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Date 2021-03-09


Exploratory Research on Sanctioned Literary Education during the Japanese Colonial Period in Taiwan: Using the Public Elementary School Curriculum as an Example


Hsu, Pei-Jung

Ph.D., Taiwanese Literature, National Cheng Kung University


This study investigated the characteristics of modern literature education in Taiwan under the Japanese colonization. The emergence and timing of literary education in Taiwan was related to the reorganization of the Japanese government system, the evolution of the colonial ruling strategies in Taiwan, and the process of literature modernization. We examined these historical factors through the scope of the changing literary education in Taiwanese public elementary schools. We observed that Taiwanese literary education was closely related to the Japanese ruler’s moral conception. Despite the late effort, the colonial government-sanctioned literary education aimed to develop “loyal, patriotic, and self-regulated people of a civilized empire” was gradually introduced into the Taiwanese public elementary school curriculum. However, the introduction of literary education was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the ruling strategy achieved deep ideological control and nurtured free individuals that were harmless to the state; however, the methods of expression might have given birth to ideologies and values that went beyond the Japanese government’s expectations during the transition from cultural monopoly to a more relaxed rule.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature