The Meji Japanese Who Made Modern Taiwan describes the story of Japan's involvement and administration of Taiwan in the pre-war era, with a focus on the period from 1895, when Taiwan was made a part of the Japanese Empire, to 1945, when the Pacific War ended. It introduces the policies pursued and equally important, the personalities, philosophies, and ambitions of the administrators, engineers, and technicians behind those policies. In particular, the unique thinking, leadership styles, and contributions of Kodama Gentaro, Goto Shinpei, Hatta Yoichi, Iso Eikichi, and Sugiyama Tatsumaru, among others who contributed to the development of modern Taiwan, are introduced in great detail. Their accomplishments remain with Taiwan today, which helps explain the extremely close relationship between Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China) and Japan maintain today.
Toshio Watanabe is former professor at Tsukaba University and the Tokyo University of Technology and is former professor, president, and chancellor at Takushoku University.
Robert D. Eldridge is tenured associate professor at Osaka University.
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Iso Eikichi, the Father of Agriculture in Taiwan
Chapter 2: The “Green Revolution” Brought about by Hōrai Rice
Chapter 3: Taiwan as a Frontier Dream
Chapter 4: Engineers Who Did Not Give Up
Chapter 5: Why the Chianan Irrigation System Succeeded
Chapter 6: Reason, Boldness, and the Administrative Style of Kodama and Gotō
Chapter 7: How England and the United States Saw Japan’s Administration of Taiwan
Conclusion: Why Korea is “Anti-Japanese” and Taiwan “Pro-Japanese”
About the Author and Translator
Watanabe Toshio’s The Meiji Japanese Who Made Modern Taiwan is a source of enlightenment, along with his other works, for us to deepen our understanding of Japan’s administration and development of Taiwan in the pre-1945 period. It shows the contributions Japanese leaders—agronomists, administrators, and engineers—made toward Taiwan, which not only provided for its development but also the foundation for more than a century of close ties, mutual respect, and friendship. By translating this seminal book into English, Robert Eldridge has helped bring these contributions further to light for the global community.
Eldridge has made yet another important contribution to our understanding of the history of East Asia by translating Watanabe Toshio’s recent work, The Meiji Japanese Who Made Modern Taiwan. Japan played an enormous in the development of Taiwan, through far-reaching education and social policies, infrastructure and irrigation projects, and rice and crop improvement. That the relationship continues today and is so strong are testaments to the positive impact Japan had begun during the Meiji period.
Dr. Eldridge’s translation of Toshio’s The Meiji Japanese Who Made Modern Taiwan is a vital contribution to our understanding of Japan’s administration and development of Taiwan in the prewar period. This book highlights not only the well-thought out and generally well-executed policies that brought about Taiwan’s modernization, but also the individuals who led these efforts. It was especially interesting to learn about the beliefs and motivations of these men and their families.