UPDATED: This great comment was made at the bottom of this post:
Regarding the news item "106 Japanese school teacher reunites with 1930s Taiwan pupils":___________________
My late uncle (born in 1922) and his classmates used to have an annual reunion with their Japanese teacher of middle school ("初等科", equivalent to the post-war "初中") between 1960 and 1972. After 1972, the reunion happens not annually, only whenever the Japanese teacher was able to travel, due to his health condition. When my uncle passed away in a traffic accident in 1983, his then 80-year-old teacher mailed a so-called "white offer" to my uncle's widow (my aunt) as a gesture of condolence; in the letter, he apologized for not being able to physically travel to Taiwan to attend the funeral.
My father maintained a very close relationship with his Japanese teacher until his teacher's death in the 1990s. They never met in person again after the war (1945). But they wrote to each other many times each year, all those years.
As a post-war born Taiwanese, I don't need any "education" or "brain-washing" to like or dislike Japan. Growing up in a typical Taiwanese small town in the 1950s and 1960s, where Japanese houses were still standing and Japanese-style rooms were a natural fit in most houses, growing up in our house full of Japanese books and magazines, and growing up hearing and seeing the interactions between Taiwanese and Japanese after the war, it is natural for me to feel familiar with Japan. I feel foreign to China and the refugees from China because they stayed with themselves within their fences and never made an effort to reach out to their Taiwanese neighbors.
There was no intentional prejudice involved, this kind of feeling just naturally developed based on what's given in the social-cultural settings of the time.
Japan simply feels like "us" and China simply acts like "them". Some recent news articles seem to believe that only the Taiwanese that were born and grew up in the Japanese-era have a close mental connection with Japan, they guess wrong and are totally ignorant of the "left-over" effect of an era on the up-coming generations.
Think about it, an American born in the 1950s would still carry "imprint" of the great depression simply by having interacted with their parents or grandparents who had lived through the great depression.
Germans today still carry the "imprint" (or scars) from the terrible Weimar hyperinflation between 1921 and 1924; thus, their relatively conservative monetary policy, e.g. being "austerity" oriented.
The Japan effect on the Taiwanese is still strongly palpable in the third generation of the Japanese-era born. I can observe it in my own family and surroundings. I don't need anyone else to lecture me on whether this is right or "wrong". For me, this just "is".
The Chinese keep scorning at our naturally developed feeling and sense of being, our reaction is, of course, a very strong sense of alienation and foreignness towards the Chinese. The more the gang of Ma and Hau angrily order us to feel how we are supposed to feel, the more we feel alienated from them. The Taiwanese tend to remain quiet, it doesn't mean that we don't feel. If I don't understand certain aspect of my sister's views, I will try to understand it or at least to accept it because we are siblings. The Chinese keep ordering us Taiwanese to be their "compatriots" but they cannot give any leeway for our sense of who we have been and who we are; how can one feel true belonging in China under such circumstances?
West Germany can get along with East Germany with grace. North and South Koreas at least accept each other's existence and can talk eye to eye. The UK had the grace to accept and deal with the US after 1776. The Chinese simply cannot exhibit a tiny bit of grace in their behavior on all levels. Who would want to join them? I'd be ashamed to be part of such a disgraceful nation.
- SWEET: 106 Japanese school teacher reunites with 1930s Taiwan pupils
- DON'T MISS: Ian Easton with piece arguing SCS building is about Taiwan
- AmCham on Religion and Money in Taiwan
- Some lovely images of Taipei here.
- Tsai once again affirms her status quo view
- Dengue setting new records
- Ma continues his policy of irritating allies: Taiwan will not address pork issue in US TIFA talks
- Regrettably, AmCham piece regurgitates Taipower/KMT propaganda on nukes. The renewables piece shows how Taipower and government are systematically stopping renewables.
- Timothy Rich: Five Things you should know about the Taiwan election: Remember, the status quo is supported because its a weak, but still the best form of independence Taiwan can get right now.
- Interesting piece on traditional fishing technique using fire in Taiwan
- 24 hour Hung Hsiu-chu youtube channel. And Hung in Changhua.
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