Taiwan reports

Ilha Formosa -- "Island Beautiful" -- invites you

By William Wetherall

First posted 27 August 2009
Last updated 1 October 2009

Report on Aborigines (1911) Particulars | Introductory note | Tribes and savages | Formosan insurgents | Casualties
Statistical Summary (1912) Particulars | General remarks | Races | Aborigines | Vital statistics | Census | Chosen
A Unique Colonial Record (1937) Particulars | Forewords | Inhabitants | Races | Japanese | Chinese | Aborigines | Laws

Taiwan reports

Taiwan formally became part of Japan's sovereign dominion in 1895 when ceded to Japan by China in the Shimonoseki Treaty following the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. Inhabitants of the island who did not declare their intent to be nationals of China or other states became nationals of Japan.

Immediately Japan began to nationalize the territority through a variety of agencies set up under a Government-General. The Taiwan Government-General's objective was to make the territory and its population more like the Interior prefectures in terms of civil affairs, law enforcement, education and welfare, and industrial development.

Early in its history, Japan had mastered the political and administrative arts of population registration, land allocation, tax collection, law enforcement, and related record keeping. By the time Taiwan became part of Japan, the Meiji government had systematized such arts throughout the prefectures of the nation that was born in 1868.

There are many historical accounts of encounters between people from various parts of what is now part of Japan and Taiwan and its associated islands. Japan became diplomatically and militarily involved in Taiwan's affairs in the early 1870s when a number of Ryukyu fisherman were shipwrecked off the southern coast and killed by native inhabitants.

Japan began contributing to the "civilization" of Taiwan during its 1874 "punitive expedition" against the tribe responsible for the killing of the Ryukyuans. Nishikie, lithographs, books, and other printed matter about Taiwan began to appear from this time, though sporadically.

Aborigines, which sparked Japan's earliest intense involvement in Taiwan in the 1870s, continue to be studied in Japan today. Numerous reports on aborigines, made during the period of Japan's rule of Taiwan, have been reissued in facsimile editions both in Taiwan and in Japan.

During the Sino-Japanese War, Japan negotiated an end to the extraterritoriality treaties under which Great Britain, the United States, and a number of other countries still viewed Japan as not having yet become legally fully compentent. These treaties ended in 1899, from which point Japan was free to relate with any country in the world as an equal.

Given the criticism of China's aloofness toward Taiwan during the late 19th century, Japan's embrace of the territory in 1895 was viewed with great interest by a number of other states, including the United States, which had facilitated the Shimonoseki treaty. Japan was therefore strongly motivated to make Taiwan a showcase for the sort of social and industrial policies that had driven its own domestic development.

By the end of the 19th century, various organizations in Japan were publishing reports in English on all manner of topics. Yearbooks began to appear from the turn of the century.

Japan in the Beginning of the 20th Century, published by the Department of Agriculture and Commerce in 1904, ends with a 57-page supplement on "Formosa" (pages 772-828). The supplement is every bit as comprehensive for Formosa as the main part of the book on the rest of Japan.

The earliest reports on Taiwan were of course in Japanese, as they were intended to disseminate information on the new addition to the empire. The first several years, during which the Taiwan Government-General was preoccupied with quelling all manner of civil disturbances, were not in any event causes for international celebration.

By the 1910s, however, Taiwan was being to show the results of Japan's emerging development of the territory -- and the results were worth reporting to the world in English. The following titles represent the principal publications that were published in English by the Taiwan Government-General, or by organizations that wish to publicize Japan's achievements in Taiwan.

The earliest books published specifically about Taiwan in English immediately began to be cited in other publications. The following 1913 work by Charlotte Salwey, for example, paraphrases passages from both Takekoshi's "Japanese Rule in Formosa" as translated by George Braithwaite (1907), and "Aborigines in Formosa" (1911), which are also listed as books consulted.

The Island Dependencies of Japan
(An Account of the Islands that have passed under Japanese Control since the Restoration, 1867-1912
[A series of monographs, reprinted from the 'Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review', with additions from native sources, translations and new information]
By Charlotte M. Salwey
Member of the Asiatic Society of Japan
Member of the Japan Society, London
Author of "Fans of Japan," "Giants of the Earth," etc., etc. Illustrated with Special Maps, Together with Pencil Drawings by Jasper Salwey. A.R.I.B.A,
London / Eugene L. Morice / Bookseller And Publisher 9, Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, W.C., 1913
ix, 148 pages, hardcover

A facsimile was published in 1973 by Scholarly Resources (Wilmington, Delaware), and a public domain electronic version is available on the Internet (viewed 26 September 2009).

For citations of remarks on Taiwan in English yearbooks similar publications about Japan, see The Japan Year Book: Forty years of rise, then fall in the "Empires of Japan" feature of this website.

For information about some of the more important official reports about Taiwan in Japanese, see the "Publications" section of Taiwan: The legal integration of Formosa in "The Sovereign Empire" feature.


Japanese Rule in Formosa (1907)

Japanese Rule in Formosa
By Yosaburo Takekoshi / Member of the Japanese Diet
With Preface by Barron Shimpei Goto / Chief of the Civil Administration
Translated by George Braithwaite / Tokyo
London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1907

Goto's foreword dated August 1905
Takekoshi's preface dated July 1905
Most data through 1903 or 1904

This is a translation and adaptation of a 1905 Japanese report published in Tokyo. The English version was probably commissioned by the Taiwan Government-General as publicity. Apparently some TGG officials distributed presentation copies to foreigners.

See Takekoshi 1905 in "Taiwan: The legal integration of Formosa" in "The Sovereign Empire" feature for full particulars and a look at parts of the translation against the original text.

Report on the Control of the Aborigines in Formosa (1911)

Government of Formosa
Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs
Taihoku, Formosa [Published in Tokyo]
Taiwan as part of Empire of Japan
1 volume

1911 (1911)
Preface March 1911
Information previous to November 1909

Numerous complimentary copies of this volume are known to have been distributed by the Superintendent of the Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs.

The Statistical Summary of Taiwan (1912)

The Government-General of Taiwan
[Taihoku, Taiwan] [Published in Tokyo]
Taiwan as part of Empire of Japan
1 volume

1912 (1913)
Preface November 1912
Data through 1911

A Record of Taiwan's Progress (1936-7)
Taiwan: A Unique Colonial Record (1937-8)

Comprehensive volumes publicizing progress in Taiwan
Taiwan as part of Empire of Japan
2 volumes

1936-7 (1936?) A Record of Taiwan's Progress
1937-8 (1937) Taiwan: A Unique Colonial Record


Report on Control of Aborigines (1911)

The new rulers who arrived from Japan in 1895 encountered some militant resistance from Chinese quarters. The most difficult problem from a security viewpoint, though, was one that had come with the territory, so to speak -- the fierceness of unrest among the aboriginal tribes that had refused to be "civilized" by Chinese and earlier alien rulers.

Where China had essentially given up its attempts to pacify and control the "savages" inhabiting the more remote and mountainous eastern side of the island, Japan had no tolerance for aborigines who refused to accept its benevolet rule -- especially those who raided settled areas on the other side of the guardline that skirted their territories, or who attacked people who ventured into their territories. It took Japan over a decade, at the cost thousands of lives on all sides, to quell hostilities and push the frontier of "civilization" into the mountains.

One of the most important early publications in English is a book that is interesting both as an ethnological record of Taiwan's "aborigines" as of the first decade of the 20th century, and as a political account of the the efforts to "control" them. Published in 1911, Report on the Control of the Aborigines in Formosa remains a model of dispationate ethnographic description and political rationalization of the forces of "nationalization" that characterized "nation building" in all parts of the contemporary world.

Japanese publications

Of course, over the years that Japan ruled Taiwan as part of its sovereign dominion, the Taiwan Government-General published numerous volumes in Japanese on Taiwan's aborigines. Many of them were published under groups related to the "Police office", which had primary responsibility for "managing barbarians" (—”× riban).

The term —”× (riban) referred to the ŠÇ— (kanri) -- meaning "management" or "control" -- of ”ב° (banzoku) or "barbarian tribes". Like most other terms which referred to aborigines, this one had also been used by China. As such it implied the need to pacify, settle, train, educate, and otherwise "civilize" and "cultivate" the aborigines.

In 1921, the "Taiwan Government-General Barbarian tribe investigation [survey] society" (”ב°’²¸˜ð) of the Taiwan Government-General published an 8-volume work called "Taiwan barbarian tribe customs study" (‘ä˜p”ב°ŠµKŒ¤‹†). This publication runs over 600 pages.

In 1935, the "Friends of managing-barbarians company" (—”×”V—FŽÐ) published a single volume work called "Taiwan barbarian-world prospects" (‘ä˜p”׊E“W–]). The work was compiled by Suzuki Hideo (—é–؏G•v) in the "Government barbarians section" (—”׉Û) of the "Police bureau" (Œx–±‹Ç) of the Taiwan Government-General (‘ä˜p‘“•{). The "friends company" facilitated the dissemination of government publicity and propaganda related to its pacification and civilization projects.

