What does it mean by “being colonized”? Reflections on the Japanese colonial policies in Taiwan

Heung Wah WONG, Hoi Yan YAU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Research

Abstract

This paper is an anthropological attempt to make sense why so many facets of the Taiwanese social life including language, food, entertainment, medical care, living environment, ritual, and architecture are underlined by a surprisingly strong “Japanese” ambiance. But what is more surprising is when asked why their behavior often showed definite Japanese traces, Taiwanese people explained without a second thought that these were the ways that they had always followed. In other words, to them, all these “Japanized” customs and practices are not Japanese, but essentially Taiwanese. Through an examination of the Japanese colonial policiesin Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, we shall demonstrate how and why Taiwanese people could be colonized by the alien Japanese colonial forces. Of course, native Taiwanese people did not just receive what was imposed on them. They did resist, recast or manipulate the alien Japanese foreign forces in their own terms, or for their own benefits. However, by attempting to negotiate with the colonial forces, local people ultimately entered into the game of the colonizer. Thus they are not playing their own but others’ game. In the course of engaging themselves into the game of the colonizer, native people could not but succumb themselves to the alien way of seeing and being, with their consciousness being colonized by the alien signs and practices which, as we shall argue, tells what it means by “being colonized”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-360
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Group Dynamics
Volume30
Early online date15 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

colonial policy
Taiwan
entertainment
medical care
consciousness
religious behavior
food
examination
language

Bibliographical note

Seed funding provided by the University of Hong Kong. Initial funds from the University of Hong Kong allowed the authors to generate preliminary data and developed further proposal for the funding of this project.

Keywords

  • colonization
  • resistance
  • collaboration
  • cultural policy
  • Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan

Cite this

@article{5b59f693f4674f25aeb84df676b21dee,
title = "What does it mean by “being colonized”? Reflections on the Japanese colonial policies in Taiwan",
abstract = "This paper is an anthropological attempt to make sense why so many facets of the Taiwanese social life including language, food, entertainment, medical care, living environment, ritual, and architecture are underlined by a surprisingly strong “Japanese” ambiance. But what is more surprising is when asked why their behavior often showed definite Japanese traces, Taiwanese people explained without a second thought that these were the ways that they had always followed. In other words, to them, all these “Japanized” customs and practices are not Japanese, but essentially Taiwanese. Through an examination of the Japanese colonial policiesin Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, we shall demonstrate how and why Taiwanese people could be colonized by the alien Japanese colonial forces. Of course, native Taiwanese people did not just receive what was imposed on them. They did resist, recast or manipulate the alien Japanese foreign forces in their own terms, or for their own benefits. However, by attempting to negotiate with the colonial forces, local people ultimately entered into the game of the colonizer. Thus they are not playing their own but others’ game. In the course of engaging themselves into the game of the colonizer, native people could not but succumb themselves to the alien way of seeing and being, with their consciousness being colonized by the alien signs and practices which, as we shall argue, tells what it means by “being colonized”.",
keywords = "colonization, resistance, collaboration, cultural policy, Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan",
author = "WONG, {Heung Wah} and YAU, {Hoi Yan}",
note = "Seed funding provided by the University of Hong Kong. Initial funds from the University of Hong Kong allowed the authors to generate preliminary data and developed further proposal for the funding of this project.",
year = "2013",
month = "12",
day = "28",
doi = "10.11245/jgd.30.342",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "342--360",
journal = "Journal of Group Dynamics",
issn = "2187-2872",

}

What does it mean by “being colonized”? Reflections on the Japanese colonial policies in Taiwan. / WONG, Heung Wah; YAU, Hoi Yan.

In: Journal of Group Dynamics, Vol. 30, 28.12.2013, p. 342-360.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Research

TY - JOUR

T1 - What does it mean by “being colonized”? Reflections on the Japanese colonial policies in Taiwan

AU - WONG, Heung Wah

AU - YAU, Hoi Yan

N1 - Seed funding provided by the University of Hong Kong. Initial funds from the University of Hong Kong allowed the authors to generate preliminary data and developed further proposal for the funding of this project.

PY - 2013/12/28

Y1 - 2013/12/28

N2 - This paper is an anthropological attempt to make sense why so many facets of the Taiwanese social life including language, food, entertainment, medical care, living environment, ritual, and architecture are underlined by a surprisingly strong “Japanese” ambiance. But what is more surprising is when asked why their behavior often showed definite Japanese traces, Taiwanese people explained without a second thought that these were the ways that they had always followed. In other words, to them, all these “Japanized” customs and practices are not Japanese, but essentially Taiwanese. Through an examination of the Japanese colonial policiesin Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, we shall demonstrate how and why Taiwanese people could be colonized by the alien Japanese colonial forces. Of course, native Taiwanese people did not just receive what was imposed on them. They did resist, recast or manipulate the alien Japanese foreign forces in their own terms, or for their own benefits. However, by attempting to negotiate with the colonial forces, local people ultimately entered into the game of the colonizer. Thus they are not playing their own but others’ game. In the course of engaging themselves into the game of the colonizer, native people could not but succumb themselves to the alien way of seeing and being, with their consciousness being colonized by the alien signs and practices which, as we shall argue, tells what it means by “being colonized”.

AB - This paper is an anthropological attempt to make sense why so many facets of the Taiwanese social life including language, food, entertainment, medical care, living environment, ritual, and architecture are underlined by a surprisingly strong “Japanese” ambiance. But what is more surprising is when asked why their behavior often showed definite Japanese traces, Taiwanese people explained without a second thought that these were the ways that they had always followed. In other words, to them, all these “Japanized” customs and practices are not Japanese, but essentially Taiwanese. Through an examination of the Japanese colonial policiesin Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, we shall demonstrate how and why Taiwanese people could be colonized by the alien Japanese colonial forces. Of course, native Taiwanese people did not just receive what was imposed on them. They did resist, recast or manipulate the alien Japanese foreign forces in their own terms, or for their own benefits. However, by attempting to negotiate with the colonial forces, local people ultimately entered into the game of the colonizer. Thus they are not playing their own but others’ game. In the course of engaging themselves into the game of the colonizer, native people could not but succumb themselves to the alien way of seeing and being, with their consciousness being colonized by the alien signs and practices which, as we shall argue, tells what it means by “being colonized”.

KW - colonization

KW - resistance

KW - collaboration

KW - cultural policy

KW - Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan

U2 - 10.11245/jgd.30.342

DO - 10.11245/jgd.30.342

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 30

SP - 342

EP - 360

JO - Journal of Group Dynamics

JF - Journal of Group Dynamics

SN - 2187-2872

ER -