Rethinking Taiwan From An Encyclopedic Perspective of World History


Taiwan Church News
3437 Edition
8 – 14 January, 2017
Church Ministry

Rethinking Taiwan From An Encyclopedic Perspective of World History

Reported by Lin Wan-ting

In the afternoon on January 6, a fourth seminar of the magisterial publication, The Chronicle of Taiwan Culture, written by the renown 19th century Japanese anthropologist Ino Kanori, was jointly held by Common Master Press and Takao Forum of Rhodes at San-Yu Bookstore in Kaohsiung City.

In order to highlight the contributions of Ino Kanori’s background training in modern world history, blending with his unique anthropological description and analysis of Taiwan culture, aboriginal novelist Bandai of Puyuma and Prof Jiang Chu-san of National Dong Hwa University were invited to share their thoughts of the famous Mudan incident in 1871 through Ino Kanori’s systematic and encyclopedic writings.

Starting from his novel, Waves, which is a historical fiction based on Mudan incident, Mr Badai shared his major concern on why the ethnic conflict and killings suddenly happened overnight between those 66 Ryukyuan ship-wrecked sailors and their hospital host of Paiwan aboriginal in southern Taiwan? Mr Badai tried to rectify Taiwan’s text record of the Mudan incident as an event of robbery and slaughter of Japanese sailors by the aboriginal. Instead, that is a warfare concerning culture and dignity, Mr Badai said.

Contrasting Taiwan’s textbook description of Mudan incident as the very beginning of Japan’s colonization of Taiwan, Prof Jiang Chu-san straightforwardly mentions Ino Kanori’s distinctive contribution in his Taiwan culture studies as a revolutionary step beyond Taiwan’s long term parochial ethnological separation between world history, China history and Taiwan history. From the end of 19th century, instead of writing in a subjective and ideological way, Ino Kanori had already started his anthropological studies of Taiwan cultures from a systematic and encyclopedic method, Prof Jiang remarked.

Translated by Peter Wolfe