Pygmalion Colonialism: How to Become a Japanese Woman in Late Occupied Taiwan

Dean Brink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines representations of women in the many Japanese-language Taiwanese newspaper articles in the Taiwan Daily News (Taiwan nichinichi shinpō) extolling the virtues of "being Japanese" and modeling ways to behave as a "Japanese woman," especially with reference to Taiwanese women. These representations exert ideological pressures with various designs, including the cultivation of an exploitable compliant labor force, women's participation in the consumption of goods, and the production of imperial jouissance in the colonial framing of a wide range of activities. Columns, feature articles, and visual images depicting women are examined for signs of encouraging Japanization or Pygmalion idealizations of women and expectations for Taiwanese women. Changes apparent during the buildup to full-scale war with China will be noted and explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-63
Number of pages23
JournalSungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Capitalist imperialism
  • Japanese colonial newspapers
  • Japanese imperialization movement in Taiwan
  • Propaganda in the Japanese Empire
  • Racial and gender hierarchies
  • Representations of women in media

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