Developing Hakka Language Content: Hakka TV Period Drama Gold Leaf

Understanding history can teach us wisdom and train the imagination; understanding the land can give us insight into reason and daily life; understanding historical figures can put us in their place and show us beneath the surface. Dramas can help us create local culture, and share the values of Taiwan.

“Gold Leaf” is a period drama co-produced by the Hakka Affairs Council and the Public Television Service. Set in 1950s Hsinchu County, where the tea industry in Beipu Township is creating Taiwan’s economic miracle, it depicts the hard work and struggle of Hakka people as well as their contribution to the country’s commercial development. It’s Taiwan’s first serial to use the Hailu dialect of Hakka and to be shot in 4K/UHD HDR specifications, allowing the audience to know and appreciate the rich diversity of Taiwan’s Hakka culture.
Poster of 'Gold Leaf'

The drama is based on the well-known tea merchant Chiang A-hsin (姜阿新), who prospered in Beipu during Taiwan’s golden era of tea. The drama’s main character is established as Ji-san. It depicts, in and around the 1950s, Chiang A-hsin’s flourishing success, then decline into debt, and subsequent rising again, with twists and turns all along the way, an early figure of Taiwan’s small and medium enterprises. 

From Chiang’s toil and sweat, we see the first wave of Taiwan’s postwar tea industry development, as well as the intrigues of the tea market and how Taiwanese people overcame heavy obstacles and contended with big foreign businesses. Down to the level of individuals and families, and up to the level of clans, houses and enterprises, how they strove for their survival and came back from adversity, the outlook on life and values inspired by the drama are a demonstration of Taiwanese people’s resilience and vitality.