The East Asian Image Collection hosted by the Skillman Library at Lafayette College recently added a new collection of picture postcards and rare books to their open-access digital archive, “The Truku-Japanese War Commemorative Postcard Collection.” The editor of the collection, Paul Barclay, describes the background and content as follows:
The Truku-Japanese War of 1914 was the culmination of Japan’s 20-year campaign to disarm and assert sovereignty over Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples. This 100-postcard set provides an intimate photographic portrait of camp life, logistics, battles, terrain, and Japanese interactions with Taiwanese conscripts, allies, enemies, and objects of ethnographic interest. From May to August of 1914, the government deployed 3108 soldiers, 3127 police, and 4840 laborers (over 11,000 people) against a Truku population of roughly 10,000 people. The goal was to avenge previous uprisings and to finalize the conquest of the island colony. After burning several Truku villages, taking prisoners, confiscating rifles, and killing countless combatants, the Japanese declared victory on August 23, 1914. Mr. Fang Hsien-hui 方晛煇 lent these items to the Puli Municipal Library for a November 2014 exhibition. The Library’s Mr. Chen Yi-fang 陳義方arranged the transfer of digital images to the East Asia Image Collection, as well as providing invaluable advice. We also thank Dr. John Shufelt and Dr. Wang Peng-hui 王鵬惠 for their contributions to this project.
Each individual postcard in the collection is presented with a high-resolution photograph, below which is the item’s metadata, including a title in English and Japanese, a detailed description of its physical characteristics, and its location and origin. While there is not much more information than these basic details, the postcards themselves are a very valuable visual and historical resource for research on East Asia. Be sure to check out this incredible image database!
Follow the direct link below to the 102 records in the new collection: