Educating Mongols and Making ‘Citizens’ of Manchukuo

in Inner Asia
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Abstract

To control its new possessions Japan needed a mobilisation strategy of its own. In developing this strategy Japan placed great emphasis on education. The Japanese authorities saw education as tool for shaping society to serve their purposes and as part of their broader efforts to establish their dominance. This essay focuses on Japanese education policies towards the Mongols in Manchukuo. The Mongols of Manchukuo had a special place in Japanese policies in the new state. A clear Mongol political presence was essential to the Japanese construction of Manchukuo as a multi-ethnic state. The central problem for the Japanese was whether to make the Mongols of Manchukuo good and useful citizens of Manchukuo or whether to make them the spearhead of a larger Japanese orientated Mongol state north of China. Japan's education policies amongst the Mongols reflected these contradictory aspirations and therefore highlight Japan's general educational dilemmas in its Asian colonies.

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