Visiting the hometown of Wansei in Hualien

During the Japanese colonial period, Taiwan government has implemented large scaled “immigration policy” in Hualien and Taitung. As the documentary “Wansei (Taiwan-born Japanese) Back Home” talked about a group of Taiwan-Born Japanese. After the World War II, they were repatriated, leaving their birthplace and going to their “strange” home country. Wansei has left, but they left the trace, where they have lived in Taiwan. It also has become the memories that cannot be rubbed off.

If you want to travel light in Hualien and Taitung, you can rent a light and convenient bicycle to visit the forgotten Japanese immigration village. Back then, Japanese immigration came to Eastern Taiwan and built the “modern village of Japanese”. The roads inside village were designed in the shape of square like the checkerboard. The immigration instruction facility, police station, health clinics, shrines, elementary schools and other facilities were built inside the village.

In particular, Toyota immigration county, Fengli Village of Shoufeng County, has been preserved completely. In Feng Li elementary school, the small auditorium used to be Kendo Hall is still there. And the 6-meter tall Torii still stands at the crossroad of Zhongshan Road and Minquan Road. Cycling along the road passing Torii, about 1 kilometer, you can also visit the Bi Lien Temple. There you can enjoy memorial monument, Komainu (Lion-dogs), Acala (immovable), and traditional Japanese-styled stone light.

Hualien Cultural and Creative Industry Park was formerly Hualien winery, and also the few sake production sites under the Japanese colonization. The original idle plant of the factory building was later transformed and got back into life. And the Park has become the primary meeting place for arts and culture performance in Eastern Taiwan. The park has kept many relics during the Colonized period, such as frosted glass, emboldened window, the bronze door handle, lights, cypress wood window frame and others. Inside the park, besides performance, there are many original cultural and creative items, which are worth visiting.

There are many cultural attractions around the Hualien Cultural and Creative Industry Park. Walking along the side of Mei Lun River, you can find the Manor of the General, Pine Garden, Qing Hua Bridge, Old Headmaster’s dorm of Hualien Girl’s Middle School, Eastern Railway site, and other cultural attractions, which have kept Japanese architecture style. It is said that Pine Garden was the place the Kamikaze Special Attack Unit, Japanese suicide style, has accepted “wine” awarded by Japanese emperor during the World War II. At the riverside of Mei Lun River, the Manor of the General was the dormitory for the commander, Colonel Nakamura, of the military in Hualien area. Around the manor, there are Japanese-styled dorms for the different level of a military officers, which has formed a complete residence complex.

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