Production of contemporary knowledge on Vietnam in Japan began in the early 1880s. The knowledge produced before 1930s was almost exclusively the result of non-academic and non-institutional research. This article explains how the production of knowledge developed and evolved in the framework of two distinct geographical concepts that also defined the two worlds in which Japanese knowledge of Asia was produced. I attempt to understand how a particular area of research was structured in relation to institutions, research methodologies, and the various actors who helped shape Vietnamese Studies in the context of Japanese expansion in Asia.

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