A Draft Chapter

I haven’t been posting much here but I am very happy to see Frog in a Well is alive and well. Alan Buamler, Jonathan Dresner, Sayaka Chatani, John DiMoia, and Charles Hayford have been especially great at serving up some great content. I have been focused on the completion of the dissertation.

I long ago promised myself to try to be open about the writing process and share what I was writing as I wrote it. I have always been deeply frustrated by the culture of fear around me against this kind of openness which argues that ideas might get stolen, foolish mistakes ridiculed, or publishers frightened away.

Up to now, however, I haven’t shared much of the dissertation, which has taken an unexpected Southeast Asian turn. Now that I’m finally finishing up a draft chapter that is appropriate for one of these three blogs, I thought I would experiment by posting it here. I’ll divide the chapter up into pieces and share them in a series of postings spread across a week or two.

The overall dissertation looks at the politics of retribution against treason and war crimes in several places occupied or colonized by the Japanese empire, especially where these two overlap in the case of military collaborators. Excluding the special case of Taiwanese and Korean soldiers who fought in the Japanese Army, the military collaborators who were guilty of some of the worst kinds of repression we associate with Japanese rule faced retribution as traitors more often than as men guilty of illegitimate violence. My work explores the way that this distorted efforts to confront the violence of occupation and colonization.

The draft chapter I’ll be sharing here is on Chinese Communist policies towards the “puppet armies” (伪军), especially the work of the Enemy Work Bureau (敌伪工作部) in occupied Shandong province. It is the only chapter which deals with the wartime as well as the early postwar period when the work of retribution and reform was handed over to the Traitor Elimination Bureau (锄奸部) that is the central topic of research I have decided to attempt to publish separately.

I welcome your comments and corrections but since I’m under the deadline gun, I apologize in advance if I’m not able to respond to everything. Also, to save time I will not be converting all the footnotes (which are not all yet well written out anyways) into the format that is understood by WordPress, but if there is a source you are interested in following up on, I’m more than happy to share. At any rate, when I finish the diss, it will be available in its entirety as a PDF download from my homepage.

Winning Over and Reforming the Puppet Armies of Shandong, China, 1937-1947

Puppet Soldiers
Military Collaboration in Shandong
The Puppet Armies of Laiwu
Wu Huawen’s Crooked Road to National Salvation
The Seven Captures of Meng Huo
The Enemy and Puppet Work Bureau in Shandong
Megaphone and Frontline Propaganda
The Registry of Good and Evil
Zhu De and the Prices of Betrayal
The Wartime Gains of the Bureau
Traitors, Puppets, and Divided Responsibilities
Magnanimity, Repentance, and Reform
The Eight Great Disorders and the Oppose Treason Campaign


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.