Open access journal article by David M. Malitz investigates Japanese influence on Siam/Thailand
A new article by David M. Malitz investigates Japanese cultural and political influences in the Kingdom of Siam, renamed Thailand in 1939. Early exchanges in the late 16th and early 17th centuries saw the consumption of Japanese products in the Southeast Asian kingdom as status symbols. Japanese swords in particular were cherished and have become dynastic heirlooms since then. From the late 19th century onward, Imperial Japan was seen as a role model of successful modernization in Bangkok and Japanese advisors and instructors were hired by the court. Critics of the absolute monarchy meanwhile stressed that Imperial Japan had become a great power as a constitutional monarchy. “Royal and Imperial Connections: Japanese Influence at the Court of Bangkok and on the Siamese/Thai Monarchy” was published in Japanese Studies Around the World 2022 (eds. Ayako Kusonoki/Hiromi Matsugi, Nichibunken 2023) and is available open access. The article is an outcome of David’s research project Japanese-Thai Relations: Past, Present, and Future.