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to learn more.Outcasts of Empire
probes the limits of modern nation-state sovereignty by positioning colonial Taiwan at the intersection of the declining Qing and ascending Japanese empires. Paul Barclay chronicles the lives and times of interpreters, chiefs and trading-post operators along the far edges of the expanding international system, known as Taiwan's "savage border." He also makes broader claims about the interpenetration of industrial capitalism and modern ethnic identities.
By the 1930s, three decades into Japanese imperial rule, mechanized warfare and bulk commodity production rendered a whole class of mediators--with names like Kondo "the Barbarian" Katsusaburo, Pan Bunkiet and Iwan Robao--superfluous. Even with these uncertain allies safely cast aside, the Japanese empire lacked the resources to integrate indigenous Taiwan into the rest of the colony. Therefore, it created the Indigenous Territory, which exists to this day as a legacy of Japanese imperialism, local initiatives, and the global commoditization of culture.