Hearts in Taiwan

Becoming Taiwanese: Identity formation with Evan Dawley

May 04, 2022 Annie Wang and Angela Yu Season 2 Episode 6
Becoming Taiwanese: Identity formation with Evan Dawley
Hearts in Taiwan
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Hearts in Taiwan
Becoming Taiwanese: Identity formation with Evan Dawley
May 04, 2022 Season 2 Episode 6
Annie Wang and Angela Yu

Who were the Taiwanese before they called themselves Taiwanese? In this episode, we’re going back to school for a crash course in history with Dr. Evan Dawley. We discuss identity on the island before the Japanese colonial period, the influences of Japanese colonizers and the Kuomintang-led Republic of China, and identity among the modern Chinese diaspora. This historical overview of the formation and evolution of the Taiwanese identity provides context for present day conversations.

Resources mentioned:

About Evan: Evan Dawley is Associate Professor of History at Goucher College, where he has taught since 2013, and he previously worked in the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. His research relates to modern East Asian history, with particular attention to Taiwan, China, and Japan, as well as identity formation, imperialism, and international/transnational history.





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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Who were the Taiwanese before they called themselves Taiwanese? In this episode, we’re going back to school for a crash course in history with Dr. Evan Dawley. We discuss identity on the island before the Japanese colonial period, the influences of Japanese colonizers and the Kuomintang-led Republic of China, and identity among the modern Chinese diaspora. This historical overview of the formation and evolution of the Taiwanese identity provides context for present day conversations.

Resources mentioned:

About Evan: Evan Dawley is Associate Professor of History at Goucher College, where he has taught since 2013, and he previously worked in the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. His research relates to modern East Asian history, with particular attention to Taiwan, China, and Japan, as well as identity formation, imperialism, and international/transnational history.





buymeacoffee.com/heartsintaiwan ← Buy us a boba!


[0:00] Did we ask you to summarize a whole semester into an hour interview no I did hope will kill like decade of research.

[0:10] Music.

[0:22] And celebrate our connections to Taiwan I'm Annie and I'm Angela.
And in this episode we're talking with a true expert on the history of Taiwanese identity who has been researching this area of East Asia for his whole career.
Annie, it's May and that means it's Asian Pacific American heritage month in America and the second week of May is Taiwanese American Heritage week.

[0:48] And what else is it?
It's our anniversary! It's the one-year birthday of this podcast! oh my God can you believe it's been one year I can't believe how much we've done in a year.
it's it is mind-blowing and I'm so glad that we have been on this journey together I've learned a ton about
both of us you know about myself about you about our families about Taiwan identity Heritage we interacted with people that we never otherwise would have had it not been for this podcast
I'm just so so grateful that we've been on this journey,
we have some really exciting guests lined up and I can't wait for everybody to hear these next few episodes like
it's just going to be great conversations and enlightening same here and speaking of next two guests today we're going
back to school dun dun dun dun,
oh my gosh we haven't been in the academic scholar mode for over 20 years okay I think academic scholar
May apply to you at some point but that never lie to me so this definitely an overstatement Angela let's just be very clear about that.

[2:10] And we definitely did not have the mindset that we do today when we were in school like especially around history I'm like kind of surprised at myself that this was like a thing that I was really excited about.
Yeah I feel like the world that we live in is really separated from the world of Academia because.
When I know that like some people are in PhD programs or professors.

[2:36] I feel like they only talk to other people in universities and so that those of us in like the corporate world kind of like never,
hear from them but we have a real one today and he is
so highly qualified he's an assistant professor in history from Goucher College which is in Maryland,
we realized very quickly as we were going through this interview that,
we basically tried to make a history professor condensed like 100 years of history into an hour. I mean this was really a crash course,
in history. Here we go! So we were so excited we have a professor in our midst today our guest is Evan Dawley who's an associate professor of history at Goucher College
specializing in modern East Asian history with particular attention to Taiwan China and Japan as well as identity formation imperialism and international and transnational history.
I mean could we have asked for a better fit for our podcast
I think at least two people have have referred us to you and mentioned your name as an expert that we should really talk to.

[3:52] What a lucky find for us and how how.
Wonderful that that we have someone who has studied so deeply in these areas,
what drew you to study this part of the world? Well thank you first let me say thank you for the introduction and for the invitation to join you in chat with you.
As to what drew me
to study I guess East Asia in general and Taiwan in particular I've always been interested in history I sort of figured that out about myself at a young age but my father was a historian and he studied the United States oh if I was going to have,
my own identity as a historian I had to look somewhere else and
that also worked well because I was interested in learning about things I was really not familiar with and.

[4:39] Then it happened that sort of a coincidence of timing as I was getting ready to go to college was the spring that demonstrations were breaking out in Tiananmen Square in Beijing and so I got really focused on China
yeah just I was heading off to college and so that sort of turned me to studying East Asia in general I started taking classes in college on China and on Japan.

[5:02] The Chinese language and
then I went off and I taught English in China for one year and then came back and was trying to figure out what what am I going to do with my life and when I figured out that it was still going to be related to China I needed to
do a little more education do a master's degree and I had to relearn some Chinese that I had forgotten over the last couple of years so I went to Taiwan for a summer
to do language study and that sort of clued me in to the things that are special about Taiwan and we're special then that make.
Taiwan somewhat distinct from what I had known about before I had really conflated Taiwan as a part of China I think in my mind but that some are really got me thinking about oh well
there's a lot
that is dissimilar to what I know what I learned living in southwestern China and traveling around much of the country and so I just got interested in those unique characteristics I guess and when it came time.
To do the PhD and to find a dissertation topic, Taiwan was definitely forefront in my mind as
a place to do research but also a place to study. Yeah what was the institution where you were doing language study in Taiwan? So I was at what had originally been known as the Stanford center.

