2009年12月18日 星期五


Update 1/17/2014

TOKYO (AP) — Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese imperial soldier to emerge from hiding in a jungle in the Philippines and surrender, 29 years after the end of World War II, has died. He was 91.

(A 引揚 certificate dated May 19, 1946, issued to Mr 鶴山Zuruyama, a farmer originally from 熊本県Kumamoto-ken, who had settled in Taichu-shu - now Taichung Hsien, Taiwan)

Originally, 引き揚げ (hi-ki a-ge, recovery) refers to the repatriation of Japanese civilians and non-combatant Japanese soldiers (with the ranks of 軍属 and 軍夫) after WW2 from occupied territories including China, Korea, Russia (also 樺太島, the Sakhalin Island, or 庫頁島 in Chinese), Southeast Asia, and of course, Taiwan. For the combatants (軍人), it was 復員 (fuku-in, to re-group); and for the IJN, 解員 (kai-in, to disband). More recently, however, 引揚 is taken to mean the repatriation of all Japanese.

By 1946, around 90% were already shipped back to Japan (left: children on board a hi-ki a-ge ship). Those marooned in North Korea, and those who were sent by the Soviets from Manshu (滿洲, Manchuria, 東北Northeast China) to labor camps in Siberia as POWs all had a much longer delay going home and endured much harsher conditions than the rest. And then there were the forgotten ones. An example: some of the thousands of abandoned children raised by Chinese (and a few Russian) foster parents, known as 中国残留日本人孤児, were repatriated, starting in 1965 when they were discovered by reporters visiting from Japan. And sighting of Japanese military hold-outs in SE Asia is still being reported today; although 中村輝夫Nakamura Teruo (李光輝, a Taiwanese drafted in 1943) and 小野田寛郎Onoda Hiro (drafted to serve in 1941), both of whom finally surrendered and returned to Japan in 1974 from Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively, maybe the last ones.

Organized Japanese emigration actually started during the Meiji Era when the increase in population could no longer be supported by the agriculture. Some emigrated overseas to Hawaii and the Americas. The dominating military decided, however, that the most expedient way to resolving this issue was to grab lands off the neighboring Korea and China and send the Japanese there. And as they say: the rest is history.

The first Japanese immigrants of 133 families (385 members) arrived in Taiwan in 1899, organized by a private 賀田Kata company. They settled in Hua-lien area in a brand new village named 賀田村 (the village is still there today under the same name). This first attempt did not fare too well, though. The immigrants were allowed contractually to grow only sugarcane, not staple food. Plus eastern Taiwan was not exactly a hospitable place. There were the hostile Aborigines and malaria to contend with. Some died from diseases and many moved out or went back to Japan.

The pace quickened somewhat in 1909-18 after the Governor General of Taiwan had instituted a new policy that offered free land use plus 3 years of free medicine. Home construction, health care, and purchase of agricultural equipment were all subsidized. More than 1,700 immigrated and settled in Hua-lien and Tai-tung areas. Between 1917-24, private enterprises then took over and recruited more immigrants from 四國Shi-koku and 九州Kyu-shu. They were again all sugarcane farmers.

By 1932, the settlement sites had shifted to western Taiwan in the dry river beds in the southern plains of Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. In addition to sugarcane, the farmers were now permitted to grow rice and other crops to become self-sufficient. The tillable lands were divided into large squares and each village was completed with irrigation canals, levees, roads, and drinking water supply. About 4 hectares of land was allotted to each family; however, no land ownership was ever granted.

The immigrants were in fact all tenant farmers working for the Japanese-owned 製糖會社sugar factories. Their villages numbered:
Hua-lien and Taitung: 15
Taichung: 8
Tainan: 2
Kaohsiung: 3
And the total population of these farmers was around 50,000.

