Remembering Hakka martyrs who resisted Japanese invaders

Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) organized a commemorative activity to mark the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Baguashan (八卦山之役) in Changhua County on Aug. 28.

Taking place in 1895, the year when Taiwan’s sovereignty was ceded to Japan by the Qing Dynasty after the First Sino-Japanese War, the Battle of Baguashan was one of the fierce resistances against the invasion of Japan during that time.

Together with the offspring of those who participated in the battle, including the Hakka martyrs Chiang Shao-tzu (姜紹祖), Hsu Hsiang (徐驤), Wu Tang-hsing (吳湯興), and Chiu Feng-yang (邱鳳揚), HAC Minister Yiong Con-ziin attended this event, paying homage to the warriors who sacrificed their lives to protect their homeland.

A number of artists such as poets Xiang Yang (向陽), Chang Fang-tzu (張芳慈), and Liu Hui-chen (劉慧真); Hakka singers Lo Si-rong (羅思容) and Chiang Yun-Yu (姜雲玉); and composer Lin Shao-ing (林少英) were also invited to dedicate their literary and musical creations to the fallen warriors on this memorable occasion.

Yiong announced that a series of activities and field research on the battles of defending Taiwan in 1895 will be held to remember our ancestors’ stories, hoping to accentuate the historical importance to achieve a broader consensus in Taiwan on, for instance, naming streets after these brave fighters and erecting their statues.

As it was the first time that Taiwanese people showed solidarity to protect the island, the history of the 1895 resistances against the Japanese colonialists has an important meaning for the nation. The significant historic event shows that the Hakka community has made great contributions to this land with the perseverant Hakka spirit.

HAC expects that, through this activity, the general public will learn more about our ancestors’ heroic deeds during the turbulent time.