[6:24] And then when I was there it was the inter-University program which then moved to Beijing and became the interuniversity board, I think.
And so now it's sort of it's now the ICLP, the international Chinese language program at Tai Da, at NTU, so it's the same

[6:42] physical space but it's gone through a number of names over the years okay
yeah it is so interesting so as a sidebar so history has not always been my strong suit I think that's probably an understatement of what it is like I got a 2 on my AP History test back is
it's terrible but you know it's kind of neat to be able to you know I think about it and I think wow I feel like part of it was because it wasn't something that.
I felt connected to it wasn't something that naturally interested me and so now talking to you it's it's this whole different perspective and angle on.
World history or parts of the world history that I never thought even actually possible it sounds kind of silly but I had this image of what is history.
Feel like for me and it's what I'm feeling now is absolutely.

[7:35] Totally different than how I felt in high school so it's really cool to experience this new emotion well
that well that's great to hear I mean yeah an interest in history very often does come out of a sense of feeling connected to it that it's relevant to you.
It's really interesting that for you pursuing history involved having to look for something that wasn't familiar to you right right I mean am I assuming you like did you grow up in the United States yeah and so maybe I felt growing up somewhat.
Full of myself I knew everything about the United States so now I need to go somewhere else and yeah.

[8:13] Your journey was a benefit for the rest of us so.
So speaking of which I mean your first book is called becoming Taiwanese ethnogenesis in a colonial City,
1880s to 1950s and it was published in 2019
so in those years that really included you know the Japanese Colonial period and the subsequent influx of the Kuomintang-led Republic of China
after the Chinese Civil War switch we actually explored in season one of our podcast so could you tell us a little bit more about how,
the people thought about their identity on the island before those years.

[8:50] Sure sure yeah going back to the Qing Dynasty and sort of what was identity like in 1895 or what identities were there in 1895 I mean let me say,
first maybe a couple of things one as a sort of a general disclaimer nothing I'm,
I'm going to say here today is my effort to tell people what their identities should be or how they should Define them I'm just sort of you know going off the research that I've done so I'm
not telling anyone how they should feel.

[9:21] And then also right identity is a very complex thing is as I heard you're very well tuned into from the earlier editions of the podcast right it changes over time and we all.
Can contain multiple identities we can think of them as layered you know layered or overlapping or nested within each other right pick whichever metaphor you prefer.

[9:47] In different settings different aspects of our identity maybe come out as the most important or the most significant in particular settings.

[9:58] And I also want to say that right identity is something it's something that we can create as individuals or or claim as individuals or as groups.

[10:07] But there are also limits that are sort of placed upon how we can identify think that that are sort of socially.

[10:15] Placed around us classic example that that tell my students in classes when we talk about identity is that you know I
I know a lot about Taiwan and I really I feel socially and personally close to the the place until a lot of the people live there
but I would never justifiably claim a Taiwanese identity I don't think I think that,
it's sort of yeah it's something that that it's not plausible for me to be Taiwanese.

[10:45] So with all of those sorts of caveats to get back to the actual question what did I what identities did the peoples of Taiwan,
have before Japanese colonization and.

[11:02] For the most part those identities I think we're local
in other words people identified with villages or with towns or with counties that they had ancestral or residential connections to so if we think about the indigenous peoples.
In Taiwan they largely identified with,
their home Villages or maybe with collections Villages but they did not identify as Taiwanese there wasn't like a whole island-wide identity there
was it called Taiwan at the time or was it called Formosa or yeah what did they so the Mandarin name right the for the Qing Dynasty it was Taiwan.
For Europeans yeah Formosa was more common Portuguese sort of gave it that name back in the 16th century.
And then locals do they just have like in their own language yeah whatever they called it yeah and I think that that.
Particular for the indigenous right there they were where they would refer to.

[12:14] Places that were smaller than the whole island let me just put it that way I do I am not exactly sure right they may have talked about Villages they may have talked about sort of.
Mountain valleys or Valley area sorry where they lived and so I don't want to get.
To be on my own knowledge here but it was not.
A sense of identifying with the entire Island okay so those are the indigenous populations and then we know that there were a lot of.
Um populations who had migrated from China and maybe the 1700s
yeah in there for several Generations what whether they identify is right so so those people who came over in the 17th century and then afterwards in the Qing period.
18th 19th centuries they.

[13:03] Primarily identified with their home Villages or their home county or areas in China.

[13:15] And so you had Zhangzhou identity or a Quanzhou identity those were counties and Fujian Province where most of those migrants came from maybe you had a Shantou identity in Guangdong Province.
Again they were they were localized they weren't.

[13:34] At least not until the 19th century people were not really identifying as Han or as Hakka or Hoklo or Minnan.

[13:44] They were.
More focused on those very particular again localistic identities and those localistic identities caused quite a lot of conflict in Taiwan I don't know if you've looked
into this particular story but the Chinese who settled in Taiwan,
we're very contentious and they fought a lot over resources over land and those.
Conflicts usually broke down along these sub ethnic lines so Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, and.
The I don't want to call Cantonese but people from Shantou or Swatow the who mostly Hakka.

[14:27] And so I think in those conflicts a sense of maybe Minnan or Hoklo identity developed and a Hakka identity emerged.

[14:38] And then identity sort of evolved in a few other dimensions I think as well.