Suzuki Hideo (1898-1986) also contributed to a periodical called "Taiwan police association magazine" (‘ä˜pŒxŽ@‹¦‰ïŽGŽ). Born in Aichi prefecture in August 1898, he entered the Taiwan Government-General in 1922, the year he graduated in law from Tokyo Imperial University. Four years later he became an instructor at the training center run by the Police office mostly for aborigines. He rose through the instructor ranks and retired from public service in 1943.

The above information on Suzuki Hideo comes from the following article by Yoshihara Jōji, a legal historian at Hiroshima University.

‹gŒ´äŽi [Yoshihara Jōji]
[Memorandum on [organizational] song of Training center of Taiwan Government-General Police office and Prison office]
6 August 2007 (revision of 1 November 2003 edition)
7-page PDF file (retrieved 28 August 2009)
‹gŒ´Œ¤‹†Žº [Yoshihara's research room] <Yoshihara's Home Page>

By the late 1930s, the "Managing barbarian section" (—”׉Û) of the "Police affairs bureau" (Œx–±‹Ç) had come to call all the aborigines "Takasago tribes" (‚»‘° Takasago zoku).

Many TGG reports and periodicals concerning aborigines have been republished in facsimile editions.


Particulars (Taiwan 1911)

Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs
[Office of civil administration]
Government of Formosa
Report on the Control of the Aborigines in Formosa
Taihoku (Formosa), Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs, 1911
[Printed and published in Tokyo by Toyo Printing Company]
Over 125 glossy leaves, plus foldout maps, hardcover


The introductory note calls this publication a "pamphlet" but it is a rather thick, heavy, hardcover book designed to last and be treasured.

i (introductory note), iii (contents, tables, maps and diagrams), iv (100 illustrations), two-page color map (Ethnological Map of Formosa), followed by 45 numbered pages (42 of text, 3 of tables) interspersed with 100 leaves (100 glossy black-and-white photographs) and 2 color foldout maps (Map of Northern Formosa, and Map of Southern Formosa, showing the districts occupied by the Aborigines), followed by 3 leaves (3 color diagrams), plus colophon

The ethnlogical map in front is coded in nine colors, one for each of the aboriginal groups then counted in Taiwan. Later the number of categories was reduced to seven.

The other two maps, which fold out, show topographical countours of mountainous areas in brown, and bodies of water in light blue.

There is one black-and-white photograph on one side of each of the 100 leaves. Each is titled and the titles are listed in the "Illustrations" part of the front matter. The photographs, of fairly high quality, include individual portraits, group pictures, and shots of people engaged in various activities of daily life. Most are posed.

Physical description

The book is bound in boards covered with green cloth blindstamped with a decorative border. The title and year of publication are stamped on the spine in small gilt letters. It is rouoghly 16 x 22.5 centimeters in size and about 2 centimeters thick.

Name card

Tipped to the free front fly leaf (front free end paper) of this copy, as in many copies, is the name card of the superintendent of the Bureau of Abnoriginal Affairs.


Rimpei Otsu,

Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs,
     Government of Formosa.      Taihoku, Formosa.

Title page

The title page is conventional. In lieu of a copyright page on the back of the title page, there is a colophon at the end of the book (see below).

Government of Formosa.

on the
Control of the Aborigines
in Formosa

[ Logo ]

Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs,
Taihoku, Formosa.


The colophon, as follows, is entirely in Japanese (abbreviated).

–¾Ž¡Žl\Žl”N\ŒŽ“ùŒÜ“úˆóü [Printed 25 October 1911]
–¾Ž¡Žl\Žl”N\ˆêŒŽŒÜ“ú”­s [Published 5 November 1911]

[ Taiwan sōtokufu Minseibu ]
[ Taiwan government-general Civil administration division ]
[ Banmu honsho ]
[ Barbarian affairs main office ]
ˆóüŽÒ@’†–ìú^‘¾˜Y [Printer Nakano Eitarō]
”­sŠ “Œ—mˆóüŠ”Ž®˜ð [Publishing place Tōyō printing company]


Introductory note (Taiwan 1911)

The introductory note calls the book a "pamphlet" -- and in some sense it is, with only 48 pages of text, tables, and charts. The simplicity of the note sets the tone for the declarative, undecorative style that characterizes most of text.

Introductory Note.

This pamphlet does not pretend to furnish a full account of the control of the aborigines in Formosa. Its purpose is imply to give, in condensed form, information of the control of the aborigines, undertaken previous to November 1909.

The present division of the aborigines in Formosa, as adopted in this report, into nine groups or tribes of the Taiyal, Bunun, Ami, Tusuou, Tsarisen, Piyuma, and Saisett, was based on earlier investigations. While the result of the recent ethnological investigates, undertaken by this Bureau, tends to make it more advisable to include three groups of the Tsarisen, Piyuma, and Paiwan under one group of the Paiwan and the Saisett either under the Taiyal or the family of the Peipohuans (domesticated savages), but this classification still requires series of further researches.

Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs,     
Government of Formosa     

Taikoku, Formosa.
March 1911.


Tribes and savages (Taiwan 1911)

The "Aborigines in Formosa" are introduced as "groups or tribes" but are then most common referred to as "savages" -- as in the introduction (pages 1-4, underscoring and [bracketed] clarifications mine).

1. General Remarks.

The total area of the island of Formosa is 2,333 square ri (13,893 square miles), of which the territory ioccupied by various tribes of aborigines embraces about 1,200 square ri (7,146 square miles). The population of these aborigines is estimated at about 120,000, and is divided into 671 large and small vilages. Most of the tribes are wild, and live in the mountain fastnesses. Besides these, there are semi-civilized savages known as Peipohuans, who are living under the ordinary administration in the the districts, peopled by the Formosan (Chinese).

The savages in formosa are divided into 9 groups or tribes; the Taiyal, Saisett, Bunun, Tsuou, Tsarisen, Paiwan, Piyuma, Ami, and Yami, as they are called among themselves, each differing in physical characteristics, dialects, habits and stock, and hostile one towards another.

The Taiyal tribe tattoo their faces, and for this reason they are known as the tattooed savages. Their district comprises an area of about 500 square ri (2,977 square miles) with a population of about 30,000; but on account of the advancement of the guard-line in recent years, their district is becoming gradually less. They are fierce by nature and are by far the largest and most powerful tribe of savages in the island. According to available figures, the Ami tribe is believed to contain the largest population, but as the district inhabited by the Taiyal tribe covers such an extensive area, and is still unexplored in many parts, it may reasonable by supposed to contain a greater population than the former.

The Taiyal savages look upon head-hunting as the most glorious thing in their life; inasmuch as the human head is required on every occasion, whenever they hold any religious rite or ceremony. When a dispute occurs between the members of a tribe, the decision is given in favour of the one who first secures a human head. When a savage lad attains his majority, he is not permitted to join a coimpany of adults until he gets a human head. In fact, head-hunting has come to be a custom amongst them which they consider to be an almost indispensable part of their existence. They not only seek the heads of Formosan and members of other tribes, as has always been their custom, but even Japanese fall under their hands.

Head-hunting is performed somewhat after the following manner: -- several of the tribe equipped with rifles and provisions, approach as near as possible to the frontier and hide themselves in the jungle in proximity to a frequented path. Here, whenever an opportunity arises, they shoot passers by; or emerging out from their hidden place, they make a sudden attack on the labourers who are working near such a spot. They remain in the vicinity for a number of days, and are not satisfied until they get the much coveted trophy. The lives of those engaged in various pursuits in the frontier districts are consequently exposed to constant danger.

Naturally there exists great peril and hardship in making a thorough exploration of the savage districts. A few of the centrally located tirbes of this district never come in contact with the influence of the outside world; but according to investigation made of their neighbouring tribes, who come down to the border to barter, their number seems to be very few.

In degree of civilization, the other eight tribes are more advanced in condition. But excepting only portions of the Bunun and Tsarisen groups, who inhabit the districts at and around the foot of the Niitaka-yama (Mt. Morrison) and very often perform barbarous acts, most of them are peaceful people. They are at present engaged in agriculture, fishing, hunting, or breeding of cattle. Excepting a primitive race of the Yami, who dwell on an isolated island of Kōtōsho or Botel Tobago [east of the southern part of Taiwan], their intelligence is not low, so that by giving them proper instruction, they may become good farmers.

The savages in Formosa may roughly be divided into two tribes whose districts may be shown by drawing a line across the central mountain ranges from Horisha in the west to Karenko in the east. Those in the northern part are termed the "northern tribe". The Saisetts originally belonged to the northern tribe, but in recent years they have been included inside the guard-line and have made great progress towards civilization. Now the term "northern tribe" is adopted as the different name of the Taiyal group.

The territory occupied by the southern tribe, except those of the Paiwan, the Ami, and a portion of the Piyuma, is in most parts barren hill-land, and is not fitted for cultivation. Only the forests in the mountain region west of the Niitaka-yama (Mt. Morrison), including the Ari forest, are available for timber. While on account of the ruggedness of the country inhabited by the northern tribe, the arable land is very scarce. But the land of the Taiyal is distinctly rich in forest products, especially in camphor. There is also bright prospect for the gold mining in this district. Thus the territory of the northern tribe offers prospects of great Wealth.

