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Extra info for Absolute erotic, absolute grotesque : the living, dead, and undead in Japan’s imperialism, 1895-1945
Their willingness to work robotically “from morning to evening without pause” led Sōseki to conclude his travelogue to East Asia, written for the bourgeois readers of the Asahi newspaper, “Chinese coolies are superb workers . . moreover, they are utterly compliant” (66; translation modified). Sent on a fact-finding mission in 1923 to document the extent of Japan’s colonial provenance on mainland China, the journalist Adachi Kinnosuke twice marvels in his chronicle at the surging multitude— what he racially others as the “black tide”—of coolies laboring tirelessly for capitalist enterprises in Manchuria.
Such colonial enterprises operated “not as mere businesses,” Gotō argued when the SMR charter was being drawn up, but as entities that “represented the state and accordingly exercised a measure of the sovereign power of the state” (Matsusaka 2001, 91). Gotō was effectively saying that the SMR should follow the precedent he established when he led Japan’s colonizing enterprise in Taiwan. Biopoliticians on Drugs Gotō was a polyglot and a doctor who studied hygiene and immunology in Germany for eighteen months in 1890 and 1891, receiving his medical degree in Munich.
Similar to the dialectic of “living labor” and “vampire capital” that Marx established in Capital, Minakata’s emphasis on life and its ontological primacy over and against the secondarily ontic mandala, totem, and generalized “system” was yet another source of disagreement with Yanagita. One of the ways this disagreement played out was through Minakata’s anger at Yanagita’s policy of rejecting erotica for Researching Native Place. Several scholars have noted Yanagita’s statement assuming his “responsibility as editor not to publish obscenity” (Matsui 1993, 515).