Organized Panel Session
The Japanese colonial authority established an educational system that segregated students along nationality and gender lines in Taiwan in 1898. Colonial officials used assimilation (dōka) to guide educational policy and sought to make everyone into “Japanese” through the teaching of the Japanese “national language” (kokugo) and inculcating imperial ethics (shūshin). To become Japanese meant speaking Japanese and preparing to sacrifice oneself for the emperor. Japanese-ness symbolized enlightened civilization in colonial Taiwan. Although colonial educators claimed that they treated all children with impartiality, assimilation was gendered – Han Taiwanese boys were trained to become productive workers and girls were trained to become homemakers on school grounds.