歷史概述 / Historical background
Taiwanese aborigines are the most early inhabitants in Taiwan. Among the 14 tribes, the Seediq, which resides in the Central Mountain, is most renowned for its bravery and valor. The tribesmen, for centuries, resolutely cling to Gaya---- which means pantheist belief, ancestral will or ethics that might include rituals, hunting and farming---- and continue the ancient form of life. The 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki ceded the island of Taiwan to Japan, which sought to transform Taiwan into the supply-end of an extremely unequal flow of assets. Several severe uprisings broke out when Japanese government tried to exploit the mountain resources of minerals and forests and invade the boundary of aboriginal inhabitants.
Wushe is located in central Taiwan, where 11 Wushe Seediq tribes are formed and each is composed of roughly tens or hundreds of people. To strengthen the power of colonization and imperialization the Japanese government reinforced the construction and civilization of the highland aboriginal area, among which Wushe has been regarded as the model of their taming approach.
Despite the constructions that benefit the local residents, Japanese government set many restrictions to the original lifestyles of the aborigines. Traditional conventions such as headhunting and tattooing were inhibited, and they were not allowed to own weapons privately nor apply for hunting munitions. The planting of traditional weaving fabrics was also under scrutiny. Restrained in their ordinary life, the aboriginal people could not but serve as laborers and maids for Japanese. Suddenly, these free men became the underprivileged minorities, and the news of their being bullied broke out constantly. For the sake of public construction and deforestation, these aboriginal people were constantly recruited. The best period for their farming and hunting was delayed, and the heavy labor and meager salary made their life almost unbearable.
More significantly, wholesale attempts at the “Japanization” of aboriginals through mass enculturation into Japanese language shattered their sacred beliefs in Gaya. Their form of life and self-identification had been disintegrated. Resentment among the tribesmen against Japanese had been simmered.
In the days immediately prior to the incident, the spark that set off the conflagration resulted from a wedding banquet from Mahebo Tribe, the local Japanese constable refused a toast from Tado Mona and beat him up, and a fight broke out between the police officer and the group. The officer was injured, and insisted on severe punishment for them.Mona Rudo attempted to apologise by presenting several bottles of wine at the officer’s house, but this was rejected. The simmering resentment among the Seediq in Wushe was finally pushed to the limit.
Mona Rudo, as the chief of the Wushe Seediq tribe, had been selected for a tour of Japan, where he sees the Spartan military schools and armories. He knew that there was not a slightest hope of winning, but to keep the dignity and glory of the tribe, he could never allow the people’s fate of being slaves. On October 27th, 1930, hundreds of Japanese converged on Wushe for an athletics meet at the Taiwan-Chinese Musyaji Elementary School. Without planning in advance, there are only six tribes out of eleven participating in this rebellion: Mahebo, Boalum, Hogo, Talowan, Suku, and Rodof. Shortly before dawn, Mona Rudo led over 300 Seediq braves in the raiding of strategic police sub-stations to capture weapons and ammunition. They then moved on the elementary school, concentrating their attack on the Japanese in attendance. 134 Japanese were killed in the attack. It is the largest-scaled uprising against colonial Japanese forces throughout the Taiwanese history.
Greatly struck by the outbreak of the resurrection, the Japanese Governor-General ordered a counter-offensive of troops around the island to be sent to Wushe. The Seediq were forced to retreat into the forests and carried out guerrilla attacks. During this period most of the warriors died or committed suicide. Worst, the Japanese soldiers use the strategy of “Barbarians against barbarians”, playing off one tribe against the other and even bribing the Seediq tribesmen to kill their warriors. It is also said that more than one hundred Seediq women hanged themselves during the rebellion in order to free their husbands from the burden of taking care of them.
The Japanese authorities reacted with unprecedentedly crushing force. A massive military troop of nearly 4000 people was mobilised within this period. Forty days later the uprising was finally put down.
畫面靈感來源 / Source of inspiration
The inspiration of the visual composition of the painting is based on the two fragments of the warriors’ memoir, which I incorporate them into one image based on my imagination.
At this time, the chiefs who joined in slaughtering Japanese in Mahebo Tribe held a meeting. Mona Rudo from Mahebo took the lead, Leader Tado Nokan from Hogo, Leader Walis Peric from Boalum, Leader Bihu Mona from Suku, Leader Mona Beko from Talowan, Representative Puhuk Walis from Rodof, all joined this meeting…. to decide fighting position for each tribe…… After the meeting, Mona Rudo gave order to sacrifice. Everyone drank the last farewell wine, which is a sorrow wine that can never be enough to intoxicate us. For the sake of those Japanese we have to die. The chiefs all cried in sorrow. Still, they wiped their tears, ordering their subordinates to fight to the death. ….they broke the attachment to the mortal world, just to sustain the determination to fight until the very end.
On November 1st, airplanes roared across the sky. They span over, and kept bombing Lukudaya. With each bombing, rocks between the cliffs were shattered and crumbled into pieces flying out everywhere. Earth and sky were shaken, and giant boulders tumbled into the valley. But we were still heroic, knowing that we would fight to the death in this land.