Tribe probably represents what would have been ‘° (zoku) in contemporary Japanese texts -- rendered "race" in other English reports (see "Taiwan: A Unique Colonial Record" below).

Savage probably represents ”× (ban, han), and most likely refers to ¶”× (seiban, seihan) or "raw savages" -- meaning unassimilated aborigines. ”× is commonly used in Chinese to refer to people on the frontier or beyond who are thought to be relatively uncivilized.

Semi-civilized savages probably reflects n”× (jukuban, jukuhan) or "cooked savages" -- meaning assimilated, especially Sinified aborigines, such as the Peipohuans (•½š¼”×) or "flat-land savages"

Race is used only once, in reference to the Yami, or to a tribe therein -- the grammar of the received text is not reliable. "Race" may also represent ‘° (zoku), but it could be based on lŽí (jinshu), which was used at the time to differentiate population groups on Taiwan -- see, for example, "Statistical Summary of Taiwan (1912) elsewhere in this article.


Formosan insurgents

Consistent with its use of "Formosans" to refer to descendants of settlers who migrated from China, the book occassionaly refers to those who resisted Japan's takeover of Taiwan as "Formosan insurgents" -- as in the following passage (pages 7-9, underscoring mine).

Among the southern tribes, the Piyuma, the Ami, and a portion of the Paiwan tribe, living in the plains of the Taitō and Kōshun districts, have made considerable progress towards civilization, as they came in contact with the Formosan early than the rest of tribes. They have already learned the advantage of permanent cultivation, and how to acquire enough means for their living. Since the beginning of our regime, the same state of tranquillity has been maintained throughout their tribes. Their territory, unlike the western half of the island, was not in the least affected during the period of disturbance, consequent upon the rising of the Formosan insurgents. Nor has their territory ever been disturbed by the arrival of a large number of strangers for the development of various industries.

Insurgents probably reflects terms like “y”Ù (dohi) or "local [native] brigands]" and ‘¯“k (zokuto) or "bandit gangs" -- among many related terms used to describe those who attempted to establish Taiwan as an independent country rather than let the island pass to Japan.

The Taiō (äi“Œ Taitung) district was literally the long coastal region on the southern part of "the east of Taiwan" inhabited mainly by Ami but also by Piyuma.

The Kōshun (Pt Hengchun) district covered the southern tip of Taiwan. This area had become familiar in Japan as the focus of the 1874 expedition sent to punish the Botan tribes, which were held responsible for the killing of quite a few shipwrecked Ryukyu fishermen in 1871. The Botan (Koshun) tribes were Paiwanese.

Strangers would appear to mean "people from the outside" as opposed to local people, as later it is remarked that "During the year 1902, many people from the outside intruded into the district [of Nanshō] for the purpose of developing various kinds of industry" (page 36).

Here, though, "strangers" might also include aliens or "outlanders" (ŠO‘l gaikokujin), in reference to Dutch and then Chinese activities centering on Tayoan (‘åˆõ) -- later Anping (ˆÀ•½) and Tainan (äi“ì) -- in the middle of the southwest coast of southern Taiwan to the west of Koshun -- as well as to foreign incursions from the northern tip, and northwest and midwest coasts, of the island.

Some "fugitive Formosan insurgents" had "found their shelter in the savage districts" of Nanshō and led attacks on local offices, but were defeated and escaped to a neighboring district, where they continued to instigate savages. Infantry units were sometimes sent to augment police forces and guardsmen (page 37-38).

A remnant of the Formosan insurgents in the former Bioritsu Prefecture, who had assisted the rising of the Nanshō savages, escaped after their defeat into the savage villages in the Manapan district. Here they married savage women and have permanently settled in the villages. They have constantly instigated the savages and led them to perform various crimes in the border districts.

In October 1902, a punitive force, consisting of two battalions of infantry, was despatched to this district. In this campain resistance was strong, and the force suffered severe casualties. But in December of the same year, the savages were finally driven into the further interior of the mountain, and a large tract of the savage territory came into possession of the Government. Not long afterwards, all of the remaining Formosan insurgents fell in the hands of the police or the savages.


Taming and development

When it came to control the savages, there were generally two methods of taming -- "gradual development" and "suppression" (page 4).

In the first few years of its presence on Taiwan, the Taiwan Government-General had to deal with civil disturbances fomented by insurgent elements who took refuge in frontier areas. Efforts to deal with frontier security and savages were divided -- until 1902 (page 6).

With the completion of the entire subjugation of the Formosan rebels in the island in 1902, more drastic measures were adopted towards the control of savages. All matters pertaining to savages and savage territory were transferred to the police authorities.

From this point, submission to authority brought benefits, while disobedience required "privations for the purpose of punishment" (page 7) -- i.e., supplies of articles the aborigines coveted would be stopped. In principle, though, "whenever possible, kind treatment and conciliatory methods are employed" (page 7).

While the southern tribes were compliant with Japan's authority than the northern tribes, some tribes were agriculturally more "advanced" than others, which could not be governmentally assisted until Japan had surpressed insurgents. Police outposts, as the primary facilitators of the government's "taming and development" approach to savage control, had sticks at the ready if the carrots didn't work. (pages 9-10).

To other tribes of the southern savages, the method of taming and development has not yet advanced to its full extent; for in the earlier period, our administration was occupied mostly in suppressing the Formosan rebels in the border disticts. . . .

Since the pacification of the Formosan insurgents in the island, two expeditions have been despatched to the most barbarous tribes in the south. . . . Succeeding these expeditions, a number of police stations were established among various tribes, which number more than 100 at present. The police officers in these station keep close observation on the daily life of the ssavages, or undertake various investigations from time to time. They are provided with various kind of medicines, which they distribute among the sick people. Such onerous duties as to instruct the savage children in an elementary course of Japanese language and manners has been taken up by them. The control of barter between the savages and common people also belongs to their office. Again every step is taken to spread the knowledge of agricultural industry among them. It is necessay for the police to pay gret attention to and to prevent the arrival of such prohibitive articles as guns and ammunitions among the savages, as they might turn out to be very destructive weapons in case they fall into their hands. The control of the savages under conciliatory methods has recently had its first trial in these districts.

The guard-line along the frontier was advanced under "concilitary" and "hostile" conditions. The latter refers to situations in which "the advancement was carried out in defiance of the strong resistance of the savages" (page 21, in reference to Table III on page 45).

The rest of the book is devoted to descriptions of the various campaigns undertaken to advance the guard-line both under conciliatry terms and under resistance. Some of the campaigns resulted in heavy casualties and even massacres on both sides, with the savages suffering the most deaths usually by fairly large ratios.

"Advancement" operations were organized "under the instruction of the Superintendent of the Bammu-Honsho (Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs) in Taikoku" (page 24).

The number of members [in an advancement force] varies according to a distance to be covered, the nature of variouis work to be undertaken, and the strength of the opposing savages. The numbers of a force generally consist of police officers and guardsmen of the district where the campain is planned. Besides, a certain number of workmen and coolies are attached to it. But most of the former, excepting electric workmen, are engaged temporarily for each occasion. The coolies are usually engaged compulsory by alloting a certain number to the Pao-chia, or the tithing system in each village. But proper wages are given to them.


Killed and wounded

Table IV shows "Damages inflicted by the Savages" by year from 1896 to 1909 -- in terms of "cases" (apparently of attack by savages) -- and total casualties broken down into "killed" and "wounded" by "Japanese" and "Formosan" (page 45). The counts of killed and wounded would appear to include police and guardsmen, as well as civilians, for it is remarked that "As a rule the officers and men in the guard-line are the greatest sufferers from the attacks, few of the common people being affected" (page 6).

The killed and wounded totals by year are also summarized in a color bar graph on the very last page of the book. No annual counts are given for "Savages" killed and wounded either defensive or offensive actions.

Total casualties, though broken down by "killed" and "wounded" for the 14-year period 1896-1909, are further broken down by "Japanese" and "Formosan" only for the 12-year period from 1898 to 1909. The book does not show the following grand totals or ratios, which I have calculated from the figures in Table IV (page 45).

Casualties inflicted by Savages (1898-1909)

           Killed   Wounded     Total   Ratio K/W

Formosan    3,710     1,321     5,031         2.8
Japanese      417       224       641         1.9

Total       4,127     1,545     5,672         2.7

Ratio F/J     8.9       5.9       7.8         1.5

Unlike the book, I have listed the "Formosan" figures before the "Japanese" figures to facilitate taking the ratios of the larger to the smaller numbers.

Without more specifics -- such as numbers of "Formosans" and "Japanese" exposed to "damages inflited by savages" in various situations, some more risky than others -- nothing conclusive can be said about the ratios.

Whether "Japanese" (mostly police officers) were at greater risk than "Formosans" (mostly guardsmen) -- relative to their numbers and their exposure to attack -- is not clear. On the surface, however, "Formosans" were 1.5 times as likely to die of their wounds -- for uncertain reasons, whether because their wounds were more lethal, or because medical treatment conditions were less favorable, if not some combination of these and other factors.


1912 Statistical Summary of Taiwan

This book, bearing 1912 on its title page, and published in mid 1913, presents statistics through 1911. While referring to most publications by their year of publication, as with other yearbooks I will refer to this by the year on its title page, hence "Taiwan 1912".


