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Title: Through colonial lens : karayuki-san in prewar Singapore
Authors: Tay, Zi Han
Keywords: Humanities::History::Asia
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: In 1870, the first group of karayuki-san arrived in Singapore. Although much has been written on the social history of these female Japanese prostitutes, little is known of the colonial attitudes towards them. The karayuki-san were diligently clean and professional in providing services to men in Singapore. However, the removal of European brothels in 1916 resulted in a drastic change in attitudes towards the karayuki-san, whereby the colonial officials no longer held the same amount of respect towards them as before. The problem of racial typing was further accentuated in the measures taken by the colonial government, such as tackling the possible threat of fervent Japanese shipping competition to British trade in Southeast Asia and resolving the issue of “unordered” space. To understand the change in attitudes towards the karayuki-san, this thesis argues how the demarcation of racial lines emphasised the colonial reconstruction of pathological ideas, as the idea of sanitation was ingrained in colonial mindsets in efforts to “modernise” their colonies.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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