In the context of the japanese colonial empire, debates about colonial identity have tended to focus on the relationship between Japanese rulers and non-Japanese colonial subjects. The main problems for analysis have been the development of assimilationist and/or discriminatory policies toward colonized peoples, and the way in which the colonized—Koreans, Taiwanese, Micronesians, and others—resisted or adapted to the pressures of those policies. It is perhaps for this reason that rather little scholarly work has been published, in Japanese or in English, about the history of the Japanese colony of Karafuto, which was, after all, overwhelmingly a settler colony. By the mid-1930s, the colony had just over three hundred thousand inhabitants, of whom the vast majority were recent migrants from Japan, though official statistics also record the presence of some two hundred Russians, around two thousand indigenous people—mostly Ainu, Uilta and Nivkh—and almost six thousand Koreans, a group whose numbers were to grow very rapidly from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s. Very recently, however, increasing attention has begun to be directed to the complex, contested, and paradoxical process of identity formation amongst various groups of Japanese colonizers, especially amongst those Japanese who were born or brought up in the colonies (Kawamura 1994; 2000; Tomiyama 1997; Young 1998; Tamanoi 2000). In this context, Karafuto—as a predominantly settler colony—has a particularly interesting story to tell.