Degree Year


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Emer O'Dwyer

Committee Member(s)

Suzanne Gay
Ann Sherif
David Kelley


Japanese Empire, Japanese colonial education, Taiwanese history, Taiwanese education, Colonial education, Lin Mao-sheng


Japan colonized the island of Taiwan from 1895-1945. During this period, the colonial administration set up the first modernized education system on the island, which emphasized learning the Japanese language at the expense of the students' native Chinese language. The government espoused ideals of equality between the Taiwanese and the Japanese that extended to equal opportunity in schooling and in the work place. However, in reality the Japanese colonial government discriminated against the Taiwanese, and this manifested itself within all levels of the education system. The Japanese harbored racist attitudes against the Taiwanese, and were reluctant to provide opportunities for higher education that would lead to full intellectual development. Even though there was a group of elite Taiwanese who had been assimilated into Japanese society to a large degree, the Japanese government still distrusted them and did not consider them as fully Japanese. The case of Japan as colonizer yielded interesting comparisons with the cases of Britain and France, and sheds light on the nature of imperialism and of the enterprise of colonial education. Under the colonial administration, Taiwanese language and culture was marginalized, and this phenomenon continued under the Chinese Nationalist regime. Today, the Taiwanese government continues its efforts to promote Taiwanese language and culture in the education system.

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