Particulars (Taiwan 1912)

The edition shown and cited here is a reproduction published in 2006 as part of the Elibron Classics Series. Elibron Classics is an imprint of Adamant Media Corporation, a Delaware corporation based in New York. Elbiron is the name of its website.

The facsimile particulars state that "This Elibron Classics Replica Edition is an unabridged facsimile of the edition published in 1912, Taihoku." According to the Japanese colophon, however, the report was published in 1913. While the Taiwan Government-General was located in Taihoku (Taipei), the colophon does not name the place of publication, but gives the only the addresses of the printer (Tokyo prefecture) and of the place of printing (Tokyo city).

Title page

The title page is conventional. In lieu of a copyright page on the back of the title page, there is a colophon at the end of the book (see below).

Statistical Summary

– –

The Government-General
of Taiwan


Tokyo: Printed at The Japan Times Press

Colophon particulars

The colophon, in Japanese, contains the following information.

‘吳“ñ”N˜ZŒŽ\“ñ“úˆóü [ Printed 12 June 1913 ]
‘吳“ñ”N˜ZŒŽ\ŒÜ“ú”­s [ Published 15 June 1913 ]

‘ä˜p‘“•{ [Taiwan Government-General]

[ Tokyo-fu Toyotama-gun Yodobashi-cho . . . ]
    [ Printed: Takahashi Katsuo ]

[ Tokyo-shi Kojimachi-ku Uchisaiwai-cho . . . ]
    [ Japan Times company printing department ]


1 (title page), 1 (general remarks), xv (contents), 457 pages (text), 72 plates (black-and-white photographs), 1 (colophon)

The text includes numerous tables. The plates consist of one or two black-and-white photographs printed on one side of unnumbered leaves that are interspersed among the numbered pages of text.

The publication has about 547 pages with either text or photographs on each page. Including blank sides of the plates, there are about 619 pages. Elibron counts 625.


General remarks (Taiwan 1912)

The Statistical Summary of Taiwan is prefaced by a single unnumbered page of general remarks dated November 1912.


     1. The present work has been compiled with the object of presenting a general outline of the condition of adminstration in Taiwan. It is made up for the most part of statistical tables and photographs, interspersed with brief descriptive statements.

     2. The descriptive statements mainly refer to the conditions in 1911 or in the fiscal year 1911 (which ended in March 31, 1912). But where necessary, mention is made of antecedent train of circumstances and also of what is planned for the future.

     3. The statistical tables contain not only the latest general data, but for convenience of comparison there are appended to them totals for a certain number of the preceding years, together with index numbers and percentages. And where necessary, data are provided for comparison or distribution by localities.

     4. The photographs are inserted to render intelligble [sic] what can not be explained in writing or by statistics.

The Government-General
of Taiwan

     November, 1912.


Races (Taiwan 1912)

The chapter on population begins with a paragraph on "Races" (page 65).


(1) Races.   The inhabitants of the island may be roughly divided into Japanese, indigenes and foreigners. The indigenes may be subdivided into the Fukienese, Cantonese and others of Chinese blood, the seiban (wild aborigines) and the Jukuban (domesticated aborigines). By the Japanese are meant settlers from Japan or their descendants, and foreigners include subjects or citizens of the countries of Europe, America and other parts of the world; but it goes without saying that the Chinese stand above them all in point of number.

Race reflects Ží‘° (shuzoku) in contemporary Japanese texts. Ží‘° does not, however, mean "race" in the sense of lŽí (jinshu). Note that Ží‘° (shuzoku) -- which actually means something more like "clan" or "tribe" (see below) -- was generally not used in the Internior (prefectures). Nor was it used in Chosen -- as Korea had been renamed when it became part of Japan in 1910, about three years before this report on Taiwan was published.

Indigenes probably reflects “yl (dojin) in Japanese texts.

Japanese and settlers from Japan have no foundation in contemporary sources, since Taiwan was a part of Japan and Taiwanese were Japanese.

People affiliated with prefectural registers were generally referred to as “à’nl (Naichijin), meaning "Interior people", or people with principal registers in the prefecture. This status was not based on descent per se, but on primary legal domicile as opposed to resential address.

Settlers probably reflects ˆÚZ–¯ (ijōmin), meaning "move-live-people" -- i.e., migrant-residents -- an expression that was had also been applied to Taiwanese who were considered to have been of Chinese migrant origin.

Seiban and Jukuban are respectively ¶”× or "raw savages" and n”× or "cooked savages".

Actual populations

"Actual" populations are shown "According to Races" by year from 1896 to 1911. The 1899 population is taken as an index from computing growth from 100 that year to 124 in 1911.

"Aborigines" in 1896 and "Foreigners" for the three years 1896-1898 are represented by a question mark (?).

The data in the table are qualified by the following note (page 74, underscoring mine).

ACTUAL POPULATION -- I. (According to Races).
(On December 31 of respective years.)

[ Table omitted ]

N.B. Besides the figures given in this table for the year 1896, there were 39,968 residents of whom there is no data to show whether they were Japanese or Formosans.

This statement reflects the fact that people were classified on the basis of object "data" showing their legal registration status.

The importance of legal status is suggested by subsequent breakdowns. The "Actual population" is broken down by prefecture and sex and prefecture within Taiwan. A note states that "The aborigines are not included" (page 76). Breakdowns for the "Actual Aboriginal population" are shown in a separate table by prefecture, number of tribes, households, and sex (page 81).

Of interest here are the breakdowns of the "Actual Japanese Population" by year for 1898-1905 "By Places of permanent registration" -- meaning prefecture in Japan. "Place of permanent registration" undoubtedly reflects –{Ð’n (honsekichi) -- meaning "place [locality] of principal register" in an Interior prefecture.

Such differentiations were made because Taiwan was under a different body of laws than the prefectures. The registration systems were not the same.


Aborigines (Taiwan 1912)

The "Actual Aboriginal Population" for 1911 is broken down in one table "According to Localities" meaning prefectures in Taiwan, and in another "According to Races" (page 82). The former table shows breakdown by number of tribes, households, and sex. The latter table also shows breakdowns by "able bodied people" -- which a note states "are included in the figures for males".

The "Races" are as shown below. These are the same nine groups identified in "Report on the Control of the Aborigines in Formosa" (1911), though some of the spellings are different.

The following table, though based on the aboriginal population data by race reported in the book (page 82), shows only part of the data under my own headings. The ratios, too, are mine.

Aboriginal populations by race (1911)

                         Able-   Percent 
                        bodied   able-bodied
Race   Tribes    Total   males   of total

Taiyal    209   27,871   7,829   28.1
Saisett     9      770     211   27.4
Bunnun    113   16,007   4,269   26.7
Tsuo-o     25    2,325     602   25.9
Tsarisen   53   13,242   3,424   25.9
Paiwan    116   21,067   5,496   26.1
Piyuma      9    6,407   1,109   17.3
Ami       105   32,783   6,040   18.4
Yami        7    1,487     342   23.0

Totals    646  121,959  29,322   24.0

Sex ratios somewhat differ, but they don't explain the contrast in the ratios of able-bodied Taiyal and Ami. Respectively 49.0 and 50.4 of these groups were males, yet the percent of Taiyal able-bodied exceeded that of Ami by fifty percent.

"Aborigine affairs"

Aboriginal affairs gets a chapter of its own. The chapter begins with an overview of the "History of Aborigine Administrative Organs" (page 153, underscoring mine).


(1) History of Aborigine Administrative Organs.   In 1896 all affairs connected with the aborigines and aboriginal regions were placed in charge of the Industry Department of the Civil Administration Board; and there were established 11 stations for the domestication of the aborigines. In 1898 the Domestication Stations were abolished and their business was transferred to the Aborigine Affairs Stations. Three years later in 1901, all business relating to the aborigines and aboriginal regions was put under the control and direction of the Industry Bureau, and all matters pertaining to the Aiyu or guardsmen and the maintenance of peace and order among the aborigines under [sic] that of the Central Police Office in the Civil Administration Board. At the same time the Aborigines Affairs Stations were abolished and their business was transferred to 13 Prefectural Offices, which had aboriginal regions within their jurisdiction. In 1903, an Aboriginal Regions Committee was appointed in the Civil Administration Board to draw up plans for the exploitation of territory occupied by the aborigines. In the same year all matters hitherto handled by the Industry Bureau, in connection with the aborigines were transferred to the newly established Aborigine Affairs Sub-section. In 1909 an independent Central Aborigine Affairs Office was established, under the Civil Administration Board. In 1910 the Aboriginal Regions Committee was abolished, and the following year the Aborigine Affairs Inspection Districts Regulations, were issued establishing the North Aborigine and South Aborigine Districts, each District to be presided by a Police Inspector.

The above government offices appear to reflect the following Japanese names.

RESUME —”׌xŽ@

Industry Department of the Civil Administration Board

Domestication Stations

Aborigine Affairs Stations

Industry Bureau

Aboriginal Regions Committee

Aborigine Affairs Sub-section

Central Aborigine Affairs Office


Aborigine Affairs Inspection Districts Regulations

North Aborigine and South Aborigine Districts

Nine tribes . . . and then there were seven

The Aborigine affairs chapter continues with list of the "The Aborigines" that are then shown and discussed in photographs and text. Note (pages 153-154, underscoring mine).