[14:45] So in particular there was.
I sense that that the people coming from China sort of identified themselves as people with civilization if you will.
And that was to contrast them from the indigenous peoples,
right and so that might have also promoted since of the the emergence of a sense of Han identity.
I'm right so everybody who came from Southeastern China was one group and everybody who was indigenous was another group was that almost like a class system forming.
Um yeah in some ways I think although things get complicated
in terms of land ownership during that period of time often the indigenous groups actually had the what were known as the subsoil rights they really own the land.
But they would lease out the topsoil rights to Zhangzhou or Quanzhou or Hakka

[15:48] And.

[15:50] In that in practice it was these Chinese migrants who would develop wealth and often the indigenous would sort of get cut out of that so yeah so class differences did did come in
but those weren't in some ways different from land ownership as well things got complicated well that's a really important part of History to acknowledge
yeah so kind of like continuing on down yeah right I'm right is yes
we pot so we posited that the Taiwanese identity emerged actually write as an identity of resistance rightly against Japanese and Chinese identities that were in power so,
what is your your book and what do you think about the formation of the broader Taiwanese identity.

[16:36] Yeah I mean I think that that's absolutely right that it did emerge
as a contrast to an in conflict with the Japanese and Chinese identities that were imposed,
during the first half of the 20th century I think that that's absolutely right there is a little bit more background that.
By the late 19th century so even just at the beginning of the Japanese Colonial period there had been a process that we might call localization.

[17:08] In Chinese this is what often translated as ben tu hua or tu zhu hua sort of a process of identifying with the place in Taiwan where you settle.

[17:22] So people identifying as as Tainanese maybe or identifying with Tainan or identifying with Changhua or something like that.
Or Jilong the city that I studied so people got rooted but their main identities were still with their ancestral home.

[17:42] So a little bit of a conflict may be between this localized identity in this ancestral identity and then.

[17:50] What happened after 1895 was really fundamental in terms of.

[17:57] Pushing this new this next stage I guess of identity transformation and really creating or allowing for the creation of Taiwanese identity where identities.

[18:08] And I mean I think that that without that period we would not be sitting here today talking about Taiwanese identity right without Japanese colonization we wouldn't have this conversation uh-huh so and I.

[18:19] I don't want to minimize the oppressiveness of Japanese rule I in fact want to sort of highlight that.

[18:26] In particular in the first three decades Japanese Colonial rule was defined by military and policing activities that suppress.

[18:39] Any operas a position they saw and insured access to resources.
So there yeah clearly Colonial control was it play but.

[18:53] Also in those first three even four decades there were relatively mild efforts,
enforce cultural and social change and so.

[19:07] Because you know certainly in the school's Japanese language was taught Japanese history and Customs were taught.
Um they weren't taught that forcefully and you know one of the things I discovered in my research was that even by the early 1930s,
and even in a major city like like Jilong or Keelung only about a third of the population could speak Japanese in the early 1930s.
So I'd suggest that that it really wasn't being pushed that forcefully instead.
The people who I say became Taiwanese right who went through this process of ethnogenesis they were allowed to continue to do a lot of the things that they'd always been doing.

[19:56] They could still speak their languages they could still practice their religions they could visit.
They could go back Across The Straits and visit their ancestral homelands if they wanted to they can engage in Commerce and in fact and they could they could become educated.
And in fact in a lot of cases.
They were able to improve their finances and their living conditions during those those decades so they basically they got exposed to Japanese culture but they weren't forced to give up their previous culture
Did Japan like say "you are Japanese" or Japan actually say "actually you're different".
That's one of the interesting things about about Japanese imperialism is that especially again until the mid-1930s things did change,
in the last decade or so but until the mid-1930s Japan was very consciously a multi-ethnic Empire.
Which meant that there were Japanese in the Empire there were Koreans and there were Taiwanese and there were Chinese right in Manchuria
and then other peoples in Japanese territories and sort of Micronesia so
it was very consciously again self-consciously a multi-ethnic Empire in fact the policies of the Japanese period really.

[21:21] Help to unify these people in Taiwan who had been.

[21:27] Somewhat separate in under Qing Dynasty rule right divided again by Zhangzhou Quanzhou and Hakka sort of work.
They were all unified into one group and then as you said they were until they were allowed to sort of keep practicing.
Many of their same traditions and because they were able to keep practicing those Traditions they.
Came to identify even more strongly with them.
My mom's side of the family they had been in Taiwan for many generations so my grandparents grew up under Japanese Occupation and so I've seen this totally tracks with how I see how my mom grew up as a result of my grandparents
Growing up and they didn't completely they had a license they had a definitely a blend of Japanese they understood Japanese language I spoke that and like Japanese cultures and Customs but they're still very much,
a strength of there,
not Japanese side of them and that was fully integrated into my mom's upbringing so I was always curious about that because I always think to myself when you think colonialism it's very much.
All or Nothing right and so yeah so that totally explains that yeah.
No I think that's great I think you're sort of own personal knowledge and your family's experience really highlights the complexities that right I mean I colonialism is a bad thing and the Japanese should never have been ruling in Taiwan but.

[22:57] It nonetheless happened and so we have to deal with the results from the fact that it happened yeah and
one of those results was that because the Japanese policies defined certain Traditions as.

[23:13] Taiwanese Traditions or as of Taiwan,
I think that the people who had been practicing them also began to think of them in those same terms right so they were classified by the Japanese as ben dao ren or huntojin in Japanese, "people of the island" and
I think that they came to think of themselves more
in those terms and identified you know religious practices marital Customs funerary practices more closely with.

