This paper is an investigation into and a critique of the ideological construction of East Asian legal tradition as a 'lack' in the Japanese colonial project in Taiwan. Echoing Teemu Ruskola's and Laura Nader's critiques of Legal Orientalism but in a setting that transcends the West/non-West
division, this study explores the colonised people's sense of legal inferiority—how they internalised Orientalism while claiming local subjectivity— through a feminist lens, demonstrating the gender dimension of Legal Orientalism. The discussion begins with an analysis of the colonised
people's 'lagging behind' in the civilising process and their 'lack' of rule of law in colonial eyes, followed by an exploration of the 'lag' and 'lack' discourses both in the debate about whether or not Japan should have applied its civil code in the colony of Taiwan and in texts on colonial
women's liberation, and concludes with a brief discussion on how the perception of 'lack as tradition' informs the narratives of Orientalist legal history.
Comparative Legal History is an international and comparative review of law and history. Articles will explore both 'internal' legal history (doctrinal and disciplinary developments in the law) and 'external' legal history (legal ideas and institutions in wider contexts). Rooted in the complexity of the various Western legal traditions worldwide, the journal will also investigate other laws and customs from around the globe. Comparisons may be either temporal or geographical and both legal and other law-like normative traditions will be considered. Scholarship on comparative and trans-national historiography, including trans-disciplinary approaches, is particularly welcome. The Editors welcome scholarly submissions in the English language. The optimal length for articles is between 7500 to 15000 words, including footnotes. Shorter submissions will be considered for our 'Short Articles' section. All articles are submitted to double blind peer review. Book reviews will generally range from 1500 to 2500 words. Review articles will also be considered. The journal is published, both online and in print, twice a year, appearing in the spring and the autumn.