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Nomadic Divide Introduction
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: Introduction to Book Manuscript
Date: 04/14/2019
Primary URL: http://universityseminars.columbia.edu/seminars/modern-east-asia-japan/
Primary URL Description: Seminar Website
Conference Name: Columbia University Seminar on Modern Japan, New York NY

Japanese Imperialism and Environmental Disease on a Soy Frontier, 1890-1940 (Article)
Title: Japanese Imperialism and Environmental Disease on a Soy Frontier, 1890-1940
Author: Sakura Christmas
Abstract: This article focuses on the 1935 discovery of what is now believed to be a selenium deficiency disorder in the Japanese client state of Manchukuo. The epicenter of this disease had served as pasture for Oirat Mongols until the late nineteenth century. Opening up the land for reclamation by Chinese migrants put greater pressure on each acre to produce food. With a limited supply of selenium in the soil, the intake of this mineral by crops decreased over time, especially under the extractive conditions of the soybean industry during the Japanese occupation. Japanese theories on climate and hygiene made legible the consequences of transforming this nomadic borderland into an agrarian heartland on colonized bodies. By bringing attention to the understudied Mongol territories in Manchukuo, this essay goes beyond environmental histories bound by the nation-state to reveal the corporeal costs of settler colonialism and ecological imperialism.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911819000597
Primary URL Description: Link to article.
Access Model: Subscription only.
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Asian Studies
Publisher: Cambridge University Press


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