[23:44] People like them all across Taiwan instead of just in their particular towns in Taiwan.
So then contrast the Japanese Colonial experience with the following period... Before 1945 I mean so the transition after 1945 when the Nationalist party of the Kuomintang.
Gain sovereignty over Taiwan and then began to rule the island even before then.

[24:12] For several decades of course Taiwan had been politically separate from China and people in Taiwan had begun.
To think of themselves I think as or to act in ways that distinguish themselves from from Chinese people there's a relatively famous novel by Wu Zhuo Liu called Orphan of Asia
relatively famous I mean you know there aren't that many famous novels out of Taiwan but this was written in 1944.

[24:44] Maybe early 45 it's a semi-autobiographical novel and the main character goes first to study in Japan
and then get sort of alienated there and he goes back to Taiwan and then he goes to work and teach in China and in Nanjing and he feels sort of alienated there as well.
So that's sort of indicative of the sense that as identities were transforming in Taiwan they were moving in a different direction than what was going on in China and so their head there was this divergence that that occurred and that divergence,
really became evident in 1945 your face is like saying like you've got a lot on your mind about 1995 so like let's talk about this pivotal moment.
In 1945 there was a fair amount of enthusiasm among the Taiwanese for the end of the war for the departure of the Japanese right they were delighted to see the end of the colonial regime and there was also excitement for
perhaps a family.

[25:50] There was a lot of conversation both among within the Chinese government and among Taiwanese I think about a family.

[25:59] And when the nationalist forces began to arrive in the fall of 1945 people would go to,
the harbor particularly Jilong again and they would greet them and they would you know shout and be excited but one of the interesting things about about that that all that caught my attention that sort of that moment of greeting them at the at the.
The pier is when they were when the boats were arriving as described by a number of people.
Including were Wu Zhuo Liu himself is that when the Nationalist officials and forces began to arrive the people
Taiwan would you know they were they would shout wan sui, wan sui right well you know long live long with China there was this feeling of excitement but just a couple of years earlier.

[26:45] They were shouting Banzai Banzai which is the same characters.
Very different object right there are things shouting Banzai for the the emperor of Japan and now they were shouting wan sui for for the Republic of China,
so that made me wonder well what is authentic what was there what was really their Identity or how do they see themselves
it became as I said really quickly after that initial reunions in 1945 and 46 that there had been this Divergence
and that the Kuomintang was really focused
on a national vision of China and also immediately was really focused on the civil war with the Communists,
where is people in Taiwan the were more focused on Taiwan.

[27:36] And they were focused on their local concerns they had no part in that Chinese Civil War that had not been a conflict that they had been engaged with for the previous 20 years 30 years and so they were they were separated.
It also became clear that the the Chinese government the Kuomintang party really viewed the people of Taiwan as
both overly influenced by Japan and somewhat backwards and not as modern as they were themselves and they had to be
re-sinified or re-sinicized they had to be made Chinese again so it's like a whole nother level of like yeah people with civilization coming right in and saying right these locals are not civilized right.
And meanwhile the Taiwanese had become you know in their minds very modern right they had practice you know modern hygiene they had a good
many of them you know medicine was one of the most common professions among educated Taiwanese under the Japanese period so they you know they were they were doctors they were teachers
they live Cosmopolitan lives they had electricity and things like that right so they thought of themselves as modern.

[28:46] And now they were told they were backwards so there was a clash Annie's parents have talked
on both sides about how like each side view the other as like kind of uncouth or yeah yeah they look down on each other
yeah let's just say there was a lot of drama when my parents decided they wanted to get married yeah sure I bet I bet
as an aside you know the the the novel Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan yeah
hmm okay I believe that that's also a situation in with one of the children in that family right where there's a wai sheng ren husband and a bunch of your daughter yeah,
I guess this is so this not Chinese nationalism came with the KMT this this idea of unifying.
All the territories to make one China what did the local Taiwanese people do in response to that.
Identity is of course fluid it is possible I think that the people who had become Taiwanese under Japanese rule.
Could have accommodated there's some themselves very well to maybe a Chinese national identity,
but sort of the way in which that Chinese nationalism was presented to them was so negative or the people who presented them did so in such a Negative manner
that that reinforced this Divergence that had taken place and and really set up the major divisions that have persisted in Taiwan ever since I.

[30:13] Well when other personal
connection is my mom's parents used to talk so much smack about with about those people about how they're being low-class and dirty and just sleeping on the streets don't know how to do personal hygiene all of that so interesting to see that,
I mean part of that is because so many of the the the waishengren the main leaders who came over Were Soldiers
examine just barely removed from the countryside many of them didn't even actually want to be there they essentially been press-ganged at the very end of the war that very end of the Civil War and dragged over so
so so yeah they had not let Urban lives and they were suddenly thrust into cities where they were less well educated and less well adapted than most of the locals
but those divisions were very real that that your grandmother I guess talked about yeah are you mother talked about you have very real.

[31:11] And then the way the Kuomintang approached I guess incorporating the Taiwanese was very different from.
Japan approach things where we talked about Japan allowing them to maintain their local identity but the Kuomintang really wanted
everybody to divorce their former identities Japanese Taiwanese anything other than China and so it's kind of like a strict parent like forcing you to not.

