Taiwanese Imperial Japan Serviceman

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Taiwanese servicemen in the Imperial Japanese Army. Tai Ji Ri Ben Bing Chu Zheng Qian Drafted Taiwanese soldiers during World War II.jpg
Taiwanese servicemen in the Imperial Japanese Army.
Taiwanese student draftees at a farewell party. Tai Ji Xue Sheng Ri Ben Bing Chu Zheng Qian Taiwanese Students drafted as soldiers during World War II.jpg
Taiwanese student draftees at a farewell party.

A Taiwanese Imperial Japan Serviceman (Chinese : 台籍日本兵; Japanese : 台湾人日本兵) is any Taiwanese person who served in the Imperial Japanese Army or Navy during World War II whether as a soldier, a sailor, or in another non-combat capacity. According to statistics provided by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the subsequent World War II, a total of 207,183 Taiwanese served in the military of Imperial Japan and 30,304 of them were declared killed or missing in action.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Taiwanese people are people from Taiwan who share a common Taiwanese culture and speak Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Hakka, or Aboriginal languages as a mother tongue. Taiwanese people may also refer to individuals who either claim or are imputed cultural identity focused on Taiwan or areas under the control of the Government of the Republic of China since 1945, including Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu islands. At least three competing paradigms are used to identify someone as a Taiwanese person: nationalist criteria, self-identification criteria, and socio-cultural criteria. These standards are fluid, and result from evolving social and political issues. The complexity resulting from competing and evolving standards is compounded by a larger dispute regarding Taiwan's identity, the political status of Taiwan, and its potential de jure Taiwan independence or Cross-Strait Unification.



In the fall of 1937, the Empire of Japan began recruiting Taiwanese into its military; prior to that, Taiwanese were banned from serving in the military of Imperial Japan. As the war continued, there was an increasing need of translators for conducting military operations in China, and many Taiwanese volunteers were given training courses in Min, Cantonese and Mandarin languages, and served as translators for the Imperial Japanese Army operating in China. The number of Taiwanese serving in this capacity was classified, and remains unknown. [1]

Min Chinese primary branch of Chinese spoken in southern China and Taiwan

Min is a broad group of Chinese varieties spoken by about 30 million people in Fujian province as well as by 45 million descendants of migrants from this province in Guangdong, Hainan, three counties in southern Zhejiang, Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo, some towns in Liyang, Jiangyin City in Jiangsu province, and Taiwan. The name is derived from the Min River in Fujian, which is also the abbreviated name of Fujian Province. Min varieties are not mutually intelligible with each other or with any other varieties of Chinese.

Cantonese variety of Yue Chinese spoken in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau

Cantonese is a variety of Chinese originating from the city of Guangzhou and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety of the Yue Chinese dialect group, which has about 68 million native speakers. While the term Cantonese specifically refers to the prestige variety, it is often used to refer to the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but largely mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese.

Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin, Standard Mandarin, Modern Standard Mandarin Chinese (MSMC), or simply Mandarin, is a standard variety of Chinese that is one of the official languages of China. Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, and its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. The similar Taiwanese Mandarin is a national language of Taiwan. Standard Singaporean Mandarin is one of the four official languages of Singapore.

In 1942, after the United States entered the war on the Allied side, Japan lifted its ban on Taiwanese serving in a combat capacity, and began the Army Special Volunteers Act (Japanese : 陸軍特別志願兵令) in Taiwan. This act allowed the residents of Japan's overseas territories and colonies to serve in its army, and was first enacted in Korea in 1938. The first few recruitment drives were limited in scale, with only a few hundred openings available to a relatively large number of applicants. The scale gradually expanded in order to replenish the losses of manpower on the battlefield. A similar program, the Navy Special Volunteers Program(海軍特別志願兵制度), was established in 1943 in both Taiwan and Korea to allow non-Japanese to serve in the Navy.

Korea region in East Asia

Korea is a region in East Asia consisting of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, and several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea has been divided since 1948 between two distinct sovereign states, North Korea and South Korea. Korea is bordered by Russia to the northeast, China to the northwest, and neighbours Japan to the east via the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan.

With Japan's manpower depleting, the Japanese government terminated the army and navy special volunteers programs in 1944 and 1945 respectively, replacing them with systematic conscription. [2] Before Japan's surrender, there were 126,750 non-combatants and 80,453 soldiers and sailors serving in Japan's military, with roughly 16,000 of them having been recruited through volunteer programs. A total of 30,304 servicemen, or 15 percent of those recruited and conscripted, were killed or presumed killed in action. Additionally, 173 Taiwanese who served in the Imperial Japanese military were found guilty of Class B and C war crimes. 26 Taiwanese servicemen were sentenced to death, although only two sentences were carried out.

