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"From Island Nation to Oceanic Empire: A Vision of Japanese Expansion from the Periphery"

The Journal of Japanese Studies
Feb 2016

This article examines the diasporic thought of Sugiura Shigetake (1855–1924), an early and largely overlooked proponent of Japanese empire. Written during the Tokugawa-Meiji transition, Sugiura’s work illustrates a crucial link between domestic reform and maritime expansion while demonstrating a debt to the new ideologies of Japanism, Pan-Asianism, and liberalism. His perspective as a native of Ōmi Province, moreover, reveals a distinctive strain of colonial thought that envisioned people on the periphery of a newly unified Japan, from Ōmi merchants to social outcastes, as central agents of expansion.