[31:41] Go out at night or whatever and so that just makes the kid want to do it more so what are you gonna do yeah I'll say so right at the the last decade or so of the Japanese period,
there was a really intense effort to Japanese to get rid of non-japanese language to close down all the local Taiwanese temples and put up Shinto shrines.
So there was a really intensive Japaniztion in the last five or six well eight or nine years of Japanese rule.
Wasn't all that effective but it was really intense and that intensity was matched by the Roman dong after
and maybe it was even more intense I mean things like the 228 Uprising in the suppression of that Uprising followed by martial law were.
An even more yeah intensive version of that sort of policing and transformation what we see in our,
parents generation and how they talk to us in our
duration and how they talk to their kids they had seemed like two different reactions like one was they
listened to their government and they they said we are trying to Chinese and so they taught their kids that they're Chinese right or they
had an internal resistance and they made sure to improve their Taiwanese identity and told their kids we are Taiwanese.

[33:08] That seems to have resulted in now our populations even in the diaspora either having this we are Chinese Identity or we are Taiwanese identity it feels very binary and choice.

[33:22] And so that's what we've struggled with because our parents have identified as Chinese and always told us that we were Chinese but we've had friends who are very strongly Taiwanese and very clear,
quick and clear to distinguish themselves and say we're not Chinese we're Taiwanese,
like that's though the whole premise of like our very first episode was like very tired and he's like why like why is there this like,
yo big distinction like it took us like a whole season to kind of recognize it and like maybe we can be both.

[33:57] The Taiwanese identity seems to be changing and evolving decade by decade we're exploring this,
this decade in the 2020s and I think it's very different than what the Taiwanese identity was during,
the martial law years going back to your comment about how a lot of parents sort of took on this okay we're Chinese and and raise their children you're okay you're Chinese
going back to the Japanese period and then into the the post-war period there's a certain accommodationism with in Taiwanese identity that sort of allows them to be a part of another country,
write a country other than one of their own making. I'm smiling because this is a very much a part of like the Taiwanese culture is that it's like.
You can say whatever you want to say yeah and like I'm not going to try to fight you on it they are accommodating to other people having different perspectives,
I think there's a certain Brilliance to that a certain genius to that because and this is also why in the book I talk about
more of an ethnic identity and ethnic Taiwanese identity the national Taiwanese identity because for me a national identity would involve pro-independence you know there have to be this vision of a not an independent.
Nation of Taiwan wears an ethnic identity is more focused I think on sort of the preservation of social social group.

[35:21] And so as long as you're able to keep doing the things that make you Taiwanese it's possible to do that in.
A country that is not one that you designed so I think this is actually the perfect segue into that next stage when we're talking about the ethnic versus national identity because now you know for Angela and I
we are American so we have As Americans
identity has been further Complicated by America's relationship with China and Taiwan right you know America obviously has very different relationships with China Taiwan
I mean despite maintaining an ambiguous stands on Taiwan status as a country and there's always been this
sentiment of this white American disdain for China,
embarrass things I policies and things like that so you know and as a child as Chinese Americans were fraught with this
potential of being targets of racist remarks and fear,
and just a diaspora as a whole really wrestling with racial association with the region which then becomes you know you start,
conflating right when do you start conflating government with just like all of those complexities so just wanted to get a sense on your breasts like you're like shaking your head like yes yes yo what are your thoughts on
terms that can differentiate the difference between ethnic and national identity.

[36:42] Yeah so I mean the one reason I was shaking my head is that the the dilemmas the stories you've just sort of related
are dealt with really well in a book by historian named Madeline Hsu called The Good Immigrants from Yellow Peril to the Model Minority or something to that effect it's a really rich book that that that
explores the complexities of being Chinese in the United States during the exclusion era and then after and.

[37:13] All of the different sort of permutations that Chinese identity went through and and
policies towards Chinese went through across those those decades there's a little some references in there to Taiwanese as well so as she's in that book she's more focused on sort of a broader Chinese experience in the United States but
it's a really useful history I for me at least for understanding how sort of exclusion transformed into inclusion
and allowed for educated people of Chinese ancestry to really thrive in the United States and yet never to get away from this
burbling undercurrent of anti-chinese racism basically that has been around since the
exclusion period And just before so so it's a really great book I highly recommend it but terminology
and and right you would ask me initially a little bit about some of the terms that are used to describe or applied to two people in Taiwan
there's a lot as you know maybe a lot of terms have been used in regards to Chinese immigrants in general and depending upon sort of.

[38:23] What period of time you're talking about and the destination that the immigrants went to you get again a wide.
So I can just start with like ones that we've heard like you you mentioned and we've heard a lot the the Han.
People the Han Chinese as a distinguishing from the indigenous people yes but then in terms of Chinese diaspora.

[38:48] Out like a who live outside of China some people are throwing around terms like hua ren or Sino diaspora.

[38:56] And like what is do you see these terms say catching on or having nuances? so so Hua, hua ren and then a whole bunch of different suffixes for uha really began.
To become commonly used in the late 19th century prior to that time when
Chinese went out they might have identified themselves as as Han ren they might have tried to identify themselves with a ruling Dynasty,
sort of historical curiosity some of the first chinatown's in Southeast Asia where actually referred to as tang ren jia or.
You know Villages of people from Tang associated with the Tang Dynasty but han ren I think.

[39:46] Was somewhat used although since the people who went out were not speakers of Mandarin
they probably would have used a different pronunciation or they would have focused more again on sort of Zhangzhou or I'm

Teochow or something like that right so they would use a more local term for themselves until the 19th century.
Things really did begin to change in the 19th century and.

[40:12] In the late 19th century hua this hua came along as something that was really broadly representative I think of all of the subjects of the Qing Dynasty.

[40:23] The Qing I guess much like Japan was a multi-ethnic Empire.

