The Basay, ethnic aboriginals of northern Taiwan are good at trading and cooperating
with foreigners. Studies of early Taiwan history in the last two decades have examined their
enterprising character and their role as business intermediaries, as evidenced in Dutch
historical materials. However, there is a lacuna in existing research on the history of
northern Taiwan: the period between Dutch colonization of Taiwan and early Qing rule,
roughly equivalent to the mid-seventeenth to early eighteenth century.
This study attempts to fill this gap by examining the records of a Dutch official’s
visit to Cavalangh (or more commonly “Kavalan”, today’s Yilan) and Terraboang Gold
River (in today’s northern Hualien) in 1657. These records reveal that the Basay controlled
trade along the northeastern coast of Taiwan and remained the dominant business power in
the area until the early eighteenth century despite of persistent penetration of the Hans.
As early as the 1710s, there was trade cooperation in northeastern Taiwan between the
Hans and the aborigines, most likely the Basay.
This study also explores the relations between Ming loyalists and the Ho family, who
might have been active in land reclamation in northern Taiwan from the late Cheng regime
to early Qing rule. The Basay-Han cooperation led to the introduction of Shechuan, a group
of officially registered Chinese junks, for trading merchandise between China and Taiwan
along the northeastern coast of Taiwan. The Shechuan signified a technology upgrade from
indigenous canoes to Chinese junks for higher efficiency and larger capacity of shipping
and trade. The Shechuan brought to China rice exported from northern Taiwan and carried
back imported clothes, ironware, tobacco, and daily goods. Such trade evidenced the
gradual infiltration of Chinese merchants in business of northeastern Taiwan. In 1754, when
the Governor-General of Fujian and Zhejiang suspended the Shechuan to increase the
reserve of rice in Taiwan, trade nevertheless continued outside government control. Such
clandestine trade contributed to the Han penetration into Cavalangh in the late eighteenth
century and merits further investigation.
Keywords：Basay, Chinese Merchants, Shechuan Junks, Aboriginal-Han Cooperation, Ironware
Cross-national Trade and Cultural Brokers: The Emergence of Wang Xuenong, the Richest Gentleman in Tainan during Regime Transition (1880-1905)
In Taiwan’s sugar trade during the late Qing dynasty, due to consumer preferences,
Anping sugar gradually came to be mostly exported to the region north of Central China,
and Takow sugar to Japan. In the past, little attention has been paid to whether these
differences in sugar export destinations led Tainan and Takow’s sugar merchants to hold
different views on other peoples and on the world, and thus to have different responses to
and management strategies for the ceding of Taiwan to Japan. Especially after the 1870s,
the group of Takow merchants who personally went to Japan and Hong Kong to conduct
cross-national trade transformed Taiwan’s commercial culture in the late Qing period and
its historical significance; they are worth examining. Secondly, there is little scholarship on
the relationship between the Taiwan’s Governor-General’s Office, which in the early days
of Japanese rule faced armed resistance by Han people and had to consolidate its
dominance, and those Taiwanese businessmen who had experienced the Meiji Restoration
firsthand. Furthermore, Taiwan is an island, and commercial trade has always been the
locomotive of economic development. However, how the business strategies and ideas of
this group of transnational traders confronted the great changes of this era, changes in
which tradition and modernity were intertwined, remains to be studied. How they became
political and cultural brokers between the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office and local
society, and then expanded their business territory and enhanced their social status are
questions even more deserving of attention.
