The first 'occupation' of Japan

Illustration of Japanese troupes marching

Wednesday 18 March 2020
SAB 303, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, SO22 4NR

This talk will examine the hitherto virtually unexplored topic of the influence and nature of the British Army Garrison stationed in Yokohama, Japan during the pivotal years leading up to, and immediately following, the Meiji ‘restoration’ of 1868. The reasons behind the stationing of the troops in Yokohama will be examined including the strategic, security, health, and commercial contexts of their presence. The influence exerted by the troops during their stay on Japanese domestic politics and society, and the factors behind their eventual withdrawal will also be examined. The paper will conclude by analysing the legacies of the presence of the troops, including those on the Meiji restoration itself, and the militarised international perspective the garrison may have helped foster in Meiji Japan.

Thomas French is an Associate Professor of Modern Japanese History in the College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University. He is the author ofNational Police Reserve: The Origin of Japan’s Self Defense Forces (Global Oriental, 2014) and editor of The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2017). He is currently leading the JSPS funded project “Old Friends, New Partners: A History of Anglo-Japanese Peacetime Military Relations: 1864-Present”.

Speaker: Thomas French (Ritsumeikan University)
Discussant: Professor Chris Aldous (University of Winchester)
Chair: Dr Graciela Iglesias-Rogers (University of Winchester)

This talk is hosted by the University's Modern History Research Centre.

No booking required. For further information, please contact the MHRC leading convenor, Dr Graciela Iglesias-Rogers

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