Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia

The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism

  • Robert Eskildsen

Part of the New Directions in East Asian History book series (NDEAH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Robert Eskildsen
    Pages 1-20
  3. The Regional Context of the Taiwan Expedition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 23-41
    3. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 43-71
    4. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 73-105
    5. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 107-142
  4. On the Ground in Taiwan

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 143-143
    2. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 145-179
    3. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 181-225
    4. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 227-260
  5. Defending the Expedition

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 261-261
    2. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 263-293
    3. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 295-333
    4. Robert Eskildsen
      Pages 335-352
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 353-383

About this book


​This book examines the history of a military expedition the Japanese government sent to southern Taiwan in 1874, in the context of Japan’s subordination to Western powers in the unequal treaty system in East Asia. It argues that events on the ground in Taiwan show the Japanese government intended to establish colonies in southern and eastern Taiwan, and justified its colonial intent based on the argument that a state must spread civilization and political authority to territories where it claimed sovereignty, thereby challenging Chinese authority in East Asia and consolidating its power domestically. The book considers the history of the Taiwan Expedition in the light of how Japanese imperialism began: it emerged as part of the process of consolidating government power after the Meiji Restoration, it derived from Western imperialism, it developed in a dynamic relationship with Western imperialism and it increased Japan’s leverage in its competition for influence in East Asia.


Birth of Japanese Imperialism Japan and the Taiwan Expedition Taiwan Expedition in the Japanese Media Japanese Colonialism and Western Imperialism State Consolidation after the Meiji Restoration Historical Conflicts between China and Japan

Authors and affiliations

  • Robert Eskildsen
    • 1
  1. 1.International Christian UniversityMitakaJapan

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-981-13-3479-5
  • Online ISBN 978-981-13-3480-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2522-0195
  • Series Online ISSN 2522-0209
  • Buy this book on publisher's site