In recent historical studies of modern East Asia, the issue of migration has received increased scholarly attention. This article traces recent historiographical and methodological trends by analyzing influential English-language works on modern East Asian migrations in the first half of the twentieth century. Modern East Asian migrations during this period present dynamic and heterogeneous features as results of modern social transformations, such as the development of global capitalism, national and global economic integration, the emergence of new transportation and communication technology, and the expansion and collapse of the Japanese empire. Accordingly, the historical works on modern East Asian migrations we examine display a variety of historiographical and theoretical approaches. Specifically, this article underscores important trends or comparable emphases in these studies, including the growing scholarly interest in transnational/regional border crossing movements, migrants’ subject formations in the new environments, and the methodological interest in the role of culture, political economy, and the environment. Thus this article offers a reflective overview of the ongoing development of migration studies centering on modern East Asia.