Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hello, everyone, welcome to Taiwan Bar. Today, we're going to talk about the social movements in the 1920s. Social movements back then were kind of similar to those nowadays. Of course, the most active role has always been students. The cradle of Taiwan's social movements, however, was not Taiwan, but the de facto capital of Japan⏤Tokyo. During the rule under Emperor Taishō, social movements in Japan swept through the country. Uncles, aunties, gramps, and grannies⏤everyone was on the street, protesting. Taiwanese students in Japan were influenced by this kind of democracy, making Tokyo the place for Taiwanese people to absorb new ideas. Under the rule of Goto Shinpei, Taiwan was not only modernized with Japan; people also gave up armed protests. [In] Today's episode, let's talk about how social movements blew from Japan to Taiwan. Here we go! After World War I, national self-determination became the coolest kid on the block. So, the Governor-General thought, "Woah, before we lose Taiwan to this self-determination thing, we'd better assimilate Taiwanese ASAP." So, the way they ruled Taiwan changed from special ruling to assimilation. But the story wasn't as easy as that. Out of nowhere came Lin Cheng-lu, saying that emphasizing Taiwan's unique character would be better than assimilating it. So, protests started going another direction, and out came the Petition Movement for the Establishment of a Taiwanese Parliament. What's that? Well, you smarty little pantsy probably could tell by the name, can't you? Instead of being assimilated, the Taiwanese pled to set up its own parliament to rule on their own. Yeah! Self-determination! At this point, the Governor-General was speechless. When we treated you differently, you asked to be the same. When we treat you the same, you want self-determination? Come on! Taiwanese intellectuals in the 1920s were always one step ahead. Avant garde and totally rad! Anyway, they pled to set up their own council. In 1921, Lin Hsien-tang and the others started to fight for Taiwan's self-determination. The Petition Movement for the Establishment of a Taiwanese Parliament went on for 14 years with... uh... no avail. In the process, however, many political elite were cultivated and raised the public awareness of the Taiwanese even more. Taiwan belongs to the Taiwanese. Looking back at the 1920s, that was the time when... unarmed protests was a new thing we possessed. It's hard to detest because the outcome was the best, you know? Compared to Korea at that time, the Taiwanese were much more polite. Koreans not only wildly engaged in armed protects against Japan, they also assassinated Ito Hirobumi, the guy who signed The Treaty of Shimonoseki. That's what I call K-pop, pop, pop, pop! Besides the heated discussions overseas on whether to set up councils or not, Dr. Chiang Wei-shui also diagnosed Taiwan as a culturally malnourished brainless jellyfish... You, dumb dumb! ... having large but empty brains, all they had was kindness and naivety, along with other Confucianism values. If they could grow a bit more knowledge and self-awareness, they'd still have the chance to not be miserable. Therefore, Dr. Chiang Wei-shui proposed founding the Taiwanese Cultural Association. And Mr. Lin Hsien-tang, the biggest sponsor to Taiwan's social movements, volunteered as the manager of the association. Both of them dedicated themselves to helping Taiwan transform. After the Taiwanese Cultural Association was founded, they published newspapers, delivered speeches, organized summer camps and even theater. They also helped Taiwanese break bad habits like opium-smoking and superstitions. Among this was an interesting group called "Mei-tai Group". They used the latest technology to play educative movies around the island. So, kind of like the Taiwan Bar during the Japanese rule. Out of the various activities, the most influential were the cultural speeches. More than 300 speeches in 365 days, gaining more than 200,000 views! That's more than any of our recent videos; we gotta step it up! And that's why social movements in the late 1920s were so highly-participated. Hold on; let's clarify something real quick. [Japanese] Ano... Now when we speak of the communist party, people seem to think it's a China thing. But back in the Japanese rule, there was also a communist party in Taiwan. In 1928, the Taiwanese Communist Party was founded in Shanghai and brought back to Taiwan by Xie Xue-hong. The TCP was dedicated to speaking out for the proletariat, but this class conflict was even more rad than self-determination. The invasion of radical ideas was one of the reasons why social groups were divided into radical and moderate groups. Social groups that were supposed to fight together for Taiwan started holding each other back. Even when Chiang Wei-shui reminded the Taiwanese that, Comrades stick together, hey! Together we are strong, hey! Taiwan still couldn't avoid being brought down by this internal strife. Besides that, the Governor-General still had to deal with all sorts of social movements. Even though they didn't bring out tanks to run over anyone, they still had a few tricks up their sleeves. Trick number one: Turning the Enemy Against Each Other In 1922, General Den Kenjiro gathered a few social movement leaders including Lin Hsien-tang to discuss establishing a Taiwanese parliament. Although they didn't reach a consensus at the end, the Governor-General started spreading rumors that Lin had taken a bribe to stop social movements. Many people were brainwashed by these rumors and believed Lin was a traitor, making the biggest sponsor of social movements, Mr. Lin Hsien-tang, very sad and very lonely. Trick number two: Kill with A Borrowed Sword The Governor-General asked Koo Hsien-jung, along with all the other gentries who were powerful and wealthy, and put together a group called "The Powerful". "The Powerful" accused the leaders of the Petition Movement of having ulterior motives and urged the silent majority to come forward. Social movement leaders, on the other hand, called themselves "The Weak" to fight against "The Powerful". Trick number three: Bring Out the Po-Po's! In 1923, in order to keep the Petition Movement rolling, Chiang Wei-shui and his squad wanted to assemble a League for the Establishment of a Taiwanese Parliament. But Governor-General wouldn't budge. So, Chiang went off to Tokyo do it. After finding out, the Governor-General was pissed. So, it brought out the po-po's island-wide to prosecute citizens. This is the notorious Armed Police Incident. However, the Taiwanese were known for their tenacity. The more tricks the Governor-General played, the more repulsive the Taiwanese got. So, after the Armed Police Incident, the Taiwanese were even more active in social movements. Hmm, sounds kinda like the situation today. After all these stories about Taiwan's social movements, we now know a little bit more about the first stage of Taiwan's democracy. But social movements in the 1920s also had a lot of problems. For example, the objective of the Taiwanese Cultural Association was to promote Taiwanese culture. However, it excluded certain cultures at the same time, like Taiwanese folk opera from Ilan was seen as low-class and vulgar. The prosperous period of social movements did not last long. Rolling into the 30s, under the rise of militarism in Japan, voices rooting for democracy disappeared. The New Taiwanese Cultural Association, Formosan Peasant Union, Taiwan People's Party, and all other radical organizations were banned or dismissed. Even the most moderate one, the Taiwan Local Government Association, dismissed itself due to the circumstances. So, did the efforts over this period of time go back to square one, or did they plant seeds of hope for Taiwanese after all? Alrighty, after all that talk, I'm a bit thirsty. Let me down this Sake, and we'll see you next time. Bye!