This farmer immigration into Taiwan was hardly a success; although the Japanese Government has thus far remained reticent on this issue. The farmers were only a small portion of the approximately 1/2 million (to be exact: 479,544) Japanese repatriated form Taiwan in 1946. Most Japanese immigrants at that time were not farmers. Instead, they occupied a higher niche, not only as the ruling class, but in a modernizing society, they were also administrators, businessmen, teachers, physicians, engineers, artists, musicians, students, military, and (the much feared) policemen. Most migrated to Taiwan on free will and stayed in metropolitan areas and small population centers (e.g., Danshui). And undeniably, gratuitous superiority complex sometimes did raise its ugly head.

In March, 1946, the repatriation process started (right: repatriates on a 引揚 ship). The Japanese were ordered to fill out various forms, hand over their properties item by item, and be certified (see certificate above). And each person was allowed to carry 1,000 Japanese yen in cash, one set each of summer and winter clothing, and one set of futon before boarding the hi-ki a-ge ships. Some had entrusted valuables to their Taiwanese friends and come back to retrieve them years later. With the meager possession, they returned to a bombed out Japan facing a bleak future. Some refused governmental assistance out of shame/pride and died in the winter cold. Most, however, had stuck it out and re-started their lives. Among the better known are, for example, industrialist 林虎彦Hayashi Torahiko (born 1926, Kaohsiung) and Senator 浜四津敏子Hamayotsu Toshiko (born 1945, Taipei).

Around 30,000 were allowed or asked to stay until 1948/9, most of them technicians and engineers needed for the infrastructure. And a few were scholars and university professors. An estimated 10,000 went underground, through marriages to Taiwanese husbands (some at the last minute) - never to re-surface as Japanese again. We remember one of these women living in Danshui as a shopkeeper who spoke Japanese-Hoklo to the great puzzlement of little kids.

And one of the few professors was 高坂知武Takasaka Tomotake (1901-1997) of National Taiwan University. He arrived in Taiwan an assistant professor in 1930, retired as Professor Emeritus and returned to Japan in 1987. He was a noted agricultural engineer/educator and an accomplished musician. He also founded the Imperial Taihoku University Symphony Orchestra which is now the NTU Symphony Orchestra. A building on NTU campus, the 知武館, was dedicated in 1989 in his honor.

A brief slide show of his life is presented here (accompanied by Haydn's Symphony No 94 in G-major - the very first piece performed by Prof Takasaka's orchestra in 1932):


2009年12月16日 星期三

Winter in Danshui

The coldest spot in Taiwan? Why, Danshui of course.

Enjoy the winter view (click arrow to start video):


Even better with a touch of Basho:

"year's end,
of this
floating world, swept"

"come out to view
the truth of flowers blooming
in poverty"

"blue seas

breaking waves smell of rice wine
tonight's moon"

-- 松尾芭蕉 Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

2009年12月7日 星期一

Going home

(Left: 福島安正 Fukushima Yasumasa, the first Japanese Administrator of Danshui)

After the loss of Keelung, Danshui was the only remaining port accessible to the Qing soldiers in northern Taiwan. They managed to arrive by following either the coastal roads from Keelung by way of 金山Gin-Shan, or the railroad tracks from Keelung to Taipei and then traveled along the northern shore of Danshui River. By early June, 1895, about 5,000 men (?) waited impatiently on the shipping docks in front of the 媽祖宮MaZu Temple hoping to catch a boat ride back home to China. At that time, there were supposedly still 300+ battalions (360 men in each battalion) of Qing soldiers on the island ready to fight. However, it is known that the Chinese officials often inflated the number of enlistees and pocketed the pay of the ghost soldiers. So the true strength remains unknown.

Most of the soldiers who ended up in Danshui were from Canton previously brought over by 唐景崧Tang Jing-Song to fortify the defense of Taiwan. They owed no loyalty to the people of Taiwan and in fact ran away en masse at the first sight of the Japanese Forces. In retreat, they wrecked havoc wherever they went. The looting and killing in Taipei had prompted the merchants, both Taiwanese and European, to seek Japanese intervention. (Needless to say, these merchants are now branded as traitors of China.) On June 7, the Japanese cavalry pretty much trotted into Taipei unmolested. In so doing, they had also underestimated the resolve and the fighting capabilities of Taiwanese resistance south of Taipei and later paid for this oversight dearly.

There are two versions of what had happened to the Qing soldiers in Danshui:

The Chinese version (from "喋血台湾岛" published by 中国国际广播出版社, 1995):

June 5: Chinese merchant ship 駕時(the Cass) took a number of the soldiers back to Shanghai.

June 9: A Japanese force of about 500 men entered Danshui. There was some sporadic shooting from the Qing side. At 10AM, two Japanese warships 浪速Naniwa and 高千穗Takachiho sailed into Danshui River and fired warning shots at the soldiers. The Qing soldiers were now under Japanese custody. In the afternoon, 60+ men led by Col Fukushima Yasumasa arrived on warship 八重山Yaeyama and set up a Township Office quickly to register the soldiers. The Qing men did not comprehend the Japanese process believing that if they took off their uniforms and discarded their weapons, then they'd be free to go as civilians. The Japanese, however, saw this as a violation of the surrender and started shooting and killing those who tried to leave. It was unclear how many died. The estimate was 2,000 because it appeared only about 3,000 out of the 5,000 eventually made it back to China:

June 10: At 8:30PM, 1,200 boarded the Japanese ship 磯浦丸(? - might have been the 有磯浦丸 owned by 南嶋間作) which sailed for Hong Kong.

June 11: The remaining 1,700 were put on board of the Chinese ship 萬國號 and arrived back in Amoy.

The Japanese version (according to "淡水新政記", a 14-day diary written either by Fukushima Yasumasa himself or possibly recorded by his subordinates - several editions now exist):

June 9: Sent back 1,000+ Qing soldiers whose luggage was inspected by the military police and then allowed on board a British ship which then sailed for China. A hectic day with no time for meals. From early afternoon to dusk, representatives from several villages came to request protection from pillaging by the Qing soldiers.

June 10: Announced the exchange rate of Japanese and Qing monies. Hired 36 locals to do a census survey and purchase foodstuff plus cleaning and cooking. There was a report of a 14-men gang robbing 新莊Shin-Juang. Dispatched one military police with 11 soldiers to catch these bandits who ran off upon learning the impending confrontation.

June 12: Reported to the headquarters that 1,700 Qing soldiers were sent back to China yesterday. Decided to distribute rice to the local poor.

June 14: Appointed locals as policemen to maintain law and order. The eligibility included:

滬尾街有家屋者 (owns a house in Danshui)
年齡20-30歲 (is 20-30 years old)
娶妻成家者 (has a wife and family)
不抽鴉片者 (is not an opium addict)
能取得二人具保者 (can obtain guarantees from two others)

June 15: Announced the hygiene law. There was a one-day delay for a British ship to take on some Qing soldiers who were therefore given a one-day's ration. They were quite uncouth leaving filth and garbage scattering on the docks, had to force them to clean up at gun point. Census showed 1,019 families residing in Danshui.

June 16: The patrol found one dead Qing soldier, had to force 5 surprisingly unsympathetic others to bury their comrade. Distributed 308 boarding passes. In the afternoon, sent back 350 Qing soldiers. Paid 15 local laborers and 10 carpenters.

June 19: To speed up the repatriation process, negotiated with 3 Chinese ships, one could take 60 to 溫州Wen-Zhou, and the other two, 136 and 62, respectively. Finally, the repatriation was finished. Caught two escapees, a 44 year old tailor from 江西Jian-Xi and a 20-year old peasant.

