Taiwanese Hakka and Japan International Exhibition kicks off in Taiwan Hakka Museum

A Never-Ending Stream--Taiwanese Hakka and Japan International Exhibition" is taking place in Miaoli County’s Taiwan Hakka Museum from Aug. 12, 2020 through Nov. 14, 2021.

The year of 1895 was the beginning of nearly 50 years of Japanese rule for Taiwan, and Taiwan’s Hakka culture, livelihood, industries, and so forth were all deeply influenced by Japan. This in turn led to Japan’s research into Taiwanese Hakka.

This exhibition aims to show the Taiwan-Japan interaction and exchange from the days of Japanese rule up to the present day. It explores the impact of Japan on Taiwanese Hakka culture, and how Japan shaped the development of this culture, as well as the lives of Taiwanese Hakka living in Japan.

Following their defeat at the First Sino-Japanese War, the Qing Empire ceded Taiwan and Penghu to Japan, a move which sparked the rise of rebel militia all over Taiwan who resisted Japanese rule – historically, this period was called the Japanese invasion of Taiwan. This period of resistance involved nearly all ethnic groups in Taiwan, with the Hakka people contributing the most in terms of manpower and resources. Japanese forces were met with strong resistance led by the Hakka people in the areas of Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, and the war began to spread south all the way to the Liudui region in Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

The Japanese invasion of Taiwan impacted areas all over Taiwan for 20 years, and this was the genesis of a sense of Taiwan national consciousness for the groups of people living in Taiwan. Since 1895, Japan began to record its direct contact with the Hakka people of Taiwan.

The exhibition is divided five parts, including “Japan’s Shaping of and Impression on Taiwanese Hakka,” “Industry Layout and Modernization,” “Japan’s Western Culture,” “Taiwanese Hakka in Japan,” and “Taiwanese Hakka Research by Japanese Academics.”