2011年12月27日 星期二

Tsunami津波 hit northeast Japan - Part 3

In memory of the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and in support of the re-construction, a concert featuring Beethoven's Symphony No 9 was conducted on Dec 16, in Ohunato City Cultural Hall. Ohunato, literally the "big shipping wharf", was one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami.

The concert was organized by Dr Takasaka Tomonori, Professor Emeritus at Tohoku University and President/Vice Chancellor of Tohoku Bunka Gakuyen University, both in Sendai. He also performed as a cellist in the orchestra.

It was an unforgettable experience for members of the Tohoku Univeristy Symphony Orchestra and the University Choir as well as the participating vocalists from Ohunato and Sendai. The symphony was conducted by Shinozaki Yasuo and the soloists were Umemura Noriko (soprano), Takahashi Mami (mezzo-soprano), Kato Hayato (baritone), Igarashi Osamu (tenor 12/16), and Matsuo Hideki (tenor 12/17).

Many in the audience were moved to tears.

The original announcement issued by Tohoku Bunka Gakuyen University is shown below:

復興支援活動 大船渡第九コンサート

本学園では、東日本大震災からの復興と新生への活動として文化芸術を通した取り組みを進めています。そして、12月に大船渡市民文化会館「リアスホール」にて、市教育委員会の後援を得て、第九の合唱コンサートを開催いたします。このコンサートにはロンドン在住の世界的指揮者 篠崎靖男氏がボランティアとして参加し、また東北大学の交響楽団と混声合唱団、大船渡市と仙台市の有志の方々の協力を得て、本学園大学と専門学校の学生たちが、未来につなぐ歌声を届けます。

大船渡 第九コンサート

主  催 学校法人 東北文化学園大学
後  援 大船渡市教育委員会

開催日時 12月16日(金) 16:00~
場  所 リアスホール(大船渡市民文化会館)


指  揮 篠﨑靖男 東北大学交響楽団
合  唱 東北文化学園混声合唱団 東北大学混声合唱団有志 大船渡市民有志 仙台市民有志
ソリスト 梅村憲子(ソプラノ)高橋真美(メゾソプラノ)加藤隼人(バリトン) 
     五十嵐修(テノール 16日出演)松尾英章(テノール 17日出演)

開催日時 12月17日(土) 16:00~
場  所 東北文化学園キャンパス

2011年12月24日 星期六

2011年12月20日 星期二

Taiwan Beer

This is a common sight in Taiwan: emptied bottles of 台灣啤酒Taiwan Beer. No get-togethers, large or small, are complete without the copious imbibition of this venerable beverage, known forever to the locals as the Bīru [ビール - Japanese for beer] or 麥仔酒 [Ve-a-ju].

The predecessor of 台灣啤酒 is actually the Takasago Beer高砂麥酒:

Malt liquor or beer is indigent to Europe; although it was imported into Japan from America in ca 1870. During the late 19th century (the start of the Meiji period) brewers from Germany arrived, and the oldest Japanese beer brewery company麒麟麥酒株式會社[Kirin Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha] started production in 1907. Kirin, together with Asahi, Suntory, and Sapporo, have dominated Japanese beer market even now.

The consumption of imported beer in Taiwan [from Japan] had increased exponentially during this era, from a mere 893 hectoliter in 1897 to 270,000 hectoliter in 1907. By 1919, it reached 870,000 hectoliter. This rate of growth was unprecedented among all alcoholic beverages. And the reasons were the arrival of beer-drinking Japanese immigrants, the acceptance of beer in Taiwanese culture, plus the WW1 wartime prosperity that had also swept over Taiwan.

In Jan 1919, the chairman of 芳釀株式會社 [incorporated in 1910, started producing sake in 1913 on the same site as the now-defunct 台北酒廠], 安倍幸之助Abe Konosuke founded 高砂麥酒株式會社Takasago Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha with a capital of 2 million yen. The factory was located in 內上埤頭 in Taipei (now the site of JianGuo Brewery建國啤酒場). All equipment was shipped from Hawaii and raw materials from overseas sources. This was also at the beginning of the Great Prohibition in the US, a decline in worldwide beer supply was anticipated.

Initially, the company operated at a loss, accumulating a debt of well over 4 million yen. The marketing strategy was therefore shifted from targeting overseas sales to inland Taiwan consumption. Not unlike the Budweiser Clydesdales, the company sent horse-drawn wagons on advertising tours all over the island. In addition, the chief technician from Kirin Bīru Kabushiki-gaisha was invited to Taiwan to improve the quality of the product. And the sales skyrocketed.

In 1923, Takasago Beer was brewed from malt and hops from Czechoslovakia and Germany. When the Sino-Japanese war broke out in 1937, the company bought wheat from Japan and Manchuria and hops from Poland and Germany. In late 1937, the sources of hops switched to Japan and Korea.

In 1945, after the Chinese takeover of Taiwan, Takasago Beer was re-named Taiwan Beer and stayed so ever since. In 1960, under the direction of German consultants, Taiwan's special premier rice 蓬萊米 was added into the mix [note: the definition of beer is brews that contain 67% malt (thus allowing up to 33% adjuncts including rice, corn, sorghum, potato, starch, and sugar)]. This gives the unique flavor of present-day Taiwan Beer. Needless to say, tastes may change, yet it is still the most enjoyable to those who reached drinking age and sampled Taiwan Beer liberally in the 1960s.

2011年12月15日 星期四

Lost Colony - a new book by Tonio Andrade

Tonio Andrade is associate professor of history at Emory University. He is the author of How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century.

