What tangible, substantial Japanese influence is there

Nakashi, maybe?[/quote] Or is it Enka, which is hot by the way.

Well, that’s a long list. More items than I expected.

I didn’t know about the trains on the left. I think the biandang on board is something Taiwan could do without, though. Those lunch boxes are awful.

So, Taiwanese folk religion originates from Japan? Really? It’s not something they brought with them from Fujian, etc.?

Thanks for the responses.

Ed

I seem to remember reading that the police system (or maybe the whole legal system) is based on the Japanese equivalent, perhaps itself borrowed from the Germans.

Who of course lifted it from the Romans when they weren’t looking. Thieving Teutons.

No, no, and yes, it was.

Yes, the folk religion is basically Chinese, but the Japanese encouraged an emphasis on the Buddhist element, while Chinese who opposed Japan would either favor the Daoist / non-Buddhist elements, or else support “strict” forms of Buddhism that disagreed with Japan’s. For example, local temples would sometimes face pressure to declare themselves Buddhist (if their identity was not clear), as did Zaijiao halls, while Buddhist temples at one point had to affiliate with Japanese sects such as Soto or Rinzai. As I mentioned, some temples (such as the Tienhegong in what is now 228 Park) were confiscated / destroyed as a result of this policy.

This is speculation, but I notice that many people give their religious identity as “Buddhist” when they actually follow the folk religion, not the kind with monks and nuns. I wonder if this is the result of Japanese-era developments. Of course, other people give half-a-dozen different names for what seems to be the same religion. Do Chinese elsewhere have this “Buddhist” shift? (Apart from Indonesia, where the Chinese religion goes unrecognized.)

For the sake of comparison, in China temples are pressured not to mix religions–Buddhist and Daoist temples being separately regulated. And the ROC government destroyed ALL the Shinto shrines that the Japanese built.

Japanese-era houses are built with a small shrine room in front. That’s apparently where the home altars go in Shinto.

I asked my wife what she thought of as Japan’s main contributions. She mentioned the irrigation system in south Taiwan.

That’s interesting. I don’t know anything about religion here, except that it’s a hybrid, and whatever I picked up in Steven Crook’s Keeping Up With the War God. I’ve watched a few ceremonies - saw an excorcism once… Could it be that people say they are Buddhist, when they are in fact adherents to folk religion because they are… generally uneducated? I mean, I’ve had students who didn’t know they were studying English - they thought they were studying American; i.e. they thought English and American were two separate languages. One student wrote an essay about it.

Anyway,… I appreciate all the comments, but I still have to wonder… It depends on what you consider to be ‘tangible and substantial.’ I mean, OK fine, there are sailor suit uniforms here, but there also Mountie uniforms worn by some group of police officers in Yingge or somewhere (Taipei County?), but that doesn’t mean the police are aspiring to be the RCMP (not that that’s a bad thing; at the moment, those yo-yos are tasering anyone who looks at them the wrong way), but you see what I mean.

What does it signify really?

That said, I suppose things like the legal system are certainly significant.

As for architecture, I thought that buildings in places like Macau, Nanjing, and Nanning looked identical to the ones here: barred up cinder blocks with doorframe epigrams… Parts of Macau could pass for Sanchong. Didn’t architectural influence flow from China to Japan? Or is there a trade-off or did some style congeal in Japan and then transfer here (yes, I know about the Japanese style homes, but aren’t they just a variation of the sanheyuan or seheyuan or what have you?)?

What about Taiwan’s education system - what’s that modeled after?

Personally, I think it’s modeled after the Great Wall (an effort of staggering energy and proportion that never achieved what it was supposed to - and was never meant to achieve what it was claimed to - an illusion; a failure)

Thanks,

Ed

No! Not at all. Buddhism often ‘mixes’ with indigenous or other religions. To give just one example, Thais leaving wooden elephants at Brahma statues consider themselves Buddhist and are not necessarily ‘uneducated’. Practising Buddhism does not exclude other religious practices. Chinese Buddhist traditions have a long history of mingling (and separating from)with Daoism, depending on all sorts of factors.

I’m sure someone else on flob knows more about this than I do.

[quote=“Screaming Jesus”]Yes, the folk religion is basically Chinese, but the Japanese encouraged an emphasis on the Buddhist element, while Chinese who opposed Japan would either favor the Daoist / non-Buddhist elements, or else support “strict” forms of Buddhism that disagreed with Japan’s. For example, local temples would sometimes face pressure to declare themselves Buddhist (if their identity was not clear), as did Zaijiao halls, while Buddhist temples at one point had to affiliate with Japanese sects such as Soto or Rinzai. As I mentioned, some temples (such as the Tienhegong in what is now 228 Park) were confiscated / destroyed as a result of this policy.