(2) The Aborigines.   The aborigines, divided into many tribes, occupy more than one half of the area of Taiwan, their total population being estimated at about 120,000. There are nine tribes or groups of them namely: the Taiyal, the Saisset, the Bunnun, the Tsuōu, the Tsarisen [sic], the Paiwan Piyuma [sic], the Ami and the Yami. These people are located as follows:--

(a) The Taiyals.   [Description omitted.]

(b) The Saissets.   [Description omitted.]

(c) The Bunnuns.   [Description omitted.]

(d) The Tsuōus.   [Description omitted.]

(e) The Paiwans and the Tsuarisens. [Description omitted.]

(f) The Amis and the Piyumas. [Description omitted.]

(g) The Yamis.   [Description omitted.]


Later lists show only seven tribes. By the end of the decade, Tsarisen and Piyuma had been grouped with Paiwan for linguistic reasons, making it the largest population, and Saisett were thought to be on the verge of extinction.

While the data in the "Population" chapter shows the nine tribes that have been the subject of surveyists down to 1911, the chapter on "Aborigine affairs" (see next) shows Tsurisen grouped with Paiwan and Piyuma grouped with Ami -- the start of the reduction of nine classifications to seven.

Fourteen groups today

As of this writing (2009), fourteen aborigine groups have been recognized. The Republic of China, which essentially continued Japan's aboriginal affairs programs, again recognized Tsarisen and Piyuma, now called Rukai and Puyuma.

Saisett, thought by some early surveyists to be on the point of extinction, have survived as Saisiyat.

Four of the additional five groups are controversial splitoffs from one or another of the nine groups. The other is what I would term an "indigenization" of people who claim descent from a group that had been considered assimilated and indistinguishable from the "Sinified" mainstream.


Vital statistics (Taiwan 1912)

Japan's greatest contribution to the modern world is bean counters -- petty officials employed at local offices to count everything that moves and doesn't move in as many subclassifications that they can cram into tally sheets (in the past) and databases (today). The sheer volume of quantitative data created in the prefectures since the nationalization and development of local governments and their bureaucracies, since the start of the Meiji period, is overwhelming in all fields -- vital statistics.

The notion that people can be better governed through quantification of their lives -- from before the cradle to after the grave -- was applied to Taiwan, Karafuto, and Chosen with every bit as much enthusiasim as it had been in the prefectures. This 1912 publication in English on Taiwan is testimony to the political order that has to be imposed on a society in order to compile such data as living births, still births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and deaths -- and deaths from suicides and accidents.

Suicides and deaths by accidents

Suicides and deaths by accident are broken down, for each year from 1897 to 1911, by month in one table (pages 90-91) and by races in another (page 92). It is left to the reader to divide the raw counts by the reported populations -- but such would be a fruitless exercise, for there are no breakdowns of either by age group -- and the "Japanese" population is too rapidly changing, in terms of sex, age, and residency, to be able to reliably compare "Japanese" with either the "Formosans" or "Aborigines" in any vital statistic.

Sex ratios

Raw vital statistics become truly "vital" only when they are computed as ratios to the populations that generate them. And these populations can be fruitfully compared only in the light of sex, age, and other factors that influence the event that is being counted -- birth, marriage, divorce, death -- whatever.

The publication tabularizes the number of females per 100 males for each year of the period 1896-1911 by the usual "races" (page 75). In the following table, I have summarized the figures for only the beginning and end of this period. Moreover, I have the years columns instead of rows, and have listed the "races" in order of lowest F/M ratio.

Females per 100 males for selected years (Taiwan)

             1896   1900   1911

Foreigners           6.1   12.2
Japanese     28.0   55.1   68.5
Formosans    84.1   85.0   91.4
Aborigines          93.5   97.7
"Foreigners" and "Japanese"

The rapid increases in the F/M ratio for "Foreigners" and "Japanese" is most likely due to the migration to Taiwan of more couples if not families, as well as the birth of children in Taiwan to "Foreign" and "Japanese" couples.

Moreover, because they outnumber women of their own legal status, proportionally more alien and Interior men are marrying "Formosans" and also "Aborigines". And, because contemporary status laws are mostly patrilocal and patrilineal, women would generally have migrated to their husband's household register, and children would typically acquire their father's household registration status.

"Formosans" and "Aborigines"

The increases in F/M ratios for "Formosans" and "Aborigines" are most likely due to better survival of infants generally and female infants in particular, and better health care for older people, who already have higher ratios of females.

The higher initial F/M ratios for "Formosans" and "Aborigines" is to their larger populations, which have had more time to reach normal and stable sex ratios. The lower F/M ratio of "Formosans" may reflect more recent male migration from the contenent, or higher famale infanticide, or a combination of these and other factors. The significantly higher F/M ratio for "Aborigines" are also evident in the 90.1 figure reported for 1897.

"Japanese going to and returning from Taiwan"

In any event, the "Japanese" population at this point is probably the fastest growing, most mobile, and east stable -- in that there is a lot of movement back and forth between Taiwan and the Interior. While more people are staying than departing, the relative number of transients is both high and increasing.

In 1899, the "Going to Taiwan" count is 20,743 while the "Returning from Taiwan" tally is only 7,903. By 1911, these numbers are respectively 30,975 and 19,635 (pages 93-94).


Census (Taiwan 1912)

Establishing a reliable "Census" system is the first listed object of "Preservation of Peace" in the chapter on "Police System" (page 141, underscoring mine).


(2) Preservation of Peace.

(a) The Census System.The primary need for the preservation of peace is a reliable knowledge of the condition of the inhabitants. Despite this it was no easy task to secure a full census of the island. After the extraordinary census taking in 1905, the ground was cleared to make further investigations possible; but the data obtained was not adequate enough to furnish fundamental information on the domiciliary condition of the people. In consequence of this, the Government General, in December the same year, issued the Household Census Regulations, entrusting the police with the work of keeping track of household movement of the people. This innovation in the method of census taking, on account of its simplicity is believed to be superior to that in vogue in Japan Proper.


Chosen (Taiwan 1912)

Reflecting the somewhat schizophrenic character of many contemporary reports in English, Chapter 22 is called "Trade with Japan" -- even though it is clear that Taiwan is part of Japan. Japanese reports of this kind would have trade with the “à’n (Naichi) or "Interior" -- referring to the prefectural entity of the Empire of Japan.

The terminological difficulty the translators and editors have with representing "Japan" to the "outside" world is reflected in the subheadings of the two pages of text that introduce several tables (pages 311-312, underscoring mine).


(1) Trade with Japan Proper.   The trade of Taiwan with Japan Proper for 1911 . . . . This suprising increase in the volume of trade with the mother country is attributable to the rapid economic development of the Island that encouraged the importation of Japanese goods . . . .

(2) Trade with Chosen.   The main exports to Chosen (Korea) in 1911 . . . . The imports from Chosen were quite insignificant, they coming all through parcel post.

(3) Shipping.   The shipping returns between Taiwan and Japan Proper for 1911 . . . .

Below are given returns of trade with the mother country.

One does, in fact, find •ê‘ (bokoku) or "motherland" [mother country] used in some contemporary references to the Interior -- and even •ê‘l (bokokujin) or "motherlanders" as a synonym for Interiorite -- in the writing of some particularly proud "motherlanders" like Takekoshi Yosaburō. These and many other of his metaphors, however, are totally glossed over in the English version of his book. See Takekoshi 1905 in the "Taiwan: The legal integration of Formosa" article in "The Sovereign Empire" feature for a comparison of the original and translation texts.

"Japan Proper" -- somewhat ironically -- misrepresents the intent of the imperialists who were going to the trouble to "Interiorize" Taiwan and Chosen. In favoring exclusivist English metaphors like "Japan proper" and "Japanese" to the more inclusive Japanese metaphors, such reports fail to convey the confidence that "Interior" and "Interiorites" exuded with regard to "Japan" as imperial entity.

That what had been "Korea" until its incorporation into the Empire of Japan is here, correctly, referred to as "Chosen" is, however, an indicator that the editors were paying attention to "proper" English terminology. The practice, then, of parenthetically qualifying Chosen as "Korea" reflects the way the Chosen Government-General was then referring to Chosen in the titles of its reports.

The Chosen Government-General (’©‘N‘“•{ Chōson sōtoku fu), which replaced the Korea Resident-General (ŠØ‘“ŠÄ•{ Kankoku tōkokufu) when Korea became Chosen from 29 August 1910, was quick to assert "Chosen" in its English publications. At the same time, though, CGG was fairly careful to differentiate the two entities -- "Korea" as a state and "Chosen" as part of Japan.

In December 1910, barely three months into its mandate, CGG published, under its own name, the Third Annual Report on Reforms and Progress in Korea (1909-10) -- properly reflecting the old name. The next few annual reports were on reforms and progress in "Chosen (Korea)". By the early 1920s, the parenthetic "(Korea)" was dropped.


