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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


Sophia University
Ichigaya Campus



Rolf-Harald Wippich, Sophia University. Faculty of Comparative Culture

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

March 27, 2004

 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 successfully challenged by an Asian nation. In its time, the Russo-Japanese conflict was recognized as introducing a new era of warfare. The military confrontation in East Asia foreshadowed the horrors of future wars and, what is even more important, turned out to be the 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 marked the beginning of a “clash of civilizations”.

100 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 Asian and European civilizations. The conference aims at examining the significance and the legacy of the military conflict not only for Japan and Russia, but the whole of Asia.

A 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 did the war have on domestic developments and the revolutionary movement within Russia? Raised to the level of a full-fledged “great power”, how did Japan’s self-image and foreign policy change?

The second section will analyze reactions among various Asians nations that were affected (and/or inspired?) by Japan’s victory. How did Korea perceive the new international environment? What was the impact on China and its place in a 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 the national/Asian self-identity among those nations?

Language: English


9:30 - 9:45
Opening Remarks

René Haak (Deputy Director, DIJ)
Rolf-Harald Wippich (Sophia University)
Sven Saaler (DIJ)

9:45 - 10:30
Keynote Speach

The Russo-Japanese War 1904-05: A Historical Reappraisal

Tsuzuki Chushichi, Prof. Emeritus of Hitotsubashi University and Honorary Professor, International University of Japan, Niigata

10:30 - 13:00
Panel 1

Chair and Discussant

Rolf-Harald Wippich, Sophia University

Re-thinking the Outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, February 1904

Inaba Chiharu, Meijō University

The Russo-Japanese War as a Turning Point in Russian History

Igor Saveliev, Niigata University

Hope for Peace in East Asia: Korean Reactions on the Russo-Japanese War

Eun-Jeung Lee, University of Halle-Wittenberg

13:00 - 14:30
Lunch Break

14:30 - 17:00
Panel 2

Chair and Discussant

Sven Saaler

German Institute for Japanese Studies

The Impact of the Russo-Japanese War on the Modern History of Northeastern China (Manchuria)

Enatsu Yoshiki, Hitotsubashi University

A study of the Impact of the Russo-Japanese War on the Indian National Movement

T. R. Sareen, Professor Emeritus of the University of New Delhi

The Rising Sun and the Crescent: Muslim Perspectives on the Russo-Japanese War and the Japanese Response

Selçuk Esenbel, Bogaziçi University, Istanbul