Tuesday | 24 February. 2015
WiP: Japan's Northern Borders: Spatial Epistemology and the State - February 25, Edward Boyle

American Councils, CRRC Georgia and ARISC present the 6th talk in the Spring 2015 Works-in-Progress Series!

Edward Boyle, Hokkaido University
'Japan's Northern Borders: Spatial Epistemology and the State'

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 6:30pm
EPF/CRRC-Georgia, Kavsadze St. 3, Tbilisi

During the two centuries traditionally characterized as Japan’s ‘closed-country’ period, the ‘barbarian land’ at the northern end of the Japanese archipelago went from an ill-defined alien expanse of land to one that was uneasily demarcated between Japan and Russia, and in the subsequent Meiji period open to colonization. This process of delimitation continued into an era of open Imperial competition between Japan and Russia and remains contested today, forming the long-running ‘Northern Territories Issue’ that has poisoned Russo-Japanese relations into the present.

This presentation shall provide an overview of this process of knowing a territory and bordering the space of the state from a Japanese perspective. In so doing it shall connect this seemingly parochial northeast Asian history to larger questions regarding the naturalness of state borders and the manner through which knowledge of the contemporary world of nation-state territories came into being.

Edward Boyle is a PhD candidate at Hokkaido University in Japan, focusing on the intersection of state, space and territory and the manner in which this has developed into the modern notion of sovereignty. Due to the vagaries of marriage, he is currently resident in Tbilisi, Georgia.

W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the Eurasian Partnership Foundation at Kavsadze St. 3. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.

The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

Would you like to present at one of the W-i-P sessions? Send an e-mail to