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Tropics of Savageryis an incisive and provocative study of the figures and tropes of "savagery" in Japanese colonial culture. Through a rigorous analysis of literary works, ethnographic studies, and a variety of other discourses, Robert Thomas Tierney demonstrates how imperial Japan constructed its own identity in relation both to the West and to the people it colonized. By examining the representations of Taiwanese aborigines and indigenous Micronesians in the works of prominent writers, he shows that the trope of the savage underwent several metamorphoses over the course of Japan's colonial period--violent headhunter to be subjugated, ethnographic other to be studied, happy primitive to be exoticized, and hybrid colonial subject to be assimilated.
Robert Thomas Tierney is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Table of Contents
From Taming Savages to Going Native: Self and Other on the Taiwan Aboriginal Frontier
Ethnography and Literature: Sato Haruo's Colonial Journey to Taiwan
The Adventures of Momotaro in the South Seas: Folklore, Colonial Policy, Parody
The Colonial Eyeglasses of Nakajima Atsushi
Conclusion: Cannibalism in Postwar Literature
Glossary of Japanese Terms
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