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Date 2021-02-20


Where the Memory Is: Cultural Activities and Memory Politics of Taiwan-Japanese in the Early Post-war Period


Wang, Hui-Chen

Professor, Institute of Taiwan Literature, National Tsing Hua University


In this historical context, this article will re-examine the cultural activities and social observations of the people in the intellectuals’ circles of Taiwan-Japanese. How did they “Repeat” Taiwan’s memory after leaving Taiwan and look back at the “Taiwanese native land” of the colony? What kind of memory politics is presented?

First of all, illustrate the contents of Taiwan’s memory in the early post-war period, including the memory narrative of the Chinese military and the Taiwanese reaction, the historical testimony of the 228 incident, the mourning for Taiwanese friends, and the rumor narrative of the suicide in the eastern cliff.

Secondly, define the cultural activities of Taiwan-Japanese in Taiwan, such as compilation, drama activities, and engravings.

Finally, examine the memory writings of the early Taiwan-Japanese writers in the post-war period. Among them, Nishikawa’s(西川滿) novels mostly use Taiwan’s landscape as a stage of novels, and the objects of depiction are used to lay out plots, exotic sentiments, Taiwan nostalgia, and colonial reflections. However, in addition to colonial reflection, Hamada Hiroshi(濱田隼雄) pays more attention to the details and interaction process of character exchanges in the novel, including his dealings with mainlander engravings Huang Rong-can(黃榮燦) and Taiwanese student Lin Suqin(林素琴) in the early post-war period.

In short, by sorting out the various memory texts in the early post-war period, we can re-understand the memory of Taiwan-Japanese in Taiwan. They actively rebuild Taiwanese culture and memory Taiwan by crossing the times, across nationalities, and across languages.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature