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Archives Related to the February 28 Incident and the White Terror

2017 marked the 70th anniversary of the February 28 Incident and 30 years since the martial law was lifted. Although the February 28 Incident and the White Terror are not forbidden topics in Taiwan society, many relevant archives are yet to be acquired and disclosed. Since its establishment, the Institute of Taiwan History has striven to collect folk papers, such as the following records related to the February 28 Incident and the White Terror: Historical Materials Related to the February 28 Incident and White Terror, Yang Zhao-jia Collection, Chen Cheng-po Paintings and Papers, Yeh Sheng-ji Papers, Chen Wen-xing Papers, Chen Zhong-tong Papers, The Diary of Lin Xian-tang, and The Diary of Wu Xin-rong.

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III. Public Health Administration
Taiwan under early Japanese rule had the Department of Health established by the Government-General of Taiwan. However, it was a provisional agency of the military and political era. In April 1896, the colonial public health administration system was initiated, comprising the Department of Health under the Government-General of Taiwan and the Health Section under the Police Department of the Local Government Office. The Department of Health under the Government-General of Taiwan was responsible for medical affairs related to communicable diseases and endemic diseases, port quarantine, sanitary improvement, and opium bans. Health administration and communicable disease control fell under the jurisdiction of the local police. In 1898, Gotō proposed that colonial administrative reforms should focus on restoring Taiwan’s conventional local governance and entrusting the police with the supervisory role. From 1902, following reforms of the official system, the Government-General of Taiwan put local police officers with modern health training and expertise to lead and supervise the Baojia (Hoko in Japanese) system, a community-based law enforcement system, to carry out household health management.

Figure 7: Duties of Bao-cheng and Jia-chang
Source: Identifier: T0156P0011-0035-000 Photo Albums of Taihoku Prefecture Police and Hygiene Exhibition
Bao-cheng (patrol leader) and jia-chang (chief of jia) were mainly responsible for two-way communication, “making the wishes of the higher authorities known to those below and vice versa”. It was clearly stipulated in the job contract that their duties included household registration, community surveillance, disaster alert, communicable disease prevention, assisting addicts in quitting opium, pest control, and manual labor service. Working under the Baojia system, they implemented health administration to the grassroots of society.
The Baojia system had its origin in the self-administration and self-defense community organization dated from the Qing era. In August 1898, the Japanese strengthened the Baojia system to cope with local dissent and resistance against Japanese rule. Regulations were promulgated making 10 households as one jia and 100 households as one bao. Jia-chang and bao-cheng were respectively instituted as leaders with responsibility of issuing disaster alerts and guarding against bandits.


Figure 8: Diary of Yoshioka Kisaburou in 1910 (Left)
 Record of allowance given to Yoshioka Kisaburou, a police officer in 1920 (Right)
Source: Identifier: T0747_01_0001-0082, T0747_01_0001-0083, T0747_02_0038-0001, Yoshioka Kisaburou Papers (1907-1939)
On September 1, 1910, Yoshioka Kisaburou (1882-1967), a native of Chiba County, Japan joined the Police and Prison Officer Training Center of the Government-General of Taiwan and began his 10-month training, details of which were recorded in his diary. In addition to civil and criminal law, forensic medicine and hygiene, all trainees had to learn the native language “Taiwanese” in order to communicate with the local public. From August 1919 to September 1920, Yoshioka concurrently served as the head of the Health Section of the Taitung Police Department. He received extra allowance in March 1920 for assisting in disease prevention and control during the cholera epidemic.

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