Japanese Colonialism - Intermarrige

Hi, I am a senior college student writing a thesis about the ambivalence felt by Taiwanese towards Japanese colonialism as a result of the juxtaposition of the growth and development of the economy and Japanization and the kominka movement. I was thinking that research of intermarriages between Japanese and Taiwanese and how their children identified themselves and how others regarded them would help. Does anyone know of any writing (or video) that I can read? Or have anecdotes that they would be willing to share? Anything would be helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you so much.

[My apologies to the board members and the moderators if this is an inappropriate topic. I have never posted on a message board before.]

I find it quite appropriate and very interesting. I have wondered about it myself and would like to see some statistics about it.

Japan has been involved in Taiwan longer than people realise - going back at least to the time of the Dutch colony in southern Taiwan.

Intermarriage was rare, but it occured in some cases, mostly with Japanese women marrying Taiwanese men of well-to-do families. They probably identified themselves as “subjects of the Emperor” until the KMT arrival and as culturally Japanese later. Childern of the later era would have grown up as Chinese.
Read “Becoming Japanese” by Leo T.S. Ching and “Under an Imperial Sun: Japanese Colonial Literature of Taiwan and the South” by Faye Yuan Kleeman

Can you read Japanese? If you can, take a look at “http://www.ifsa.jp/kiji-nihonryugaku-kyueikan.htm
It’s really interesting.

During the Japanese occupation, a Japanese was not allowed to marry a local person. Thus, their child would be Chinese if he joined Taiwanise parent’s family register; would be Japanese if he joined Japanese parent’s family register. Thus, when a Taiwanese man and a Japanese woman had a child and decided to raise him as a Chinese, this boy might have to live with a Taiwanese father, a Taiwanese mother and a Japanese mistress of his father.

The above is written in the following book:

邱永漢(author) わが青春の台湾・香港(title) 中央公論社(publisher) Aug 20, 1994

kyu eikan waga seishun no taiwan, HK chuo koron sha 08 20 1994

Also, you may try going to National archive.


I know Hongkongese who marry with a Briton are considered British nationals while HongKongese who remain pure are just colonial subjects.

Barclay, Paul D. “Cultural Brokerage and Interethnic Marriage in Colonial Taiwan: Japanese Subalterns and Their Aborigine Wives, 1894-1930.” Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (May 2005): 323-360.

Excellent article on strategic marriages between Japanese men and aboriginal women and how these marriages were key to Japanese colonial expansion in terms of cutting out the Chinese interpreters from aboriginal affairs. I didn’t look at the bibliography very carefully, but I’m sure you’d be able to pluck some articles from his list that fit your agenda.

moderator’s note: link added to post above. The document is a 2.34 MB PDF file.

i’m presuming this is meant to be a past tense statement :wink: …ain’t no colonial subjects left in HK…

If this is helpful. You know that Sadaharu Oh was 1/2 Taiwanese, don’t you? Also, years ago, an old American missionary lady that was then my sponsor (couldn’t happen today) told me a story that happened to her in the 50 while teaching college in Taiwan. I believe ChungHsing University in Taichung. A student after a class came to her and said that he had been taught to always be loyal to the emperor and still was. He had a picture of the emperor and empress with him and showed the photo to the missionary teacher.

When praytell, was the “Japanese occupation” ???

Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895. That is not occupation, that is cession. After the cession, Taiwan was Japanese territory.

Picky, Picky

According to my Taiwan relatives it was occupation. According to my Taiwan relatives, it was a nicer occupation than the KMT occupation in 1949.

Taiwan was sold off to Japan, no occupation needed.

Ihla Formosa have laways been a trading item. Sorry to say.


My Modern European History prof. always pulled a ‘picky’ like that on his finals. On a map of post-war Europe we were supposed to shade in “Soviet-annexed German territory”; most of the class would dutifully shade in East Germany, instead of the little sliver of East Prussia around Koenigsberg.

I can’t give you any textbook references or anything, but I can share a family story, and if it’s in line with what you are looking for, I can help you get more information from my motherinlaw. (I think this is a good story, what I know of it. I haven’t confirmed historical info, I am just quoting the story as I know it)

My motherinlaw is half-Japanese. Her father was Taiwanese, and went to Tokyo to train as a doctor during the (whatever the technical term is for the “occupation”). He met a Japanese woman there, and got married. While he is was in Japan, the Japanese went to war with China. As a citizen of a territory of Japan living in Japan, he did not have to go to war. They had three daughters, and then moved back to Taiwan. His wife had to give up Japanese citizenship. As a citizen of a territory living in that territory, the young husband and father was sent to war very soon after arriving in Taiwan. He went out on a warship that is now known to have been bombed before it reached China. He was missing in action for many years (and in fact his wife denied any chance of his death until at least 15 years later.) For some reason, the wife could not go back to Japan. Also, her children were Taiwanese. So, she stayed in Taiwan and raised three half-Japanese girls by herself. She could not speak Taiwanese or Mandarin. She did learn some Taiwanese over time, and always was indignant when anyone laughed at her Taiwanese accent. Apparently, if they had troubles with the neighbors, she would be sent to complain about it or sort it out, as the neighbors accepted her as the odd foreigner. (I find this funny as this is my role in the family today :wink: )

According to my MIL, they lived in a community that had “many” half-Japanese children. My MIL and her sisters were the only ones that learned to speak Japanese fluently after the Japanese left Taiwan, as other mothers felt pressure to keep their kids more Taiwanese. My MIL’s mother learned all the traditions of Taiwan and made sure her children took part in celebrations like the Moon Festival and Chinese New Year. I found it quite interesting that there was one neighborhood boy who grew up to be a little “odd”, and that my MIL and her friends put that down to the fact that his mom never tried to fit in with the local culture and celebrations.

If you do decide to get some personal stories and have specific questions, I am happy to chat with my MIL about this and pass on any information. Just let me know.

The only thing I