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Eurasians in British Asia during the second world war

Yap, Felicia M. (2011) Eurasians in British Asia during the second world war. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 21 (04). pp. 485-505. ISSN 1356-1863

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S135618631100040X


One of the most important minorities in the British colonial empire in Asia consisted of those of mixed European and Asian parentage and/or ancestry, or Eurasians, as they were widely known. It is perhaps surprising that despite the voluminous literature written about British colonial communities in the East, relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to Eurasians and their histories. A closer examination of the members of this marginalised colonial category is nevertheless crucial as they stood at the problematic boundaries of racial politics and identity, and are therefore vital to our understanding of the tensions of empire. The few existing studies of Eurasians in British Asia have tended to focus on the experiences of Eurasians either before or after the Second World War, neglecting the period of Japanese occupation as a significant epoch in the evolution of these communities. In reality, if we intend to unravel the multi-layered history of Eurasians in this region, we must examine the critical position of these colonial communities during this tumultuous period. The nuances of their intriguing wartime relationships with both the British and the Japanese also merit serious attention. With these aims in mind, this article will investigate the compelling experiences of Eurasian communities in Japanese-occupied British Asia, with an especial focus on those who were incarcerated by the Japanese in civilian internment camps in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2012 11:33
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 23:24

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