Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in by Andrew D. Morris

By Andrew D. Morris

During this engrossing cultural historical past of baseball in Taiwan, Andrew D. Morris lines the game's social, ethnic, political, and cultural value when you consider that its advent at the island a couple of hundred years in the past. brought via the japanese colonial executive on the flip of the century, baseball used to be anticipated to ''civilize'' and modernize Taiwan's Han chinese language and Austronesian Aborigine populations. After global conflict II, the sport was once tolerated as a remnant of jap tradition after which strategically hired by means of the ruling chinese language Nationalist social gathering (KMT) while it was once additionally enthroned through Taiwanese politicians, cultural manufacturers, and electorate as their nationwide video game. In contemplating baseball's cultural and historic implications, Morris deftly addresses a few societal topics an important to knowing sleek Taiwan, the query of chinese language ''reunification,'' and East Asia as an entire.

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Additional info for Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan

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While the Han Taiwanese—aside from a few notorious bands of turn-of-thecentury bandits—were seen by the colonial regime as easily recivilized and integrated into a Japanese-led Asia, the Aborigine population posed a much more practical and truly existential challenge to Japanese colonialism. 127 Yet it is precisely the Japanese attention to and interrogation of Taiwanese Aborigines, their goals and fantasies of “civilizing” them, and their nightmares of failing, that gave rise to the concept of savage Team Nōkō and the subsequent project to channel “genetic” Aborigine rage and fierceness onto the expansive fields of the game of baseball.

In 1997, Su described the Kanō baseball atmosphere as one of “impartiality and equal favor” (isshi dōjin), also the official Shōwa era description of “fair” treatment of colonized populations. 26 Another quite ambivalent endorsement of Kondō comes from former star slugger Hong Taishan. Hong was interviewed (in Japanese) in 1995 by Nishiwaki Yoshitomo, a policeman from Hyogo Prefecture who has published two giant volumes on his obsession, baseball in Japanese-ruled Taiwan. describing Coach Kondō’s “Spartan style .

In a 2000 interview, Xiao joked about the clear advantage that this gave the public school teams, and about how “the Japanese were not too happy to lose” to the Taiwanese. 149 Writers at the Chinese-language newspaper Taiwan Minbao also engaged in a fair share of playful commentary about the attitudes of the Japanese in Taiwan. in August 1929, five teams—four from Japanese primary schools and one from a public elementary school in Takao—met in Taihoku to play a two-day islandwide youth baseball tournament before three to four thousand fans.

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