Russian reconnaissance on Taiwan post Mudan incident

There is apparently 144 year-old Russian military reconnaissance document on the island of Taiwan stored in St. Petersburg’s naval library.

Using the death of Ryukuan fishermen as an excuse, Japan invaded Southern Taiwan in 1874 on a punitive expedition against the Paiwan people in general. Several Paiwan tribal villages formed an alliance to fight against the Japanese. The the leaders of Mudan village fought the Japanese to their death, with several other Paiwan villages massacred. The incident caused world wide condemnation on the Japanese’s actions.

As a result of the incident, Russian navy sent Estonian Pavel Ivanovich Ibis on a reconnaissance mission to Taiwan. Ibis boarded a boat in Hong Kong and arrived at Takao on January 22 1875.

For the 2 months he was here, Ibis traveled to 13 aboriginal villages, recorded many Taiwanese customs and became the first outsider to visit Mudan village after the Japanese withdrew.

Ibis’ accounts could also offer a third party view on what caused and what happened during the Mudan incident.

They are planning to translate his records into Chinese.


Интересно. Где можно купить копию этой книги?

More reading on this

S. Malkov and F. Labutin following his path in Taiwan

Unfortunately Ibis died not long after returning from his trip to Taiwan. Otherwise he would have made his journey more widely known.



or here

Apparently Ibis also published it in German!?

Here is where they have the Russian versions:

Ибис П. Экскурсия на Формозу // Морской сборник. 152-I: неофициальный отдел. СПб., 1876a.
С. 111–149 [Ibis P. An Excursion to Formosa // Marine Collection. 152-I: unofficial section.
Saint Petersburg, 1876. Pp. 111–149 (in Russian)].


It’s all Greek to me… wait… interesno… kopy…

More info about the book

Головачёв В.Ц. «Экскурсия на Формозу». Этнографическое путешествие П.И. Ибиса. М.: ИВ РАН, 2019. 276 с. С приложениями и иллюстрациями. ISBN: 978-5-7777-0781-9

Can’t find it anywhere online though…

Here is Wikipedia page of the author