From the end of the 19th century to mid-20th century, Taiwan changed from
being a frontier province of the Qing Dynasty into a colony of Imperial Japan.
Following the transformation of sovereignty and to strengthen its colonial rule, the
Japan Empire imposed prevalent westernization on Taiwan, thus posing a significant
impact on the traditional culture and everyday life of Taiwanese. Taking the new year
celebration for instance, while Taiwanese had all along followed the lunar calendar
and celebrated the Lunar New Year, the colonial government introduced the Gregorian
New Year, which symbolized the modernity. Beside of difference in timing, the two
new years were also distinct in their traditions and ceremonial observance. This article
focuses on how Taiwanese gradually adjusted or adapted to changes in new year
celebration promoted and imposed by the Japanese government and whether their
strategies manifested a form or a spirit of resistance against colonial rule.
With references to diaries, newspapers and related literature from late Qing rule
to 1945, this article discusses the changes in ways how Taiwanese celebrated new
year, the transformation of festival observance in Taiwan, the integration of
traditional and modern cultural elements, as well as the background and reasons
behind the preservation or abolition of cultural practices.
Keywords：Gregorian New Year, Lunar New Year, Abolition of Lunar New Year, Assimilation, Culture Resistance
Popularity, Negative Impacts, and Public Policies of Mahjong Game in Japanese Colonial Taiwan
The Chinese parlor game of Mahjong, first invented in the late 19th century, was
introduced into Taiwan in the 1920s and had made a far-reaching impact on society. This
paper will explore the extent to which the game affected people from different walks of life.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Japanese government imposed a special
consumption tax (骨牌稅) on Chinese card (四色牌) and enacted legislations prohibiting
gambling of any form. However, as the game of Mahjong gained its popularity
throughout Asia and the western world in the first half of the 1920s, it was brought into
Taiwan from Japan and soon became an indispensable traveling companion for
entertainment. Moreover, newly established Mahjong clubs also contributed to its wide
The craze for Mahjong among the general mass, regardless of class, race, region, or
gender, reached its peak in the 1920s, making it a kind of ‘national pastime’. While
Mahjong was often closely associated with gambling, different camps held rather
contradictory opinions on how to curb gambling and prevent youngsters from indulgence
in this harmful game. The colonial elites (殖民政府) on the one hand permitted Japanese
residents in Taiwan to run Mahjong clubs; but had on the other hand serious concerns
about the problem of gambling among Taiwanese. Likewise, the anti-colonial elites, though
criticized the colonial government’s laissez-faire attitude towards Mahjong, were themselves
addicted to it. Consequently, enforcement tactics in response to the Mahjong issue were
not only controversial but also relatively ineffective.
Changes in the role of women in both public and private spheres as a result of the
popularity of Mahjong game is also worth noting. Women engaged in Mahjong game
earned equal status with men in family and social lives. By the early 1930s, their work in
Mahjong clubs were taken as a cutting-edge career and won them the title “Mahjong Girl”.
With reference to the diary written by Mataro Nagayo, this article traces and
analyzes the medical history of Taiwan and the development of medical education in
Japanese colonial Taiwan.
Mataro Nagayo (1878-1941) was the third son born to Sensai Nagayo. In 1904, he
graduated from the Medical College of the Tokyo Imperial University. After training in
the Department of Pathology at the Tokyo Imperial University, he furthered his studies in
pathology at the Freiburg University under Rudolph Aschoff from 1907 to 1909. He
obtained his M.D. in 1911 and was appointed professor in Pathology at the Tokyo
Imperial University in the same year. He had been the director of the Institute of
Infectious Disease and the president of the Cancer Society. He served as the Dean of
Faculty of Medicine from 1933 to 1934 and as the President of the Tokyo Imperial
University from 1934 to 1938. In 1936, he was elected fellow of the Imperial Academy.
Mataro Nagayo died on Aug 16, 1941.
Mataro Nagayo began writing his personal diary on Jan 1, 1892 at the age of 15.
The surviving diary of Mataro Nagayo, owned by his family, spanned from Aug 17, 1893
to Aug 15, 1941. The diary was first serially released in periodicals between 1983 and
1992, and the “Diary of Mataro Nagayo” was eventually published in 2000-2001.
Through examining the historical materials of the Japanese colonial era as narrated
by Mataro Nagayo in his personal journals, this article addresses issues including (1) the
establishment of the Faculty of Medicine, Taihoku Imperial University, (2) the events
leading to resignation of Tadao Yanaihara, and (3) collaboration with Dr. J. Heng Liu
from China and with the League of Nations Health Organization.
Keywords：Diary, Taihoku Imperial University, Mataro Nagayo, Tadao Yanaihara, League of Nations Health Organization
Lo-Shen Leprosarium and Leprosy Medical Research in Modern Taiwan: Relationship between Medical Research and Leprosy Control Policy
This paper traces the development of leprosy research in modern Taiwan, with
emphasis on the relationship between leprosy-related medical research and the
corresponding control policy. The topics explored include the evolution of leprosy control
from the Japanese colonial era to post-WWΠ as well as the focus and stance of Taiwan’s
leprosy medical research.
In colonial Taiwan, the Lo-Shen Leprosarium served not only as a policy
enforcement agency, but also a stronghold of leprosy research. Such collaboration
between policy and medical research was originated from the model of Norwegian
leprosy control in the nineteenth century, following the discovery of the leprosy bacillus
by Dr. A. Hansen and the subsequent medical research. Therefore, this paper begins with
the discussion on the then globally adopted “Norwegian model” on leprosy control. It
then traces the establishment of the Lo-Shen Leprosarium in 1930, during which the
leprosy control policy implemented in Imperial Japan was transplanted into colonial
Taiwan. Henceforth, this paper also examines how leprosy medical research in Japan
influenced that in Taiwan and how Taiwan eventually developed its own leprosy medical
research distinctive from that of Japan. Transformations in Taiwan’s leprosy medical
research in the post-war era were also analyzed.
Important findings of the above analyses are as follows. Leprosy research
conducted at Lo-Shen Leprosarium had its root in leprosy medical research of Japan.
Therefore, the research direction, methods and focuses bore great resemblance to those of
Japan. Nevertheless, differences still existed, due to the unique necessity of colonial
policy, and in turn illustrated the distinct characteristics of leprosy in Taiwan and among
Taiwanese. The change of sovereignty in the aftermath of WWII ushered leprosy-related
policy and medical research into an era of rapid transformation. With the introduction of
the USAID health programs in 1953, the approach to leprosy care switched from close
isolation management to open outpatient treatment. Leprosy medical research was also
re-launched, with the former German-Japanese style taken over by the US approach, and
the pre-war bacteriological research replaced by the development of modern immunology.
Keywords：Lo-Shen Leprosarium, Leprosy Medical Research, Leprosy Control Policy, Modern Taiwan, Japanese Colonial Taiwan, Bacteriology, Immunology, Humoral Immunity, Cellular Immunity
Textual Research on Official Seals of Division Commanders in Qing Taiwan
An official seal is a form of written identification used by officials to authenticate
documents. In Qing Taiwan, a division commander was the highest ranking military
officer and had to report directly to the Emperor. These reports, archived as imperial
palace records, offer valuable historical materials for research on the politics and society
of Taiwan under Qing rule. Through examining these records from archives including
Grand Secretariat Archives, Tan-Hsin Archives, and Lahodoboo Settlement Archives, this
article attempts to survey and categorize the official seals imprinted on the historical
documents by division commanders of both Taiwan and Penghu in different periods of
the Qing era.
Keywords：Taiwan Division Commander, Penghu Division Commander, Official Seal