Easily the best biography of Koxinga in the English language

2011年12月14日 星期三

A Taiwanese internee in Australia

[Dutch East Indies, later Indonesia]

This is a "Report on Internee/POW" of a Taiwanese internee named Oei Eng-Bok, dated 17/2/1942.

Mr Oei was an "Enemy Alien" - the reason for his incarceration.

His DOB was 28/12/1896; Place of Birth: Tairanshu, Taiwan; Occupation: Farmer; Address: Sekar Ngantang Malang [East] Java where he was also captured [on 8/12/1941]; he was imprisoned on 27/1/1942 upon arrival in Australia on board of H.S. Cremer.

Mr Oei was umarried with both parents deceased. He had a brother named Koh(許) Sei Wah back home in Tairanshu tohaki-gun (東伯郡?) santo No 417 in Taiwan. He had black hair, brown eyes, was 5 ft 8 in tall weighing 130 lbs, and identified by a mole on his right eyelid.

The date of his "capture" was Dec 8, 1941 - the very same day when the Netherlands declared war on Japan.

Mr Oei signed his name in Kanji as 黃遠木 and was apparently from Tainan County, the then 台南州.

His fate remains unknown.

2011年12月9日 星期五

The Yoizuki Hell-ship Incident - Part 4

How did the Taiwanese end up in SE Asia with some later sent to concentration camps in Australia and finally repatriated to Taiwan?

This odyssey goes back to 1936 when 台灣拓殖株式會社Taiwan Takushoku Co was created. In fact, the origin of this organization can be traced back to 三五會社SanGo Co founded in 1902.

The 下関条約Shimonoseki Treaty agreed upon by both China and Japan after the first Sino-Japanese war actually stipulated that Hokkien would not be allowed to fall into the hands of foreign powers, that is, except Japan. With this promise from the Qing Court, the Japanese Colonial Gov't in Taiwan began planning for financial/banking operations in this region - in preparation for the SE Asia expansion of the Japan empire.

However, because of the prevailing anti-Japanese sentiment at that time, official operations would meet with popular resistance. A different approach, using the Chinese as figureheads of registered corporations, was therefore adopted. Coincidentally, 林朝棟 who fought in the Sino-French war in Taiwan had received, in part as a reward, the exclusive rights to manufacture camphor in Hokkien but was short on funds. Lin subsequently applied for a loan from the Bank of Taiwan. The Colonial Gov't (during the reign of Governor General 後藤新平), after a number of assessments, authorized 愛久澤直哉Akuzawa Naoya in 1902 to form a joint Chinese-Japanese corporation, the 三五公司, to represent the Japanese interest. The company employed predominantly Taiwanese and Hokkienese and was well-funded by the Colonial Gov't. This was a sizable corporation with activities extending into education, field investigation and surveys, camphor manufacturing, and railroad and waterwork construction. Many of these business activities, especially railroad building was controversial; most eventually proved unprofitable and were closed down. 愛久澤直哉, however, continued on, into the shipping business. Between 1912-24, the company operated shipping routes sailing between Hokkien and SE Asia and also invested heavily in rubber plantations in Singapore. 三五公司 in fact was the prototype for another created later in 1936, the 台灣拓殖株式會社Taiwan Takushoku Co.

Of the three major "national policy" corporations, the Bank of Taiwan, the Taiwan Electric Co, and the Taiwan Takushoko Co, only the first two survived after the Pacific War. The Takushoko Co was ordered to disband by the Allied Forces because of its role as the supplier of the Imperial Japanese military. Between 1936-45, it followed the progress of Japanese military and spawned 1000+ branches, operating from India to the Philippines, and from Hong Kong to Java. The company, in addition to running public utilities in occupied southern China, had also engaged in mining in Indo-China, cotton growing in Thailand, and farm animal raising in Dutch East Indies - among numerous other enterprises. These overseas activities provided the Taiwanese with employment opportunities. In the end, in 1946, its vast land holding and properties back in Taiwan were taken over by 台湾土地銀行the Land Bank of Taiwan [the headquarters building shown on upper left] and the company faded into history. Now, only a few know about the existence of this quasi-official organization.

The Taiwanese internees in Australia, repatriated on board of Hell-ship Yoizuki, were members of this highly skilled group.

Sources in Chinese provided by Fung-yin:

2011年12月7日 星期三

Tamsui Peace Park (TPP) - update 1

Tamsui Peace Park and the Itteki House are both located in the Hobé Gun Fort and Golf Course area off Chung Cheng Road in 油車口 [for NT$15, you can take Bus No 26 from the MRT Station and get off at the Golf Course stop]. A road sign at the entry boulevard points to the two adjacent sites:
[Top: Another sign further up the boulevard and bottom: The Peace Park]
[Bottom, to the right of the walkway, a stone sculpture of praying hands commemorating the Sino-French war dead]
[Top and bottom: The site for future TPP memorials]
[Bottom: The Itteki Memorial House]
[Within the House, top: the entire collection of 水上勉 and bottom: that of 陳舜臣]
Looking from the TPP at Guan-ying Mountain

2011年12月2日 星期五

木下靜涯 Kinoshita Seigai - Part 2

In preserving Danshui's cultural heritage including that from the Japanese colonial era, Tamsui District has created a garden dedicated to the memory of master painter Kinoshita Seigai (located across the street from the sculpture of Dr George Leslie Mackay on Chung Cheng Road):

[Above: the famed tree in front of his house and bottom: Kinoshita's house where he resided for 20 some years before repatriation to Japan in 1946]
[Above and below: contemporary artists from both Japan and Taiwan]
[Above and below: memorial garden. The inscription on the stone is his last words, "好日好日又好日Day after day, another good day"]
Please come and visit