War crime Serious violation of the laws of war

A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torturing, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, raping, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and seriously violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, and military necessity.


Lee Teng-hui, right, with his brother, Lee Teng-chin, who is seen here in navy officer uniform. Lee Teng-hui with brother.jpg
Lee Teng-hui, right, with his brother, Lee Teng-chin, who is seen here in navy officer uniform.

When asked the reason for serving, many veterans stated that they joined for better treatment for them and for their families. According to interviewed veterans, those who served were given extra food and other rationed articles for their families, and were less likely to be discriminated against by the Japanese government. [3] Another reason, as stated by some veterans, was that they were treated more equally with the Japanese in the military because they "were all soldiers for the Emperor." After Japan's defeat and handover of Taiwan, many veterans who survived the war were persecuted by the Kuomintang (Nationalist) government because the Nationalists saw them as Hanjian (race traitors) for serving in the Japanese military. [4] Some veterans later joined the February 28 uprising against the Nationalist government that resulted in further oppression during the White Terror.

Emperor of Japan Head of state of Japan

The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." Historically, he is also the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō, literally "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado (帝/御門) for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete.

Retrocession Day day marking the anniversary of the end of Japanese rule over Taiwan on 25 October 1945

Retrocession Day is a name given to the annual observance and unofficial holiday in Taiwan to commemorate the end of 50 years of Japanese rule of Taiwan and Penghu, and their claimed handover to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945. However, the idea of "Taiwan retrocession" is in dispute.

Kuomintang Political party in the Republic of China


Former President Lee Teng-hui of the Republic of China briefly served as a second lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army in the final months of World War II. His brother, Lee Teng-chin, was killed in action in the Philippines while serving in the Imperial Japanese Navy and his remains were never recovered. Lee Teng-chin and at least 26,000 Taiwanese Imperial Japan servicemen and hundreds of Takasago Volunteers, who were killed or presumed killed in action, were enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Japan.

Lee Teng-hui former President of Republic of China

Lee Teng-hui is a Taiwanese statesman who was the President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) from 1988 to 2000. He was the first president of the Republic of China to be born in Taiwan. During his presidency, Lee advocated the Taiwanese localization movement and led an ambitious foreign policy to gain allies around the world.

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

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Si̍t-chûn Movement(Chinese:實存運動; Japanese:じつぞんうんどう), inasmuch as the Kyoto School, Neo-Confucianism and other prominent philosophical movements in the early-twentieth-century East Asia, is a significant philosophical movement during the Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan, in which the intellectuals in the 1920s formulated their reflections on the Taiwanese community through the western values and thoughts and wedged against the colonial domination and imperial assimilation. Si̍t-chûn Movement was intensely bond with political and cultural counter-imperialism, involving intellectuals eg. Lin Mosei(zh:林茂生), Hung Yao-hsün(zh:洪耀勳), Wen Kwei Liao(zh:廖文奎), Mingdian Liu(zh:劉明電), Shao-Hsing Chen(zh:陳紹馨), Lin Qiu-wu(zh:林秋悟), Hsiang-yu Su(zh:蘇薌雨), Shenqie Zhang(zh:張深切), Chin-sui Hwang(zh:黃金穗), Shoki Coe(zh:黃彰輝), Isshū Yō(zh:楊杏庭), C K Wu(吳 振坤), and so forth. ‘At the begin,’ according to the Taiwanese cultural sociologist Ren-yi Liao ’s 1988 grounding formulation, ‘Taiwanese Philosophy has been a civil intellectual movement against domination, rather than an academic form of conception.’ ‘Si̍t-chûn Movement’, however, has yet ratified and systemically studied until 2014.

Taiwanese Philosophy

Philosophy in Taiwan/Taiwanese Philosophy is bifurcated: On an ambient sense, it entails all philosophical and thought movements in Taiwan, say, Philosophy in Taiwan. On a succinct sense, it ratifies Taiwan as a concept of the philosophical significance and as an eminent topic on study and research, in other words, Taiwanese Philosophy. For instance, the postwar concurrence with Neo-Confucianism canonized the Chinese Philosophy in Taiwan, contra the Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China, may somehow omit the complexity of Taiwanese Philosophy. With the unearthing literature and sprouting discourses due to the merits of democratization, public debates on whether historical configuration of Taiwanese Philosophy or many faces of Taiwanese philosophers, have unveiled the world intellectualism of Taiwanese Philosophy via Japan in the Golden 1920s and later substituted with the postwar Chinese Confucian Canons. Nevertheless, a reinvigorated formulation on Taiwanese Philosophy that China and Japan at different times imprint as exogenesis; and thus, a burgeoning philosophical development with the Taiwanese Gemeinschaft


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  4. BBC 一个台湾“皇军”的回忆