The 27th GJS Seminar(154th Tobunken/ASNET Seminar)“You are China’s Inukai Tsuyoshi, I am Japan’s Kang Youwei”: Revisiting the Potentials of Sino-Japanese Friendship in Late-Meiji Japan

Date and time: November 21, 2016 (Mon.), 4:00-5:00PM
Venue: Lobby, (1F), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo
Speaker: Eric Han, Associate Professor, College of William and Mary
Language: English

Abstract: Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855–1932) was an influential party politician who quite famously served as Prime Minister during the Manchurian Incident, before being gunned down by radical military officers. His life story carries multiple historical legacies, both domestically and internationally. Here in Japan, he is best remembered as a champion of representative government whose death marked the end of party cabinets—at least until defeat in war; and in China, he is remembered as a loyal patron of Chinese expatriate leaders, particularly Sun Yat-sen. In retrospect, however, it is easy to overlook the importance of Inukai’s relationship with reformer and Confucian scholar Kang Youwei (1858–1927) and Kang’s competing constitutional reform movement. This paper will return to the years 1898–99 when these two political leaders met, discussed the fate of East Asia, and saw a good deal of themselves in the other. Using the previously unexamined text by Kang Youwei Mutangji (木堂記), this paper will consider the historical context and political potentials of their unfulfilled vision of alliance between China and Japan—one founded not on revolution and republicanism, but shared Confucian values and reform.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studeis on Asia (IASA), Network for Education and Research on Asia (ASNET)
Contact: gjs[at]