Episode 252 – The Beautiful Island, Part 1

This week, we start a history of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. How did Japan come to conquer the island, and what did its conquest entail for the Japanese and for the inhabitants?


Alsford, Nikki. Transitions to Modernity in Taiwan

Cheung, Sui-Wai, editor. Colonial Administration and Land Reform in East Asia.

Teng, Emma. Taiwan’s Imagined Geography. 

Morris, Andrew D. Japanese Taiwan: Colonial Rule and its Contested Legacy.


A map of Taiwan for reference. I will do my best to give some geographical references when talking about specific places as well, to help you stay oriented!
Today’s fort Anping is built on the original site of the Dutch Fort Zeelandia settlement.
A sketch of Fort Zeelandia during the Dutch occupation.
Recently restored by Sebastian Airton, this 1849 print by Kuniyoshi depicts the half-Japanese, half-Chinese warlord ruler of Taiwan Koxinga as he fights off a giant tiger.
Even after subduing the island, the Qing faced rebellions in Taiwan. This print is of a force sent in the late 1700s to suppress one such rebellion.
Liu Mingchuan, Taiwan’s first governor-general.
French soldiers in Keelung during the Sino-French War (1884-87). The French advance would never make it beyond Keelung itself.
A Japanese print of a Japanese officer being ambushed by a native. Prints like these served a propaganda purpose of depicting the Taiwanese resistance as equipped with antiquated weapons and reliant on dishonorable ambush tactics — which, to be fair, was often the case.
Another propaganda print from the occupation campaign.

5 thoughts on “Episode 252 – The Beautiful Island, Part 1”

    1. This is what I get for trying to be fancy and trying to postdate a bunch of things while I was away camping. Fixed! Sorry.

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