The Grand Square (Ōhiroba): A Theatrical Stage of Japanese Colonialism in Dalian, China

Junru Zhou

My senior thesis, "A Grand Theatre to Perform Superiority: The ?-hiroba (The Grand Square) and Japanese Colonialism in Dalian, China," investigates the architecture built around the Grand Square under the Japanese colonial reign. I argue that through the use of the Classical styles on the nine architecture, the Japanese colonizer managed to assert their unchallengeable authority among the local Chinese residents, demonstrate their nation-state as equivalent as other contemporary European colonial forces, and perform, though illusionary, a sense of cultural and racial superiority over the Western nations. Hence, the architectures around the Grand Square became a fascinating theatrical playground, enabling the Japanese colonizers to perform superiority over both the local Chinese and the imaginary Europeans.


Art History


Jeannine Keefer, Tze Loo