“SEIBANTANKENKI”: How Taiwanese Aborigines Were Perceived
by Japanese Police Officer in the Early Colonial Period
Chien, Chung Hao
“SEIBANTANKENKI” (A Description of Taiwanese Savages) were published in the magazine Taiyao (The Sun) as a series of short stories. They were some of the early documents focusing on Taiwanese aborigines in the Japanese colonial period. In the early years of the Japanese colonial governance, most of the first-handed “Works of Taiwanese Aborigines” were written by Japanese police officers residing in the mountains. Most of the police officers’ writings were administrative or legal paper
works based on the needs of governance; few of them were written for the general public. This paper will use “SEIBANTANKENKI”, which was written by a police officer in the early Japanese colonial period, as an example to explore the process and background of the writing, in order to understand how people perceive Taiwanese aborigines around that time.
Keywords: Japanese colonial period, Taiwanese aborigines, barbarian, Taiyao (The Sun) , exploration