The Relationship between Japan and South Africa before World War II

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This study forms part of a historical research project into Japanese understanding of and research regarding Africa during the period from the Partition of Africa to the Era of Decolonization. Specifically, this project examines the meaning that certain figures, who played an important role in forming public opinion in Japan, tried to give to various problems that were arising in Africa. The present discussion limits itself to the era before World War II, and it considers how these figures interpreted movements that emerged chiefly in South Africa, rather than in Africa as a whole, and reflects on their experiences in South Africa. First, it considers Komahei Furuya, a merchant who advanced into South Africa as early as the end of the nineteenth century. Second, it describes Magoichi Nunokawa, who investigated South Africa's economic situation during World War I. Third, it examines Captain Katsue Mori of the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) and Ikai Shirakawa of the Osaka Asahi Shinbun, who were involved in exchanges between Japan and South Africa in the 1920s and 1930s. Finally, it analyzes Makoto Fukumoto's views on British imperialism in South Africa and the construction of Boer "emerging nations."


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