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By A-Chin Hsiau

Drawing on a variety of chinese language historic and modern texts, Contemporary Taiwanese Cultural Nationalism addresses diversified topics together with nationalist literature; language ideology; the crafting of a countrywide heritage; the effect of eastern colonialism and the more and more strained courting among China and Taiwan. This ebook is key interpreting for all students of the heritage, tradition and politics of Taiwan.

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Extra info for Contemporary Taiwanese Cultural Nationalism (Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia)

Sample text

18 See also Hroch (1985:22–4). 28 2 Japanese colonialism and literary and linguistic reforms in colonial Taiwan Taiwanese intellectuals’ articulation of Taiwanese cultural particularity dates back to the pre-Second World War colonial period. The Japanese colonial administration (1895– 1945) tried hard to sever Taiwanese ties with China and to assimilate the colonized. It was precisely this alien rule that stimulated serious reflection on local cultural distinctiveness. ” The focus of this chapter is on two attempts to effect linguistic and literary reforms that were made in the early 1920s and early 1930s respectively.

Again, it is hard to evaluate the influence of these programs on the masses. Taiwanese cultural nationalism, like many other cultural nationalisms, such as that in Ireland, is typically small in scale, and ineffectual insofar as its own ambitions are concerned. Nevertheless, one of its major effects is to create a counter-culture, socializing through its complex of organizations an elite devoted to its ideals (Hutchinson 1987:252). The significance of cultural nationalism first lies in the fact that it prepares a force of relatively “fundamentalist” nationalists for future political struggle who are usually not ready to make a compromise in identity politics.

5 The reformists typically believed that as part of the Han nation, the Taiwanese culturally lagged far behind the “progressive” Chinese. “Cultural enlightenment” was regarded as the most effective means of promoting the political consciousness of the colonized and mobilizing support for the home rule movement. Hence, reformists organized various civil activities, such as speeches, seminars, theater productions and numerous women and youth societies with a view toward enlightening the masses. From the viewpoint of the reformists the particularity of Taiwanese culture consisted of its “backwardness,” especially when compared with cultural development in China.

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