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Japanization is the process in which Japanese culture dominates, assimilates, or influences other cultures. Sometimes referred to as Nipponisation.

According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word Japanize means To make or become Japanese in form, idiom, style, or character.[1]

1868 to 1945

After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan began its expansion in Asia and Oceania. Assimilations to the Japanese culture were also practised in these newly conquered territories with different levels of intensity.


After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan began to follow the way of the western imperialism and expansionism. in 1879, Japan officially annexed the Ryūkyū Kingdom, which was a tributary kingdom of both China and Japan.

Though the Ryukyuan languages belong to the Japonic language family, the Japanese language is not intelligible to the monolingual speakers of the Ryukyuan languages. The Japanese government began to promote the language "standardization" program and took the Ryukyuan languages as dialects. In schools, "standard" Japanese was promoted, and there were portraits of the Japanese Emperor and Empress were introduced. Many high-ranking Japanese military officers went to inspect Okinawan schools to ensure that the Japanization was functioning well in the education system. This measure did not meet the expected success at the beginning, partly because many local children's share of their heavy family labor impedes their presence in schools, and partly because people of the old Okinawan leading class received a more Chinese-styled education and were not interested in learning "standard" Japanese. As measures of assimilation, the Japanese government also discouraged some local customs.[2]

At the beginning, these assimilation measures met stronger reluctance of local people. But, after China was defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, people lost their confidence in China, and the reluctance against the Japanization, though not disappeared, became weaker. Men and women began to adopt more Japanese-styled names.[2]


Main article: Taiwan under Japanese rule

Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 as a result of the First Sino-Japanese war. At the beginning, Taiwan was governed rather like a colony. In 1936, followed the arrival of the 17th governor-general, Seizō Kobayashi, there was a change in the Japanese governance in Taiwan.

Seizō Kobayashi was the first non-civilian governor-general since 1919. He proposed three principles of the new governance: the Kōminka movement, industrialization, and making Taiwan as a basement for the southward expansion.[3]

Kōminka (皇民化) literally means "to make people become subjects of the emperor".


Main article: Korea under Japanese rule

In Korea under the Japanese colonial administration the use of written Korean in education and publication was banned by the Japanese government, but this did not cause a significant change in the use of the Korean language, which remained strong throughout the colonisation.


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Main article: Japanese Problem

After 1945

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Template:Cultural assimilation ko:황민화정책 zh:皇民化運動