The Wushe Incident on Film

Kerim at his blog Keywords alerts us to a film, currently under production, that reconstructs the Wushe Incident (霧社事件), the famous aboriginal Taiwanese rebellion against the Japanese in 1930. The planned title of the film is “Seediq Bale” (賽德克巴萊), and the official site has previews. As you’ll see from the video the film is in Seediq and Japanese, with either Chinese or English subtitles. [Warning: the preview has a few violent scenes and may not be for the squeamish]

In Japanese the uprising is known as the Musha Jiken. Interesting tidbit: according to the Japanese Wikipedia entry on “Aboriginal Taiwanese” (台湾原住民), after the Wushe Incident the Japanese officers used the aboriginal headhunting practice to squash the uprising by offering large sums of money in exchange for the heads of the rebellion leaders.

In the same post Kerim also cites the excellent journal article on the Wushe Incident by Leo Ching, which in an altered form is also included in his book Becoming Japanese: Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation.

Here is the article citation: Ching, Leo T. S. 2000. “Savage Construction and Civility Making: the Musha Incident and Aboriginal Representations in Colonial Taiwan.” Positions 8 (3): 795-818.

1 Comment

  1. The current issue of the Journal of Asian Studies has a plethora of articles about Taiwanese aborigines in history. I haven’t gotten through them yet (media mail to Hawai’i is slow, but my journal reading is slower) but I don’t think this incident is covered.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.