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Under the red star's faint light: how sakhalin became soviet.

On 1 May 1946, the large square in front of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk's main station was crowded with a peculiar mix of people. A photograph shows some of them dressed up as seals, holding handwritten signs in Russian and Japanese. The crowd, consisting of former Toyohara residents and newly arrived Soviet citizens from all over the USSR, had gathered to honor the "Soviet heroes" on International Workers' Day. (1) The snapshot from a Soviet official's photo album conveys an image of friendly coexistence. However, between December 1946 and December 1949, close to 300,000 Japanese civilians, most of whom had moved to the southern part of the island in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War, were forced to leave their homes--which were then taken over by Soviet families--and to board crowded ships bound for Japan, a country some of them had never seen. Where the empires of Russia and Japan had shared zones of control since the mid-19th century, uncertainties of belonging would now be clarified. What used to be a part of Russia, then Japan, was now called "Soviet," and the former Karafuto would again become southern Sakhalin. Renaming this piece of land was, however, only one step in a process of reinterpretation that was supposed to make all of Sakhalin a Soviet island. How did this process unfold in the decades after 1945? Was southern Sakhalin turned into just another administrative unit? Or was it made "Soviet" in a more traceable, material, visible sense?

Understanding how an empire such as the Soviet Union deals with its changing periphery will improve our grasp of several issues. Obviously, it provides insights in the special case of Sakhalin, which because of its peculiar location in the North Pacific Ocean is worth knowing more about. But it also provides a useful example of the implementation of Soviet imperial strategy at the margins. In discussing one of the largest territorial empires in history, the question of how centralized control really affected the empire in its entirety can be answered only by looking at the peripheries and specific developments there. By not only looking at political change but also at cultural integration strategies and their limitations in practice, we can understand how the Soviet empire worked "on the ground." This approach also reveals more abstract insights into the Soviet Unions place within the broader history of empires. (2)

The island of Sakhalin, situated a few miles off the eastern coast of the Eurasian continent in the North Pacific Ocean, was originally inhabited by Ainu, Oroks, Nivkhs, and other indigenous peoples. (3) Because early episodes of Chinese rule on the island have mostly been ignored by Sakhalin's residents to this day, the island is said to have been "discovered" by Japanese and Russian sailors in the 17th century. (4) In 1853, following almost two centuries of disinterest, the Russian naval captain Gennadii Ivanovich Nevel'skoi founded the first permanent settlement on the western coast. The Treaty of Shimoda, which was signed by Russia and Japan in 1855, declared that both nationalities could inhabit Sakhalin. During the following decades, the disputes between Russia and Japan over the affiliation of the island slowly escalated. In the Treaty of St. Petersburg of 1875, Meiji Japan lost Sakhalin to tsarist Russia in exchange for the Kurile Islands. Engaged in rapid and radical modernization at home, Japan was forced to give up the island but was able to maintain important privileges for Japanese traders, fishermen, and settlers. (5)

By the early 20th century, Sakhalin had become the biggest penal colony of the Russian Empire. Exiles from all over the country were banished to Sakhalin, where they were subjected to forced labor (katorga) and lived in dreadful conditions. (6) As a penal colony, the island was only sparsely populated and hardly economically developed. Only with the Japanese occupation of the entire island during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 did Sakhalin draw St. Petersburg's attention. With the Treaty of Portsmouth, the island was divided along the 50th parallel, subjecting the southern part to Japanese rule.'

While northern Sakhalin remained a neglected piece of land at the Russian imperial periphery, southern Sakhalin took a different path after 1905. The Japanese administration planned and built cities, roads, and railways in what became the Japanese colony of Karafuto, where fishing, forestry, and timber industries provided jobs for thousands of new settlers from Japan and from the Korean Peninsula, which became an integral part of the Japanese Empire in 1910. (8) Karafuto prospered to the point where, during the Siberian Intervention, Tokyo used the pretext of revenge for the massacre of Japanese expatriates in Nikolaevsk-na-Amure in 1920 to occupy the northern part of the island and hold it until 1925. (9) Due to the migration of ethnic Japanese and ethnic Koreans, the population of Karafuto grew from about 5,000 in 1905 to 447,976 in 1944. (10) The development and successful integration of Karafuto into the Japanese culture and economy was acknowledged by the island's change of status: in 1943, the colony (gaichi) legally became part of Japan proper (naichi). (11) Shortly afterwards, in a swift campaign after attacking Japan on 9 August 1945, Red Army troops invaded Karafuto, which brought the southern part of Sakhalin under Soviet rule. (12)

The Sovietization of Sakhalin is but one example of an expansion into new territories and their integration into the Soviet empire. This process took place on many different levels. Politically and administratively, southern Sakhalin became part of the Soviet system and was equipped with all the state and party institutions this system required. Economically the imperial Japanese market economy was replaced by the Soviet system of centralized planning. The inclusion of southern Sakhalin inside the Soviet defense perimeter resulted in a new, special military role for the islanders as guards against the capitalist world that lay only a few miles south of Sakhalin's coast. Although all these developments undoubtedly contributed to the postwar history of the island, the present article focuses on yet another level of integration into the Soviet empire by exploring the cultural Sovietization of southern Sakhalin and determining in what ways Soviet identity politics tried to form a Soviet society in a place that used to be Japanese. The political, economic, and military integration of new territory in the USSR took place in many more places during this period, in ways not unusual for an expanding empire. But southern Sakhalin occupied a special place within this empire, one where Soviet society was built from scratch in a cultural environment that could not have been more foreign: the Japanese colony of Karafuto.

Although unbiased and methodologically reliable research on the Russian, Japanese, and Soviet past of Sakhalin is rare in general, the cultural history of the postwar integration of Sakhalin has so far been largely ignored. (13) To understand Sovietization in a broader perspective, this history is crucial--all the more so because one would expect some differences from similar examples in Europe. Were the strategies of Sovietization applied here in an Asian context similar to those adopted along the Soviet Union's western and northwestern borders, thousands of kilometers away?

On a broader scale, Sovietization had started much earlier. (14) In some ways, it was a successor of Russification. Both policies shared the intention to ensure state control over a diverse population. Politics, administration, and education were among the spheres most affected by Russification during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sovietization included a more or less voluntary adoption of the Russian language by non-Russians and other elements of pre-1917 Russification but aimed more ambitiously at transforming all aspects of human existence from social and gender roles to culture and religion, even legal norms and everyday speech, with the ultimate aim of creating a nonethnic identity as a Soviet human being. It was also a form of modernization that entailed urbanization, universal education, industrialization, and the reform of agriculture. (15)

After Iosif Stalin dismissed the strategy of assimilation via indigenization (korenizatsiia) that had prevailed during the first decade of the Soviet Union, a new element was added to Sovietization: the strengthening of the Russian core in the formation of a Soviet social identity. The Soviet leadership made instrumental use of prerevolutionary national events and heroes through mass culture and mass education to promote state building and popular loyalty to the regime. This Russocentric Sovietization was a departure from proletarian internationalism and Marxism, ultimately generating "a mass sense of Russian national identity in Soviet society" and an overarching role for Russian culture in postwar Soviet society. (16)

Sovietization affected all regions of the USSR. Yet it played out differently in territories that Moscow acquired in World War II. In October 1944, the USSR liquidated the Tuvan People's Republic on the border with Mongolia. (17) The Potsdam Agreement of July 1945 placed Konigsberg and the northern part of Eastern Prussia under Soviet administration. (18) Finally, in August and September 1945, in accordance with agreements reached at the Yalta Conference, the Soviet Union regained the southern half of Sakhalin and the Kuril es after the defeat of Japan. (19)

Experience with making Russia and its former imperial peripheries Soviet during the interwar period played an important role in the postwar Sovietization of these newly incorporated regions. (20) What distinguished most of the new territories was the consequences of the mass violence of World War II. Albeit for a relatively short period of time, until mid-1941 Sovietization did change social structures substantially in the Baltic states and other European regions occupied by the Soviet army in the wake of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. (21) The one exception was southern Sakhalin, which had not been forcibly integrated into the Soviet Union in 1939 and 1940 and whose seizure in 1945, though claiming thousands of lives, was less brutal than the Soviet conquest of territories in the European war theater. One key distinguishing feature in relation to other new territories was thus the relatively limited experience of violence. Another key difference indicating a more humane type of change, as this article argues, was the comparatively voluntary nature of settlement, combined with a more coercive attempt to eradicate evidence of past Japanese habitation.

These differences become particularly apparent in comparing southern Sakhalin with Konigsberg (Kaliningrad), the other enemy territory incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1945. To relate and contrast the integration of Sakhalin, we therefore occasionally refer to the history of Kaliningrad. (22) Although the conquest of Konigsberg was symbolically a highly significant victory accompanied by widespread destruction, Sakhalin was spared a similarly brutal defeat. After the war, southern Sakhalin, like Kaliningrad (but unlike most of the newly re-Sovietized territories in the West), experienced an almost complete exchange of its population. Policies aimed at "silencing" delicate parts of the island's history were part of the party state's attempt to control public discourse and can be traced in most of the Sovietization attempts analyzed below. The failure of such attempts to accord with the experience of new Soviet settlers in the postwar years and with the unerasable remnants of the Japanese past produced tensions within the scheme of Sakhalin identity politics. The exceptional visibility of these tensions may have been reinforced by the special situation of Sakhalin at the Far Eastern periphery of the Soviet empire. At roughly 9,000 kilometers from Moscow, the distance created substantial pockets of local initiative that escaped central control.

We understand cultural Sovietization on Sakhalin as including several key elements, ranging from the temporal coexistence of the Japanese and Soviet populations to more subtle features, such as changes in the visual and linguistic landscapes. The analysis presented below emphasizes regional sources, stressing the perspective of actors at the periphery, not least to enrich our understanding of the often-raised issue of whether Sovietization was intentional or accidental. (23)

After the invasion and occupation, southern Sakhalin legally became part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). The border along the 50th parallel ceased to exist. Military, and later civil, administrations organized the expansion of Soviet state institutions and implemented a planned economy according to the Soviet model. Cultural Sovietization was implemented at three levels. The first level created what would become the Soviet society of southern Sakhalin. After a transitional period, the Japanese population was evicted from the island, and people from all over the Soviet Union embarked on ships to settle the new territory. The second level supplied the new Sakhalin residents and other Soviet citizens with narratives promoting identification and emotional affiliation. Cultural institutions, such as museums and newspapers, were central to this process. The third level drew on the narratives designed by these institutions and shaped the physical space marked for integration. Through visible and tangible markers and symbols, affiliation with the Soviet Union was represented in and attached to everyday experience of the inhabitants of this newly acquired Soviet land. Examples of such affiliation can be found in architecture and in the naming and renaming of cities, streets, rivers, or mountains. Differentiating among these intersecting structural, mnemonic, and symbolic levels of Sovietization is necessary if we are to make sense of a cultural process as complex and multilayered as the transformation of Sakhalin. However, we need to keep in mind that the historical reality was more entangled, chaotic, and contradictory than our analytical scheme might suggest.

