Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Global and International Studies

First Advisor

Jeffrey Angles

Second Advisor

Carlos Pimentel


When Second World War ended in 1945, the United States of America occupied Japan. Japan’s administrations of its colonies across Asia collapsed and were occupied by the Allied Forces. This thesis examines the Soviet occupation of the area named Karafuto by the Japanese, which is now under the sovereignty of the Russian Federation known as Sakhalin. Karafuto was considered by the Japanese government to be an internal part of Japan, not a colonial territory, but in the last days of the Second World War, Karafuto was invaded by the armed forces of the USSR. Its Japanese occupants were repatriated to the Japanese home islands in the following years. Accounts of the occupation of Karafuto exist, recorded by the Soviet authorities and United States journalistic accounts, however both focus on the Soviet administration, rather than the plight of the Japanese civilians who were required to repatriate, many leaving the only home they had known. I also present my own research, interviews with several of the still-living repatriates who grew up in Karafuto who recounted their firsthand experiences to me, and telling the stories of what they actually experienced in the span of the invasion of Karafuto to their own repatriation. In many cases, all three accounts tell of the same events, but with bias towards and against the Soviet administration, with the repatriates’ accounts being most vivid.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access