"Visualizing "Chosen" in Imperial Japan: Difference, Affinity, and Resistance in Japanese Political Cartoons

Andre Haag, Ph.D. Candidate in Japanese,Stanford University

Refreshments will be provided: please RSVP at

Visualizing Korea and Koreans in Japanese political cartoons (early, single-panel manga) presented rich opportunities but also formidable challenges during the age of new imperialism—particularly after the formal colonization of Korea in 1910.  How did Japanese cartoonists negotiate this conflicted terrain, which demanded in turn and sometimes simultaneously distancing Japan from Korea and Asia in general, envisioning new relations of hierarchy between nations, and finally justifying annexation of Korean on the grounds of cultural similarity and common origins.  Here we explore an illustrated history of Japanese encounters with Korean resistance and unrest, geopolitical rivalry over the peninsula, and the prospects (and pitfalls) of colonial assimilation, through images published in the humor magazine Osaka Puck and other periodicals of the Meiji and Taisho periods.

Andre Haag is a PhD candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.  His dissertation, “Fear and Loathing in Imperial Japan: Korean Rebels, Terrorists and Thugs Narrated Through the Colonial Gaze,” examines the language, narrative and imagery deployed to represent and contain Korean resistance in 1920s Japan, and the significance of fear and anxiety in the colonial encounter.

Directions to the Watt Room at the Stanford Humanities Center:
The Watt Room is a small room with glass walls located to the right (when facing the Tressider Center parking lot, not Santa Teresa St.) of the main entrance. The room has a separate door, so please enter directly rather than coming through Levinthal Hall, as an event will be underway there at the time of our session.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | 6:00 pm — 8:00 pm
Watt Room - Stanford Humanities Center

The Graphic Narrative Project