02/06 (Mon)

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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.
Travel Memories— School Excursion in the Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History
Travel Memories— School Excursion in the Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History

Author: Ou Yi-han |Staff member at the Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History
Photo: Archives of the Institute of Taiwan History
Translated by Chen Han-shu

In 1937, The Taiwanese Directory, published by Taiwan New People Newspaper, recorded basic information on more than 2000 influential Taiwanese people. According to the directory, 960 people said that traveling was one of their leisure activities, making it the third most popular activities (after reading and gardening). Traveling became so popular not only because the influence of the traditional saying “it is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books”, but also through school excursions in the Japanese colonial period. Traveling was both a leisure activity for busy people to enjoy “a little happiness” and an approach for Taiwanese to gaze into the modernity found in Japan and Western societies. It also provides a perspective to see how Taiwan was deeply influenced by Japanese culture.

School excursions, travel activities led by teachers and arranged in class-based units in order to develop students’ physical and mental health and to enrich school life, have been seen as an extension of school education. One-day short trips were limited to places that could be accessed by walking, whereas school excursions could utilize various forms of transportation and travel for a longer time.

The school excursion was introduced to Taiwan when the National Language School (Kokugo School) was established in 1897, during the early colonial period. It was an important path to promote Statism and cultivate children’s patriotism, and eventually became a routine in every school. Children traveled both on the island and abroad, sometimes visiting the metropolitan state, Japan. Half of the travel expense was supported by the government. The visiting routes were not always the same; however, it had to include Emperor Meiji’s Graveyard, the Imperial Palace and the Ise Grand Shrine in order to solidify the imperial subjects’ spirits. The students were also led to visit famous spots, schools, parks, museums and factories to experience the cultural and national power of their metropolitan state. In May, 1940, in order to ensure traffic flow and to save fuel during the war time, the Japanese government required schools to stop the excursions.

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