Monday, August 06, 2018

Red Headed Island

On this Illustrated Tourist Map of Taiwan, published in 1954, the names of some locations are still in flux. Author and historian Katy Hui-wen Hung, who is coming out with a culinary history of Taipei this fall (along with the awesome Steve Crook), mused on Facebook....
🙄Note: today's Little Ryukyu, is called just Ryukyu in 1954. Whereas Ryukyu became Okinawa in Japan)

There is so much twists and turns, so much bullies, enforcements and disguises between 1940 to 1960 in Taiwan, that one could discover something every week for the rest of the year.

I came across the original of this map printed in 1942 (1945 ended Japanese occupation) the other day, now I can’t find it. But I noticed something then that today’s Green Island (Ludao) Japanese had called it something else, 3 characters and beginning with Fire 火. I looked up then, and learned that it was called ‘Bonfire Island’. It was changed to Green Island (the Oasis Hell. Sadly it turned out History made it) in 1949 when Chiang KS retreated to Taiwan.

This map is printed in 1954. I couldn’t find the original in 1942, but it is now owned by National Taiwan History Museum Tainan, that I remember.

In this map – you see both names printed ‘Green Island’ and ‘Bonfire Island’.

(The name "Green Island" is a calque of the island's Chinese name Lǜdǎo, which was adopted on August 1, 1949, at the behest of Huang Shih-hung (黃式鴻), the magistrate of Taitung. Prior to 1949, it was known as Bonfire Island from its former name Kashō-tō (Japanese: 火焼島). In the 19th century, it was also called Samasana Island from its Amis name Sanasai.)
Note also that on this map Lanyu (Orchid Island) is "Red Head Island". Wiki observes:
he island was first mapped on Japanese charts as Tabako-shima in the early 17th century and Tabaco Xima on a French map of 1654. The Chinese, who had no contact with the inhabitants of the island, called it Ang-thau-su (Chinese: 紅頭嶼; pinyin: Hóngtóuyǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Âng-thâu-sū; literally: "Red-headed island"), from which it was called Kōtō-sho (紅頭嶼) during Japanese rule. The Japanese government declared the island an ethnological research area off-limits to the public.
After the KMT occupied Taiwan in 1945 the restriction on visits to the island was retained, and finally removed in 1967. Its name was officially changed in 1946 but obviously not everyone got the memo.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ever notice how a surprising number of Hoklo Taiwanese and Indigenous Taiwanese in the south of the country have naturally red (or at least a rusty auburn) hair?

It blew me away when I read that it comes from a tiny strain of Dutch genes that worked its way through the many generations since the Dutch started Anping and interacted with local Indigenous and Hoklo girls. Also read something about Koxinga flipping the script with Dutch female captives.

Whatever the source, I know several people in the south with natural red-brown hair: within Asia a phenomenon I have only ever seen in Taiwan.