Cultural integration ultimately takes place in the minds of individuals. There questions of personal identification, memory, and belonging are entangled, making it impossible to determine or even measure the effects of Sovietization policies in the mind of each new settler. Instead of exploring "identity" as an essential entity, we prefer to examine ways in which political actors at the periphery--intentionally or accidentally--offered patterns of "identification" with Sakhalin, Russia, and the Soviet state. (24)

War, Deportation, and Resettlement

On 9 August 1945, exactly three months after Germany's surrender, the Red Army attacked Karafuto, the Kuriles, and Japan's puppet state of Manchukuo in northeastern China. At Yalta Stalin had been guaranteed a lucrative compensation in exchange for the Soviet Unions entry into the war against Japan: southern Sakhalin and the Kuriles. (25) The operation on Sakhalin ended after only 16 days with the surrender of Karafutos capital, Toyohara, and claimed thousands of casualties on both sides. (26) In fact, Karafuto had been ill prepared for a Soviet invasion. (27) In the chaos of war, the Karafuto administration hastily began to ship women, children, and elderly people to Hokkaido, and refugees soon overcrowded the collection points, which lacked proper accommodation and food. (28) Although at least 30,000 Karafuto residents were evacuated within two weeks, nearly 280,000 ethnic Japanese, 23,000 ethnic Koreans, and a few thousand indigenous people remained on Sakhalin after the fighting ceased. (29)

For Stalin personally, the siege of Karafuto in August 1945 was clearly an act of revenge for the defeat of 1905. (30) Yet unlike Konigsberg, Karafuto did not suffer massive destruction. (31) After four years of fighting and millions of deaths, the war had bred intense hatred against Germany. By contrast, the Soviet military operation on Sakhalin lasted just over two weeks, and soldiers were not thirsting for revenge against Japan. Although in some cities the Red Army destroyed many buildings during the fighting and looting occurred in some places, the civilian and industrial infrastructure remained largely intact. (32) Compared with other Japanese as well as Soviet war zones, living conditions in southern Sakhalin remained relatively agreeable.

As soon as military operations ended, Moscow established a military government, and on 23 September 1945, a complementary civil administration was set up. During the next three years, both bodies existed side by side. (33) The region's capital--with all its administrative, political, economic, and cultural institutions--was moved from Aleksandrovsk in the North to Toyohara. Renamed Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the new capital in many ways became the center of Sakhalin District, comprising Sakhalin Island and the Kuriles after 1947. As a result of this administrative reorganization, the northern part of Sakhalin was marginalized even more than before the war.

Until about 1950, the postwar period was a transition phase shaped by the arrival of Soviet settlers and the simultaneous "repatriation" of the Japanese. (34) Although the Potsdam Declaration stipulated the disarmament and repatriation of the Japanese forces, it did not provide a specific plan for how to treat the civilian population in areas formerly controlled by Japan. (35) Local administrators understood that repopulation with Soviet citizens would take years. (36) In the meantime, the knowledge and manpower of the Karafuto Japanese became the backbone for the Soviet reconstruction of the economy and the preparations for receiving Soviet settlers.

Though southern Sakhalin and Kaliningrad were both new territories within Soviet Russia, Moscow's policies showed significant differences toward these regions: whereas in Kaliningrad any German political or administrative organization was abandoned, Japanese administrative structures continued to exist in Sakhalin after the Soviet takeover. (37) Here the local population also played a prominent role in the reconstruction, and Japanese municipal authorities and management of enterprises were not immediately disbanded. (38)

Another difference from the occupation policies applied in Kaliningrad was that the Soviet administration's key objective was "to create normal living conditions" for the Japanese civilian population, albeit mainly to ensure the reconstruction of the economy. (39) Voluntary and coercive measures of social control and integration were equally important elements of cultural Sovietization. Apart from a publication ban on the local press, the confiscation of radio sets and cars, the interruption of telephone and mail services, and the order to fly red flags, daily life for many former Karafuto residents did not change dramatically at first. (40) Japanese employees continued to work as miners, teachers, physicians, office clerks, or farmers. On paper, the Karafuto Japanese even enjoyed the same legal status as the Soviet newrcomers after the introduction of Soviet legislation in 1946. (41) Dmitrii Nikolaevich Kriukov, head of the Soviet civil administration, in retrospect described economic and political life in the region as "entirely Soviet" after 1946: "In all businesses and institutions, we have now an eight-hour working day. Japanese [workers] receive the same salary for the same work as Soviet citizens." (42) This inclusive policy ended, however, once more qualified Soviet workers arrived. (43)

Obedience among the ethnic Japanese population was also achieved by coercive measures. After 1946, for example, food rations depended on the type and quantity of labor. Though policies were less strict than in the former German territories, the new authorities monitored the Japanese closely. Their supervision relied partly on existing Japanese structures of social control such as the tonarigumi (neighborhood association) system: a social network that linked households in a city or village district and allowed direct monitoring of individuals to ensure that every Japanese went to work. (44)

The new Soviet territories such as Kaliningrad, Karelia, western Ukraine, and southern Sakhalin were to be integrated through the immigration of people from other parts of the USSR. Soldiers, officials, and experts were transferred to the island and brought their families along. The majority, however, belonged to the category of resettlers (pereselentsy). As a matter of fact, the vast majority of people left their homes not under compulsion but because disastrous living conditions and hunger in their native provinces made resettlement the lesser of two evils. (45) Many peasants came from Kursk, Briansk, or other western provinces of Soviet Russia or from regions in Belarus and Ukraine seriously affected by the war. But the newcomers also included fishermen from the Caspian Sea, physicians from Siberia, demobilized soldiers from the Far East, and journalists from northern Sakhalin. (46) Many incoming Soviet settlers ended up on Sakhalin because the recruiting campaign in their home village happened to seek volunteers for Sakhalin but not for Kaliningrad or Karelia. (47)

The central resettlement authority (Glavnoe pereselencheskoe upravlenie pri Sovete ministrov RSFSR) organized the recruitment of labor for agriculture, fishing, forestry, and other industries and transported the migrants to Sakhalin. The passage--usually by train to Vladivostok, then by boat to Sakhalin--was free of charge but long and exhausting. (48) Upon arrival, people were accommodated in camps in the port cities of Korsakoy, Uglegorsk, Nevel'sk, and Kholmsk, then taken to their new places of residence. (49)

The provincial resettlement authority (Pereselencheskii otdel Ispolnitel'nogo komiteta Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo soveta deputatov trudiashchikhsia), founded in May 1946, organized the arrival and distribution of the pereselentsy. The first 4,010 civilian families arrived in 1946, and many were sent to newly established collective farms. (50) Within three years, 3,500-4,500 families annually moved to southern Sakhalin. (51) Those who worked on collective farms were supposed to receive 3,000 rubles, plus 600 rubles for each additional family member--a bonus that corresponded to several months' wages. Furthermore, they were promised warm clothes, cattle, a loan to build a house, and a temporary tax exemption. (52) Although many newcomers found it difficult to adjust to this climatically hostile and culturally alien environment, they faced even greater challenges ahead. Years after their arrival, most Soviet newcomers living in luzhno-Sakhalinsk or working at state enterprises, state farms, or coalmines throughout the southern part of the island still resided in unsuitable premises and unsanitary conditions; in many cases several families were cramped into one room. Cultural, welfare, and medical services were unsatisfactory, and life was further complicated by drunkenness, corruption, and other problems common in the Soviet Union. (53) 'After four years on Sakhalin, living conditions have not improved at all," a member of the Sakhalin Soviet of Workers' Deputies complained in 1949. (54) Though similar conditions existed in many other parts of the Soviet Union at that time, nearly one-third of all Soviet postwar settlers left Sakhalin between 1946 and 1949 and returned to the Russian mainland. (55)

Personal contacts between Soviet and Japanese nationals were not limited to the professional sphere. Though separate queues at the food distribution existed for Japanese and Soviets, they bartered together on the black market where Japanese sold their clothes and furniture. (56) Until February 1946, the yen and the ruble were used side by side, so Japanese savings were not immediately worthless. (57) Unlike, for example, the Germans in Konigsberg, the Karafuto Japanese were allowed to stay in their own houses, even while often being forced to offer the lower floor to new Russian arrivals. (58) Despite the Soviets' efforts to maintain acceptable living conditions for the Japanese, more than 24,000 Japanese escaped between the military campaign in August 1945 and the beginning of the repatriation in December 1946, most of them using fishing boats under the cover of darkness. (59) Moscow wanted to keep the Japanese residents on the island until international agreements settled their fate and the resettlement of Soviet citizens to southern Sakhalin could begin.

During the transition period of the late 1940s, the Karafuto Japanese experienced a Sovietization drive by the new authorities that sought to integrate them with a dual strategy. While promoting the ideological reeducation of the Japanese along Soviet lines, the government used Japanese cultural institutions as tools of stabilization. The civil and military administrations made concessions especially on religious matters, probably hoping to prevent unrest. (60) Temples remained open to the public, and religious holidays with public gatherings of people were usually approved. (61) Clerics were among the last to embark on ships bound for Hokkaido; Soviet authorities kept them, offering wages and increasing their food rations, since they were perceived as crucial to social stability. (62) At the same time, the new regime sought to tie the Japanese population ideologically to the Soviet Union. The government revised school curricula, removing sensitive subjects such as history or Shintoism and adding Marxism-Leninism. (63) Cultural propaganda included radio broadcasts, mass meetings with speeches by Japanese loyal to the Soviet authorities, the dispatch of traveling cinemas to remote areas, and printed brochures to discipline the Japanese population. Perhaps most important was the launch of the Japanese-language Soviet newspaper Shin seimei (New Life) on 15 October 1945. (64)

Though Soviet authorities had temporarily implemented an inclusive policy, official narratives of the Soviet period denounced the Japanese as "occupiers." They mentioned no positive aspects of peaceful coexistence during the transition. (65) Japanese and Soviet eyewitnesses, however, contradict this view. According to their recollections, cohabitation was neither purely harmonious nor exclusively hostile. Living together with few chances to avoid contact, the residents of southern Sakhalin picked up phrases in the new neighbors' language, built friendships, shared their food, and lived through conflicts. Contemporary witnesses also report cases of officially forbidden Russian-Japanese relationships and even families that were later separated by repatriation. Such intimate encounters in some instances facilitated overlapping hierarchies, dual loyalties, and cultural hybridization. (66)

The transitional period ended when the Soviet authorities expelled Japanese citizens. Moscow kept Karaftito residents as long as they were needed on the island, whereas Tokyo favored a swift return of those subjects whom it considered its own nationals. (67) Beginning in December 1946, the Japanese were ordered on short notice to pack some of their movable belongings and embark on Japanese vessels at the port town of Kholmsk. In 1947, at the peak of the population exchange, more than 150,000 ethnic Japanese left the island. The order in which repatriation was carried out matched Soviet needs: company owners, traders, civil servants, parts of the intelligentsia, and other "bourgeois elements" were among the first to be sent to Japan. Farmers who left the island after the harvest of 1947, factory workers, and lower-level employees belonged to the second group, while doctors, teachers, priests, engineers, and other highly qualified personnel were among the last to go. The repatriation of the Japanese officially ended in December 1949. (68) By 1958, only 332 ethnic Japanese were left, and for many of those deportation was yet to come. (69)

Of the other ethnic groups, only the roughly 1,000 Ainu were repatriated to Japan. (70) Karafuto's Koreans, the second biggest ethnic group, suffered a different fate. Most had been moved from southern regions of the Korean Peninsula to Karafuto as nominal citizens of the Japanese Empire during labor mobilization campaigns in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Initially Soviet authorities had planned to repatriate all ethnic Koreans to Japan, but Tokyo refused to consider them Japanese anymore. (71) Repatriation to the Korean Peninsula was then delayed by the Sakhalin administrations concerns about a labor shortage. The Soviet authorities ultimately canceled plans for repatriation after the Korean War made their return a political impossibility--despite the desire of the majority of Karafuto's Koreans to return to their homeland. With Moscow's refusal to recognize Syngman Rhee's US-backed government in South Korea some 20,000 ethnic Koreans were left on Sakhalin, where their descendants account for most of the present-day Sakhalin Korean diaspora. (72)

After the repatriation of Japanese civilians ended, the 40 kilometers of La Perouse (Soya) Strait between Sakhalin and Hokkaido were seldom crossed. As a strategic location on a Cold War border next to the US ally Japan, Sakhalin, like Kaliningrad, was classified as a restricted area, closed to foreigners and to Soviet citizens without proper permission. (73) Even former Karafuto residents found it almost impossible to visit their old homes or the graves of their ancestors. (74) In terms of population and law, Sakhalin had become a Soviet region with Japanese buildings and a Korean minority. But how was the island to be made Soviet in the minds of its new inhabitants?

