Nissan Seminar: China under Watch: The Rise of Nationalist Power and the Japanese Press, 1926-1929

Convenor(s): Professor Roger Goodman and Dr Giulio Pugliese

Speaker(s): Professor Andrea Relevant (Ca’ Foscari University)

China under Watch: The Rise of Nationalist Power and the Japanese Press, 1926-1929


In the second half of the 1920s, China’s Nationalist Party made significant progress in the reunification of the country and the recovery of sovereign rights from foreign powers. In Japan, these developments caused mixed responses. On one hand, stabilization appeared desirable as a basis for the improvement of bilateral relations. At the same time, however, there was concern for Japan’s established interests in the continent. Although well researched from the standpoint of diplomatic history, the turn in Sino-Japanese relations resulting from the establishment of the Nationalist government still requires extensive investigation outside the institutional sphere. In my talk, I will discuss how different Japanese newspapers crafted competing narratives on China. The analysis sheds light on the diversity of public opinion in that period, but also clarifies the conditions that would later enable a rapid shift towards a hardline stance.

Andrea Revelant is Associate Professor of Japanese History in the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca' Foscari University of Venice, where he received his PhD in 2008. His research focuses on the political history of modern Japan, with an emphasis on policy-making processes, popular representation and mass communication. He is currently working on press discourse on Nationalist China in interwar Japan.