Formation of the Japanese Colonial City of Dalian: A Focus on the Backgrounds of Successful Japanese Businessmen and Elites

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In this study, I elucidate the regional relationship between the mainland and the Japanese colonial city of Dalian. For this research, I focus on the backgrounds of contemporary influential figures: successful Japanese businessmen and other social elites, including the merchants, manufacturers, and senior officials of the South Manchuria Railway Company. For the time frame of the study, I used the Who’s Who of Japanese living in Manchuria; Manshu-shinshi-shinshoroku edited in 1926 and published in 1927. This book listed 427 persons living in Dalian along with their occupations and careers. These people can be classified into two groups based on their educational background: the highly educated and the less educated, many of whom hailed from hometowns in western Japan. Among highly educated people, their schools were catalysts as a central turning point and their location played a pivotal role in their lives; herein, their life was related with Dalian, and schools in Tokyo were especially significant. In contrast, the locus of the professional turning points for less-educated people was the place of employment: the store (or company) where they worked or the business that they had initiated; Osaka–Kobe area became the most significant area for them. Many of the less-educated people traveled to Dalian after working in Osaka–Kobe area. Approximately 30 percent of the total population under study had worked abroad, mainly in other Japanese colonies, before coming to Dalian.

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