Japanese colonial rule gendered policies and social interactions differently from subaltern expectations in Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan between 1895 and 1945. How did colonialism shift gender norms? Japanese-imposed economic, educational, and health policies created uneven effects on girls and women and prioritized promotion of colonial legitimacy, political power, and economic profits that contested local gender norms in complex ways. We examine how girls and women in colonized places moved into their local public spheres in medicine, factory and sex work, media, education, and agriculture. The intersectional tensions between gendered and colonial expectations created fraught spaces which Korean, Mantetsu (Japanese), and Taiwanese girls and women navigated as more visible social agents. We consider specific aspects of this navigation, both positive and negative, as well as wider implications for their respective societies and the empire at large. Sonja Kim examines nursing strikes in colonial Korea as gendered practices complicated by class and the activities of foreign missionaries. Local women contested an ethics of care within Korea’s newly styled Japanese medical landscape. Janice Kim focuses on the experiences of Korean women injured in factories, using Laurent Berlant’s “lateral agency” to ask whether injury can be viewed as having interruptive power—suspending social mobility while simultaneously ceasing the unbearable wear of mechanized labor on the body. Emer O’Dwyer focuses on the sensational murder of a Mantetsu engineer by his wife and her lover in 1934, revealing how gender, class, and the alleged loucheness of the colonial elite in Japanese Manchuria became the dominant frames for media vilification of the adulteress and her accomplice. Fang Yu Hu examines how Japanese colonial education in Taiwan created greater social and economic changes for women of lower-middle-class backgrounds than those of upper-middle-class backgrounds, while simultaneously reinforcing gender, class, and ethnic hierarchy. Jungwon Jin argues how Japanese rule changed the influx and outflow of underprivileged women across the East Asian world by focusing on the licensed prostitution system in colonial Taiwan.