Profilo sociale dell’emigrazione urbana giapponese nella Manciuria coloniale: il caso della città di Fushun

  • Filippo Dornetti Keio University, Tokyo


Making sense of the spectacular performance of postwar Japanese economy is one of the central issues in Japanese contemporary history. Recently, economic and business historians are debating on the role of the colonial experience in respect of the Japanese postwar economic boom. In the light of this new issue, the analysis of life histories of Japanese commoners who migrated in the colonies is gaining relevance. This paper attempts to contribute to this debate focusing on 69 Japanese who lived Fushun in the first four decades of the 20th Century. Fushun, the “city of coil” of Manchukuo, was a medium-sized company town created by the South Manchurian Railway Company around the local coil mines. The main source of the paper is the biographical annals of notable Japanese people in Manchuria (Manshū shinshiroku), recently collected in a volume by Takenaka Shin'ichi. The evidence gathered for this contribution suggests that Fushun was as a city quite selective towards highly skilled Japanese migrants, and that not a few people had the chance to collect professional experience in Fushun, which could have been an important asset after the war. My analysis was focused on a small sample of male self-employed, employed in small firms, or public servants in Fushun. I plan to extend this survey in a new article considering also a sample of the numerous Railway Company employees in the same city.  


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Author Biography

Filippo Dornetti, Keio University, Tokyo

Filippo Dornetti (PhD) is visiting researcher at Keio University, in Tokyo, where he also teaches Italian language and Japanese economic history. His main field of research is social history of Japanese colonialism in Northeast China. He is interested also in comparative and transnational history of rural societies in China, Japan and Italy. He can be reached at: