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Propagating Political Views to the Public –  From New People’s Society to The Taiwan Shinminpo

Yang Zhao-jia, one of the leading figures of the New Cultural Movement in Taiwan under Japanese rule, once said, “Newspaper and parliament are the two major driving forces for the promotion of civilization and social development.” Hence, the two core missions of the Taiwanese Cultural Association were running a newspaper and petitioning for the establishment of a Taiwanese parliament, which embodied their stand of unarmed resistance against colonial racism and had far-reaching impact on the enlightenment of Taiwan’s national consciousness.
2021 marked the centenary of the founding of the Taiwanese Cultural Association. In commemoration, the Archives organized a feature exhibition on The Taiwan Shinminpo, the only private Taiwanese-run newspaper during the Japanese colonial era. Selected collections of historical materials including personal documents, image data, diaries and passports were displayed and reviewed to illustrate that The Taiwan Shinminpo served to awaken and enlighten the people, boost national morale and propagate their political views to the public. Echoing the founding goal of the Taiwanese Cultural Association, The Taiwan Shinminpo opened a new page for Taiwanese to strive for democracy and freedom with a foothold in Taiwan and eyes looking at the world!

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I. Lin’s Footsteps in the United Kingdom

Lin Xian-tang arrived in London on June 27 and started to visit places near London. On July 23, he went to London Zoo seeing many animals that he rarely saw, such as apes, parrots, insects, qilins and rhinos. What impressed him the most was that lions and tigers in one cage could live peacefully (see figure 1). On July 28, they visited the zoo again and went to see reptiles first this time. They not just saw many kinds of snakes that they had never seen before and even saw one big snake shedding its skin. They also saw many kinds of fishes like glowing eels, and other species such as birds, cats, and fur seals. In addition to seeing animals, Lin Xian-tang and his sons spent some money riding elephants and camels (see figure 2&3). Even though they ended up encountering sudden heavy rain, getting wet in the rain, and getting separated from others who went to the zoo together, they still had a memorable journey.

Figure1: The Diary of Mr. Guan-yuan on July 23, 1927.
(Source:The Diary of Mr. Guan-yuan, the digital archives of the Archives of Institution of Taiwan History)

Figure2: The Diary of Mr. Guan-yuan on July 28, 1927.
(Source:The Diary of Mr. Guan-yuan, the digital archives of the Archives of Institution of Taiwan History)

Figure3: Elephants in London Zoo in the 1920s.
(Source:Travel in a New World, the digital archives of the Archives of Institution of Taiwan History)


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