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Special Collections – Selects of Invasion of Taiwan in 1895
Since 16th century, Taiwan has been an important stronghold in a process of competition between western and eastern empire. A develop of Taiwan history interacts with China and world history. In 1894, because of Joseon problems, Qing dynasty and Japan broke out a war, which put Taiwan into a tempestuous and changeful historical trend. When the time went into 1895, several battles happened in our country and familiar locations due to Japanese invasion of Taiwan. Until the Qing Dragon Flag flew away to the Island of Formosa be covered with the Sun flag, people of the Island of Formosa finally became new subjects, who went through double baptism with colonialism and modernization in 50 years.
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Real Battles - the Confrontation of the Disbanded Militias and Guerrilla

After the Japanese went into Taipei city without a fight in the beginning of June, they advanced south on Yangmei and Hsinchu. The Japanese met a stubborn resistance from the Taiwanese militias fighting with “kitchen knives on bamboo sticks.” The battles occurred constantly. In August, in the Baguashan battle where the militias led by Wu Tang-hsing and Hsu Hsiang and the Black Flag Army led by Wu Peng-nien confronted the Japanese, was the largest battle in 1895. In October, when the Japanese besieged Tainan from three ways, Lin Kun-gang led the militias to fight back. However, after he ran into an ambush at Chugaoshan, he suicided with knife. Without reinforcements, the Taiwanese militias failed to defeat the Japanese. However, the Japanese leader, Prince Yoshihisa, was killed at battle field and failed to accomplish the mission of takeover, which vividly revealed how the militias and yeomanry bravely resisted the Japanese in battles.

Handbook of Davidson, 1895
Handbook of Davidson, 1895
Source:James Wheeler Davidson Family fonds, University of Calgary, Archives and Special Collections
On the cover of Davidson’s leather handbook was painted the different situations, such as the different flag between Unite States and Japan; different appearance and momentum between Qing and Japanese militaries. Except word records, he hand-painted some figures during the interview with Japanese.
Baguashan Confrontation in 1895 painted by Kimura Shuusuke
Baguashan Confrontation in 1895 painted by Kimura Shuusuke
Source:郭双富庋藏, Digital archives of the Archives of Institute of Taiwan History
This painting is portrayed in the landscape painting style. It shows the confronting situation between the Taiwanese militias and the Imperial Guards Division at the south and the north sides of the Dadu River respectively. On 26 August, Prince Yoshihisa arrived at Dadu riverbank to inspect by himself. When he looked through his telescope at defense of Baguashan, he was found by a guard of Taiwanese militias. They bombarded immediately the mountain top of Baguashan, and an artillery projectile made a hit beside Prince Yoshihisa.
Southern Campaign attacking Tainan in 1895
Southern Campaign attacking Tainan in 1895
Source:Provide by Prof. Yang, Rur-bin
Later Marshal H. I. H. Prince Fushimi Sadanaru led troops to attack Xuejia whereas Lin Kun-gang led the militias to defend. The war situation was urgent, so in addition to ask Liu Yung-fu for reinforcements, Lin recruited yeomanry to join the battle. The two armies had a fierce fight at Chugaoshan.
Zhon Shen Temple in Xuejia District, Tainan
Zhon Shen Temple in Xuejia District, Tainan
Source:Take picture by Director Hsieh, Kuo-hsing
After Lin Kun-gan passed away, he was deification and villagers established a shrine in 1950s. In 1979, they extend the shrine, and worshiped Zhon Shen Gong. After 1988, the shrine rebuilt as the “Zhon Shen Temple”.
Figure of General Liu Arrested and Decapitated Governor-General Kabayama
Figure of General Liu Arrested and Decapitated Governor-General Kabayama
Source:《The Island of Formosa Past and Present》(James W. Davidson著, Macmillan & Company, London and New York; Kelly & Walsh Ltd., Yokohama, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, 1903年出版), Archives of National Museum of Taiwan History
This figure was taken on the book of Davidson, which described the Governor-General, Kabayama Sukenori, was arrested and decapitated by Liu Yung-fu and Lin Chao-dong. Contents of this chart didn’t real happened, but express author’s expectation and aspiration of victory.

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