The Creation of Soviet Narratives

Stories of Sakhalin's past and present offer the most direct entry into public discourse on what Soviet Sakhalin was supposed to be. Correspondents for regional newspapers and museum curators at the Sakhalin Museum of Regional Ethnography in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk used a specific language to create narratives that gave the word "Sakhalin" new meaning after 1945.

Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk's provincial museum exemplifies the difficulties of Sakhalin's transition in an odd combination of Soviet symbolism and Japanese architecture. Designed in Toyohara by the architect Yoshio Kaizuka, the municipal museum opened to the public on 1 August 1937. (75) In November 1945, weeks after the war and months before the provincial capital was shifted from Aleksandrovsk to Toyohara, the new authorities wanted to introduce a Soviet cultural landscape to the former capital of Karafuto and therefore decided to open a Soviet museum. The building, resembling a Japanese castle of the Tokugawa period, must have presented an exotic contrast to its postwar socialist surroundings. (76) Though under its gabled roof the new museum staff installed an emblazoned portrait of Stalin, the building provided a visual record of Japanese imperialism and as such was quite a curious location for a Soviet museum. At the same time, the visibility of the Japanese past in the museums architecture could be interpreted as a reference to the Soviet victory over Japan and an example for the integration of existing structures in the Soviet city to fit Soviet purposes, in which case the location of the museum seems less exceptional. (77)

Despite its unusual appearance, the provincial museum served as a vehicle to disseminate ideology. It recorded steadily rising visitor numbers: between 1950 and 1965, attendance more than doubled, from 38,000 to 80,000 annually, rising to 117,800 people in 1975. (78) In relation to the population of Sakhalin, these numbers are quite impressive. If one is to believe these statistics, around one out of every six Sakhalin residents visited the museum annually during the early 1970s. In terms of museum audience, the governments attempt to create a space for Soviet self-identification for the local population appears to have reached quite a lot of people--though how they responded to the offered narratives is uncertain.

Newspapers were also used to create a connected and integrated Sakhalin community. As was the case elsewhere in the Soviet Union, Sakhalin's press reached a wide readership. (79) Sakhalin's highest-circulation newspaper was Sovetskii Sakhalin. Founded in northern Sakhalin in 1925, its office was relocated from Aleksandrovsk to luzhno-Sakhalinsk right after northern and southern Sakhalin were united administratively in January 1947- In June of that year, it had a circulation of 30,000 copies; by the end of the 1960s, it had reached 75,000. (80)

While achieving such impressive coverage, how did the press and the museum consciously or unconsciously foster Soviet identification among the population? To analyze how Soviet values and meaning in public discourse were offered through these institutions, it is helpful to analyze recurring topics in museum collections and press reports. Tie first trend aimed to integrate Sakhalin's discovery, katorga, and the Japanese past into the new, Soviet historical narrative. A second structured memories of Sakhalin's involvement in the Great Patriotic War. A third presented the official view of the island's regional economy and politics, as well as its position within the Soviet Union.

After the staff reorganized the Japanese collection between December 1945 and April 1946, the provincial museum reopened to the public on 11 May 1946. It replaced a small regional museum in Aleksandrovsk as the center of historical research on Sakhalin. (81) In this first postwar exhibition, ideological requirements seem to have come second to pragmatic considerations. The new Soviet management inherited the prewar Karafuto collections, and display case captions were translated into Russian "verbatim, without any comments or considerations of their ideological significance." (82) By showing the Japanese collection, the new Soviet museum stressed Japanese participation in the postliberation construction and Japanese involvement in cultural life. (83) The Karafuto past was visible in different ways: the Japanese staff continued to work until their expulsion in 1947. (84) Yet for several reasons, the pragmatic approach did not last long. The continuity provoked fierce (self-)criticism by the authorities and strong public disapproval, since the history of the October Revolution, the victory over Germany and Japan, the construction of a socialist economy and society, as well as other elements typical of Soviet museums, were missing from the displays. On 8 June 1946, less than a month after the exhibition opened, the Military Council of Southern Sakhalin ordered the redesign of the museum. (83)

Moscow's influence became clearly visible as the museum adopted a fixed tripartite structure for its permanent collection: nature, history, and socialist construction, all aimed at linking the island to the Soviet Union. (86) The refurbished museum opened to the public on International Workers' Day 1948. By then, not only were there no Japanese among its 22 employees, but four decades of Karafuto history had been removed from the exposition halls as well. The "silencing" of the Japanese past left a gap in the museum's offerings, where the postwar years now immediately followed the prerevolutionary period. To present a "proper" image of Soviet Sakhalin, the Museum of the Soviet Army and the Central Museum of the Revolution in Moscow supplied the museum in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk with objects for exhibits on "30 Years of Soviet Power," "The Life of Comrade Stalin," and other topics they deemed adequate. (87) Yet compared to Kaliningrad's provincial museum, which exhibited the regions postwar socialist construction but ignored its history, Sakhalin's museum curators at least presented their own view of the time before 1945, even if it was no more than the standard Soviet manichean narrative of an oppressive past, a liberating present, and a brighter future. (88)

Unlike the museum, the Sakhalin press did not remain silent about the Karafuto years. Instead, the papers depicted the Japanese as "occupiers" who "after the conquest destroyed Sakhalin's natural riches in a predatory manner without worrying about the future of age-old Russian lands [iskonno russkie zemli] ," (89) The journalists, by and large newcomers to Sakhalin, described the Japanese period as the darkest chapter in Sakhalin's history. Sovetskii Sakhalin, for instance, commented in 1950: "Toyohara--that means sunny valley. The town indeed gets a lot of sun. However, under its rays, the bitter poverty, poor culture, and bad taste can be seen even better." According to the article, the Japanese occupiers were inferior to Soviet settlers. Since the southern part had become Soviet once again, Soviet men and women were attracted by the inexhaustible wealth of this land, promising to cultivate and develop it. (90)

Consequently, the official Soviet narrative interpreted the reclaiming of Karafuto in 1945 as an act of "liberation" in a just war that rescued its residents from the miseries of Japanese rule. This rhetoric was consistent with Soviet historians' reluctance to critically examine the role of the Red Army before and during the Great Patriotic War. (91) Here, too, we see a difference from previous historical narratives: even in the late 1930s, Soviet museum displays in Aleksandrovsk condemned Russian colonization experiments in Manchuria as imperialist. (92) In Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, however, the new provincial museum captions stressed the Red Army's heroism in the August 1945 campaign against "Japanese imperialists" just as it emphasized Russian heroism during the Russo-Japanese War four decades earlier. (93) Gradually, however, Japan lost its prominent function as aggressor in the narrative. One possible explanation for this decline may be the central authorities' stronger emphasis on the Great Patriotic War against Hitler's Germany. (94)

The press presents a similar picture. During and immediately after the military campaign, Sovetskii Sakhalin extensively reported on Japanese aggression. (95) Less than two months after the end of hostilities, however, news coverage on the war died down until the first anniversary of the victory over Japan. (96) Three years later, as the repatriation of ethnic Japanese was ending, the press picked up the war theme again. (97) Subsequent coverage on Japan declined even more. (98)

How did the museum and the press create narratives of Soviet and Russian identification? The civil administration under Kriukov decided that "south Sakhalin and the Kuriles had been Russian lands from time immemorial" and were now "brought back to the Motherland." (99) To support this interpretation, the heroic story of Russian discovery and exploration became the cornerstone of Soviet insistence that "the entire island of Sakhalin belongs to our motherland by right of first discovery, first settlement, first exploration, and first unification." (100) In 1939, the Aleksandrovsk museum still mentioned Mamiya Rinzo, the Japanese who explored and mapped Sakhalin in the early 19th century, alongside the seafarers Jean-Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, Gennadii Ivanovich Nevel'skoi, and Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern; chronicles written after World War II ignored him. (101)

In addition to Russian Cossacks and explorers, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, who traveled the island in 1890, was invoked to provide a cultural reference to the Russian past of the Soviet heartland. As a positive symbol and critic of penal labor, the famous Russian writer replaced the negative katorga label in temporal references to the prerevolutionary period of Sakhalin. (102) The press depicted Chekhov as a harbinger of communist power on Sakhalin, as his "true account first informed Russia's most progressive readers of all the horrors of Sakhalin life and all the misdeeds of the tsarist regime in this distant edge of the Russian Empire." (103) In a 1966 guidebook, the museum portrayed Chekhov as a protorevolutionary Soviet hero, opposing the exile colonies and predicting that the penal system had no future. (104)

The elements of this historical narrative are somewhat contradictory. Hie motif of "age-old Russian lands" forms the argumentative basis of the narrative. Assertions that Sakhalin was first discovered and settled by Russians legitimized the incorporation of Karafuto in 1945. At the same time, Soviet authorities distanced themselves from the Russian imperial legacy. The negative images of the Pacific island as a penal colony made it particularly difficult to link the Soviet future with the Russian past. This inner tension in historical perception was masked by the glorification of Chekhov as a symbol of integration for the period up to 1905. Despite their lack of historical evidence, these paradoxical interpretations fulfilled an important function: imagined continuities were meant to create a sense of home for Sakhalin's new Soviet residents. Not surprisingly, the Pan-Slavic origin story used to incorporate Kaliningrad into the USSR also functioned, historically and culturally, to legitimize the Soviet annexation in 1945. (105)

To create positive local and national narratives of identification for the new Soviet population, museums and newspapers also addressed present and future issues. As elsewhere in the USSR, industry, socialist construction, education, health and culture, land cultivation, the mechanization of agriculture, and urban reconstruction were crucial topics in the story of "building a bright communist society on earth." (106) Without any reference to the Karafuto period, the story of regional economic development was narrated as a steady increase in productivity. Photographs, diagrams, and models explained everything from potato planting to the operation of a paper mill. (107) To most visitors these narratives, their central origin, and the absence of the Japanese past in all likelihood raised no suspicions, as they were newcomers to Sakhalin, educated in Soviet schools, and thus familiar with the standard narratives of Soviet history and identity. (108)

Though the ritual praise of industry was a common theme in Soviet press and museums, it came with specific regional features. Fishing, coalmining, and forestry formed the key branches to be included in the Soviet economic cycle. Just as in Kaliningrad, stereotypical representations confirmed visually that "our island, once separated from Russia in a remote edge of the world, ... has become an integral and vital part of the single economic organism of the country." (109) In this way, the ideal of successful production was linked to the concept of organic collaboration and the Soviet idea. By Soviet standards, Sakhalin's postwar industrial development can be seen as a success story. (110) Public representations of the island's economic position within the USSR, like the narratives surrounding its discovery and its involvement in the Great Patriotic War, were important soft-power instruments to make the island part of the Russian past and the Soviet future.

