German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ) and the Institute of Comparative Culture presents

The Centennial of a Historical Watershed:
Legacies of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05

fire on shipMarch 27, 2004,
Sophia University
Ichigaya Campus FCC Hall
Coordinated by
Rolf-Harald Wippich
Faculty of Comparative Culture
Sophia University

The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 has been widely seen as an event of epochal significance. For the first time in modern history an established western great power was challenged by an Asian nation. In its time, the Russo-Japanese conflict was also recognized as introducing a new era of warfare. The military confrontation in East Asia foreshadowed the horrors of future wars and, but it also turned out to be a prelude of cultural, ideological and racial clashes to come, the repercussions of which can be felt up to the present. Not only in retrospect, but also to contemporaries, the Russo-Japanese War turned out to be perceived as a "clash of civilization".

One hundred years after the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, this conference proposes to reassess crucial dimensions of this major turning point in the encounter of Asia and European civilizations. the conference aim is to examine the significance and the legacy of the conflict, not only for Japan and Russia, but for the whole of Asia and its relations with the Western world. The first section will focus on the reactions to the consequences of the war among the involved nations. Some of the questions to be raised will be: how did Russia react to its defeat and how did Russian perceptions of Japan and "Asia" change? What impact the war have on domestic developments and the revolutionary movement within Russia? Raised to the level of a fully-fledged "great power", how did Japan's self-image and foreign policy change? The second section will analyse reactions among various Asian nations the were affected (and possibly inspired) by Japan's victory. How did Korea perceive the new international environment? What was the impact on China and its place in changing East Asian political order? To what extent did Japan become a model for Chinese modernization? How was the war and its outcome perceived in the colonized parts of Asia, such as India or the Philippines, or in the Muslim world, and how did it affect national and Asian self-identity among these nations?


9:30-9:45: Opening Remarks
René Haak (Deputy Director, DIJ)
Rolf-Harald-Wippich (Sophia University)
Sven Saaler (DIJ)

9:45-10:30: Keynote Speech
Tsuzuki Chushichi (Professor Emeritus of Hitotsubashi University and Honorary Professor, International University of Japan, Niigata)
"The Russo-Japanses War 1904-05: A Historical Reappraisal"

10:30-13:00: Panel 1
Chair and Discussant:
Rolf-Harald-Wippich (Sophia University)

Inaba Chiharu (Meijo University)
"Re-thinking the outbreak ofthe Russo-Japanese War, February 1904"

Igor Saveliev (Niigata University)
"The Russo-Japanese War as a turinig point in Russian History"

Eun-Jeung Lee (University of Halle-Wittenberg)
"Hope for peace in East Asia: Korean reactions on the Russo-Japanese War"

14:30-17:00: Panel 2
Chair and Discusant:
Sven Saaler (DIJ)

Enatsu Yoshiki (Hitotsubashi University)
"The impact of the Russo-Japanese War on the modern history of North-Eastern China (Manchuria)"

T.R. Sareen (Professor Emeritus of the University of New Delhi)
"A study of the impact of the Russo-Japanese War on the Indian National Movement"

Selçuk Esenbel (Bagaziçi University, Istanbul)
"The Rising Sun and the Cresent: Muslim perspectives on the Russo-Japanese War and the Japanese response"