The Japanese version is probably closer to the truth. The Chinese version argued for 2,000 massacred based on conjecture and an unsubstantiated estimate of 5,000 at the beginning. For one thing, the many westerners in town (including Dr George Leslie Mackay) would have taken notice as they had done during the Sino-French War and reported any large-scale killings to the outside world - not to mention the logistics needed for the burial of 2,000 that Danshui certainly did not have. [Note: JW Davidson's 1903 eyewitness account also did not report such an incident.] The Japanese house-keeping log indicated that in 10 days, around 3,300 Qing soldiers were repatriated. It was probably close to this number, not 5,000, who had arrived in Danshui. Fukushima also had written to the Chinese Government in Canton requesting humane treatment of these returning poor souls.

These poor souls came back 50 years later to re-claim the island. On Oct 8, 1945, the 9th Company (106 men) of the 4th Regiment of KMT Military Police
(國軍憲兵第四團) arrived in Danshui on junks. They were called 雨傘兵 (the umbrella troop), disappointingly, by the welcoming residents of Danshui. Because, for some inexplicable reason, most soldiers carried on their backs a folded umbrella (on top of the pots and pans plus some rifles and bags of rice that they were also carrying). Yes, the rag-tag army had just landed. And Danshui-ren were stunned by their disheveled appearance not knowing that these soldiers had gone through hell before arriving in Danshui - not until recently anyway.

A postscript: In the 228 Incident of 1947, all three battalions (with the 2nd Battalion joining in from Foochow) of the 4th MP Regiment played a brutal role in northern Taiwan.

2009年12月3日 星期四

Danshui resistance 1895

(A 1911/2 Map of Japan incorporating Taiwan and the Pescadores)

The Japanese forces arrived in Danshui on June 9, 1895. There were locally organized resistances which for some reason remain little known outside of Danshui. The following is taken from Danshui's town history now amended and translated into English:

光緒二十一年 (一八九五)
Guan-xu Year 21 (1895)

五月十四日[note: this is a lunar calendar date - June 6 in western calendar],台灣民主國總統唐景崧得淡水滬尾稅務司英人馬士(H-C C Morse) 幫助,乘德輪鴨打(Arthur) 號逃至廈門。滬尾舉人李應辰(1860-1922) 聯滬尾十八莊,壯丁五百人與各地義軍聯結,定於十四日合力打擊日軍,因唐景崧逃亡,計畫中止。
[On the 14th Day of the Fifth Month, President Tang Jing-Song (1841-1903) of the short-lived Taiwan Democratic State (May 26 - June 6, 1895), with the help of Danshui Customs Chief - a Brit named H-C C Morse, got on the German ship Arthur and escaped to Amoy. A local gentleman Mr Li Ying-Chen (1860-1922) raised a 500-men militia from the 18 villages of Hobe (Danshui). And together with the militiamen from other areas, they were to attack the Japanese Army on this day. This plan was, however, called off because of Tang's desertion.]

五月十六日,日軍少將川村景明(Kawamura Kageaki - 1850-1926) 率兵入臺北城,命中西中佐(Nakanishi) 率大隊西取淡水,當晚兵宿關渡。當日,李應辰滬尾義軍迎戰日軍一中隊於士林,激戰兩小時,敵軍不支而退,義軍也退向大屯山深處。
[On the 16th, Lt Gen Kawamura Kageaki (1850-1926) led an army and entered the City of Taipei. He ordered Lt Col Nakanishi to take one battalion, go west, and invade Danshui. This army camped in Guan-du for the night. On the same day, Li Ying-Chen's militia engaged one Japanese company in Shi-lin. After two hours of intense fighting, both sides retreated with Li's back deep into TaTuan Mountain.] (Note: Two months later, Li was wounded in a battle and had to evacuate from 鹿港Lu-Kang to Amoy together with his family.)

