Sun, May 07, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan in Time: A question of citizenship

After the Japanese takeover, Taiwanese residents had two years to depart for the Qing Empire or stay and become Japanese citizens

By Han Cheung  /  Staff Reporter

“It appears that the Lin family had essentially accepted Japanese rule by then, only aspiring to excel in the economic and social realms,” Huang writes.

Huang adds that although the Lin family thrived in Taiwan, they frequently visited China, promoted Chinese education in Taiwan and also formed Chinese poetry associations — likely to soothe their feelings of submitting to a foreign power.

After Lin Chao-tung died in 1904, his son Lin Tzu-keng (林資鏗) returned to China to inherit his father’s imperial rank. He was reportedly involved in anti-Japanese activities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, finally renouncing his Japanese citizenship and joining the newly-formed Republic of China in 1913. The Dr. Sun Yat-sen Academic Research Site states that he was the first Taiwanese to become a Republic of China citizen. The Japanese confiscated large amounts of family property in response. He joined Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) Chinese Revolutionary Party, playing an important role until his death in 1925.

After Lin Tzu-keng’s departure, Lin Hsien-tang (林獻堂) — who also briefly left for China and returned — became head of the family. He would become an important political activist, continuing the resistance in his own way.

Taiwan in Time, a column about Taiwan’s history that is published every Sunday, spotlights important or interesting events around the nation that have anniversaries this week.

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