[40:28] And right ruled by manchus the dominant population were the Han.

[40:35] But since the Han were just one of many ethnic groups within the broader Qing Realm.

[40:45] And the Qing Dynasty wanted to appeal to all of its different ethnic groups using Han was difficult.
Using han ren was I think difficult but hua and hua ren it was vague enough that it could potentially include other ethnicities within the Qing Empire now.

[41:07] You know Tibetans Mongolians they were not actually going out and big numbers or even probably small numbers but still like the Qing trying to be Universal.
I think wah was a useful term.
So it was it was actually a means of inclusion it wasn't like the diaspora saying we want to distance ourselves from this country named China,
I think so although it did conveniently work I think in that regard as a distancing even then because during really until the late 19th century
people who went out had no real legal connection to China to the Qing Dynasty and so they could identify a sort of Quasi as culturally Part of That civilization,
but not with the government and it was convenient for them I think often not to be associated with the government when they were overseas because they could benefit from working with a local,
regime or a British or French Colonial regime and so being Hua was convenient whereas being Qing was not right even want to say you were Qing right because that that might
get you in trouble so as the Qing Dynasty began to use Hua more often it was actually trying to claim all of those people outside as its subject.

[42:21] And maybe to try to protect them a little bit Yeah from other governments from colonial governments hmm
and so and so hua it acquired a whole set of suffice suffixes I said so hua ren or huayi would be the the broadest so ren just person e.e. meaning ancestry.

[42:40] So those were really broad anyone of any cooperation anyone with a hua ancestor but the one that became really common
I was hua qiao, and the term qiao right you probably know is right it's Sojourner it has a temporary Association the idea that you would go out but you were going to come back home so hua qiao became a very commonly used term and then.
Within hua qiao they were other categories of hua shang merchants or hua gong workers right so there were all these different groups but the the.
I want to finally sort of re-emphasize maybe two things.

[43:16] One hua ren is not the same as either Qing ren or Zhong Guo Ren right it is a broader term and so.
One could be hua without necessarily being a citizen of China and so you're at your sense of this distancing from within the diaspora.
I think the term works for that the other thing I want to say is of course that English in general lacks all of these nuances.

[43:44] Right if we say Chinese in English yes you can mean either zhong guo ren.
Or hua ren or han ren which mean very different things in in the language so yes like when I when I tried to tell my daughter that like.
Oh they're speaking Mandarin she's like no they're speaking Chinese it's like it's like she's five and so she's only been exposed to Mandarin as as Chinese
right in her life experience and I had to remind her well your dad speaks Cantonese and that's also called Chinese but like he's like you can tell yes different language from
the language that you hear at school.
But thinking also of Chinese language right so in Taiwan it's guar you it is the national language so but does that mean it's Chinese are is a Taiwanese well no because in Taiwan something else is Taiwanese
great because I feel like what you're talking about you mentioned hua qiao has a temporary connotation and it seems like that ties into
but the area that you covered in your latest book the Chinese at home Chinese abroad and international construction of Chinese nationalism.

[44:57] Which kind of we've talked about in the past about how the the KMT in Taiwan always had this idea of going back home and reclaiming the mainland like,
they will be going back and making this this true whole China again.
First of all is it a book I saw you like use other academic terms for no well it's I mean right now it's just research and process it will hopefully one day become a book
but it right now it's just researching process and the title might even change over time that's my working title right now but,
I'm probably several years away from it being a book okay okay.
But we definitely see and like the comment section like people still saying the true China or like the sorrow see idea of you want to take back the mainland
do you see this Chinese nationalism from within Taiwan still persisting today or is it kind of like leaving with the older generation and,
like is anybody in the younger generation thinking this definitely it's going away it's been in serious decline for a long time now for 30 or 40 years now.

[46:11] I don't know if you're familiar with these sort of political climate surveys that National Chengchi university has been doing they have asked questions about identity and views of unification.
And currently people who are our say are answering.
In favor of either unification now or status quo moving towards unification.
Maybe seven or eight percent of the population and that's been the case for 20 years hmm.
So unification is really not a goal that this take back the mainland sentiment is almost entirely gone and I was aware of that even when i that first summer I was in Taiwan summer of 1996 but it seemed like.
Back in the 70s like the ROC in Taiwan and the PRC and China,
we're kind of competing for World recognition of who is true yeah right ultimately the PRC one Beijing one,
yeah and so the UN gave them the seat for China at the table and so I think that left a lot of the people who who,
for you know with Chiang Kai Shek kind of.

[47:27] Like homeless because their identity was Chinese but then their.
Country with this other regime that they really didn't identify with.
So that faction like the non Taiwanese Chinese in Taiwan like what does that leave leave them.
Yeah so one is that that.
Home can be redefined so there's a really good recent book by a story named historian named Dominic Yang that looks exactly at identity among the waishengren and.
What he found doing a lot of interviews was that those who remained in Taiwan right instead of migrating somewhere else but those who remained in Taiwan really began to think of Taiwan as their home.

[48:18] They may have sort of held on to a family Connection in China but like it wasn't really their Homeland anymore I would also say that that that if.
People are going to and many many do still identify as Chinese and are often perceived as Chinese right so in a lot of settings regardless of what,
one's own identity might be there might be a perception of being Chinese it's important to sort of think about what.

