This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to understand Japanese colonial culture by analyzing the tropes of savagery in literary works and exploring links between them and wider social discourses. An ancillary aim of the book is to place the Japanese empire within the comparative context of global imperial discourses and to initiate a dialogue with current postcolonial theory, which is so deeply informed by the study of European empire. The chapter then discusses the following: allegories of the self, violent savages and children of paradise, Japan in postcolonial studies, colonial mimicry and mimetic imperialism, the ambivalences of colored imperialism, the triangle of Japanese colonial discourse, and the rhetoric of sameness/similarity. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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