I defended my PhD in June 2014 at the History Department of Columbia University in New York.
My dissertation is a comparative study of rural youth mobilization in Japan and its colonies, Taiwan and Korea, between 1895 and 1945.
My dissertation, ‘Nation-Empire: Rural Youth Mobilization in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea 1895-1945’, is about rural youth mobilization across the Japanese empire. I focus on three rural villages – one each in northern Japan, Taiwan, and Korea – to investigate what motivated farm youth to join the imperial youth groups and, consequently, come to embrace strong Japanese nationalism. I spent two years visiting these villages and national and provincial capitals, collecting both local and national accounts on youth mobilization, and conducting oral interviews in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean languages. My work highlights the social dynamics that surrounded farm youth, such as divides between rural and urban, educated and uneducated, generations, gender, and class to show how mass mobilization of Japan's nationalizing empire – which I call the nation-empire – operated at the grassroots level.