Transfiguration and Disorganization of the Colonial Society of Karafuto:
Migrations and Movements of Sakhalin after WWII
The Annual Review of Migration Studies, (18), 2012, pp.101-119.
NAKAYAMA Taisho

Research on repatriation after the collapse of the Japanese empire has been advancing in recent years. The study of repatriates from Karafuto is also a part of the study of transfiguration and disorganization of the Colonial Society of Karafuto. This paper focuses not only on repatriates from Karafuto (Sakhalin) but also on migrations and movements in three other periods.

The first is the period after the collapse of the Japanese Empire (1945-1949). About 400 thousand Japanese in Sakhalin were repatriated to their homeland, about 450 thousand Soviet citizens migrated to Sakhalin, and about 23 thousand Koreans and a few Japanese remained in Sakhalin. The colonial government of Karafuto was abolished by the USSR and Soviet systems replaced it. Japanese in Sakhalin became a political and demographic minority. On the other hand, repatriates established organizations in Japan.

The second is the Cold War period (1949-1986). The Soviet citizens in Sakhalin had become the majority, both politically and demographically. Some Japanese and Koreans had opportunities to return to Japan and the DPRK after the demise of the Stalinist regime. However, the Soviet Union began to block these movements of Korean and Japanese from the beginning of the 1960s and Korean and Japanese in Sakhalin were forced to be Sovietized.

The third is the period after the perestroika (1986). Korean and Japanese in Sakhalin revived their unique ethnic identities and established ethnic organizations and movements for return to their homelands.

This paper analyzes the process of transfiguration and disorganization of the Colonial Society of Karafuto in the periods above by focusing on migrations and movements and by using public/private documents, memoirs and interviews from Japan, ROK and Sakhalin.

(Update: 2020.03.10)