Akari KONYA, Meiji Gakuin University, Japan
The archipelago of Palau in the pacific islands of Micronesia has experienced four different period of colonial rule: Spain(1981-1899), Germany(1899-1914), Japan(1914-1945), and the United States(1945-1994). After the islands became Japan’s colony as her mandate, “Assimilation Policy” strongly affected to the local island societies, such as through imperialization education or industrial developments. Moreover, for Palauans, it was their first time encountering so many outsiders ever in their history. In 1938, the size of Okinawans and Japanese populations living in Palau had ballooned to twice as larger than locals.
Hisakatsu Hijikata is a sculptor as well as an ethnographer who conducted geographical and cultural survey during the Japan time. He published ethnography displaying a plenty of myth and ledged with include a sacred local knowledge of Micronesia through his experiences visited several islands over the course of more than decade by him own. Hijikata also recognized as a pioneer of the Palauan storyboard and bearer of iconographic Palauan culture by locals.
This paper discusses the methodology and characteristics of Hijikata Hisakatsu's geocultural research, with the aim of understanding how his work continues to be appreciated by the locals and how it differs from other colonies. Based on these findings, I will also address the ways in which Hijikata confronted the people of Micronesia beyond his geopolitical status.
Keywords: Geopolitics|Imperialism|The South Sea|Postcolonial |Palau