Taiwan: A Unique Colonial Record (1937-1938)

During the 1930s and early 1940s, Kokusai Nippon Kyokai (š Û“ú–{‹¦˜ð) -- literally "international Japan association" -- facilitated the publishing of numerous works which publicized the achievements of the Empire of Japan, as well as works on allied, occupied, and peripheral countries and issues, during the. After World War II, the Japanese name changed to reflect postwar graphic standards (‘Û“ú–{‹¦‰ï). Its romanized name became "Kokusai Nihon Kyokai" and called itself "The International Society of Japan" in English.

The organization appears to have come into existence during the 1930s. After the war it continued to publish books and guilds related to foreign countries and international affairs. Its publishing bureau -- ‘Û“ú–{‹¦‰ïo”Å‹Ç -- was active until at least 1970.


The Japanese title of the English report is ‰p•¶äiàsã`㜠(Eibun Taiwan sōran), meaning "English Taiwan general sternline ["mooring", guide]". The implied Japanese edition of the book in fact existed.


Particulars (Taiwan 1937)

The publishing details are as follows.

Front of dust jacket

Edited Compiled and Designed by / Hideo Naito

Taiwan / A Unique Colonial Record / 1937-8 Edition
Kokusai Nippon Kyokai

Title page

The title page is conventional. In lieu of a copyright page on the back of the title page, there is a colophon at the end of the book (see below).

Taiwan / A Unique Colonial Record / 1937-8 Edition
Issued by / Kokusai Nippon Kyokai / Tokyo Japan
Edited Compiled and Designed by / Hideo Naito


The colophon is bilingual. I have omitted the addresses and some other details.

‰p•¶äiàsã`㜠[ ‰p•¶‘ä˜p‘—— ]
[ Eibun Taiwan sōran ]
[ "English Taiwan general sternline [guide]"]
"Taiwan" A Unique Colonial Record
1937-8 Edition
Hideo Naito, Publisher and Editor
Kokusai Nippon Kyokai
Toyo Bldg., Kojimachi-ku
º˜a\“ñ”N‹ãŒŽ\ŒÜ“úˆóü [Printed 15 September 1937]
º˜a\“ñ”N‹ãŒŽ“ñ\“ú”­s [Published 20 September 1937]
“à“¡‰p—Y [Creator / publisher Naito Hideo]
ˆóüŠ ‰Á˜Ò‹à¡ [Printing place Kaku Kinshō (Kanemasu)]
”­sŠ š Û“ú–{‹¦˜ð社 [Publishing place Kokusai Nippon Kyokai]


xii pages (forewords, contents), 350 pages (text), 6 pages (index), 220 pages (191 black-and-white photographs, 6 color plates, 19 black-and-white ads, 4 blank), plus folded color map (looseleaf)

Back of dust jacket publicity

Ilha Formosa -- "Island
Beautiful" -- Taiwan
invites you --

     See the gorgeous scenic beauties and rare spots of interest --

     Note the advancement it has made under the steadily progressive policies of the Government-General --

     Through the up-to-date Government Railways and Bus System throughout the Island.

Government Railways

Physical description of book

An antiquarian book in the United Kingdom describes the physical volume as follows (slightly edited, otherwise as retrieved 27 August 2009 from AbeBooks.com, Jacques Gander, Fairford, GLO, United Kingdom).

Quarter bound in leather, that is to say the spine is leather with gilt lettering and with decorations of tropical fruits also in gilt. The boards are faced in blue cloth with an embossed decoration. Top edge gilt. The endpaers are blue with decorations. xii, 350 pages plus an index of 6 pages then a pictorial section unpaginated but over 200 pages containing over 550 photographs followed by a number of pages of adverts for various hotels and businesses. A map of Formosa was especially published as a supplement to the book and a copy of it accompanys [sic] the book and is loosely inserted. The map is folded in four to fit inside the book and is in colour. The book is 7.75 x 10.5 inches.

This describes the copy in my possession. The map in my edition appears to have been looseleaf.

The tome also 4 centimeters thick and extremely heavy, largely due to the weight of the 220 pages of photographs and plates.


Forewords (Taiwan 1937)

There are two forewords, the first is by Inoue Tadashirō (ˆäã‹§Žl˜Y 1876-1959), the director of the publicity association that published the book, the second by the editory, presumably Naitō Hideo.

Viscount Inoue's foreword

The first foreword is signed "Viscount T. Inouyé" over the title "Director of Kokusai Nippon Kyokai". Judging from its content, it appears to have been written around 1936. Its three-plus pages begin and end like this (pages i and iv).


A full forty-one years have already elapsed since Taiwan was annexed to the Japanese Empire and the Government-General was established for the administration of the island. During this time a wonderful, even epoch-making, development has been attained along various lines of human activity, viz. diffusion of cultural enlightenment, achievement of general education of the people of the island, industrial construction, completion of the means of traffic and communication, and general commercial, industrial and trade pursuits.

[ Abbreviated ]

In view of the above circumstance, the Kokusai Nippon Kyokai, of which I am the director, has undertaken the task of preparing the present work with a view to acquainting the world with the condition of Taiwan as it really is today. Authoritative scholars and writers connected with the present Association have co-operated on the basis of the investigation specially undertaken on the spot since last year. All the facilities and resources available to the Association have been mobilized and taken full advantage of. It has thus been able to enrich the contents of the work and bring it out in its present form. The public is hereby cordially requested to test the present work on its own merit and pass judgment accordingly.

Viscount T. Inouyé [signed]     
Director of Kokusai Nippon Kyokai     

The director was Inoue Tadashirō (ˆäã‹§Žl˜Y 1876-1959), the adopted son of Viscount Inoue Kowashi (ˆäã‹B 1844-1895), who was closely involved in the drafting of the 1890 Constitution. Tadashiro was the 4th son (as his name implies) of Okamatsu Yōkoku, a Confucian scholar of the Kumamoto domain of Higo province. Inoue was also from this domain and had excelled in Confucian studies. In 1895, the year he became a viscount and then died, Inoue adopted Tadashiro to succeed to his house and title.

Tadashiro, after graduating in engineering from Tokyo Imperial University, studied in Europe and the United States, became a professor at Kyoto Imperial University, and then in 1912 he became a professor in the college of engineering at Tokyo Imperial University. In 1910 he was elected to the House of Peers, and continued to be a member until 1946 (the house was replaced by the House of Councilors in 1947).

Inoue served on numerous company boards, including that of the South Mancuria Railway. He served served as the vice-director of naval affairs in 1925, and the same year became the minister of the Ministry of Railways in the cabinet of prime minister Wakatsuki Reijirō. In 1930 he served as Japan's representative in the League of Nations. During the war he served the government mainly in activities related to mobilization and scientific and technological development.

He had lived in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. He had Frank Lloyd Wright design his home on the top of a hill in Mejiro, Tokyo.

First edition foreword>

"The Editor's Foreword" is to "A Record of Taiwan's Progress" (1936-7 Edition), the first edition of this work and presumably the edition foreworded by Viscount Inoue.

The one-page foreword begins on this note (page v).

The Editor's Foreword

The completion of a work of this nature, however conscientiously undertaken and pursued, brings with it a feeling of pleasure not, however, unmixed with a certain measure of trepidation. This all the more true in the case of the present book, "A Record of Taiwan's Progress" (1936-7 Edition); for, to the best of the Editor's knowledge, it is absolutely the authoritative work in English language dealing exhaustively, through illustrations and reading matter, with the fascinating country of Taiwan.

[ Rest omitted. ]

This "modesty" is tempered by the remark toward the end that "a measure of public approval" for the work would not only make editors "feel amply repaid for the hard work involved in its preparation" but would "encourage us to bring the 1937 Edition nearer to perfection" -- presumably in a later edition.

Editor's note on revised edition

The editor, still writing in third person plural, makes this remark in his note to the revised edition (page vi).

Editor's Note on the
Revised Edition.

Since the last publication of "A Record of Taiwan's Progress" (1936-7 Edition), the general aspects of the Island have shown a great change, especially in the administrative policy of the Government-General, in line with the national policy of the Empire, as well as in the direction of industrialization of the Isalnd.

All these facts necessitated us a revision of the book, so that accurate information and the newest data could be offered to the readers in as interesting a manner as possible. To help demonstrate the present conditions of the Island, a goodly number of pages have been also added to its pictorial section, altogether more than 200 pages, containing over 550 pictures.

Furthermore, to accord with the contents of this revised edition, the title of the volume has been changed, and the Editor according begs to present:

"Taiwan, A Unique Colonial Record
(1937-8 Edition)",

for the kind approbation of the public.


The forewords are presumably by Naiō Hideo (“à“¡‰p—Y). Naitō was the head of the "Colonial department" (A–¯‰È Shokuminka) at Jōchi Daigaku (ã’q‘åŠw) [Sophia University], the "Colonial comrades association" (A–¯“¯Žu‰ï Shokumin dōshi kai), and the "Japan colonial consulting [guidance] place" (“ú–{A–¯‘Š’kŠ Nihon shokumin sōdansho / sōdanjo). His age was given at 43 in a 6 February 1934 newspaper article about his activities as the president of the magazine "Colonial" (A–¯ Shokumin). (Kobe University Library, retrieved 25 September 2009).

