Supporting the Faith, Building the Empire: Imperial Japan’s Islamic Policies in World War II
Kelly A. Hammond, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arkansas, and an associate editor at The Journal of Asian Studies
Moderated by: Paul Kreitman, Assistant Professor of Japanese History, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
This talk will examine some of the ways that the Japanese Empire curried favors to Muslims in China, and later throughout East Asia, in the lead up to and throughout World War II. Drawing on examples from my recent book, China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire: Centering Islam in World War II, the talk will present viewers with concrete policies and explore some of the ways that the Japanese Government envisioned themselves as the benevolent protectors of Islam while at the same time advancing their imperial, expansionist visions. For their part, Muslims from around the colonial world found the anti-western and anti-Soviet rhetoric expounded by the Japanese Empire appealing to a certain extent. By placing Muslims at the center of Japan’s imperial ambitions, it becomes clear that their visions for empire went far beyond what we would now consider to be the geographic boundaries of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere into predominantly Islamic spaces like Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Organized by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.