New Names and Urban Planning

In addition to the strategies described above, the identification with Soviet and Russian culture was stimulated in more subtle ways. After 1945, the land-and cityscapes of Soviet Sakhalin were gradually created through symbolic labeling, exemplified by the politics of Soviet toponymy and architectural remodeling.

When the first Soviet settlers reached the island's southern part, cities, streets, and mountains bore Japanese names. Hard for the new arrivals to pronounce and remember, these names were impractical. As is common when a territory changes affiliation, in 1946 a commission of 12 officials was tasked with renaming the cities and villages. A year later, the central government authorized the commissions proposals, in some cases worked out in cooperation with the local population. (111) The Japanese repatriation simplified the task of relabeling Sakhalin's topography--in contrast to the Baltic republics, for example, where former Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian nationals continued to use the former place names. Besides signifying ownership, toponyms have a semantic structure that conveys specific meanings to those who use the toponyms for orientation.

The semantics of toponymy in the case of Sakhalin's cities and villages cannot be identified as overly patriotic. More than half of the names given to places in 1946 are descriptive, like Maloe (little village) or Iablochnoe (village of apples), no matter whether they arose under Japanese governance or had existed prior to 1905. They seem to have been picked more or less at random and bear no references to the Japanese names. A second group of settlements received names with links to Soviet narratives of identification. Approximately a quarter of the cities and villages after 1946 carried symbolically charged names like Pervomaisk (village of 1 May), Krasnooktiabrskii (village of Red October) or Sovetskoe (Soviet village). Toponyms like these were common all over the Soviet Union. Less "Soviet" are names derived from the new residents' former homes and thus associated with a shared memory of migration: the people of Eniseiskaia used to live on the shores of the Enisei River in Siberia; the inhabitants of Amurskoe came from the Amur region. As documented by the commission, local people often took part in choosing such names. In two special cases the commission even decided to Russianize a Japanese name of Ainu origin: Tomarioru became Tomari, Furamaki would be called Furmanovo; in explanation, the commissioners briefly noted in their files that the decision was made "according to the sound." (112) Though more an exception than a rule, this phenomenon suggests that in some instances Soviet identity politics was not the main objective in renaming cities. (113) The reasons were probably pragmatic: the settlers had become used to the Japanese names, which then left a trace of memory on the Soviet map of southern Sakhalin. Instead of creating a uniform canon of Soviet and Russian names, the commission combined local geographical features, prerevolutionary Russian designations, translations, Russian phonetization of Japanese place names, and standard Soviet toponymy. In places like Kaliningrad, things were different: the renaming of cities, streets, and squares left virtually no trace of the German past. (114)

Kriukov, the head of Sakhalin's Soviet civil administration, describes the renaming as an important task of symbolic significance: "In [changing Japanese place names to Russian ones], we were able to restore a number of ancient names and to immortalize the memory of the discoverers of these lands and seas--the explorers, travelers, and public and political figures who brought glory and benefit to our distant but native lands--and to commemorate its heroes, defenders, and liberators." (115)

Besides cities and streets named after Russian or Soviet heroes, the political quality of the renaming is most manifest in names that openly refer to Sakhalin's Russian past. Toponyms like Starorusskoe (old Russian village) or Vozvrashchenie (return) subtly tell a story of Sakhalin's "liberation" from Japanese "occupation" and reinforce the notion that Sakhalin was Russian all along. It is not surprising that some names of Russian settlements from before 1905 were restored after 1946--as with Vladimirovka. The name of a suburban part of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk derives from a village inhabited by exiled farmers between the 1880s and 1905, suggesting a Russian/Soviet continuity that has little to do with the actual development of urban structures. (116) In the mental maps of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk's inhabitants, however, Vladimirovka has such significance as the Russian origin of Toyohara that to this day almost every popular or historical description of the city starts with a reference to that small and short-lived Russian village. (117)

Vladimirovka today features a memorial for the old settlement sharing its name. It is but one example of the numerous attempts to reshape and reinterpret urban space after 1945- Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk (South Sakhalin), as the capital and administrative center of Sakhalin District, is the largest city on the island and the heart of political and cultural life. Considering that Moscow had a strong impact on the details of urban planning and construction even at the periphery, it is not surprising that the streets of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk are richly equipped with Soviet and Russian symbolism. It is helpful to examine the symbolic topography of the city to identify attempts at Sovietization in urban planning. What makes Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk so interesting for an analysis of this kind is the visibility of Soviet symbolism, reinforced by the new Soviet facade attached to the largely intact Japanese structure of the former capital of Karafiito Prefecture.

"The Japanese architect Takajiro Minami planned Toyohara. Construction began in 1907 east of Vladimirovka, along the lines of a typical Japanese colonial city. Modeled after the urban architecture of the United States and closely resembling the city of Sapporo, Toyohara was structured along a symmetrical grid of streets and organized around two central perpendicular axes. Where the two main streets met, a large square connected them with the central station. Public life happened mostly along Jinja dori (Shrine Street), the main axis leading from the railway station in the west to the Karafuto Shrine east of the city, where the most important functional buildings of the Karafuto administration could be found. (118) When, after 1945, the first Soviet settlers arrived in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, most of Toyohara was still intact. Despite some fighting during the Soviet-Japanese War, most buildings could be used without further renovation. (119)

The basic structure of Toyohara hardly changed in the years that followed. Upon arrival many Soviet settlers felt a sense of alienation. "In 1946-47 a Russian-built house drew the attention of the arriving settlers, and it was hard for them to avert their gaze," one Soviet official recalled in 1950. (120) Yet the narrow streets gradually gave way to broader, paved ones. The small houses made from light materials often burned down when the new Soviet inhabitants accidentally set rice mats and paper walls on fire with their wood stoves. The poorly insulated and unpopular "paper houses" were replaced by more solid timber structures and the large concrete apartment buildings of the 1960s and 1970s uniformly grouped around courtyards with lawns and playgrounds. (121) What makes Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk a typical Soviet city today is not so much a result of deliberate Sovietization as of gradual reconstruction and infrastructure modernization conducted by architects and city planners trained in the Soviet Union.

A closer look at the symbolic topography of the city, however, reveals some instances where intentional Sovietization is visible. In 1949, the Commission for the Destruction of Japanese Memorials was appointed to remove all Japanese monuments and sites of memory. It also destroyed the Karafuto Shrine, the symbolic and habitual center of Toyohara's civil religion and public national identification. (122) After the commission finished its work, the memorials of Sakhalin's Japanese history had almost entirely disappeared from the urban environment. In place of the Japanese memorials, a set of symbolical markers offered Soviet and Russian patterns of identification closely related to the narratives discussed above.

After 1945, the two main streets were renamed Lenin Street and Stalin Street--like the central streets of hundreds of other Soviet cities. Plans for a large-scale representative square not far from Toyohara's former city center were never realized because of their high cost. (123) Instead, in 1948, a new, smaller square was built and furnished with a Lenin statue north of the central crossroads of Lenin and Stalin Street. (124) This attempt to establish a typical symbolic center for the new Soviet city, where demonstrations and celebrations could be held, resembled similar projects in Kaliningrad, Minsk, and the Baltic metropoles. (125) In Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, however, it did not succeed. Because people continued to frequent the former center of Toyohara, the square in front of the main station developed as the center of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk through gradual refurbishment. A small park was built in 1964, and the large statue of Lenin was moved there on the centennial

of his birth in 1970. Starting in May 1964, the celebrations for International Workers' Day were regularly held on what was now called Lenin Square, and it became an icon for the city as a whole. (126) The traditional center of Toyohara had become the new center of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Meanwhile, Toyohara Park was stripped of visible references to Japanese culture and furnished with a set of statues and memorials referring to Russian or Soviet narratives of identification. A newspaper article of 1951 describes the situation: "A wide boulevard leads into the park, where you can see a bust of Iosif ... Stalin on a large base. New display panels show Politburo members ... as well as medaled generals, admirals, and leaders ... of our communist sister parties." (127) Memorials like these were spread throughout the city, reminding passersby of the Great Patriotic War or the cosmonaut Iurii Gagarin. In this way, the provincial government maintained the ideal of a Soviet city despite its limited resources. The mixture of commemorative statues and the gradual introduction of a particular Soviet urban infrastructure turned Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk into a typical Soviet city.

Some of the sites of memory in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, however, are less one-dimensional, and their status within the framework of Sovietization politics merits closer examination. One of the most interesting sites of memory in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk is the provincial museum, one of the few places where traces of the Japanese history are still visible next to Soviet symbolism. Putting a large portrait of Stalin on the wall around 1947 could not change the fact that any visitor could identify the building as Japanese. Even so, it was not demolished. Plans to replace the exotic roof with a more Soviet-looking structure in the 1970s were dropped for economic reasons. While those inside this miniature castle maintained an awkward silence regarding the Japanese past, those outside turned that past into kitsch: the little park in front of the main entrance was designed and decorated in a way that looked Japanese to the new proprietors. Newlyweds had their pictures taken in front of cannons from the Russo-Japanese War that the Commission for the Destruction of Japanese Memorials had moved to the park. (128) Two Japanese stone dogs removed from the Karafuto Shrine sit at the door of the museum entrance--according to urban myth, they protect the building from destruction. (129)

The restructuring of urban landscapes in terms of mental, and physical mapping reveals visible attempts to foster the Sovietization of Sakhalin's citizens by implementing Soviet symbolism at an experiential level. The substitution of Russian and Soviet toponyms for Japanese ones relabeled the island's landscape. A set of purely Soviet symbols as well as symbols relating to narratives conceived especially for Sakhalin influenced urban topography. Despite a general tendency to suppress memories of the Japanese past, some specific instances, as exemplified by the provincial museum, survived. Buildings and other traces of the Japanese past could be reinterpreted, reappropriated, and integrated into a complex and somewhat contradictory narrative of liberation, conquest, and romantic memory of the friendly Japanese neighbors who shared their food and living rooms with the new settlers. Such ambiguous symbolism could develop only because the city had no part in the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, and its basic structures were not destroyed. (130) How Sakhalin residents regarded these symbols and integrated them into their systems of identification, however, is a question that does not readily yield to historical analysis.


From Moscow's perspective, Sakhalin was in many respects just another piece of land on the margins of the Soviet empire. Because Moscow had other problems besides the integration of half an island a continent away, it often sent local authorities only general guidelines, leaving room for pragmatic improvisation and dreams of a new, Soviet life. (131) The rhetoric of the islands' role as a first line of defense against imperialist aggressors gave positive connotations to Sakhalin's special status as a restricted borderland area. In reality, this status had little impact on everyday life, except that the military was a major employer, people earned higher salaries, and it made the island even more remote by restricting contacts with Japan, other foreign nations, and even other Soviet regions. (132)

To understand what sets Sakhalin's postwar history apart, we must compare it with other newly incorporated territories. Newcomers to Soviet Sakhalin, much more than those in Kaliningrad, had to confront the past. They built their new existence in Japanese homes, with Japanese furniture; they received training from their Japanese co-workers; and some learned enough Japanese to talk to their temporary neighbors in pidgin. Making people forget about this exotic coexistence, which strongly shaped the experience of their arrival , seems impossible, yet we can clearly see attempts to control discourses of memory and identification not only in population policies but also in the narratives and symbols of Soviet Sakhalin.