Naitō was a regular contributor, during the early 1930s, to a monthly magazine called A–¯ (Shokumin), published from 1922 (Volume 1) to at least 1935 (Volume 14) by “ú–{A–¯’ʐMŽÐ (Nippon shokumin tsūshin sha) [Japan colonist news agency] [ .

The magazine ran articles about "migrants" (ˆÚ–¯ imin) and "transplants" ["colonials"] (A–¯ shokumin), diplomatic, political, and economic relations, inclduing on-site reports and voices of migrant-settlers (ˆÚZŽÒ ijūsha).

Twelve installments of his column -- "Seeking hope abroad: Responding to the troubles of pioneers" (Šó–]‚ðŠCŠO‚É‹‚߂āFƒpƒCƒIƒjƒ„‚Ì”Y‚Ý‚É“š‚Ó Kiō o kaigai ni motomete: Paioniya no nayami ni kotau) -- ran between the July 1932 issue (Volume 11, Number 7) to the October 1935 issue (Volume 14, Number 10).

An article with the same title, but subtitled "Responding to the troubles of women pioneers" (—«ƒpƒCƒIƒjƒA‚Ì”Y‚Ý‚É“š‚Ó Josei paionia ni kotau), appeared in the December 1935 issue (Volume 14, Number 12) -- possibly marking the start of a new group of articles focussing on female migrants.

Michael A. Schneider describes Natio as "head of the Japanese Colonization Information Society [(Nihon shokumin tsūshinsha)] and editor of its journal [The Colonist (Shokumin)]" (Schneider 1999: 113). Schneider -- in a discussion of how certain "information societies . . . promoted and encouraged overseas emigration" by, among other things, "attempting to mold opinion amoung the urban middle classes" -- cites and paraphrases remarks Naito and other Shokumin contributors made to promote what was essentially a laissez-faire approch to migration and settlement -- though Schneider, like most writers, muddles the meanings of "Japan" and "Japanese" (Schneider 1999: 113-116).

Michael A. Schneider
The Limits of Cultural Rule: Internationalism and Identity in Japanese Responses to Korean Rice
Pages 97-127 (Chapter 4) in
Gi-Wook Shin and Michael Robinson (editors)
Colonial Modernity in Korea
Cambridge (MT): Harvard Asia Center (Harvard University Press), 1999
The Harvard-Hallym Series on Korean Studies
Second printing (2004) of first paperback edition (2000)


Inhabitants of Taiwan (Taiwan 1937)

Chapter II, "The Inhabitants", starts with this graph (page 8). The datum for the population is not stated.

The total population of Taiwan [as of 1934] amounts to 5,194,960 people, of whom 5.1 per cent are Japanese, 94 per cent Taiwanese, (including 2.9 per cent Takasago), and the balance of 0.9 per cent foreigners of varying nationalities. The latter are, for the most part, temporary immgrants from the Chinese provinces of Fukien and Canton, and are concentrating their business and labour activities in the Taiwanese cities.

At the bottom of the page, different population figures are broken down into the different categories, shown as [Page 8 data] in the following table. Again the datum is not stated, but the figures reflect those shown for 1935 census data on page 14.

However, some of the figures and categories differ on pages 8 and 14 differ. And the "Japanese" category does not reflect the meaning of the "Interiorite" category used in Japanese-langauge reports -- which I have reflected in [brackets] under "Japanese-language reports".

Taiwan population (1935 census)

Page 8 data            Japanese-langauge reports

Total      5,315,642   5,315,642  [TOTAL]

                       5,261,533  [JAPANESE]

Japanese     269,798     269,798  [Interiorites]
Koreans        1,604       1,604  [Chosenese]
Taiwanese  4,990,131   4,990,131  [Taiwanese]
Aborigines   150,489    (150,489) (including Aborigines)

                          54,109  [FOREIGNERS]

Chinese       53,900      53,900  [Chinese]
Foreigners       209         209  [Other foreigners]

The 1930-1935 census data on page 14 more correctly refers to Chosenese, Taiwanese, and Foreigners. "Taiwanese" includes "Aborigines" (i.e., "Takasago") and "Foreigners" includes "Chinese".

Throughout the English report, however, "Japanese" is used in a racialist way that misrepresents Japanese-langauge reports, in which "subjects" or "nationals" of Japan, i.e., "Japanese" -- as opposed to "aliens" or "foreigners" -- are broken down into Interiorites, Chosenese, and Taiwanese.

As for the use of "Korean" in the page 8 data, rather than "Chosenese" in many of the more detailed tables, I would guess that the compilers and editors of the book are patching together information from different English sources, as well as translating some Japanese sources, without regard for consistency in the usage of "Chosen" and "Chosenese" -- a standard in Taiwan reports as early as the 1912 report (see above).


Races of Taiwan (Taiwan 1937)


"Distribution of Population"

A section called "Distribution of population" give these particulars on "native races" and "Chinese of the Han race" (pages 10-11).

There are various native races in the flat-area. The coast region and the plain in the eastern section of the Island, still remain, owing to lack of communication facilities, semi-aboriginal areas, notwithstanding there being ordinary spheres of administration; furthermore, a fairly large number of aborigines reside there. The aborigines living on the upland are called "kozan-ban" -- literally "high mountain aboriginese", -- and those on the plains are called "heichi-ban" or "aborigines of the plains." The latter are much more advanced than the former in their general living standards and habits. Aside from these aborigines, there are those called "jukuban", "doban" or "peipoapan". These are aborigines who have changed their original mode of life under the influence of the Chinese (Han) race, and who are scattered over the flat areas throughout the Island. There is also a group of aborigines called "kaban" or "tamed aborigines", who may be classed between "seiban" (savage aborigines) and "jukuban" (tamed aborigines). Thea borigines of this kind live on the plains close to the foot of the mountains. Generally speaking, the aborigines living in the ordinary administrative spheres are called "kaban".

Chinese of the Han race form the bulk of the people of Taiwan, and occupy 94 per cent. of its entire population. They are called "hontojin" or literally "Main Island people", and are classified into two proups [sic], Fukienese and Cantonese. They inhabit the plains throughout the Island, and show in their mode of living the colour and aspects of South China's culture. Their houses are built of bricks and earthen blocks, their entrances pasted with red strips of paper inscribed with popular poems. Their streets are charcterised by roofed side-walks, while the farmers of this race use the buffalo instead of cattle for agricutlural purposes. The women-folk are inordinately fond of using gold, silver, and precious stones as head ornaments and earrings. All this represents a characteristic mode of life, and effects a phase of Chinese culture.

The term "jukuban" connotes "tribes" who have submitted to the administrative authorities. At present, these have been thoroughly influenced by the Chinese of the Han race in mode of life and in other respects; so, indeed, that it is quite difficult to tell the former from the latter. Many are Christians, a peculiarity that is ascribed to the fact that at the time of the occupation of the Island by Portuguese and other Occidentals, the aborigines came into direct contact with the latter.

There is considerable metaphorical confusion in the "literal" glosses of the above romanized terms. They are based on the following graphs, in which ”× (SJ ban, C fan) means "savage" or "barbarian" in the sense of someone who has not yet been "civilized" or otherwise "assimilated".

Text        Graphs   Romanization    Meaning

kozan-ban   ‚ŽR”×   kouzanban       high-mountain savage
heichi-ban  •½’n”×   heichiban       flat-land savage
jukuban     n”×     jukuban         cooked savage
doban       “y”×     doban           local [native] savage
peipoapan   •½š¼”×   TW peipofan     flat-plain savage
kaban       ‰»”×     kaban           changed savage
seiban      ¶”×     seiban          raw savage
Han         Š¿       SJ Kan, C Han   Han
hontojin    –{“‡l   hontoujin       this-island-person

"Kajin" (‰»”×) or "changed savage" is one reduction of "kikaban" (‹A‰»”×) -- meaning "submitted-and-changed savage" or "allegiance-changed savage" -- which is also reduced to "kiban" (‹A”×) or "submitted [surrendered] savage".


"The Japanese in Taiwan" (Taiwan 1937)

"The Japanese on Taiwan" is mostly geographic, but the last third concerns physical traits -- beginning with the observation that "Taiwan-born Japanese stop growing earlier than home-born Japanese, and do not seem to be so robust physically" (page 12).

By the 1930s, there had been considerable anthropometric, epidemiologic, and eugenic research into growth and maturation, and morbidity and mortality, in relation to environment and activity, of migrants throughout the empire, but especially of Interiorites and their children in other territories.

The section concludes that the claim that "Japanese [Interiorite] residents [of Taiwan] must suffer premature decay . . . has not been fully proved statistically; nor has it yet been scientifically established that the Japanese are handicapped in health by climatic conditions in Taiwan, as is claimed by some persons" (page 12).


"Chinese immigrants" (Taiwan 1937)

"Japanese" and "Chosenese" are racialized along with other categorical "races" in the section on "Chinese immigrants" (pages 12-13).

Chinese immigrants

Are Chinese immigrants to the Island of Taiwan of Chinese origin?

As to whether immigrants from China to Taiwan are Chinese or Indo-Chinese, there arise various and interminable arguments.