This article takes the famous sugar merchant Wang Xuenong, who traded between
Taiwan and Japan during the Meiji era, as an example. It attempts to explain how and why
this sugar merchant, who had already traded in Japan as early as the Meiji Restoration,
adopted different business strategies to expand his business territory and emerged as a
major figure of wealth and social status in Tainan at the time when Taiwan was ceded to
Japan and many merchants and important clans fled back to China. First, it explains the
relationship between international trade and the choice of businessmen either to leave or to
stay in Taiwan. Secondly, it demonstrates why Wang Xuenong chose to move from Takow
to prefectural capital of Tainan (Fucheng), which was Taiwan’s economic center and largest
city, and the initial development of his career. Third, from the perspective of cross-national
trade and cultural brokership, it analyzes how he quickly became the richest gentleman in
Keywords：Chen Zhonghe, Sugar Merchants, Dechang Company, Bank, Sanjiao, Network
Carnivorousness or Necro-Cannibalism: Corpse Cases in Early Japanese Colonial Taiwan
Through the review of three criminal cases of 1911 that involved eating of dead
bodies, this article analyzes the then circumstance of Japanese colonial rule with
westernization and modernization of its legal system, and explores how the Japanese
judicial circle constructed the identity of the legal profession in early colonial Taiwan.
The Kavalan case highlighted the legal debate on Article 190 of the Penal Code of
Japan. To the Japanese judicial circle in Taiwan, the debate regarding the eating of dead
tissue/ flesh centered around the controversy on whether the dead body was defined as
person or non-person. Despite of diverse views on such held by the Japanese administrative
authority and the Taiwanese folk society, the Japanese judges adhered to the ‘more
advanced’ legal practice in line with the ‘more civilized’ western jurisprudence, thus
rendering the indigenous or Taiwanese traditions and customs as ‘backward’ or ‘savage’.
However, the cognition of Japanese judges and lawyers on the western legal system
was far from thorough during early colonial rule. Hence, their practice of ‘rule by law’ was
through trial and error. While the same Penal Code was applied in both Japan Mainland
and colonial Taiwan, there were different legal interpretations regarding these corpse cases.
Not only did the Japanese judicial circle in Taiwan show digression and independence from
Japan Mainland, there was direct adoption of legal practice from the European
Keywords：Corpse (/Dead Body), Stillbirth, Japanese Judicial Circle in Taiwan, Colonial Legal Practice, Penal Code of Japan
Industrial Policy and Business Management: Development of Automobile Industry in Taiwan (1950-1970)
From the perspective of business history, this study investigated Taiwan’s two
largest enterprises in automobile industry of the 1950s to 1970s, namely Yulon Motor Co.,
Ltd. and Ford Lio Ho Motor Co., Ltd. Specifically, comparison between them was made
in terms of production and marketing strategies adopted by domestic and foreign-funded
enterprises in their business operations. Moreover, the effects of government industrial
policy were also reexamined.
During the early years of industrial development when Taiwan had low overall
industrial competency, Yulon achieved the local content rate imposed by the government
through self-production of components and the establishment of a subsidiary company.
Initially, the Taiwan government supported Yulon by granting it monopoly in its operations.
However, owing to insufficient supply, the government subsequently opened the market
to new manufacturers and allowed partial imports, thus shrinking the market originally
monopolized by Yulon. Such changes indicated the lack of consistency in industrial
policy of the government. Although the foreign-funded Ford Lio Ho was a latecomer in
the automobile industry, it rapidly achieved international-level quality by using the
existing technology and production experience of its parent company, Ford. In this way, it
fulfilled the government requirement that new manufacturers joining the industry should
achieve the same local content rate as that of existing ones; thus enabling the products of
Ford Lio Ho and its satellite factory to be exported.
Comparing the development experience of the above two automobile enterprises
revealed that under the import substitution policy, Yulon was oriented toward supplying
the domestic market, while Ford Lio Ho, besides participating in the local market, also
became part of Ford’s US production system. In the early development of the automobile
industry, the government gave greater priority to domestic production, requiring only the
hub factories to improve local content rate. The lack of consideration for fostering
peripheral businesses and not taking economic efficiency of small-scale productions into
account are limitations of government policy imposed on the assembly industry.
Keywords：Automobile, Yulon Motor Co., Ltd., Ford Lio Ho Motor Co., Ltd., Industrial Policy, Local Content Rat