Title

The politics of cultures is the culture of national identity politics in Taiwan : "Japan" in the nation building of Lee Teng-Hui's regime

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

Reconceptualising the divide : identity, memory, and nationalism in Sino-Japanese relations

Publication Date

2010

First Page

95

Last Page

118

Publisher

Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Abstract

This chapter is intended to examine anthropologically the role of Japan and Japanese culture in Lee Tang-hui's nation building when he came to power in the late 1980s. We shall argue that Lee has been trying to achieve his political separatism through emphasizing the differences between the cultural bases of Taiwan and China. To Lee, who was born during the Japanese colonial period, Taiwanese culture means the local culture before the arrival of the KMT in 1949. We shall demonstrate that the local culture before 1949 in Taiwan was, due to the cultural policy of the Japanese colonial government, very much Japanized. Recognizing Taiwanese culture as such, Lee regarded "Japan" and "Japanese culture" as implicit referents when he was to discriminate local culture from that of Chinese and built his version of bentuhua on the Japanized local culture. That is to say, Lee directly connected bentuhua with "re-Japanization."

In the second part of this chapter, we shall show that "re-Japanization" is the major spirit of the cultural policy of Lee's regime by examining how Japanese adult videos (AVs) come to Taiwan and the town planning of Hsimenting. Interestingly, Lee's pro-Japan cultural policy together with his kōmin background, and fluent Japanese help to create for himself a pro-Japan image which has often been exploited by both the Japanese and Taiwanese governments in their diplomatic campaigns. In the final part of this chapter, we shall demonstrate how this can happen.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2010 by Gerrit Gong and Victor Teo and contributors.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9781443821193

Recommended Citation

Wong, H.-W. & Yau, H.-Y. (2010). The politics of cultures is the culture of national identity politics in Taiwan: "Japan" in the nation building of Lee Teng-Hui's regime. In G. Gong & V. Teo (Eds.), Reconceptualising the divide: Identity, memory, and nationalism in Sino-Japanese relations (pp. 95-118). England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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