This is speculation, but I notice that many people give their religious identity as “Buddhist” when they actually follow the folk religion, not the kind with monks and nuns. I wonder if this is the result of Japanese-era developments. Of course, other people give half-a-dozen different names for what seems to be the same religion. Do Chinese elsewhere have this “Buddhist” shift? (Apart from Indonesia, where the Chinese religion goes unrecognized.)

For the sake of comparison, in China temples are pressured not to mix religions–Buddhist and Daoist temples being separately regulated. And the ROC government destroyed ALL the Shinto shrines that the Japanese built.[/quote]

Do you have any sources for this? I would like to explore it further.

Also, there are a few Japanese temples left. There is one in Taoyuan near Shitoushan I used to visit.

If one has no familiarity with English, it’s quite easy to come to the conclusion that they are separate languages based on the way that American English and British English are labeled in Taiwan. But does it necessarily imply those students are uneducated? Any more so than anywhere else in the world?

That’s very possible. But a big part of the problem is that the local religion has never really been given a consistent name. “Buddhism” is easier to say.

My father-in-law thinks he’s Buddhist (in the loose sense). He knows about Daoism because there were used to be some Daoists on the mainland, where he’s from (he lived near a famous holy mountain), but he sees that as a completely different religion. A specialist would probably see them as elite and popular iterations of the same tradition. But…couldn’t we make the same argument on behalf of Buddhism? The kind with monks and nuns being the “elite” (professional-led) version…? The few clear Buddhist markers in my father-in-law’s religious practice (other than self-ascription) include references to “ancestors and Buddhas” in the carved wooden slogans on his home altar, and the fact that the chief deity on it (which he never noticed before I pointed it out) was Guanyin bodhisattva (and the rest are all Chinese deities). No Buddhist monks, nuns, temples, scriptures, or doctrines are involved at any point.

Yes, Buddhism does often combine with other religions, whether it wants to or not. Of course, Christianity does to, to some extent. Often it’s hard to say whether a religion is “syncretic” / “syncretistic” or just subject to the normal outside influences. A good case can be made for treating Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism as three cults within one overarching religion.

Sources? For Buddhism, there’s

I got the bit about the Tienhegong from the Taiwan National Museum in the 229 Peace Park–the information is part of their exhibits. A lot of what I said about Buddhist identity is speculation, and would have to be compared with the situation among Chinese people elsewhere.

Back to Japanese influence in general, the basic thing is they encircled the island with roads and railroads, unified the island politically, developed its agriculture and industry, sponsored scientific and cultural research with an eye to improving the same, and brought various cultural influences, some of which stuck. These strike me not only as significant, but as fundamental. Before the Japanese came, Taiwan was a peripheral Chinese island like Hainan.

Well, I think that “piano bars” and “unform shops” are heavily Japanese influenced, right?

Thanks Screaming Jesus,

Management practices (wearing uniforms, sports days, seniority-based pay) are heavily influenced by Japan.
Construction practices/ building codes modeled on Japan
Taiwanese taxi music is based on a kind of Japanese music popular with working class people
Omiyage (each place has its special food)
Baseball
Food (sushi, sashimi, udon, shaved ices)

Pachinko, Anime, Manga, Electronics, throwin down in political meetings, love of light skin and whitening products, HSR. Just a quick thought, not sure if all of these things are actually taken from Japan.

A bit of bulldada to complete your day: A few years ago, when by brother-in-law got married and moved out of his parents’ house, his sisters cleaned up his old room and found two magazines.

One of them was “Sweetie Shop,” which I suppose was what passed for pornography during the period of martial law.

The other reprinted WW2-era Japanese atrocity photos.

Anyway, something to think about at odd moments in the toilet…

Most of Taiwan’s reservoirs and irrigation system
Botanical Gardens (Taipei)
Paved-over stream beds for flood control
Tetrablocks around the concrete-coast
Taiwan Sugar
Banks (Taiwan Coop, Bank of Taiwan, Huanan Bank)

[quote=“Feiren”]Paved-over stream beds for flood control
[/quote]

Interestingly, the Japanese have begun to undo this in their own country in recent years and allow streams to return to their natural state.

Didn’t know the concrete block thing was Japanese. I always thought it was cold-war prevention of amphibuous invasions.

What about that old notion that the Japanese are responsible for all the snakes in Taiwan. Not true but many Taiwanese even believe it.

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]…
I’d say today one of the better legacies is a penchant for personal hygiene. The cousins across the water and the dirty little scum in HK stink to high heaven …

HG[/quote]

The stinkers are the one that came over with the KMT?

Lucky enough to escape, what into HK? Define lucky?

HG