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Outcasts of Empire

Japan's Rule on Taiwan's "Savage Border," 1874-1945

Paul D. Barclay (Author)

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At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program. Visit 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 D. Barclay chronicles the lives and times of interpreters, chiefs, and trading-post operators along the far edges of the expanding international system, an area known as Taiwan’s “savage border.” In addition, he boldly asserts 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 superfluous a whole class of mediators—among them, Kondo “the Barbarian” Katsusaburo, Pan Bunkiet, and Iwan Robao. Even with these unreliable allies safely cast aside, the Japanese empire lacked the resources to integrate indigenous Taiwan into the rest of the colony. The empire, therefore, created the Indigenous Territory, which exists to this day as a legacy of Japanese imperialism, local initiatives, and the global commoditization of culture.
Paul D. Barclay is Professor of History at Lafayette College. He is also General Editor of the East Asia Image Collection, an open-access online digital repository of historical materials.

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