Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (1.87 MB)

Chinese and Korean Intellectual Exchange: Self-Knowledge Production in Manchukuo 1935-1942

Download (1.87 MB)
posted on 2023-05-12, 02:05 authored by Lehyla Heward

This thesis presents two case studies of Chinese and Korean intellectual exchange that occurred between 1935 to 1942 under the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo. The first case study involves six publications from Chinese-language literary journals and newspapers that had either originally been written by Korean writers or were responses to Korean publications by local Chinese writers. The second case study analyzes the military songs of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army (NAUA), a coalition of Chinese and Korean communist troops who waged a guerrilla war against the Manchukuo state. The aims of this dissertation are: 1) to demonstrate the intellectual interactions between these two communities based on recently discovered primary sources; 2) to argue that Chinese and Korean thinkers were actively engaged in producing cross-cultural self-knowledge to claim Manchuria as a place for their own communities. This dissertation demonstrates how Chinese and Korean intellectuals closely interacted with each other through textual exchanges. By conducting intertextual readings, this thesis shows how Chinese and Korean writers constructed knowledge about one another that was impacted by their shared Manchuria environment. The exchanges featured in the first case study led to deepened contact and consideration between Chinese and Korean writers based in Manchukuo’s urban areas, although they could not build a path for cooperation due to extenuating circumstances. In the second case study, the army songs represent more positive and successful cooperation between Chinese and Koreans in Manchuria. Songwriting was a political tool used expressly to unite their two communities and to relate to Manchuria as their homeland. This process of Chinese and Korean intellectual interaction produced various kinds of self-knowledge and, sometimes, resulted in a shared sense of belonging. By examining such interactions, this thesis contributes a better understanding of nation-building within Manchukuo and East Asia at large. As such, this thesis sheds light on how Chinese and Korean views about their nationalist movements changed via textual and intellectual interactions.


Copyright Date



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains All Rights

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Languages and Cultures


Wang, Yiyang; Epstein, Stephen