「影之強敵」 — 日本文化遺緒
“Shadow foe” — the legacy of Japanese culture in Taiwan
Such traditional Japanese foods as sushi, sashimi, onigiri, etc.
have become customary dietary items in the daily lives of Taiwan’s people.
日本統治台灣期間，正值西方 、 日本 近代化蓬勃發展時期，如同英國促使香港的蛻變，日本亦為台灣帶來近代化的光與影，並留下許多日本文化遺緒。戰後蔣介石政府曾欲禁絕日本文化「遺毒」，但此「遺毒」卻如日語中所謂的「影之強敵」（KAGE NO KYOUTEKI）——存在但看不見的強敵——般，不僅存在，且似已成為台灣文化中的一部分。本週台灣歷史之窗特別邀請淡江大學歷史系教授蔡錦堂執筆，娓娓細數從建築到音樂、從飲食乃至於流行文化－－無所不在的日本文物與台灣文化生活的緊密關係。
The Japanese colonial era in Taiwan (1895-1945) coincided with an effervescent surge of modernization in the West and Japan. Just as he British brought about a dramatic metamorphosis in Hong Kong, the Japanese exerted a strong modernizing impact upon Taiwan with bright and dark sides, in addition to which it has left a strong Japanese cultural imprint on its society. In the post-war years, with the return of Taiwan to Chinese rule, the Chiang Kai-shek regime strove to uproot the “residual poison” of Japanese culture from Taiwan, but this “residual poison” has proven to be, as the Japanese might put it, a kage no kyouteki, or “shadow foe” –something not obviously perceptible yet present nonetheless. Indeed, that “poison” not merely continues to exist, but has become a part of Taiwan culture. In this week’s Window on Taiwan, Professor Tsai Ching-tang of the Tamkang University History Department gives us a fascinating, variegated account — ranging from architecture to music, diet to pop culture — of the intimate relationship between ubiquitous “things Japanese” and Taiwan’s cultural life.
In today’s Taiwan society, we may find the following phenomena in normal, everyday life: When you visit a friend’s home, you might greet the friend’s father and mother with the words “Ojisan, how are your？Obasan, how are you? (polite term for addressing relatively elderly men and women )”; at lunchtime you eat sushi, onigiri, or oden. On days off, you might go shopping at Mitsukoshi, Sogo or Takashiyama department stores; you may be wearing a Seiko watch or carrying a Nikon camera; the car you drive might be a Toyota or Nissan; and the TV programs you watch might include such cartoons and dramatic series as “Our Family Has a Bad Dog,” “Supersleuth Kanan ” or “Tokyo Love Story.” Taiwan society is replete with such “things Japanese” and vestiges of Japanese culture. Are these phenomena indicative of an “afterglow” of an already-set Japanese sun, or of a second “Japanese occupation?”
Public and private buildings: reminders of the imperial colonialist dream
Although reasons for this phenomenon are several in number, it is undeniable that it is related in large part to Japan’s 50-year rule over Taiwan. If we first examine the cultural legacy of the Japanese colonial era from the point of view of the “hardware” of buildings, we find that the present-day Presidential Office Building was the former Viceroy’s Office; the Executive Yuan was the former Taipei City Government; the Legislative Yuan was once the Third High School Girl’s Dormitory; the Examination Yuan was the Taipei Syu Administrative Office [“Syu” being one of 3 major adminstrative regions of Taiwan]; the Taipei Guest House [where governmental conferences are held and officials visiting Taipei are temporarily housed] in the period of Japanese rule was the official residence of the Viceroy; Chung Shan Hall was originally the Public Assembly Hall; and the Judicial Office Building and Bank of Taiwan on opposite sides of the Presidential Office Building were, respectively, the Japanese-era High Court and Bank of Taiwan. In other words, the buildings currently being used in the heart of the Taiwan Government administrative district are for the most part buildings in continuous use from the Japanese-era. While this is the case with official office buildings, it is likewise the true of other facilities such as Taipei’s February 28 Memorial Peace Park, the National Taiwan Museum, the older section of the National Taiwan University Hospital and other leftover Japanese-style buildings in public and private use all over Taiwan.
