Lady in Butterfly: New PTS historical drama, Karisi Flowers (傀儡花)

Coming (not so) soon: An amazing docudrama about the early days of western influence in Taiwan. Set in 1867 following the shipwreck of The Rover, this 10-part TV series will explore how William Pickering and Dr. Patrick Manson (played by yours truly) helped bridge the gap between American Consul La Grange and the aboriginal chieftains of several southern Taiwan tribes in order to discover what happened to the survivors of the wreck.

I am thrilled beyond measure to be a part of this project. See you all on the red carpet.

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Any clearer version of that trailer?

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Oh, you are right. We were shown it at the table read last week and it was crystal as…so I didn’t viddy it in full screen b4 posting. My bad.

I’ll inquire and change the link if successful. Sorry old cobber.

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I watched it on the FB page and it was perfect. Could it be our internal media player’s problem?

Nah, it’s a very dark print.

A little behind the scenes vid:

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They are turning a novel by Dr. Chen Yao-cang (陳耀昌) about the Rover incident into a TV mini-series.

The Rover incident took place on March 12, 1867, where an American merchant ship Rover wrecked near Paiwan’s Kuarut territory (present day Kenting), and the two sides clashed, resulting in 13 crew members being killed, with just one Chinese sailor escaping to Qing held territory.

The Americans demanded that Qing punish the perpetrators, but Qing replied that the savages territory is not a part of the Qing empire. The Americans then decided to take the matters into their own hands and sent the USS Hartford and USS Wyoming to carry out a punitive expedition with a force of 181 men.

18 Paiwan tribes united under Chief Tauketok (卓杞篤) of the tribe Seqalu (斯卡羅) to defend against the invasion. The Americans were stumped by the immense heat, dense jungle, and repeated ambush. The Americans retreated after Lieutenant Commander A.S. MacKenzie suffered a fatal wound.

American diplomat Charles W. Le Gendre went back into Paiwan territory to negotiate a treaty with Chief Tauketok, and the Paiwan promised to not raid American ship wrecks and provide assistance to those with a red flag.

This event led to the Japanese doing the same and had a little invasion of their own just 2 years later.

It’s called Karisi Flower because Qing referred to the Paiwan as 傀儡 savages, which is a translation of the Paiwan tribe of Karisi.

Wonder how this thing will turn out. They are gonna need someone to play Charles W. Le Gendre.

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Trailer’s out. It looks amazing.

The actor playing Le Gendre is way too good looking than the real deal XD

By the way, February of this year, 2019, marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the US-Paiwan treaty of 1869.

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The blond dude in the pic above is playing Le Gendre.

Edit: Oh, you already know that.

Which one is you??

On the left. See how much range I got?

Actually, I am portraying this guy:

Sir Patrick Manson: Avuncular and benevolent missionary and medical doctor. Widely considered to be the father of malaria research.

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I didn’t realize the guy playing Charles W. Le Gendre is Fabio Grangeon, who always appears on those talk shows talking about how Taiwan is different from other countries. That Le Gendre look suits him.

The actress playing Butterfly is Wen Chen-Ling, aka Jenny. Her mother is half Taiwanese half Filipina, her father is half Taiwanese Hakka and half Japanese.

She is playing a character that’s half Hakka and half Aboriginal in this drama.

Gotta say those are pretty amazing casting.

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Some pretty big names playing the Chiefs too.

I’d also say that the entire project is in great hands with Chao directing. Capable, dedicated and sensitive, he has a very clear vision of the story he wants to tell.

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Yeah, Camake Valaule (查馬克.法拉屋樂) who plays Chief Tauketok of the tribal nation Seqalu is the coach of the world famous Taiwu Ancient Ballads Troupe and a teacher at the Taiwu elementary school.

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The man is practically a saint. Also said to have taught SYS.

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Thankfully, Chao doesn’t want me to attempt an Abairdin brogue. He dinna fash.

Thought I’d have to dig out my Irvine Welsh library and start reading them aloud. Envisioning many a night down the Hornet buying @sandman pints.

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Well, I doubt Sir Patrick would try to speak with Americans using full Doric anyway, they won’t understand him. Or would they, back in 1869?

The author of the original novel talking about the history of the area and Le Gendre’s relationship with a powerful family in Hengchun, and a key figure of that family called Tiunn Miya (張棉仔) later renamed Tiunn Kongtshing (張光清).

The talk is diglossic in Taigi and Mandarin.

The gist of it is that Miya belongs to the Makatao tribe, which has more interactions with Han Chinese by then. Miya was Le Gendre’s guide during the Rover incident, and he fulfilled that role for the 7 later visits Le Gendre made to this island.

Le Gendre basically instigated the later Japanese Mudan incident, which was a clone of the Rover incident. Mudan incident technically happened on the East Coast, however, in preparation for that incident, Le Gendre landed on the West coast because he needed to find Miya.

So despite the fact that since the US and UK both opposed the Japanese invasion of Taiwan, and the US arrested Le Gendre in Shanghai to prevent him from further assisting the Japanese, the Japanese troops still landed on the West coast, where Miya lives, gained his support to invade Mudan and used his house as their base.

Miya and many aboriginals friendly to Le Gendre helped the Japanese throughout their campaign, but when Japan signed a treaty with Qing afterwards, Japan simply ceded away their territory to Qing for them.

So in fear of Qing retribution, Miya and many other aboriginals adopted Han names, and hastened their own Sinitization. They also donated money to build a Qing fort in Hengchun to defend against other aboriginals.

In the end, the only clue left of the Zhang family’s Makatao past was a Makatao totem hidden in their Minnan styled family house.

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The speaker of that video, Chen Yaochang (陳耀昌), is also the author of Karisi Flower novel. He is also a renowned medical doctor, who specializes in bone marrow transplants. He has also done several studies into Taiwan’s DNA makeup based on HLA and the DNA of H. pylori bacteria.

In this video Dr. Chen showed how the DNA of helicobacter pylori in our stomachs can prove that Autronesians originated from Taiwan. Scientists first discovered that there’s a type of helicobacter pylori specific to the Maori people of New Zealand. The bacteria exists in human stomachs since humans first migrated out of Africa. By tracking their changes can also show the path of human migration.

As it turns out, the Maori type helicobacter pylori can also be found in most of Oceania. It can also be found in high percentages of several specific Taiwan Aboriginal groups, such as Atayal, Bunun, Rukai, and Paiwan.

I think what he’s talking about is based on this paper

In the end, Dr. Chen summarized that Taiwanese people can guess what type of ancestry they have by the kind of genetic illnesses their family suffers from.

For example, ankylosing spondylitis, a result of the HLA-B27 gene which is more common in Europe, is only observed in 1% of Han Chinese in China. However, it is observed in 5% of Han Taiwanese in Taiwan. If the white blood cell is HLA-B2705, then it is almost certain that Taiwanese person had Dutch ancestry.

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