history · Japan

Poisonous Pufferfish and the Treaty that Ceded Taiwan to Japan

A few months ago, I had a chance to visit the town of Shimonoseki. People familiar with Taiwanese history will recognize it as site of the Treaty of Shimonoseki (้ฆฌ้—œๆข็ด„) from 1895, in which Qing China ceded Taiwan to Japan. I'd always only known the Taiwan side of this story. It turns out there is… Continue reading Poisonous Pufferfish and the Treaty that Ceded Taiwan to Japan

history · Taiwan

The Japanese Roots of Taiwanese Rice ๐Ÿš (And Its 30 Years of R&D)

Earlier this month, I stumbled upon a farm in the middle of Taipei: It was surprisingly... pastoral: Believe it or not, this farm is on the National Taiwan University (NTU) campus! I was heading to the student center for an appointment that day and the path Google Maps told me to take was under construction,… Continue reading The Japanese Roots of Taiwanese Rice ๐Ÿš (And Its 30 Years of R&D)

history · Taiwan

Camphor: From Totoro to Taiwan

Does anyone else remember the name of the giant tree that Totoro likes to sleep in? For some reason, this detail has stuck with me to this day-- "camphor". And that's probably the last time I encountered this word in English. In Chinese however, you'll encounter the word for camphor ๆจŸ่…ฆย in everyday life. It pops… Continue reading Camphor: From Totoro to Taiwan

history · Korea

GUNSAN ๊ตฐ์‚ฐ: An Ambivalent Home to Many “Vestiges of Imperialism”

"Vestiges of Imperialism" (์ผ์ œ ๊ฐ•์ ๊ธฐ์˜ ์ž”์žฌ) is a very charged term here. It has been grounds for a variety of controversial actions, from the 2014 banning of a song with the Japanese word for "shiny" in it to the demolition in 1995 of the former Japanese General Government Building (์กฐ์„ ์ด๋…๋ถ€ ์ฒญ์‚ฌ), at the time home… Continue reading GUNSAN ๊ตฐ์‚ฐ: An Ambivalent Home to Many “Vestiges of Imperialism”