The interpretation of the Karafuto period as one of imperialist occupation was a rather bold stroke. The USSR was itself an empire, and its occupation of southern Sakhalin, although sanctioned by the Yalta Agreement, broke its neutrality pact with Japan. This anti-imperialist narrative, however, served to legitimize Sovietization and influenced the future construction of Sakhalin. The deportation and expropriation of Japanese citizens, the destruction of almost all Japanese symbols in urban space, and the renaming of most cities, streets, rivers, and mountains erased most traces of Karafuto. Nevertheless, the tensions between the theory of a Soviet identity and the experience of cohabitation are visible in those instances where the reinterpretation of reality remained incomplete and results did not match intentions: the towns that retained names derived from Japanese, the new provincial museum located in a Japanese building, and the newspaper Shin seimei contradict the idea of an ordinary Soviet region fitting in neatly among its sister regions in the Far East because it had been Russian all along.

Contradictions like these probably occur in any attempt to build a new future, as the past may be concealed but not erased. What sets southern Sakhalin apart is not the imperfect implementation of "silencing" but the hybrid combination of a brand-new Soviet facade on top of Japanese structures. This visual, material, and linguistic outcome differed from the situation in the Baltic states, Karelia, or other territories on the western periphery of the Soviet Union during and after World War II. Ultimately, however, Sakhalin culturally became just another part of the Soviet Union, despite its contradictions and tensions. Labeling the Japanese as the "imperialist other" and forgetting about various aspects of their presence was possible only because the ethnic Japanese of Karafuto had--by flight and expulsion--left the island after the war, a situation otherwise uncommon in the Soviet borderlands, except for the Germans in Kaliningrad and the Finns in Karelia. Bringing people from all over the Soviet Union to a place where they could have something like a "clean Soviet start," without ethnic ambivalence, makes the postwar history of Sakhalin exceptional among the multiple histories of integration along the Soviet borders.

If we read Sakhalin's special history as a case study for the Soviet empire, it reveals the central significance of cultural integration and identity politics for the integration of new territories. Moscow tried to overcome the cultural distance of what had been Karafuto by promoting Soviet identification on the faraway island. Though contradictory and full of tension in some ways, Soviet identity politics in postwar Sakhalin created a political, cultural, and symbolic environment typical of the Soviet Union. By establishing new urban structures, historical narratives, and toponyms, the cultural Sovietization of Sakhalin was a success--for Soviet administrators on the island as well as in Moscow. Yet for those Japanese who lost their homes to repatriation, Sovietization was another life-changing aspect of Japan's devastating defeat in World War II and the collapse of the Japanese Empire.

Soren Urbansky

The Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit

University of Cambridge

The Mond Building

Free School Lane

Cambridge CB2 3RF, UK

Helena Barop

Dept. of History

Universitat Freiburg

Rempartstr. 15

79085 Freiburg, Germany

The thoughts and arguments presented in this article further develop the findings and observations made by a group of students during a research trip to Sakhalin in May and June 2012. The results of the project have been published in Soren Urbansky, ed., "Unsere Insel": Sowjetische Identitatspolitik auf Sachalin nach 1945 (Berlin: be.bra, 2013); and I. Zadai [I. Zaday] and S. Urbanski [S. Urbansky], "Sakhalin--eto ne tol'ko Chekhov": Itogi studencheskoi ekskursii," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 20 (2013): 87-91. We are especially thankful to Okuto Gunji, who in addition to his contribution to the project also provided us with translations of Japanese sources and scholarship. Also, we would like to thank Tarik Cyril Amar, Julia Obertreis, and Pascale Siegrist for their critical and very helpful comments on this article during a workshop on 4 July 2014 that identified and discussed different types of trajectories various regions took as they became wholly or partially enmeshed in Sovietization. The workshop and the publication of this article were supported by the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis that was awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to Professor Jurgen Osterhammel in 2010. Finally, we thank the editors, two anonymous reviewers, and Jonathan E. Bull for their helpful suggestions and constructive comments, which helped us improve the manuscript.

(1) Founded in 1882, Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk began as a small settlement called Vladimirovka. Under Japanese rule it was called Toyohara, and only in 1946 was it renamed Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

(2) Scholars of the USSR and socialism have included the Soviet period within the framework of the new imperial history. See, e.g., the collection of articles in I. Gerasimov et al., eds., Novaia imperskaia istoriia postsovetskogo prostranstva (Kazan: Tsentr issledovanii natsionalizma i imperii, 2004).

(3) John J. Stephan, Sakhalin: A History (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971), 10-11. See also L. Ia. Shternberg, Giliaki, orochi, gol'dy, negidal'tsy, ainy: Stat'i i materialy (Khabarovsk: Dal'giz, 1933).

(4) About the early relations between Sakhalin and China, see Stephan, Sakhalin, 19-29. On the early "discovery" of Sakhalin, see ibid., 31-33; and M. S. Vysokov et al., eds., Istoriia Sakhalina i Kuril'skikh ostrovov s drevneishikh vremen do nachala XXI stoletiia (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Sakhalinskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 2008), 267-69, 284-85.

(5) Stephan, Sakhalin, 49-77.

(6) For a vivid literary description of the katorga period, see Anton R Chekhov, Ostrov Sakhalin (iz putevykh zapisok) (Vladivostok: Rubezh, 2010).

(7) Stephan, Sakhalin, 78-81.

(8) Taisho Nakayama, "Japanese Society on Karafuto," in Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border: Karafuto/Sakhalin, ed. Svetlana Paichadze and Philip A. Seaton (New York: Routledge, 2015), 19-41.

(9) Hara Teruyuki, "Japan Moves North: The Japanese Occupation of Northern Sakhalin (1920s)," in Rediscovering Russia in Asia: Siberia and the Russian Far East, ed. Stephen Kotkin and David Wolff (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), 55-67.

(10) Due to the Japanese invasion, the island's Russian population dropped from 40,000 to under 7,000 in the summer of 1905. See Stephan, Sakhalin, 81-90; Vysokov et al., Istoriia Sakhalina i Kuril'skikh ostrovov, 421-35; and Chieko Shindo, "Shisuka dasshutsuko," in Hifun no Karafuto, ed. Kokusho Kankokai (Tokyo: Kokusho Kankokai, 1981), 62-65.

(11) Seiichiro Kusunoki, "Karafuto sanseiken mondai," in Kindai nihonshi no shin kenkyu, ed. Yutaka Tezuka (Tokyo: Hokuju Shuppan, 1990), 8:183-99. See also Tessa Morris-Suzuki, "Northern Lights: The Making and Unmaking of Karafuto Identity," Journal of Asian Studies 60, 3 (2001): 645-71, on the changing identity of Karafuto Japanese during this time.

(12) Stephan, Sakhalin, 142-64.

(13) Japanese historians mostly ignored the history of Karafuto until the end of the Cold War; today the main experts in this field may be Hiroshi Itani and Masafumi Miki. Soviet historians did pay some attention to the history of Sakhalin, though their work was often biased in accordance with Soviet censorship guidelines. Contemporary Russian regional historians have developed more balanced views and detailed accounts of the postwar period. Particularly helpful are Vysokov et al., Istoriia Sakhalina i Kuril'skikh ostrovov, 454-500; and Inna P. Kim, "Razvitie territorii, prisoedinennykh k SSSR posle Vtoroi mirovoi voiny (Vostochnaia Prussiia, Iuzhnyi Sakhalin, Kuril'skie ostrova); 1945-pervaia polovina 1949 gg." (Candidate's diss., Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 2010). Vysokov et al., Istoriia Sakhalina i Kuril'skikh ostrovov, 49-146, and Kim, "Razvitie territorii," 4-15, review Soviet and Russian historiography. Kim uses documents from Russian central and local archives, including Sakhalin and Kaliningrad, but focuses on the immediate postwar years and does not provide any insights into the cultural dimensions of Sovietization. To our knowledge, the only publication that discusses Sovietization on Sakhalin from a cultural angle, though rather popular scientific in tone, is Elena Savel'eva, "Sakhalinskaia kul'tura: V nachale novogo puti (vtoraia polovina 1940-kh-1950-e gody)," Sakhalinskii al'manakh, no. 1 (2012); 118-36. Stephan, Sakhalin, offers an illuminating outside perspective.

(14) On the origins and use of the term sovetizatsiia by politicians and historians, see Tarik Cyril Amar, "Sovietization as a Civilizing Mission in the West," in The Sovietization of Eastern Europe: New Perspectives on the Postwar Period, ed. Balazs Apor, Peter Apor, and E. A. Rees (Washington: New Academia, 2008), 29-45, here 30-31; and Anatolii G. Lozhkin, Interventsiia, anneksiia i sovetizatsiia vo vneshneipolitike SSSR: Istoriko-pravovye aspekty noveishikh issledovanii (Moscow: AIRO-XXI, 2012), 46-47.

(15) Theodore R. Weeks has pointed out similarities and differences between tsarist Russification and postrevolutionary Sovietization ("Russification/Sovietization," European History Online, 3 December 2010 []).

(16) David Brandenberger, National Bolshevism: Stalinist Mass Culture and the Formation of Modern Russian National Identity, 1931-1956 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 1-9, quotation on 9.

(17) Like Outer Mongolia, Tuva was a part of the Chinese Empire that came under Soviet influence from the 1920s onward. Officially, admission to the USSR was undertaken at the request of Tuva's leadership. It became the Tuva Autonomous Oblast, then an autonomous republic in 1961. See I. V. Naumov and David N. Collins, The History of Siberia (London: Routledge, 2006), 195; and Alan J. K. Sanders, Historical Dictionary of Mongolia (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 1996), 718-19.

(18) Richard J. Krickus, The Kaliningrad Question (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), 34-35; Per Brodersen, Die Stadt im Westen: Wie Konigsberg Kaliningrad, wurde (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008), 23-24.

(19) Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 2005), 23-28.

(20) By breaking peasant and working-class opposition, particularly in the years of rapid industrialization and collectivization, Moscow produced a new, multilayered model of political and economic subordination within the Soviet Union, first transforming what would become the Slavic core republics (Russia, eastern Ukraine, and eastern Belarus). See David Hoffmann, Peasant Metropolis: Social Identities in Moscow, 1929-1941 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994); Gabor T. Rittersporn, Stalinist Simplifications and Soviet Complications: Social Tensions and Political Conflicts in the USSR, 1933-1953 (Chur: Harwood, 1991); Michael David-Fox, "Multiple Modernities vs. Neo-Traditionalism: On Recent Debates in Russian and Soviet History," Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 54, 4 (2006): 535-55; Jurij Borys, The Sovietization of Ukraine, 1917-1923 (Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1980); Stepben Kotkin, Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); and Elissa Bemporad, Becoming Soviet Jews: The Bolshevik Experiment in Minsk (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013). It also transformed the imperial margins dominated by indigenous peoples. Sovietization meant something different in each particular case but nevertheless demonstrated that the Soviet leadership was able to establish long-term power over non-Russian territories through a combination of coercion and local adaptation in combination with korenizatsiia (indigenization) and limited power sharing with local communist elites. On the Muslim societies in Central Asia, see Christian Teichmann, "Canals, Cotton, and the Limits of De-Colonization in Soviet Uzbekistan, 1924-1941," Central Asian Survey 26, 4 (2007): 499-519; Adrienne Lynn Edgar, Tribal Nation: The Making of Soviet Turkmenistan (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004); and Benjamin H. Loring, "Building Socialism in Kyrgysstan: Nation-Making, Rural Development, and Social Change, 1921-1932," (PhD diss., Brandeis University, 2008). For the Sovietization of Christian Armenia, see Ronald Grigor Suny, "Soviet Armenia, 1921-91," in Armenians: Past and Present in the Making of National Identity, ed. Edmund Herzig and Marina Kurkchiyan (London: Routledge, 2005), 113-25; and Maike Lehmann, Eine sowjetische Nation: Nationale Sozialismusinterpretationen in Armenien seit 1945 (Frankfurt: Campus, 2012).

