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Japanization is the process in which Japanese culture dominates, assimilates, or influences other cultures, in general. 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.
Tennoization during the imperial period (1868–1945) 
|Literal meaning||movement to make people become subjects of the emperor|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Literal meaning||movement to make something more Japanese|
Narrowly, Japanization is referred as the "Tennoization" (皇民化; kōminka) during the imperial period (1868–1945). "Tennoization" is considered as the Japanese version of "Nazification" (Germanization from 1933 to 1945). During the imperial period, Japanese culture was forced into the submission to Tenno, including colonies and occupied territories.
During pre-imperial (pre-1868) period a peaceful diplomacy was practiced during which Japan did not expand much in territories beyond its own islands.
By the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Empire of Japan was founded, Japan began its expansion in Asia and Oceania. Japanization of the imperial period was the "submission to Tenno", it was also practised in these newly conquered territories with different levels of intensity. It ended by the end of the World War II in 1945.
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 the Qing Dynasty and the Empire of 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.
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.
Taiwan was ceded to the Empire of 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.
Kōminka (皇民化) literally means "to make people become subjects of the emperor". The program itself had three components. First, the "national language movement" (kokugo undō) promoted the Japanese language by teaching Japanese instead of Chinese in the schools and by abolishing the use of Chinese in the press. Second, the "name changing program" (kaiseimei) replaced Taiwanese's Chinese names with Japanese names. Finally, the "volunteers' system" (shiganhei seidō) drafted Taiwanese subjects into the Imperial Japanese Army and encouraged them to die in service of the emperor.
In Korea during the second world war the use of written Korean in education and publication was banned by the Empire of Japan, but this did not cause a significant change in the use of the Korean language, which remained strong throughout the colonisation.
- Japanization – definition of Japanization by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia
- JPRI Occasional Paper No. 8
- 第一節 皇民化運動
- Ching, Leo T. S. (2001). Becoming "Japanese": Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation. University of California Press. pp. 93–95.