China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Manchuria’s rich resources, fertile land, and strategic location made it an arena of contestation between Manchu, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese regimes from the late nineteenth century through the end of World War II. Our panel examines ways in which forest management, agrochemistry, and soybean marketing were shaped by those tensions, and suggests ways in which they contributed to post-war developments in the region. Xiang Chi examines the property disputes of bannerland in Fengtian caused by the establishment of the Chinese state forestry in 1915, and explores the ways in which the Qing legacies of bannerland being both recognized and challenged under the new vision of the state-owned forest tenures. Based on a quantitative analysis of the Manchurian soybean market in the 1920s, Miriam Kaminishi shows that Northeast China served as a “spheres of influence” of soybeans, where despite the ongoing geopolitical tussles the multi-national business groups were deeply connected by each specializing a specific link of soybean production and marketing. ChiaHsing Ho’s study traces the fertility development of Northeast China’s farmlands brought by the use of the Japanese chemical fertilizer during the Manchukuo period and discusses the formation of “the fertile Manchuria.” In a similar vein, Patrick Caffrey examines the Japanese scientific afforestation efforts in Northeast China during the 1930-40s and investigates their long-term impact. Our presentations emphasize the sovereign, scientific and capitalistic expansion into Manchuria and showcase how institutional and manpower legacies formed the modern Manchurian local society and economy.