(21) Sovietization was often co-shaped by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as the Sovietization of 1939 and 1940-41 and must be understood as part of World War II mass violence (Lozhkin, Interventsiia, anneksiia i sovetizatsiia, 153-215).

(22) Though circumstances were different in Kaliningrad and southern Sakhalin, these two regions share certain key features that make a comparison more productive than with, e.g., the Baltic states or Karelia. Konigsberg and Karafuto were peripheral territories of two major Soviet enemies during the war and had high economic and strategic significance. Neither territory was affected by the Sovietization wave of 1939-41, but in both cities the population was almost completely exchanged after 1945. The Sovietization of Kaliningrad is analyzed in detail in Brodersen, Stadt im Westen; Bert Hoppe, Auf den Trummern von Konigsberg: Kaliningrad 1946-1970 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2000); and I. O. Dement ev, ed., Sovetizatsiia Kaliningradskoi oblasti: Sbornik nauchnykh trudov (Kaliningrad: Izdatel'stvo federal nogo universiteta im. I. Kanta, 2013). The only comparative study that has been published so far on southern Sakhalin and Kaliningrad is Kim, "Razvitic territorii." As our main concern is the history of Sakhalin, we critically rely on the existing historiography on Kaliningrad. We acknowledge that the use of secondary instead of primary sources in the Kaliningrad case limits the depth of analysis. We are confident, however, that the asymmetrical comparison puts Sakhalin's history in a broader perspective.

(23) Our findings are based on archival records from the Gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv Sakhalinskoi oblasti (GIASO) and Nauchnyi arkhiv Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo kraevedcheskogo muzeia (NA SOKM), Soviet newspapers and publications, and oral history interviews with Soviet resettlers. We hope that by combining findings from local and central level archives future research may better address the place of Sakhalin and other case studies in the broader Soviet experience. A first step in this direction is "Reframing Postwar Sovietization: Power, Conflict, and Accommodation," ed. Felix Ackermann and Soren Urbansky, special issue of Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 64, 3 (2016).

(24) About the difficulties connected to the use of "identity" as a subject of historical research, see Rogers Brubaker and Frederick Cooper, "Identity," in Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History, ed. Cooper (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 59-90. See Sheila Fitzpatrick, Tear Off the Masks! Identity and Imposture in Twentieth-Century Russia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), for discussions of the remaking of identities in the Soviet Union.

(25) Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy, 23-28; Boris Slavinsky, The Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact: A Diplomatic History, 1941-1945 (London: Routledge, 2004), 11-31, 150-91.

(26) The invasion claimed 4,500 lives among the Japanese, including about 4,000 soldiers. More than 18,000 Japanese were taken prisoner (Takashi Nakayama, Senkyuhyakuyonjugonen natsu: Saigo no nissosen [Tokyo: Chuokoronsha, 2001], 178-79). These figures do not include the 1,708 civilians killed and missing when three evacuation boats from Karafuto were attacked off the coast of Hokkaido on 22 August 1945 by an unidentified (presumed to be Soviet) submarine (Kiyofumi Kato, "Dai Nippon Teikoku" hokai: Higashi Ajia no 1945-nen [Tokyo: Chuo Shinsho, 2009], 212). There are no reliable data on the number of Soviet casualties. Compared with the military operations on the Kurile Islands and in Manchuria, the death toll on Sakhalin was low. For a detailed account of the military operations, see Hasegawa, Racing the Enemy, 252-89; David M. Glantz, The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945: "August Storm" (London: Frank Cass, 2003); and Glantz, Soviet Operational and Tactical Combat in Manchuria, 1945: "August Storm" (London: Frank Cass, 2003).

(27) The Japanese authorities had plans only for an invasion by US forces (Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, ed., Karafuto Shusenshi [Tokyo: Daiichihoki Shuppan Kabushikigaisha, 1973], 322).

(28) Tokushi Kobayashi, Soren shimin ni natta ninen kan (Tokyo: Aiseisha, 2002), 58-67; Osamu Morita, "Saharin yokuryu ki," in Hifun no Karafuto, 279-81; Shindo, "Shisuka dasshutsuko," 62-65; Osamu Muta, "Esutoruchu gakutotai no kiroku," in Hifun no Karafuto, 96-97.

(29) Stephan, Sakhalin, 142-55. The figures for successful refugee evacuations vary greatly. Japanese authors estimate the number of Japanese refugees as far higher. Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, Karafuto, 330-31, e.g., speaks of 87,600 refugees. Even so, there were still 305,800 non-Soviet citizens on the island in late August, including 277,649 ethnic Japanese, 23,298 ethnic Koreans, and some indigenous peoples. See D. N. Kriukov, "Civil Administration on South Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands, 1945-1948," trans. Mariya Sevela, Monumenta Nipponica 56, 1 (2001): 45 translator's n. 4; and Yulia Din, "Dreams of Returning to the Homeland: Koreans in Karafuto and Sakhalin," in Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border, 177. In addition, about 200 Russians were still living in Karafuto at the time of the Soviet takeover. The new Soviet authorities used many of them as interpreters (Kato, "Dai Nippon Teikoku" hokai, 217).

(30) See Stalin's remarks on southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands in his famous address to the people on 2 September 1945 (Iosif V. Stalin, O Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine Sovetskogo Soiuza [Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1951], 203-6).

(31) Hoppe, Auf den Trummern von Konigsberg, 21-27.

(32) D. N. Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie na Sakhaline i Kuril'skikh ostrovakh," Kraevedcheskii biulleten'. 1 (1993): 13-18. Soviet planes spared major industrial and administrative buildings in the bombing of Toyohara on 23 August 1945 (Kobayashi, Soren, 65). See also Jonathan Bull, "Occupation-Era Hokkaido and the Emergence of the Karafuto Repatriate: The Role of Repatriate Leaders," in Voices from the Shifiing Russo-Japanese Border, 65-66.

(33) Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 40. See Kriukov's diaries for a Soviet perspective on this transitional period ("Civil Administration," 45-85; "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 1, 7-44; no. 2 [1993]: 3-24; and no. 3 [1993]: 3-40).

(34) Japanese and Russian written sources and secondary literature both use the term "repatriation" (Japanese hikiage, Russian repatriatsiia), which we therefore use as a historical term.

(35) Lori Watt, When Empire Comes Home: Repatriation and Reintegration in Postwar Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), 36-37.

(36) Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 45.

(37) Kim, "Razvitie territorii," 82-122.

(38) As the locals did not in Kaliningrad: see Hoppe, Auf den Trummern von Konigsberg, 25-26. In January 1946, Soviet nationals occupied only 25 percent of the higher positions in industry and administration. Once replaced, Japanese predecessors remained in office as deputies to train their Soviet superiors, sometimes earning equivalent wages (Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, Karafuto, 504-6).

(39) Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 45.

(40) Ibid., 40-41; Stephan, Sakhalin, 155.

(41) According to the directives of the civil administration, Japanese inhabitants were classified as "ordinary citizens, not as prisoners of war," and were to be treated accordingly (Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe uptavlenie," no. 1, 23). Many Soviet eyewitnesses confirm proper treatment. See the interviews with Aleksandr K. Efremov (Aniva), Iurii A. Trifonov (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk), and Valentina P. Salova (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk), conducted by Eva Schwab and Igor Zaday on 30-31 May 2012. For more information about the interviews, see Eva Schwab and Igor Zaday, "Fremde neue Heimat: Erinnerungen sowjetischer Umsiedler an die Nachkriegszeit," in Unsere Insel 57-58.

(42) Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 3, 11; Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 42. Although Kriukov wrote his recollections of Sakhalin in 1945-48 in 1975, they were not published until 1993. See also V. L. Podpechnikov, "Repatriatsiia," Kraevedcheskii biulleten', no. 1 (1993): 102-17, here 106-7.

(43) Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, Karafuto, 504-6.

(44) Initially, many Japanese refused to return to work out of fear of forced labor (Tomosaburo Izumi, Soren minami Karafuto: Soren kanri ni natta nihonjin no kiroku [Tokyo: Myogi Shuppansha, 1952], 79-82).

(45) See Brodersen, Stadt im Westen, 47-48, for Kaliningrad. Although the vast majority of new settlers migrated voluntarily from areas badly affected by the war, several thousand migrants were forced to move to Sakhalin. Notably Soviet soldiers who had fought in the Russian Liberation Army under German command (the so called vlasovtsy) and some groups of Kalmyk special settlers (spetspereselentsy) accused of having collaborated with the Wehrmacht during the war. While most were sent to the northern part of the island, some of them were placed in southern coalmining camps (Elena N. Chernolutskaia, Prinuditel'nye migratsii na sovetskom Dal'nem Vostoke v 1920-1950-e gg. [Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2011], 366-402, Tables 376, 400, 450). For a general oudine of postwar migration policy in the Soviet Far East, see L. A. Krushanova, "Gosudarstvennaia migratsionnaia politika SSSR na Dal'nem Vostoke v 1945-1960-e gody (Candidate's diss., Vladivostok, 2007).

(46) GIASO f. 522 (Pereselencheskii otdel pri Ispolnitel'nom komitete Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo soveta deputatov trudiashchikhsia), op. 1, d. 2, 1. 6; d. 6, 1. 3; d. 10, 11. 2-3; d. 12, 11. 4-5; Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 77.

(47) Interview with Efremov.

(48) GIASO f. 522, op. 1, d. 10, 11. 1-2; d. 12, 11. 3-4.

(49) Ibid., d. 6, 1. 2.

(50) Ibid., d. 2, 11. 6-8.

(51) Ibid., d. 6, 1. 3; d. 10, 11. 2-3; d. 12, 11. 4-5.

(52) Ibid., d. 5, 11. 37-38. Soviet Army soldiers received similar benefits ("L'goty demobilizovannym, ostaiushchimsia rabotat' na Iuzhnom Sakhaline," Krasnoe znamia, 3 December 1946, 2).

(53) GIASO f. 53 (Sakhalinskii oblastnoi sovet deputatov i ego Ispolnitel'nyi komitet), op. 7, d. 99, 11. 110-14; op. 25, d. 188, 11. 139-61. The local press generally depicted the arrival of Soviet resettlers as a success story. See, e.g., "Rastut i krepnut pereselencheskie kolkhozy," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 28 November 1950, 2.

(54) GIASO f. 53, op. 25, d. 188, 11. 191-92, quotation on 191.

(55) Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 77. For living conditions in the postwar Soviet Union, see Elena Zubkova, Russia after the War: Hopes, Illusions, and Disappointments, 1945-1957 (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1998), 101-8.

(56) Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, Karafuto, 499-500.