Traces of Japanese culture in dietary habits and entertainment
Numerous vestiges of Japanese culture from the Japanese colonial era also survive in the form of the less visible “software” of culture. Take food, for instance. Such traditional Japanese foods as sushi (sliced sections of rice rolled together with dried seaweed and other ingredients), sashimi (raw fish slices), onigiri (a type of rice cake wrapped in a hori, or dried seaweed, found in all convenience stores ) , etc. have become customary dietary items in the daily lives of Taiwan’s people. Many people directly use the Japanese pronunciation for these food names rather than Chinese equivalents, such Japanese terms as sushi and sashimi having long been commonplace in restaurants and marketplaces, even to the extent of now having become “nativized” nouns. In addition, a type of rice porridge side dish referred to in Chinese as “pickled yellow turnip” and commonly mistaken for a traditional Taiwanese breakfast food, is in fact takuan (“pickled vegetable”) transmitted from Japan. And the condiment which in Chinese goes by the two-character name 味素 (“flavor essence”) got that name from the famous brand name Ajinomoto (味之素 , with the additional adjectival particle 之) of the Japanese company that first invented this chemically compounded condiment (monosodium glutamate, or MSG). And then there is also the term 便當 (a sort of meal box) which, along with its Japanese pronunciation, bentoh, has even more undeniably entered into common Taiwan society and become a part of practical daily life culture.
During the period of Japanese rule, the leisure-time and entertainment aspects of common Taiwanese society likewise underwent major changes. Under the influence of a world-wide wave of popularization, various novel leisure-time entertainments gradually appeared in Taiwan through Japanese introduction, as for example billiards and baseball. Especially in the sport of baseball — referred to by the Japanese as yakyu (野球 – “field ball”), many talented players were cultivated during the Japanese era, who, in the post-war era, made considerable contributions giving rise to the baseball fever which overwhelmed Taiwan during the 1970s. Moreover, as the result of Japanese influence, baseball jargon used in Taiwan (mainly by the older generation) includes such Japanese terms as picchah (pitcher), kyacchah (catcher), homuran (homerun), fasutoh (first base), sekandoh (second base), and sahdoh (third base). Though variations on the original English terms, it was these Japanified monikers which first took root in the world of Taiwan baseball.
Japanese flavor of pop music in Taiwan
In the realm of pop music, in the days before the advent of tape cassettes and CDs, people were obliged to use vinyl records and radios to listen to music. In Taiwan, records were called Kiok-poan, the Taiwanese pronunciation of the two-character term 曲盤 (“tune platter”) introduced by the Japanese, who themselves who is pronounced it kyokuban. The Taiwan word for “radio” is the Japanified pronouciation rajio.
Japanese-introduced baseball, or yakyu, has become an intimate part of popular Taiwan leisure.
Taiwanese pop music developed during the 1920s and 1930s, from the very beginning taking on a strong Japanese character. For instance, such well known pre-war Taiwanese songs as “Looking Forward to the Spring Wind,” “Rainy Night Flower,” “Moon-lit Night Sadness,” or “Riverside Spring Dream,” as well as such post-war songs as “Looking Forward to Your Early Return,” “Autumn Wind, Night Rain,” “Harbor Town Night Rain” and many others were in fact all influenced by the model set by Japanese pop songs of the time, carrying a thick Japanese aroma, differing only in that the lyrics were in Hoklo (Taiwanese) rather than Japanese. During those pre-war decades, there were two pop music kings in Japan –Nakayama Shinpei and Koga Masao, each of whom in his lifetime composed more than 3000 tunes. In 1928 Nakayama set the mood for subsequent contemporary Japanese songs with his pentatonic abbreviated scale omitting the 4th and 7th tones, producing a dejected, mournful sound. In 1930, Koga Masao began composing tunes employing the guitar and a variety of other new instruments in combination with lyrics by the then-famous song writer Saijyo Yaso , who typically used a vocabulary of “tragedy-tinged nouns” including such oft-appearing words as wind, rain, stars, mist, moon, autumn, net, dream, river, night, infatuation, love, flowers, remorse, boat, tears, harbor, shadows, heart, wine, drunk, lamp, setting sun, train station, dusk, etc. — resonating with the lives and mood tendencies of the common people of the time, and being greatly appreciated by them. Inspection of such Taiwanese songs, with their dreary, despondent melodies and lyrics, proves them to have been heavily influence by this Japanese tonality.