五月十七日,日中西中佐率部至滬尾。日軍大本營參謀步兵大佐福島安正(Fukushima Yasumasa -1852-1919) 率佐藤(Sato)憲兵大尉等六十人,通譯官十一人,乘八重山(Yaeyama)軍艦,由基隆至滬尾,入海關署,設淡水事務所。
[On the 17th, Nakanishi's men entered Danshui. In addition, Chief of Staff of Japanese Headquarters Col Fukushima Yasumasa (1852-1919), together with Military Police Major Sato and 60 others, plus 11 Translator Officers arrived from Keelung on board of warship Yaeyama. They took over the Customs Office and set up a Tansui (Danshui) Township Office.]

[On the 18th, the Japanese took over the taxation affairs of Danshui and Keelung harbors. Scouts were sent over to Bali. Three warships swept the mines of Danshui Harbor. They had also established a tele-communications office, revoked the township and changed it to the Tansui Branch Office of the Taipei Prefecture.]

十一月十七日(日曆一月一日)七時許,金包里(今金山)義軍簡大獅 (1870-1900) 部約六百餘名,出江頭(今關渡)以攻淡水,日軍淡水守備隊會赤羽(Akahane?)支隊,憑淡水街天公廟至墓地為陣,戰至八時,在淡水街兩軍肉搏戰,日軍憑壁防禦,砲火熾烈,義軍乃退街外高地。
[On the 17th Day of the 11th Month - Jan 1, 1896, at around 7AM, a 600-men militia led by Jien Da-Shi (1870-1900) of Gin-Shan came out of Guan-du and attacked the Japanese military in Danshui. The Japanese fought from the now Tamkang University area, near the public cemetery, until about 8AM. The battle then shifted into hand-to-hand combat fought inside the town itself. The Japanese, hiding behind the walls, fired back intensely. The militia had to withdraw to the higher grounds outside of town.] (Note: Mr Jien continued his unsuccessful fight against the Japanese and had finally surrendered in 1898. In 1899, he snuck back to Hokkien but was extradited back to Taipei where he was executed. His plea to die in China went unheeded.)

[On the 19th, Taipei and other areas descended into chaos, the British sent a battleship to Danshui to protect its citizens.]

Eventually, after about 5-6 months, the resistance in Taiwan gradually subsided (but never totally stopped). There had been no support from China and none was forthcoming, either. Tang Jing-Song (left, the "10-day President") lived out his life in luxury. He was the biggest patron of the Guang-Xi opera and in his spare time wrote poetry. And yet, he is now enshrined in 淡水忠烈祠 - for reasons still unknown. The only achievement that the Danshui-ren know of was his successful escape back to China. Even the shots fired at Arthur from the stranded Qing soldiers had failed to stop him. It is said (of Tang) that "英雄懦夫僅是一念之差而已 (the difference between a hero and a coward is only a mere change of heart)" - a very accurate description indeed.

There was more. According to
連橫Lien Heng's 台灣通史Comprehensive Taiwan History: ...「李文魁馳入撫署請見,大呼曰:『獅球嶺亡在旦夕,非大帥督戰,諸將不用命』。景崧見其來,悚然立;而文魁已至屏前。 即舉案上令架擲地曰:『軍令俱在,好自為之』。文魁側其首以拾,則景崧已不見矣。景崧既入內,攜巡撫印,奔滬尾,乘德商輪船逃。砲台擊之,不中。文魁亦躡景崧後至廈門,謀刺之。事洩,為清吏所捕,戮於市。」- A subordinate of Tang's, Commander Li Wen-Quei, who had just lost Keelung to the Japanese, barged into the President's Office in Taipei and pressed for Tang to personally lead the battle at Shi-chiu Ling, the gateway to Taipei. A terrified Tang did not want any part of it and merely threw down a rack of "Orders" and exclaimed "The military orders are all here, do your best!!" Li picked up the orders and saw from the corner of his eyes that Tang had already disappeared [onto Danshui and then Amoy...] Li later secretly followed Tang to Amoy and plotted to have Tang assassinated. He was caught and killed in public by Qing officials.

And how did those stranded leader-less soldiers return to China? That is another story.