History, Culture, Memory
The first study of colonial Taiwan in English, this volume brings together seventeen essays by leading scholars to construct a comprehensive cultural history of Taiwan under Japanese rule. Contributors from the United States, Japan, and Taiwan explore a number of topics through a variety of theoretical, comparative, and postcolonial perspectives, painting a complex and nuanced portrait of a pivotal time in the formation of Taiwanese national identity.
Essays are grouped into four categories: rethinking colonialism and modernity; colonial policy and cultural change; visual culture and literary expressions; and from colonial rule to postcolonial independence. Their unique analysis considers all elements of the Taiwanese colonial experience, concentrating on land surveys and the census; transcolonial coordination; the education and recruitment of the cultural elite; the evolution of print culture and national literature; the effects of subjugation, coercion, discrimination, and governmentality; and the root causes of the ethnic violence that dominated the postcolonial era.
The contributors encourage readers to rethink issues concerning history and ethnicity, cultural hegemony and resistance, tradition and modernity, and the romancing of racial identity. Their examination not only provides a singular understanding of Taiwan's colonial past, but also offers insight into Taiwan's relationship with China, Japan, and the United States today. Focusing on a crucial period in which the culture and language of Taiwan, China, and Japan became inextricably linked, Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule effectively broadens the critique of colonialism and modernity in East Asia.
"This volume is both the single most important survey to date of Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan and its immediate aftermath, and a signal attempt to bring the study of Taiwan into the broader fields of colonial and postcolonial history." — Evan Dawley, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
"Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945 presents original research of very high quality on the cultural history of the period of Japanese colonial administration of Taiwan. I am not aware of any other work on the topic that comes close to duplicating this book's range and sophistication. The value of these papers is evident in the theoretical and empirical contributions that they make to numerous relevant fields of scholarly concern." — Edward Gunn, Cornell University
"Gathering some of the most authoritative scholars on the subject from Taiwan, Japan, and the United States as contributors, Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945 is a pioneering project long overdue in the English language that offers an in-depth analysis and account of the many facets of Japanese colonialism in Taiwan. Any future book on the subject will have to be judged in relation to this volume. It is crucial reading for scholars and students of Japanese studies, Taiwanese studies, and Chinese studies on the one hand, and studies of colonialism and postcoloniality on the other." — Shu-mei Shih, author of Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations Across the Pacific