Taiwanization of Japanese words
In 1940 began a name-change movement, [promoted by the Japanese colonial government in order to garner support for its World War II effort]. While a number of Taiwanese changed both their surnames and given names to Japanese names — as, for example, former President Lee Teng-hui, who changed his name to Iwasato Masao ; the father of Li Min-huai [founder and director of the renowned Cloud Gate Dance Troop became Makino Okaze ; or Tai Yen-huei, who took the name Tai Teruo — many more Taiwanese were bestowed with Japanese-style given names at birth, such as 義雄 , 文雄 , 智雄 , 秀雄 , 英雄 , 昭彥 , 文男 , 信良 , or 靜枝 . These and other Japanese-style given names used by the Taiwanese may easily be mistaken for Chinese given names since, besides the fact that both the Japanese and Taiwanese use Chinese characters for their names, the names chosen by the Taiwanese were not so obviously Japanese as, for example, the very common Japanese given names Ichiro , Taro or Hanako . The fact remains, however, that they preserve a Japanese flavor, bearing witness to the imprint left by Japanese culture on life in Taiwan. Generally, such Japanese-sounding names are these days most commonly found among Taiwanese in the 40 – 60 year-old age group.
Among the examples of Japanese cultural influence still surviving from the era of Japanese rule, the most commonly occurring are many Japanese-language expressions which have been incorporated into the Hoklo or “Taiwanese” language. Of course that is not to say that all of the Japanese expressions incorporated into Taiwanese are standard Japanese either in orthography or pronunciation. The aforementioned words obasan and ojisan, for example, are rendered in Taiwanese written language as transliterations with orthographic? entirely different from their Japanese counterparts; while the above-mentioned words bentoh and yakyu, while preserving the original Chinese-character orthography, are commonly given Taiwanese pronunciations. In fact, the Taiwanese language used in everyday life is replete with such borrowed expressions. For instance, the Japanese term for “newspaper” is 新聞 [which in Chinese dialects simply means “news”], and this Japanese term has been directly borrowed for use in Hoklo, though with a Hoklo pronunciation of the characters [while, by contrast, in most Chinese dialects, “newspaper” is rendered as 報紙 , or “report paper”]. We may cite many other examples of expressions in Hoklo which are directly borrowed Japanese terms supplanting those used in most Chinese dialects, including, for example, the words for: 上等 first-class, 郵便 mail, 注文 registration, 料理 cuisine, 案內 guide, 萬年筆 fountain pen, 目藥 eye medicine, 愛嬌 charming, 自轉車bicycle, 自動車 automobile, 水道 tap water, 出勤 on duty, 元氣 vitality, 出張 go on a business trip, 會社 company, 人氣 popularity, 落第 fall a test, 遠足 excursion 配達 express 見本 sample, 在庫品 inventory, 勉強 industrious, 看板 billboard, 小包 parcel, 失敬 I’m sorry, 中古 used, 運轉 drive, 住所 residence, 麥酒 beer. Sometimes, Japanese pronunciation is also preserved but with some alteration, as with the Japanese word kimochi, meaning “emotion,” whose final syllable is dropped in Taiwanese to become the widely used word kimo. In other instances, the correct pronunciation is preserved as with the oft-used term ichiban (一番), meaning “number one!” , which some people are given to transliterating using the characters 一級棒 , meaning “first-grade wonderful!”
Japanese cultural influences dating from the colonial era have been absorbed and become deeply engrained in the culture of Taiwan society for a long time now. If we look upon this circumstance from the simplistic point of view of a contest between Japanofiles and those who resent the Japanese for their past wrongs, and if the latter side is bent upon rejecting Japanese influences, they may well have to become resigned to the fact that this “shadow foe” is impossible to uproot.
Edited by Tina Lee/ translated by James Decker