(57) Ibid., 526-27; Kobayashi, Soren, 87-94; Kiyoe Tamanuki, "Saharin deno sorenjin to no tsukiai," in Hifun no Karafuto, 176-77; Izumi, Soren minami Karafuto, 111.

(58) Gerhild Luschnat, Die Lage der Deutschen im Konigsberger Gebiet 1945-1948 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1996), 84-92. See Kim, "Razvitie territorii," 39-61, for a comparison of the Germans in Kaliningrad and the Japanese in southern Sakhalin. See also the interviews with Salova, Petr G. Riazanov (by Schwab and Zaday in Aniva on 31 May 2012), and Karl A. Rendel' (by Arkadi Schelling and Soren Urbansky on 14 June 2012 in Freiburg, Germany).

(59) Interview with Riazanov; Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, Karctfulo, 330; Bull, "Occupation-Era Hokkaido," 67; Kiyofumi Kato, "Soren gunsei ka no nihonjin kanri to hikiage mondai: Dairen--Karafuto ni okeru jittai," Gendaishi kenkyu, no. 5 (2009): 1-19, here 13-14.

(60) Yuzuru Tonai, "Soviet Rule in South Sakhalin and the Japanese Community, 1945-1949," in Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border, 85.

(61) Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 1, 40-41; Karafuto Shusenshi Kankokai, Karafuto, 502.

(62) Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 3, 26.

(63) Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 1, 35-36; Osamu Muta, "Karafuto hikiage made no kunan no michi," in Hifun no Karafuto, 297-99; Stephan, Sakhalin, 157-58; Mariya Sevela, "'How Could You Fear or Respect Such an Enemy?' The End of World War II on Sakhalin," in The Japanese and Europe: Images and Perceptions, ed. Bert Edstrom (Richmond: Japan Library, 2000), 178.

(64) Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 85-86; Savel'eva, "Sakhalinskaia kul'tura," 122-27. For a fascinating glimpse into Ohashi Kazuyoshi's experience as a journalist reporting for Shin seimei, see Jonathan E. Bull, "The Making of Karafuto Repatriates" (PhD diss., Hokkaido University Sapporo, 2014), jonathan_edward_bull.pdf, 278-86.

(65) Arkadi Schelling, "Das Erbe russisch, die Zukunft licht Geschichtsbilder und Zukunftsentwurfe in der Sachaliner Presse," in Unsere Insel, 119-35.

(66) Oral history interviews with Soviet resettlers and memoirs by Karafuto Japanese in Schwab and Zaday, "Fremde neue Heimat," 66-72; Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 1, 41-43.

(67) The United States and the Soviet Union had reached an agreement on 19 December 1946 stating that all Japanese citizens had to return from the Soviet Union to Japan. This included ethnic Japanese and Ainu who had Japanese citizenship, while the status of Korean settlers remained unresolved for the time being. According to Yuzuru Tonai, the Japanese government had been urging General McArthur to settle the issue of repatriation since October 1945 ("Soviet Rule in Southern Sakhalin," 94-95). See also Yokote Shinji, "Soviet Repatriation Policy, U.S. Occupation Authorities, and Japan's Entry into the Cold War," journal of Cold War Studies 15, 2 (2013): 30-50; and Podpechnikov, "Repatriatsiia," 103-5.

(68) Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 3, 25-26; Anatolii T. Kuzin, "Problemy poslevoennoi repatriatsii iaponskogo i koreiskogo naseleniia Sakhalina," Rossiia i ATR, no. 2 (2010): 76-83, here 76-80; Podpechnikov, "Repatriatsiia," 114-16; V. L. Podpechnikov, "O repatriatsii iaponskogo naseleniia s territorii Iuzhnogo Sakhalina i Kuril'skikh ostrovov," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 10 (2003): 257-60.

(69) After the Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, most of the ethnic Japanese who had remained on Sakhalin were repatriated (GIASO f. 53, op. 7, d. 181, 11. 19-21; Taisho Nakayama, "Saharin zanryu nihonjin. Karafuto--Saharin kara miru higashi ajia no kokumin teikoku to kokumin kokka soshite kazoku," Teikoku iko no hito no ido: Post-colonial to Globalism no kosaten, ed. Shinzo Araragi [Tokyo: Bensei shuppan, 2003], 733-81, here 749-52; Podpechnikov, "Repatriatsiia," 113).

(70) Unlike the Oroks and Nivkhs, the Ainu had been enlisted in the civil registry during the Karafuto period and thus granted Japanese citizenship. After 1945, the Japanese government would allow only Japanese citizens to be repatriated to Japan proper. For the repatriation of the Ainu, see Masato Tamura, "Karafuto Ainu no 'Hikiage,'" in Nihon teikoku o meguru jinko ido no kokusai shakaigaku, ed. Shinzo Araragi (Tokyo: Fuji shuppan, 2008), 463-502. For the fate of the Nivkhs and Oroks under Soviet rule, see Tamura, "Saharin senjumin Uiruta oyobi Nivufu no sengo--reisenki no kyoshu: Karafuto kara nihon eno 'hikiage' to Soviet renpo deno zanryu, soshite 'kikoku,'" in Teikoku iko no hito no ido, 209-48.

(71) Yongki Kim, "Saharin chosenjin no sengoshi: Son Jonnmo shi no shogen o chushin ni," Otaru shoka daigaku jinbun kenkyu, no. 123 (2012): 77-121, here 81.

(72) Din, "Dreams of Returning to the Homeland," 177-94. See also Iu. I. Din, "Problema repatriatsii koreitsev Iuzhnogo Sakhalina v 1945-1950 gg.," Voprosy istorii, no. 8 (2013): 72-81; and Anatolii T. Kuzin, Sakhalinskie koreitsy: Istoriia i sovremennost' (dokumenty i materialy, 1880-2005) (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Sakhalinskoe oblastnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 2006). Despite considerable discrimination, most members have retained their language and Buddhist religion. For the living conditions of ethnic Koreans in postwar Soviet Sakhalin, see Hanya Shiro, "Saharin chosenjin no soren shakai togo: Mosukuwa kyosanto bunsho ga kataru 1950 nendai nakaba no ichidanmen," Surabu yurashia gaku no ko iku: Kenkyu hokokushu, no. 5 (2004): 69-83; and Kuzin, Istoricheskie sud'by sakhalinskikh koreitsev, 2: Integratsiia i assimiliatsiia (1945-1990 gg.) (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Sakhalinskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 2010). A classification of the different subgroups of ethnic Koreans on postwar Sakhalin (i.e., those resettled by the Japanese from the Korean Peninsula to Karafuto before 1945 and those who had lived on Soviet territory and came to southern Sakhalin after 1945) can be found in Taisho Nakayama, "Saharin kanjin no shita kara no kyosei no mosaku: Karafuto--Saharin--Kankoku o ikita Karafuto iju kanjin dainisei o chushin ni," Kyokai kenkyit, no. 5 (2015): 1-27, here 2-3.

(73) Because of its special borderland status, travel to Sakhalin was also virtually impossible for foreigners in general, including scholars like John Stephan, who wrote his book without setting foot on the island (Stephan, Sakhalin, vi-vii; Dzhon Dzh. Stefan [John J. Stephan], "Sakhalin za gorizontom: Ispoved' fal'sifikatora," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 7 (2000): 101-3). In Kaliningrad District border zone regulations were difficult to enforce, whereas Sakhalin's insularity appears to have facilitated controls (Brodersen, Stadl im Westen, 26-32).

(74) Starting in 1965, when some small concessions were made, on rare occasions Japanese groups were allowed to visit Sakhalin under close supervision. Groups included not only Karafuto residents visiting graves but also a television team and a group of businessmen (Stephan, Sakhalin, 175-77).

(75) Hiroshi Itani, "Kaizukayoshio to Karafuto hakubutsukan," Surabuyurashiagaku no kochiku: Kenkyu hokokti shu, no. 11 (2006): 82-83. On the history of the museum under Japanese rule, see Karafuto Cho Hakubutsukan, ed., Karafuto cho hakubutsukan annai (Toyohara: Karafuto Cho Hakubutsukan, 1941), 27-28, 40, 62, 84.

(76) Itani, "Kaizuka yoshio," 85-86.

(77) Greg Castillo, "Soviet Orientalism: Socialist Realism and Built Tradition," Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 8, 2 (1997): 33-47.

(78) Statisticheskoe upravlenie Sakhalinskoi oblasti, ed., Sakhalinskaia oblast' v tsifrakh za 1946-66: Statisticheskii sbornik (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo [Sakhalinskoe otdelenie], 1967), 115; Statisticheskoe upravlenie Sakhalinskoi oblasti, ed., Sakhalinskaia oblast' v tsijrakh (Statisticheskii sbornik), (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo [Sakhalinskoe otdelenie], 1983), 81.

(79) Jukka Pietilainen, The Regional Newspaper in Post-Soviet Russia (Tampere: Tampere University Press, 2002), 115-19.

(80) In addition to Sovetskii Sakhalin, a number of other newspapers were published on Sakhalin, among them Shin seimei, Koreiskii rabochii (in Korean), Krasnoe znarnia, Molodaia gvardiia, and local newspapers in smaller towns. See GIASO f. 561 (Upravlenie izdatel'stv, poligrafii i knizhnoi torgovli Sakhalinskogp obispolkoma), op. 1, d. 1; B. P. Khramov, "Istoriia sakhalinskoi pressy," luzhno-Sakhalinsk segodnia, nos. 43, 44, 47, 49, 52, 54 (2005). Kaliningrad's regional media landscape was quite similar, with the official Kaliningradskaia pravda and, between 1947 and 1948, Nene Zeit as the major papers (A. Iu. Dolotova, "Periodicheskaia pechat' Kaliningradskoi oblasti na etape stanovleniia [1946-1950 gody]," in Sovetizatsiia Kaliningradskoi obblsti, 36-49).

(81) Exiles had founded the museum in Aleksandrovsk in 1896. Its collections were fully transferred to luzhno-Sakhalinsk only after the museum closed in 1955 (NA SOKM f. 1, op. 3, d. 547, 11. 3-4).

(82) Interview with Kira la. Chernakova (by Soren Urbansky in luzhno-Sakhalinsk on 31 May 2012), working at the museum since 1967; quotation from NA SOKM f. 1, op. 3, d. 547, 1.25.

(83) Ibid., 1. 29.

(84) Some Japanese women worked as tour guides, e.g. ("Hakubutsukan sankanbi--aratani Nihonshitsu mo secchi," Shin seimei, 26 September 1946). See also the interview with Chernakova and a photograph showing the new Soviet museum director and his Japanese predecessor (M. M. Prokof'ev, "Sakhalinskii muzei v 1930-1960 gody," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 4 [1997]: 58).

(85) NA SOKM f. 1, op. 3, d. 547, 11. 25-26.

(86) Christian Ganzer, Soujetisches Erbe und ukrainische Nation: Das Museum in tier Geschichte des Zoporoger Kosakentums auf der Insel Chortycja (Stuttgart: Ibidem, 2005), 78-79. See Emily D. Johnson, How St. Petersburg Learned to Study Itself: The Russian Idea of Kraevedenie (University Park: Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 2006) for how the disciplinary tradition of kraevedenie (local studies) served as a key framework to bridge regional with national narratives of identification within Russian and Soviet culture.