[48:46] You mean by that term I mean not you personally but what people in general mean by by Chinese do you mean it in
an ancestral sense but not as a Homeland do you mean it as a cultural identity right sort of part of a broad called Chinese culture but not a national or an ethnic sense
yeah yeah these are
all the exact things that we've been thinking about and talking about and going through for ourselves right throughout the whole process and leading up to this whole podcast right and so yeah
the two of us work together you know we've been decided to consciously really embrace all of our identities as Chinese Taiwanese and American but yeah
it took a lot lots of thought consideration and it's really not something that feels really natural
for us we had to really think about it so what would you say to people who are struggling to Define their their ethnic identity yeah.

[49:43] I mean first I would say that that from my own experience I'm uniquely poorly suited to answer that to give advice on this but I read and study a lot so
what I would say is that,
you know you're in very good company both in the Contemporary world but also really historically and more significantly what I say is that the ethnic identity that I studied really came out of a process of struggle
and that's sort of true of identities in general right it they often come out of these processes of struggle and it's that process.

[50:16] That is in many ways more important than the genetics or the ancestry and so.
Right if there had not been that process of struggle there again wouldn't be no Taiwanese people.

[50:30] So I guess I would say to really try to embrace that as you two clearly have and imagine it's frustrating it's difficult along the way especially when you're trying to
grapple with parents who
don't understand the struggles that you're going through who may have sort of a clearer sense of what their identity is but embrace the struggle and,
hope for know that it will be productive along the way.
All right Annie, our podcast is going to be reference material for a future historic Scholars who are studying in the future about the
evolution of Taiwanese identity I'm sure will I'm actually sure well yeah
sprayed as a historian trying to figure out what is research going to be like 20 years from now I podcast podcast will be as long as I get archived a great resource
our signature question that we ask all our guests is what does it mean to be Taiwanese again I'm not I don't want to tell anybody what their identity is or should be or what should Define their identity but on one level.
I would say that.
What it means to be Taiwanese is to do the things that Taiwanese people do that's sort of a dodge of an answer but it really comes out of my research which was based on looking at the things people did how did they behave.

[51:45] And so in the first half of the 20th century it meant speaking languages that were not the national language it meant building Community with and facilitating the.
Social and economic well-being of people in the group that you were assigned to it meant participating in annual festivals and really sort of everyday acts of religion religious devotion.

[52:13] And advocating for a voice and local and maybe of a national political Affairs so those were sort of of the things that people did the people things that Taiwanese people did even.
Under Colonial rule hmm and it's a pretty similar set of things I think.
Today but you know maybe a broader range of issues and a more intense participation I mean I think particularly of the religious aspects one of the things that always.

[52:43] One of the first things that really struck me when I got to Taiwan after having lived in China was just how vibrant the temples were and how.
Many people went all the time to bai bai to you know to leave an offering to the The Scholar God before their exams I mean it was really impressive so that.
I'm Drew my attention hmm I'd also maybe make.
A small comparison here so I was reading an article over the weekend by historian named Timothy Snyder about Ukraine
about and about I mean he's talking a lot about a word that Ukrainians have invented but the line that really struck me because I think it's really relevant to Taiwanese situations as well is that he wrote that Ukrainian identity.
Has as much to do with an ability to live between languages than it does with the use of any one of them and this is really like.
Taiwanese right they read classical Chinese they spoke variations on Minnan hua or Hakka or indigenous languages they were forced to learn Japanese they were forced to learn Mandarin.
And in between all those languages as where their identity emerged.

[54:03] And so it's not just doing things it is also I think claiming as one's own.
The process that produced the people who are Taiwanese hmm.

[54:16] That's so beautiful that's that's really a beautiful connection to draw and,
we definitely see that this is just another parallel between what the Taiwanese people experience and what the Ukrainians experience.
Yeah totally yeah absolutely I think very much so it's perfect yeah.
So great well I do we have spent this time it was an amazing conversation but how can people get updates about what you have coming up there's talks or upcoming Publications things like that.

[54:49] So
I'm really bad at self-promotion what I will say so as I said already that this current project on the creation of Chinese nationalism that is in process if it's a few years away one thing I am however working on that is already out in the world and is going to keep developing I think.
Is a project that I'm working on with a colleague named Wayne soon who's at Vassar and it's called Taiwan primary sources it's a project to translate documents from taiwan's history mostly from the 20th century that
College professors primarily can use in their classes in order to bring Taiwan into their courses and it's just,
TaiwanPrimarySources.com all one word so that's one thing that's going on.

[55:35] And I guess you know anyone who's really interested in Taiwan studies I'll be
at the 4th World Congress of Taiwan studies at the end of June which will be taking place at the New York University of Washington I'll be talking a little bit about that primary sources project there's enough people studying Taiwan that there can be a World Congress for it that's really cool well
thank you so much this has been an incredible conversation we're so happy that you could join us
thank you both Andy and Angela I've really enjoyed this and I look forward to continuing to listen to your podcast.

[56:08] Wow my brain is full be learned so much,
I can't believe I'm saying this but.
Maybe we should talk to academics more often yeah I never thought I would put history Professor on my list of dinner guests that I would want to have a conversation with
but now I'm like oh wow I want to I want to talk to Evan for like a couple more hours and ask him about all these other things but I'm curious about.

[56:41] He was he was so careful about not trying to force his ideas Identity On,
other people especially being aware that he is a white man talking to Asian people he has done a lot of the research and more research than than we have,
but he's not here to tell us how how should we identify today.

