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Constructing East AsiaTechnology, Ideology, and Empire in Japan's Wartime Era, 1931-1945$
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Aaron Stephen Moore

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785396

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785396.001.0001

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Constructing the Continent

Constructing the Continent

(p.102) Chapter 3 Constructing the Continent
Constructing East Asia

Aaron Stephen Moore

Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on the colonial context where state engineers planned and constructed a wide range of infrastructure projects. It argues that the notions of “comprehensive technology” or “technologies for developing Asia” (kōa gijutsu) discussed in Chapter 2 actually took shape through specific colonial projects rather than simply in the minds of Japanese engineers imitating prominent Western projects. Instead of focusing on experts and their ideas, this chapter analyzes how their plans were formed in dynamic relation to various tensions and contingencies during construction involving colonized peoples, different business and institutional interests, environmental conditions, and war exigencies. Three different examples of “comprehensive technology” are examined: Liao River basin planning in southern Manchuria, urban planning in Beijing, and regional planning on the Manchuria-Korea border. As a result of the above processes of negotiation, the actual projects embodied certain conceptions of technology over others.

Keywords:   Colonial development, urban planning, river planning, Japanese engineers, Beijing, Manchuria, north China, colonial infrastructure, regional planning

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