Anthropologically considered, the Asiatic race consists of the Chinese race and Siberians. These Chinese are made up of the Chinese, Tibetans and Indo-Chinese, while the Siberians include the Tunguses, Mongolian, Tartars, Fins and Rups. Far Northern Inhabitants, Japanese and Chosenese.

As is indicated in the history of China, a large number of Indo-Chinese lived in such districts as the present Fukien and Canton provinces. In 1824, when the Netherlands took possession of Taiwan, an immigration of the Indo-Chinese, who had hitherto had their dwellings in the present Fukien and Canton provinces, started to a marked extent, such being due in the main to Chinese political factors. According to statistics compiled by the Netherlanders, it is reported that the number of the Indo-Chinese immigrants to Taiwan reached the high figure of 180,000 at the time.

It is thus inferred that the Chinese immigrants to Taiwan may be of Indo-Chinese origin.

The term "Chinese immigrants" probably reflects ˆÚZ–¯ (ijūmin) in Japanese -- literally "move-live people" or "migrant-settlers" -- a common reference to the descendants of people who migrated to and settled in Taiwan in fairly recent times, mostly from China. The term was used to refer to anyone who was not categorically an aborigine or alien -- including Interiorites who had settled in Taiwan.


More is said about Chinese as "Natives" in a later section called "Customs and Manners of the Natives" (pages 15-16). The term "natives" refers to all people of Taiwan but especially to those of Chinese descent or other Sinified people.

"Customs and Manners of the Natives" opens with this claim (page 15) . . .

Thanks to the popularization of education under the new regime, the daily life of the natives of Taiwan has been greatly modernized, many former bad manners, such as the binding of feet, and the braiding of hair, etc. having been dispossed of.

. . . and closes with this warning (page 16).

If you come across a native woman with ruffled hair, you may be sure she is either insane or an invalid.

The final paragraph of the "The Inhabitants" chapter is set off from the preceding sections and titled Evil Practice of Foot-binding in italics. It statistically confirms the "gradually diminished" practice of "this unfavorable custom" that is "fast dying out in Taiwan" -- where it was "still practiced among Taiwanese women, especially among those whose forefathers hail from Fukien (China)" (page 19).


"The Aborigines" (Taiwan 1937)

The next section -- "The Aborigines" -- makes the following observation (page 13, underscoring and [bracketed] clarifications mine).

The Aborigines

From the view-point of language, customs and physique, the natives living in Taiwan are made up of the following seven races: The Taiyal, Saiset, Tsou, Bunun, Ami, Paiwan and Yami.

The Tiayal race is the most powerful of the seven. They live in the northern parts of Taiwan, and are brave, barbarous, cruel and merciless. They numbered 35,639 at the end of December, 1935.

The Saiset race living in the north-eastern districts of the Island are very gentle. There were only 1,482 on the same date.

Thirdly, the Tsou race is brave and vigorous. Their dwellings are in the central part of Taiwan. The number of the Tsous was 2,168.

The Bunun race numbered 17,757. They also live in the central part, but they are suprisingly brave and cruel.

The Ami race, residing in the eastern part, numbered 48,237. They are the most civilized of the natives in Taiwan Island and are for the most part engaged in farming.

The Paiwan live in the southern part and also are engaged in agricultural activities. A feudal system prevails among them at present. Their number was as high as 43,460.

Lastly, the Yami race lives on a small island near [to the east of the southern tip of] the main island numbering 1,695. Aside from being self-supporting, their character is markedly gentle.

The nine aborigine groups which Japanese anthropologists had classified in surveys undertaken around the turn of the century have since become "seven races". As used here, the term "race" probably reflects ‘° (zoku) in contemporary Japanese descriptions.

Three pages of "Census" figures for "Japanese, Chosenese, Taiwanese, Foreigners, Total" and vital statistics for "Japanese, Taiwanese, Foreigners, Total" are followed by the following brief sections all related to aborigines (italics in original).

Customs and Manners of the Natives (pages 15-16)
The Original Races of the Island (pages 16-17)
Characteristics of the Aborigines (pages 17-18)
Their Virtues (pages 18-19)
Evil Practice of Foot-binding (page 19)

The "Customs and Manners of the Natives" and "Evil Practice of Foot-binding" sections, concerning Chinese, have already been reviewed. The other three sections are about aborigines, by then also called "Takasago".

Aborigines / Original race(s) / Takasago race

"The Original Races of the Island" serves as an introduction to the "Characteristics of the Aborigines" and "Their Virtues" sections (pages 16-17, underscoring mine).

The Original Races of the Island

The aborigines have inhabited Taiwan from prehistoric days. At present, it is not yet known whence they came and became the original inhabitants of the Island. Anthropologically they bear a striking resemblance to the Malayans and are quite different from the people from the mainland of China, in respect to their countenances, physical features, dialects and customs. They are supposed, therefore, to be the descendants of people who came in groups across the sea from various islands in the Southseas and settled in Taiwan differently, so that there are not contemporary seven races. They are believed to be ferocious and blood-thirsty, having no virtues at all; but this is not true." (page 16).

In some quarters, the aborigines are called the "Takasago race," or the "original race of Taiwan." This name ["Takasago"] has recently been recognised officially.

Many people think that the aborigines are interested in head-hunting only. But they overlook the fact that they are now among the subjects of the Japanese Emperor. They are, as it were, our brothers. They are passionate, it is true, but they have a keen sense of honour, are very conscientious, are very particular about manners and etiquette; those who have talked with them in person are often charmed by their innocent and honest disposition.

Our brothers probably reflects something like ‰ä‚ª“¯–E (waga dōhō) -- meaning "our same-wombers".

In Japan then more than now, “¯–E (dōhō) was a common reference to people who were considered members of the same "national" family -- often in the sense of being racioethnic siblings.

The term is commonly used today in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to refer to nationals of both countries as a racioethnic entity. It is legally used in ROK in reference to aliens of putative "Korean" racioethnic descent.


Laws (Taiwan 1937)

Chapter VIII -- "The Laws" -- is only three pages but presents a fairly reliable summary of the gradual extension to Taiwan of laws that brought the territory increasing under an umbrella of laws that were common to the sovereign empire. The chapter also has an interesting review of laws related to what are called "Inter-racial Marriages between the Taiwanese and the Natives of Japan Proper".

Laws common to all parts of Japan

The overview of the legal "progress" on Taiwan includes this observation (page 75-77, underscoring mine).

[Pursuant to legal arrangements for "the enforcement of Japanese civil administration in the Island" after Taiwan became part of Japan in 1895], the inhabitants of Taiwan in those days mainly were governed by the orders and mandates issued by the Governor-General, while some of the laws which were in force in Japan Proper were exceptionally applied to Taiwan.


In keeping with the progress of the times, the anomalous state of things in this connection was brought to an end. In 1921, it was proclaimed by Law No. 3 that Taiwan would thereafter be placed under the same laws that were in force in Japan Proper; and that convenient measures might be taken by the Governor-General in case of special necessity. Nevertheless, there are a number of special laws and ordinances still valid in Taiwan due to the difference between the natives of Japan and those of Taiwan in respect of manners and customs. For example, we have a special criminal code, which is intended to punish atrocious crimes. The criminal code in question is known as the "Penal Laws against Bandits." No less remarkable is the fact that each provincial governor of Taiwan is authorized to arbitrate in civil cases, and execute the judgment delivered relative to civil cases. In the meantime, district governors and heads of police stations are authorized to pass summary judgments in minor criminal cases. These are among the prominent points of difference between Japan Proper and Taiwan in relation to the enforcement of laws and ordinances. In this connection, let us examine a little further in to specific laws:--

(1) The Criminal Code

1. The Penal Laws against Bandits:  [ Omitted ].

2. Summary Justice in Minor Criminal Cases:  [ Omitted ].

(2) The Civil Code

1. Official Arbitration in Civil Cases:  [ Omitted ].

2. Orders and Ordinances about Inter-racial Marriages between the Taiwanese and Natives of Japan Proper: [ See Mixed marriage and adoption alliances in Taiwan in "Taiwan: The legal integration of Formosa" in "The Sovereign Empire" feature for the text of this paragraph and related laws. ]

3. The Laws and Regulations concerning the acquisition of Land in Taiwan by Foreigners:  Foreigners, whether or not residing in Japan, are prohibited by laws, regulations, etc. from acquiring land in the Island, except such pieces of land as are already in their possession.

4. The Laws, Ordinances, etc. relative to the Regions inhabited by Aborigines:  Nobody, other than an aborigine, is authorized to occupy, or use any part of the region inhabited by the aborigines, or to make it an object of ownership, under any pretext whatsoever, except in a few cases specified in laws and/or ordinances, and those who have obtained special permission from the Governor-General.

5. Interest Restriction Rules:  [ Omitted ].

See Mixed-marriage and mixed-adoption alliances in Taiwan in "Taiwan: The legal integration of Formosa" in "The Sovereign Empire" feature for fuller details on the laws that governed (or didn't govern) alliances of marraige and adoption between people of different legal affiliations -- Japanese with aliens at one level, and Taiwanese and Interiorites on another.