The Modern Imperial Institution of Japan for the Colonial Agricultural Administration of Karafuto:
The Relationship between the Exemplary Farmer Campaign of Karafuto and the Ceremony of the Showa Emperor

Journal of Rural Studies, 16(1), 2009, pp.1-12

The imperial Constitution of Japan was established in 1889 and this meant that the modern Japanese imperial institution was also established. The imperial institution in this updated form remained influential throughout the Japanese Empire.

In 1928, the Showa Emperor succeeded to the throne and a series of the ceremonies were held to recognize the transition called “Showa-no-Tairei.” Concurrently, in the imperial colony of “Karafuto,” the exemplary farmer campaign was launched by the colonial government of Karafuto.

First, this study clarifies the facts on how the colonial agricultural administration of Karafuto utilized the modern imperial institution through the exemplary farmer campaign for its own particular aims. Second, this study discusses the logic for the linkage between Karafuto farmers and the Emperor within the campaign.

The colonial government needed to use imperial ideology to make farmers of Karafuto adopt the ideal farming style it had planned, which differed from that of mainland Japan. The colonial government exposed the farmers to Imperial linkages via the ceremony of “Showa-no-Tairei,” in which the farmers were honored, and attempted to legitimize these linkages through the campaign.

The logic behind these steps depended on three facts. First, the Showa Emperor toured Karafuto and granted an audience with some of the exemplary farmers when he was the prince. Second, he planted rice on a paddy field in the palace after the demise the Taisho Emperor. Third he made honorable recognition of some of the farmers and used and ate crops dedicated by the farmers at the ceremony of accession, “Showa-no-Tairei.” The colonial government hoped that the farmers and agriculture of Karafuto would become linked with the Emperor and the Empire itself by these facts, and that this linkage would familiarize farmers with an ideology of hard work in order to attain the farming style planned by the colonial government.

(Update: 2020.03.10)