"'Bitter Love' between Taiwan and Japan? How Native Taiwanese Elders Percieve China and Japan in the Early Twentieth Century"

"'Bitter Love' between Taiwan and Japan? How Native Taiwanese Elders Percieve China and Japan in the Early Twentieth Century"

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Venue: 
Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College
Speaker(s): 
Feng-yi Chu
Series: 
Taiwan Studies Seminar Series

This presentation addresses a wistful, nostalgia-like sentiment towards Japan that seems to exist in contemporary Taiwanese society, particularly amongst some native Taiwanese elders who experienced Japanese rule in Taiwan before 1945. Some commentators describe this sentiment as ‘bitter love between Taiwan and Japan’ (臺日苦戀) and believe it to be a crucial determinant of these native Taiwanese elders’ identities and political orientations (for instance, their Taiwanese or even Japanese identity, their opposition to the KMT, et cetera). However, the identities and political views of this generation in fact show great diversity and heterogeneity, and cannot be generalised or condensed into a single type. With several interview cases, the presentation illustrates how Taiwanese people of this generation perceived Japan and China in different ways during the era of transition in the early twentieth century, and how these perceptions and feelings may have changed through time.