[57:03] He's just telling us the history of how people identified at these other periods of time.
Yeah that context is really helpful when we decide what does what is the identity mean to us today exactly.
So one of the things that was a revelation in this conversation was finding out that,
before people really had a Taiwanese identity across the island how people didn't really talk about their Nation they talk about their region.
So that's like.
Us saying like we're from the bay area or like I'm a New Yorker you know it makes me think about when people ask where I'm from if you're talking to people say from other countries I don't say the u.s. I actually say.
California or I say.
Like Silicon Valley I prefer my identity to be associated with a specific portion of the United States as opposed to United States as a whole because
within the us or so many very unique identities just like with anywhere else then like oh no I'm not just.
An American I'm specifically this kind of American right yeah actually that's one of the biggest standout memories I have from French class in high school was actually my French teacher would tell us if you go to France.

[58:25] Try not to say just please America because the French people don't have a great opinion of America as a whole.

[58:34] So it's just like it's better if you say you're from California and and then like the French people would be like oh that's interesting and then she's like specifically if you say like I'm from San Francisco it is true like the more specific you get about the region that you're from.
It makes sure that you're shaping.
The way that the other person thinks of you so there's this other interesting part of the conversation you know where we were talking about these different terms like hua ren,
hua qiao, and hua yi which you and I had never even heard these terms before and these kind of came about,
through some of our listeners and I it's been interesting to get different people's perspectives so we want to provide a little more color around.
What some of our listeners have given us about these terms.
The reason we discovered the term Warren is thanks to actually a listeners email.
Thank you Elaine who comes from a benshengren family and identifies his politically green and so what she said is.

[59:38] We are okay with being referred to as hua ren but we do not like being called.
zhong guo ren and I never thought of that because I had always been taught that the way you say Chinese.
Because we just have one word in English its Chinese right and the way identify as Chinese is zhong guo ren so I never thought of it as really the goal being liked.
Nationalist right identity with the country so it was interesting right we did this I'm completely unscientific poll.
On Instagram we asked about that term hua ren.
And it sounds like according to our poll about two-thirds of the respondents said that they do use it and 1/3.
I have heard of it but don't use it so another listener is she kind of explained why you don't hear about hua ren as much from.
People from Taiwan.

[1:00:34] It's used more commonly in other Chinese diasporic communities Chinese communities in other countries.
They have their always the minority in that country and so they had to form like.
Chinatown's or like little enclaves of their Chinese community and live within.
The dominant culture being another country's culture whereas in Taiwan the diasporic Chinese became the majority.
And so they didn't have to differentiate themselves from the rest of the country because the rest of the country was also Han.

[1:01:14] They having the Taiwanese identity could just say or Taiwanese and and another reason that,
people from Taiwan don't use Horan as much is because the way the Parc treats Taiwan there are the only overseas Chinese community
that the Pearcy doesn't constitute as a separate State appear see recognizes that Chinese people in Singapore are singaporeans.

[1:01:40] But they wouldn't say that Chinese people in Taiwan are Taiwanese because they view Taiwan as part of China so they basically say you never left the country
you say your researcher heart is full my brain is full.
I don't like that that conversation was so dense I feel like there's a couple of other things that,
I caught in it that I didn't know it at the time so when he said wan sui I was like I've never heard that before.
So wan sui means 10,000 years it's shouted as like kind of like in.
Old English you would say like Long Live King Edward or whatever it's that same sentiment of.
Ten thousand years being a long time to live or exist so when you shout,
once way about a person you're hoping that they live a long time especially like if it's a leader like we want this leader to live and lead us for a long time or if it's a.
If you want China to exist for 10,000 years you're saying like you want your nation to exist for a long time.

[1:02:49] In Evans talk he had come across the term Bonsai first because of the period of time that he heard it was in the.
Japanese Colonial period but actually the Chinese term came first and it was in China that they were shouting once way for thousands of years and it actually,
was brought to Japan and translated into bonsai.
And so that's what in Japan they shout when like they're launching an attack in the like Bonzi like they're doing this for the Japanese empire to let's live a long time.

[1:03:21] Well there's another part right where how he pronounced Y-A-N-G Shawna Yang Ryan and Dominic Yang,
most people pronounce it Yang.
So even though he's American he has developed this awareness and sensitivity to the Mandarin way of pronouncing Yang,
so if anybody listens to our episode Wang or Wang then you'll appreciate that and I thought it was really.
Refreshing the speaking of related episodes.
He really understood like where we're at because he listened to the very first episode that we ever published Mom are we Taiwanese,
and so that was our season 1 episode 1 but then a lot of his discussion of the Japanese Colonial period.
We talked about the after-effects of that basically what you observed in your family.
In the hearts and ears in Japan episode which is episode 14 of season 1 August 1920 21
yeah so and then there was that part where when he was talking about 228 and the martial law that followed after that we talked about that in.

[1:04:32] Season 1 episode 7 in massacres and cover-ups so that was June 18,
20:21 case you're looking for it if you learn something from today's episode definitely would love if you share this podcast
this history needs to be told,
please share it with with other people who actually don't know what identity was before the Taiwanese identity form if you share about it on your Instagram or Facebook be sure to tag hearts and Taiwan.
And make sure to check out our show notes in the episode description for way more reference links than we've ever had before thanks to Professor dolly.

[1:05:13] Until our next episode follow your curiosity and follow your heart.

[1:05:18] Music.

Introducing Evan Dawley
Why study East Asian and Taiwan?
Identity before Japan colonized Taiwan
Taiwanese national identity formation during the Japanese colonial period
Identity hardening during martial law under the KMT
Tranformation into modern ethnic identity
Identities of Chinese diaspora, especially in America
Non-Communist Chinese without a homeland
Advice for people exploring identity today
What's next for Evan
Debrief and related episodes