(87) GLASO f. 562 (Otdel kul 'turno-prosvetitel 'noi raboty Ispolkoma Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo soveta narodnykh deputatov), op. 1, d. 9, 11. 105-6, 117. The exhibitions were later redecorated repeatedly in response to public criticism ("Kraevedcheskii muzei perestraivaet svoiu rabotu," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 8 September 1951, 2). The taboo surrounding all Japanese elements of Sakhalin's past proved tenacious. Despite geographical proximity, it was not until the 1980s that faint attempts at collaboration and exchange with Japanese museums were undertaken (O. L. Baenkevich, "Dvadtsat' let spustia (K otkrytiiu vystavochnogo zala Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo kraevedcheskogo muzeia)," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 2 [19951: 20-21).

(88) At least until 1957, Kaliningrad's provincial museum lacked a regional histoiy exhibition (Brodersen, Stack im Westen, 203-6).

(89) "Stranichka istorii," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 5 February 1947, 3.

(90) "Na rodnoi sakhalinskoi zemle," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 11 February 1950, 3.

(91) See, e.g., Jutta Scherrer, "Sowjetunion/Russland: Siegesmythos versus Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung," in Mythen dec Nationen. 1945 -Arena der Erinnerungen, ed. Monika Flacke (Berlin: Philipp von Zabern, 2004), 2:619-70.

(92) GIASO f. 509 (Aleksandrovskii-na-Sakhaline gorodskoi kraevedcheskii muzei), op. 1, d. 3, 1. 17. In November 1947, in a comment in the museum's visitors' book, three Soviet army officers criticized the museum for inaccuracies in various war-related exhibits and for portraying the Soviet military operation in Karafuto as an almost trouble-free offensive (op. 3, d. 2, 1. 8 ob.).

(93) GIASO f. 562, op. 1, d. 9, 11. 117-18.

(94) M. S. Golikova, Sakhalinskii oblastnoi kraevedcheskii muzei: Kratkii spravochnik dlia posetitelia (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1966), 20-21.

(95) See, e.g., "Iaponskii agressor budet razgromlen," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 10 August 1945, 1; "Nikakoi poshchady iaponskim samuraiam," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 14 August 1945, 2; and "U mogily geroev," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 27 October 1945, 2.

(96) "Trudiashchiesia luzhno-Sakhalinska gotoviat dostoinuiu vstrechu Dniu Pobedy nad Iaponiei," Krasnoe znamia, 6 August 1946, 1; "Prazdnovanie dnia pobedy nad imperialisticheskoi Iaponiei," Krasnoe znamia, 6 September 1946, 1. Sovetskii Sakhalin devoted an entire issue to the first anniversary of the victory over Japan on 3 September 1946.

(97) "Istoricheskaia pobeda nad Iaponiei," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 2 September 1949, 2.

(98) Victory Day was again given prominence on the tenth anniversary in 1955 with a complete issue ("Desiataia godovshchina slavnoi pobedy," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 3 September 1955, 1).

(99) Mariya Sevela, "Sakhalin: The Japanese under Soviet Rule," History Today 48, 1 (1998): 41-46, quotation of D. N. Kriukov on 45.

(100) A. N. Ryzhkov, "Iz istorii otkrytiia, issledovaniia, i osvoeniia Sakhalina i Kuril'skikh ostrovov," in Sakhalinskaia oblast', ed. K. I. Kniazeva (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Sakhalinskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1960), 43, quoted in Stephan, Sakhalin, 19. The press painted a similar picture. See, e.g., "U istokov istorii Sakhalina," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 18 August 1948, 3 and 19 August 1948, 3. For a summary of Soviet, Japanese, and European views of the discovery and development of Sakhalin, Stephan, Sakhalin, 30-84. For the shifting place of Sakhalin in the Russian imagination during the second half of the 19th century, see Sharyl M. Corrado, "The 'End of the Earth': Sakhalin Island in the Russian Imperial Imagination, 1849-1906" (PhD diss., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010).

(101) GIASO f. 509, op. 1, d. 9, 11. 4-7.

(102) GIASO f. 562, op. 1, d. 9, 11. 114-16. See also Charlotte Grossmann and Cora Schmidt-Ott, "Der Bar im Museum: Identitatsstifitende Narrative in Sachaliner Heimatmuseen," in Unsere Insel 147-51.

(103) M. Teplinskii, "Velikii russkii pisatel'," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 15 July 1954, 3; Schelling, "Erbe russisch," 120-23.

(104) Golikova, Sakhalinskii ohlastnoi kraevedeheskii muzei, 11.

(105) Although the myths involved differ in both cases the ways they are used to manipulate history are similar. The heroic liberation of Kaliningrad in 1945 is perhaps the only significant exception (Brodersen, Stadt im Westen, 93-143).

(106) Golikova, Sakhalinskii oblastnoi kmevedcheskii muzei, 23.

(107) GIASO f. 221 (Upravlenie kul'tuiy Ispolkoma Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo soveta narodnykh deputatov), op. 1, d. 8, 11. 67-68; Schelling, "Erbe russisch," 123-25.

(108) Grossmann and Schmidt-Ott, "Bar im Museum," 144; Schelling, "Erbe russisch," 116-17.

(109) L. Prostakov, "Sakhalin--strane," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 22 August 1957, 2. For Kaliningrad, see Brodersen, Stadt im Westen, 196-203.

(110) Sakhalin's economy indeed began to play a role in the Soviet economy compared to its territory and population. Around 1970, the district supplied about 7 percent of national fish, pulp, and paper production, although its inhabitants comprised just 0.3 percent of the country's population (Stephan, Sakhalin, 177-85).

(111) Kriukov, "Grazhdanskoe upravlenie," no. 2, 19-21.

(112) GIASO f. 53, op. 1, d. 319; I. A. Samarin, "Toponimika Nevel'skogo raiona (k istorii geograficheskikh nazvanii)," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 8 (2001): 337-41; S. D. Gal'tsev-Beziuk, Toponornicheskii slovar' Sakhalinskoi oblasti (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1992); V. V. Pereslavtsev, "Toponimika Iuzhnogo Sakhalina (iaponorusskii spravochnik-ukazatel')," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 7 (2000): 313-23; A. I. Kostanov, "Toponimika Iuzhno-Sakhalinska," Kraevedcheskii biulleten no. 2 (1996): 106-26.

(113) G. R. F. Bursa, "Political Changes of Names of Soviet Towns," Slavonic and East European Review 63, 2(1985): 161-93.

(114) Although the renaming process in Kalingrad District was marred by conflict and lasted until 1950, it guaranteed a high degree of uniformity (Brodersen, Stadt im Westen, 59-72).

(115) Kriukov, "Civil Administration," 75.

(116) Chekhov, Ostrov Sakhalin, 158.

(117) See, e.g., S. P. Fedorchuk, Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Vzgliadskvoz' gody (Vladivostok: Dal'press, 2010), 10.

(118) Map of Toyohara, undated, GIASO f. 511, op. 1, d. 40, 1. 1.

(119) Hiroshi Itani, Takeshi Koshino, and Yukihiro Kado, "Building Construction in Southern Sakhalin during the Japanese Colonial Period," Acta Slamca Iapotiica 17 (2000): 130-60.

(120) GIASO f. 53, op. 25, d. 462, 1. 174.

(121) Kriukov describes the poor quality of housing ("Civil Administration," 45). Since the 1960s, pictures of the city show more and more multistoried apartment buildings (photography of mikroraion no. 7, 1964, GIASO f. 1202, op. 2, no. 840; photography of mikroraion no. 6, 1968, GIASO fotofond, op. 20, no. 726; photography of wooden huts between modern buildings, GIASO fotofond, op. 20, no. 728). The problem of fires and cold are described independently by Efremov, Trifonov, and Bella B. Tikhonova (interviewed by Soren Urbansky in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk on 30 May 2012).

(122) GIASO f. 562, op. 1, d. 22, 11. 28-29; S. P. Fedorchuk, Chuzhaia pamiat' (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Sakhalinskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 2008), 12-24, 53-58.

(123) Project map of Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk (1950), GIASO f. 53, op. 7, d. 97, 1. 3.

(124) I. A. Samarin, "Gorod Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: V poiskakh tsentra," Vestnik Sakhalinskogo muzeia, no. 16 (2009): 194-97.

(125) Hoppe, Auf den Trummern von Konigsberg, 58-64; Thomas M. Bohn, Minsk, Musterstadt des Sozializmus: Stadtplanung und Urbanisierung in der Sowjetunion nach 1945 (Cologne: Bohlau, 2008), 132-39; E. N. Misiiantseva, "Nekotorye aspekty vosstanovleniia gorodov sovetskoi Pribaltiki i Kaliningradskoi oblasti v pervye poslevoennye gody," in Sovetizatsiia Kaliningradskoi oblasti, 49-62.

(126) Samarin, "Gorod Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk," 200; Anatolii T. Kuzin, ed., Letopis' Iuzhno-Sakhalinska 1882-2007: Istoriia goroda so vremeni osnovaniia do nashikh dnei (Iuzhno Sakhalinsk: Sakhalinskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 2007); P. A. Leonov, I. V. Pan'kin, and I. E. Beolusov, Oblast' na ostrovakh (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: Dal'nevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1970). See also the postcard collections Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Moscow: n.p., 1966); Sakhalin (Moscow: n.p., 1967); Strana rodnaia -Sakhalin (Moscow: n.p., 1971); Sakhalin "Sovetskaia Rossiia" (n.p., 1973); Sakhalin--krai rodnoi (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: n.p., 1976), and Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Moscow: n.p., 1987); and the photograph collection Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk: n.p., 1966).

(127) "Park otkryt," Sovetskii Sakhalin, 10 June 1951, 1.

(128) Fedorchuk, Chuzhaia pamiat', 23-24.

(129) Interview with Sergei P. Fedorchuk (by Helena Barop and Arkadi Schelling in Iuzhno-Sakhalinskon 3 June 2012); Fedorchuk, Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 24.

(130) Bohn, Minsk, Aiusterstadt des Sozializmus, 11; Brodersen, Stadt im Westen, 146.

(131) Kim, "Razvitie territorii." The idea of finally bringing some sense of order to a Japanese chaos is also very vivid in the memoirs of Kriukov, who seems to have been proud to clean up wherever he went ("Civil Administration," 49-51, 56-58, 65-66).

(132) Since the 1960s, a considerable portion of the Soviet (now Russian) nuclear-submarine force uses the Sea of Okhotsk as a protected base, thus turning Sakhalin into a strategically important part of Moscow's nuclear strategy (Euan Graham, Japan's Sea Lane Security, 1940-2004: A Matter of Life and Death? [London: Routledge, 2006], 125).

Caption: May Day Celebration in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 1 May 1946 Source: D. N. Kriukov, "Vospominaniia 1945-1947 gg.," Nauchnyi arkhiv Sakhalinskogo oblastnogo kraevedcheskogo muzeia (NA SOKM) f. 1, op. 3, d. 322 (Fotoal'bom).

Caption: Russian and Japanese Taking a Walk through Downtown Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 1945-47 Source: D. N. Kriukov, "Vospominaniia 1945-1947 gg."

Caption: Provincial Museum of Iuzhno-Sahalinsk, around 1947

Caption: Lenin Square in a Postcard from 1973 Source: Po Sakhalinsku i Kuril'skim ostrovam (Kholmsk: n.p., 1973), no pp.
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Title Annotation:Sakhalin, Russia
Author:Urbansky, Soren; Barop, Helena
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Mar 22, 2017
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