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Everyday life in the puppet state: A study of ordinary people’s experiences in Manchukuo

Li, Qiunan (2018) Everyday life in the puppet state: A study of ordinary people’s experiences in Manchukuo. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Doctoral Thesis Qiunan Li SEAS University of Sheffield.pdf
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Abstract

This thesis explores the experiences of ordinary people living under Japanese occupation in Manchukuo from 1932 to 1945. By examining the harsh nature of colonial rule and the impact on the people, this dissertation shows the multiple ways in which the everyday life of ordinary people was influenced by the various upheavals and hardships. This research mainly uses newspapers, primary published materials, documents, compilations, dictations and other Chinese language sources. This thesis thus establishes a detailed account of the sufferings that colonial subjects encountered in their daily lives and the coping methods that they employed to circumvent them. The experiences of the people were highlighted through the role of education, access to and rationing of goods, the sense of homelessness in the midst of ongoing housing crises, as well as sanitation and hygienic issues, which constituted altogether the core aspects of the everyday life of the people. In essence, ordinary people of Manchukuo lived a life overwhelmed by shortages, misfortunes and difficulties. Focusing on both rural and urban areas, this thesis argues how the people of Manchukuo were passive in face of the various policies implemented by the regime, but yet active in face of the hardships that followed. This sense of passivity, or the general lack of initiative, demonstrates in fact how motives of self-protection and survival beneath the acts of superficial compliance directed the people’s everyday life in Manchukuo. With the current literature’s emphasis on the economic and social structures of the puppet state, this thesis seeks to fill the gap by recognizing the importance of the everyday experiences of the colonial subjects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: everyday life; Manchukuo; Japanese imperialism; colonial experiences; informal Empire; ordinary people; colonial education; rationing economy; housing; homelessness; modernity; health and hygiene.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of East Asian Studies (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Qiunan Li
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2018 13:34
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2018 13:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22326

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