Justifying the Expedition in the Japanese Media
This chapter explains reactions to the Taiwan Expedition on the home front. Media reports reveal how Japanese people understood the connection between the expedition and concepts such as civilization and imperial authority, and they show an awareness that Japanese adaptations of Western civilization could be used both at home to transform domestic society and overseas to transform other parts of East Asia. Analogies to the domestic “Civilization and Enlightenment” movement explained how the Taiwan Expedition would spread civilization to Taiwan, linking the cultural transformation of Japan after the Meiji Restoration to the emergence of Japanese imperialism. Not everyone in Japan agreed with the government, however, and a public discussion of the politics of the expedition emerged in the media and in petitions to the government.