Date: 19 February 2019
Professor Araragi gave a wide-reaching and intricate talk about the subject of the large scale migrations that followed the dissolution of the Japanese empire in 1945. This was a unique opportunity for staff and students to learn more about this subject, especially since Professor Araragi has also published an article entitled “The Collapse of the Japanese Empire and the Great Migrations: Repatriation, Assimilation, and Remaining Behind,” in the collection The Dismantling of Japan’s Empire in East Asia: Deimperialization, Postwar Legitimation and Imperial Afterlife that was edited by Professor Kushner and Dr. Sherzod Muminov as part of the ERC project. Building on this background, the speaker introduced several new facets elaborating on the mass displacements that characterized the years following 1945. Millions of Japanese moved back from the colonies, and similar migrations took place among Koreans living in Japan and Northeast China. Drawing interesting parallels with the policies toward, for example, displaced Germans and other minorities in Europe after the war, Professor Araragi gave us a thorough overview of how the reconfiguration of national boundaries in East Asia was tied up with newly created Cold War power structures.