|| Many Japanese writers became active in the Taiwanese literary arena during the Japanese Occupation Period. This paper focuses on Japanese writers in Taiwan “literature written under the time and space in Taiwan”, and researches into Japanese writers’ individual and general feeling about colonized Taiwan and the similarities and differences regarding their descriptions of the colony, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the characteristic of Taiwanese literature during the Japanese Occupation Period.
This paper focuses on the “Important themes of the novel written by Japanese Writers in Taiwan during the Japanese Occupation Period”. Japanese in Taiwan refer to literature creators who were born in Taiwan and those with Japanese nationality who were born in Japan but lived in Taiwan for a long period of time. These writers focused on new novels written in the Japanese language. Nonetheless, some writers only had short-term staying or traveling experience in Taiwan, but still published novels about the people, events, and things of Taiwan in Japan during the Japanese Occupation Period. These works are also worthy of discussion.
This paper adopts literature analysis and text analysis, and collects magazines published during the Japanese Occupation Period such as “Taiwan Literature” (Taiwan Literature League), “Taiwanese New Literature”, “Literary Taiwan”, “The Literature of Taiwan”, “Taiwan Times”, “Taiwan News”, “Taiwan Public Opinion”, “Taiwan Railway”, “Taiwan Literature” (Taiwan Literature Association), “Taiwan Periodical”, “New Construction, “Taiwan New Post” and novels published during the Japanese Occupation Period. The original copies of these works are then read, analyzed, compared and 6 important themes of the novels by Japanese in Taiwan are constructed.
Through the comparison and analysis of works by different authors, this paper explains and discusses the time feature of these novels and provides opinions from the aspect of anti-colonialism.
For the Japanese writers in Taiwan, the meaning of “Taiwanese literature” is based on the role of Taiwan as a Japan’s “new territory” or “southward base” and therefore their works were under the constraint of colonial or imperial literature. The 6 important themes concluded by this research are also the important problems reflected by the writers. Involved Japanese writers in Taiwan lived in a closed colonial society who always maintained a sense of superiority as Japanese over the society and people in Taiwan. This sense of superiority limited their observation and understanding of Taiwanese people which indicated a sense of disrespect of colonial patriarchy society.
T he aboriginals in Taiwan were forced to live a civilized life under the economic consideration of a colonial state. They were told to imitate Japanese culture, and later on forced to be silent and were prohibited from crossing the boundary which cause the break-out of “Wu-Shir Event” , leaving colonists doubtful about the real causes.
“Taiwanese females” became the subject of colonists’ construction of Taiwanese; the Taiwanese females described by male writers were lack of self-awareness, away from the constraint of traditional code of ethics and did not have any doubts or struggles regarding their identity during royal citizen establishment. Such descriptions were educational but not faithful to the reality. Female writers, on the contrary, managed to break away from the constraint of colonial imagination and reflected the difficulties of colonizers in terms of self-identity from females’ point of view.
The Japanese writers in Taiwan tried to lay a road of “real Japanese” ahead of colonizers. Nonetheless, both spiritual pedigree and blood merger still reflected the contradiction and fabrication of “treating all men alike” even if colonizers were already defined as royal citizens.
As the war processed, the Japanese writers in Taiwan began to publish works related to war propaganda with the literary arena in Japan to respond to the policies of Taiwan Governor’ General. The studies and solutions to colony problems were therefore ignored. The Japanese government transformed its history of colonizing Taiwan through “historical novels” into a justified and modern natural process.
The “literature written under the time and space in Taiwan” by the Japanese writers in Taiwan turned out to be the national state literature under the intervention of the government which became the mainstream literature containing no introspection or criticism. These novels were the tools of war propaganda, which failed to create new “foreign literature” and turned out to be marginalized works, losing its integrity just as Taiwan new literature that was lack of development. Such literature attitude of establishing “south literature” and “royal citizen literature” was doomed to fail to create works with historical reality value.