Some of us have wondered about whatever happened to the Japanese residents of Danshui after they were sent back to Japan in 1946. After all, in the immediate post-war era, Japan was not a good place to start/re-start a new life. It turns out that they did in fact overcome much hardship and more than 300 of them have organized a 淡水会 (Danshui Society) to carry on regular meetings. And always on the agenda is a briefing on the current status of their hometown, Danshui.
The first and 2nd re-unions were held in Kyushu area, where most members were originally from. These meetings were led by 木下静涯先生 and the 小栗常寿・鮮一郎 brothers. The third re-union in Hiroshima was headed by 廣川研一先生. In 1991, Mr Hirokawa re-visited Danshui Elementary School where he had taught before the war. By April last year, the membership has dwindled to around 100 and the the most recent reunion was attended by only a few who are still capable of traveling. The remaining members now live in different prefectures:
Other locations: 12名 (9 in Taipei/Danshui)
In Danshui, they were ordinary citizens who sold groceries, wine, salt, stationery, tobacco, and noodles for a living. There were also an artist, a reporter, and a pilot. Some worked at Tansui Jinja, Bank of Taiwan, the Tansui Beach, and the Public Hall. There were also a few administrators including mayors and policemen. The most influential group was arguably the elementary school teachers who had taught a whole generation of 淡水人 Tansui-jin to be good citizens. Many pupils now in their 70s and 80s, when asked, can still recall the dedication of this special group of educators. Some even remember their Japanese friends and neighbors by name. All from more than 65 years ago.
In fact, three generations of Japanese had lived and prospered as 淡水人, and yet all are now almost forgotten as if they had never come and stayed. The memories of the Japanese era remain largely fragmented in Danshui only to survive intact in a foreign land.
We wish the current members of 淡水会 well and hope to see Tansui-kai continue and expand with new members from both Taiwan and Japan.
Posted by EyeDoc at 上午7:01