Comparative Literature Faculty Work


Yang Qianhe and Huang Fengzi: Two Voices of Colonial Taiwan

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Japan Studies Association Journal

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Taiwan was a colony of Japan from 1895 to 1945. The Japanese colonial government implemented policies to make Taiwan a part of Japan's Imperial government. The result was a generation of Taiwanese who spoke and wrote in Japanese. Where the literary production of these writers gets placed in histories of "Taiwanese" literature is the source of much scholarly debate. Most attention focuses on the literary output of male Taiwanese writers. The voices of women writers living in colonial Taiwan exist, but have yet to be translated, much less discussed in any significant length. This paper will look at two Taiwanese women who wrote in the 1940s under Japan's rule of the country. They are Yang Qianhe (1921 -) and Huang Fengzi (1928-). Yang Qianhe was Taiwan's first female journalist. I will discuss her only work of fiction "Hana saku kisetsu" (The Season When Flowers Bloom, 1942) and her memoir Jinsei nopurizumu (The Prism of Life, 1993). Huang Fengzi is noteable because she had two essays and a memoir published when she was only a high school student. Her memoir Taiwan no shôjo (A Young Girl of Taiwan, 1944), discussed in this paper, is one of the few extant sources that sheds light on what it was like to be a young Taiwanese girl living in Taiwan during the war years. I will show how these women reveal varying degrees of comfort with being part of the colonial empire as upper class Taiwanese women.



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