This article is intended to uncover the truth behind the Imperial Appeals made by the Wufeng Lins and their rivals by dealing with the lingering lawsuits between the two sides after sentence on the cases was passed in 1882.
By carefully analyzing various new source materials, it is possible to draw at least two conclusions. Firstly, these imperial appeals were by nature political rather than legal matters. The summary execution of Lin Wen-ming and the jailing of Lin Tien-kuo were actually used by the authorities to suppress the expanding influence of the Wufeng Lins. Therefore, it was impossible for the Lins to win their law suit. However, the Lins’ rivals, who had so far been used as pawns to defy the Wufeng Lins, were sacrificed once the officials and the Lins had reached a compromise. Consequently, no matter how hard they tried to sue the Lins, they had no hope of success. This proves that the power structure, of traditional China, i.e., the rigid stratification of the imperial court, officialdom, and gentry powers permitted no challenges.
Secondly, the underlying causes of the Imperial Appeal cases can be reduced to the rivalry between the wufeng Lins and other nearby leading families. Generally speaking, there had been a balance of power as well as a long-term feud among the rivaling families in central Taiwan before the 1850’s. Afterwards, the Lins, due to Lin Wen-ch’a’s successful career, rose rapidly to prominence and soon surpassed other families, whose interests were seriously damaged during the Tai Ts’au-ts’un Rebellion in 1862~64. Old feuds and new hatreds drove the Lins’ rivals to cooperate with the officials in curbing the Lins’ expansion of power. The plaintiffs against the Wufeng Lins all belonged to the Lins’ rival families. Lin Ying-shih was a member of the Hou-ts’uo Lins and Hung Jen-hou belonged to the Pei-t’ou Hungs, all of whom were the Wufeng Lin’s rivals. The most interesting case is that of Huang Lien-p’u. He was also a relative of Lin Ho-Shang, a rival of the Wufeng Lins.
Junk Trade between Taiwan and the Chinese Mainland during the Mid-Ch;ing Period (ca. 1780-1860): An Estimation of the Shipping Capacity
This paper aims at discussing the changing trend of the trade between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland as carried on board the junks. Due to difficulties in estimating the value and quantity of merchandises involved in the trade, this paper tries to make and estimation on the shipping capacities of the junks. Employed in the trade. In terms of varieties, the staple exports of Taiwan (rice, sugar, peanut oil and indigo, especially the first two items) did not undergo significant change in the period under discussion, while the scale of the import trade was heavily dependent on that of the export trade. In consequence, an estimation of the total carrying capacity is also possible to reflect the general situation of the whole trade.
Our estimation has the following findings. In the late 1780s, when Lu-erh-men, Lu-kang and Pa-li-fen were opened for legal trade, the total weight of merchandises annually brought out from Taiwan was something between 1,900,000 and 2,250,000 shih(about133,00 to 157,500 tons). The number went down to something between 500,000 and 600,000 shih (about 35,00 to 42,000tons) previous to the out break of the Opium War (1840~42). Such a downward movement of the trading trend was mostly contributed by the decline of the junk shipping of Lu-erh-men and Lu-kang, while Pa-li-fen remained relatively steady.
Connotation and the Discourse of the Shizangan Spirit
Roland Barthes’ notion of connotation, that a derivative meaning is superimposed upon a sign, is applied to the analysis of an educational ideology, the Shizangan Spirit, introduced by Japanese in Taiwan during its colonial period, 1895~1945.The ideology, originated in the beheading of six Japanese teachers by Taiwanese at Shizangan of northern Taipei on the New Year Day of 1896, is found to be a reflection of the changes of the colonial policy in the three stages of Japanese rule. First, the Spirit was officially defined both as a drive to popularize the Japanese language and as a symbolic representation of the virtue of being loyal to the emperor (chukunaikoku). Second, when the colonial policy turned from coercion to limited openness, the Spirit was articulated either as an educational spirit of universalism (isshidojin), as a heroic individualism, or as a synonym of the national spirit of Japanese, all according to the articulator’s position in the power relation of colonialism. Finally, in the period of high Japanization (koninka,1937~45), the ideology was expanded as a general attitude toward newly conquered peoples, following the Japanese Army’s inroad into Southeast Asia after the Pearl Harbor attack. The means by which the Shizangan Spirit reflected the changes of the colonial policy were, we argue, precisely the discursive practices which fell under the rubric of connotation.
But in the end of our analysis, we have in fact complicated the notion of connotation beyond Barthes’ formulation. For one thing, in connoting the meaning of the “national spirit,” the Shizangan discourse incorporated the term whose meaning was itself changeable within another Fascist discourse of “national essence”(kokutai). Hence, here was a double connotation which seemed to approximate Umberto Eco’s idea of “unlimited semiosis,” the forever circularity of using one sign to explain another. For another thing, when the “drive to popularize the Japanese language” reappeared in the discourse in the late 1930s, its meaning also changed from what it used to be in the discourse of the first stage of the colonial rule. All these instances, i.e., a new term connoting different meanings and an old term meaning differently in a new context, we suggest, are variants of connotation which go beyond Barthes’ original theory.