China Beat Archive



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November 30, 2008 in The China Beat


Copyright November 30, 2008. Used by permission.


One of the blessings of the Internet Age is the availability of valuable information about the past, in this case Taiwanese history. This post introduces a few English and Chinese websites that I have found most interesting/useful. The list is hardly meant to be exhaustive, and people should feel free to recommend other sites that would benefit all those interested in this topic.

1. The Gerald Warner Taiwan Image Collection — Put together by Paul Barclay at Lafayette College, this website contains 340 photographs and postcards gathered by Warner from 1937 to 1941 during and after his tenure as U.S. Consul in Taiwan. Barclay rightly reminds us that many of these images were produced for commercial purposes during a period of colonial hegemony. Nonetheless, they provide precious insights on how Taiwan’s diverse culture was shaped by Chinese, Austronesian, Japanese, and Western influences. The collection covers a wide range of subjects, including flora, fauna, material culture, religion, and Aboriginal life. Users will also benefit from its Supporting Material section (especially the weblinks), as well as its extensive Bibliography. An additional 1,000 images are due to be posted early next year.

A related web source is Barclay’s translation of Kondō “The Barbarian” Katsusaburō 近藤勝三郎’s travelogue/memoir, which is now appearing on Michael Turton’s blog. Kondō was a Japanese merchant and official who married into Aboriginal lineages in the Puli 埔里 area (in today’s Nantou 南投 County), thereby gaining first-hand knowledge of key players in the Wushe 霧社 (Musha) Rebellion of 1930. This gripping account of Kondō’s life was published as a serialized version of 29 installments in the Taiwan nichinichi shinpō 臺灣日日新報 (Taiwan Daily News) between December 20, 1930 and February 15, 1931.