Chapter 4

Welcome to the Empire

1912 Tokyo Colonial Exposition

The 1912 Tokyo Colonial Exposition was the first time the various races of the empire were brought together expressly in the name of promoting Japan's diverse multicultural empire. From the fairgoers at the exposition to the young children, ideas of living in a multi-ethnic empire were being conveyed in mass media publications, as well as throughout the various events held at the exposition. Tsuboi Shōgorō, the father of Japanese anthropology, and the man behind the displays of living humans at the 1903, 1912 and 1913 expositions, wrote an article in Shōgakusei (Elementary student) magazine about the human displays. He emphasized that all of the different colonial subjects, despite coming from different parts of the empire, were human beings. He told a story meant to convey their humanity: all the different colonial subjects who were housed in their different "traditional villages" were brought together to sit on some benches for  an  official photo. The bench they were sitting on broke, and they all came tumbling down, causing them to laugh aloud. (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p.154, footnote 2).

Shōgakusei 2, no. 9 (1912). Corroborating the story Tsuboi tells in Shōgakusei are the pictures taken of the individuals in the human displays at the exposition that show them sitting on a bench and pictured with Tsuboi (see Lost Histories, p.152 figure 4.1 and p. 153 figure 4.2).

A nineteen year-old  Nivkh named Punyon  (Okuda Momotaro) from Karafuto (the southern island of Sakhalin) rode around on a reindeer for the prince. Credit: Tokyo jinruigakkai zasshi 29 (Jan. 1913). (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 155, footnote 3).

Crown Prince Hirohito's visit to the 1912 Tokyo Colonial Exposition

Ideas of imperialism and what it meant to be part of the Japanese empire had to be taught. When eleven year old Crown Prince Hirohito visited the Tokyo Colonial Exposition, the organizer of the human displays, Tsuboi Shōgorō gave him a special lecture about the the empire's territories and then introduced him to all the individuals in the human displays representing the different colonies. Each person presented the Crown Prince a gift and he gave them money in return.  (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p. 156, footnote 6).

Crown Prince Hirohito. Credit: Tokyo Asahi, October 31, 1912.

The Atayal family at the 1912 exposition included: Patto Chuwasu, his wife, Pisui Yago,  and their three children.  Personal Collection. (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 163, footnote 29).

The Ainu group at Mitsukoshi department store, the destination for all visitors (regardless of colonial status) to experience modern Japanese  consumer life. Back row from L: Tsubosawa Rokusuke and Kaizawa Uesanashi. Front from L: Kageyama Chukaranke, Kimura Chikamaha, Tsubosawa Teru, and Kopuanu. Credit: Mitsukoshi  no. 12 (1912). (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 165 footnote 37).


“The Social Gathering of the Races”

Held at the exposition’s Tourist Pavilion, the jinshu konshinkai  (the social gathering of the races) brought together people from all walks of life including the colonial peoples participating in the human displays as well as Home Minister Hara Takashi and Foreign Minister Uchida Kōsai to actors and famous entertainers, such as kabuki entertainer Ennosuke.

Caption:  “The Barbarian performances at the Social Gathering of the Races.” Although there were no Korean individuals in the human displays at the 1912 exposition, you can see on the stage a Korean man, as well as a seated Ainu woman and an Indigenous Taiwanese man on the right. Credit: Takushoku hakurankai kinen shashinchō. (Tokyo: Meiji Kinenkai, 1912). (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 166, footnote 45).

Although there were two Han Taiwanese in the human displays, their images were not widely disseminated and they garnered little to no attention from the press. Caption: “Taiwan native.” Credit: Takushoku hakurankai kinen shashinchō. (Tokyo: Meiji Kinenkai, 1912). (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 176, footnote, 69).

1913 Osaka Colonial Exposition

The 1913 exposition was a failure in terms of the human displays- by the end of the exposition, all the participants voiced their dissatisfaction over the unfavorable working conditions in Osaka. From left: Kaizawa Utorentoku, Kaizawa Uesanashi, Kaizawa Monupa, Kaizawa Zentarō. Personal Collection. (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p. 178, footnote 74).

More than thirty Ainu from Nibutani were hired to perform the bear ceremony at the exposition. Credit: Mitsukoshi November 1, 1913. (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 180, footnote 81).

Postcard of Atayal family: From left Watan Paihō, Chuwashi Watan, Bira Omarai, Yumin, and Bakanrutsukun. Note the three dots marked under their feet. Personal Collection. (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p. 181, footnote 86).

Authenticating their experience. Writing on back of card says that the people marked with the three dots were the ones who sold the writer the card.

Uilta and Nivkh  at the exposition

From left  Ushirai,  Uerakka, Aruraika, and  Mariya.

Credit:  Osaka mainichi, April 16,1913.

(Corresponds to Lost Histories, p. 182, footnote 89 and 90).

All of the individuals in the human displays at the 1913 Osaka Colonial Exposition. From left: Atayal, Uilta, Nivkh, in back Han Taiwanese, center Hokkaido Ainu and right Karafuto Ainu. See Lost Histories for details on the individuals pictured. Personal Collection. (Corresponds to Lost Histories, 185, footnote 102).

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