Sun, Feb 07, 2016 - Page 12 News List

From Lee to Iwasato back to Lee

Taiwanese under Japanese rule were encouraged to changed their names starting in 1940, but the option wasn’t popular despite government incentives

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

By the end of 1943, only two percent had followed suit. As a result, the aforementioned restrictions were loosened in 1944, which is when Ko’s grandfather changed his name to Aoyama.

Ho writes that once the Japanese surrendered, many Taiwanese reverted to their old names even before the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) arrived to install an official reversal policy.

However, an unexpected result arose. Since all Japanese public and private property were to be confiscated by the new government, officials often couldn’t tell whether the property belonged to an actual Japanese or a Taiwanese using a Japanese name, leading to many land disputes in the early days of KMT rule.

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