When Valleys Turned Blood Red: The Ta-pa-ni Incident in Colonial Taiwan
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336pp. June 2005
When Valleys Turned Blood Red: The Ta-pa-ni Incident in Colonial Taiwan
Author: Katz, Paul R.;
When Valleys Turned Blood Red tells the story of colonial policies and their tragic impact on local communities. The Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915 was the largest single act of Han Chinese armed resistance during the fifty years of Taiwan’s colonial era. More than a thousand villagers and Japanese were killed during the fierce fighting and thousands more were later arrested and made to stand trial.

Based on detailed archival research, interviews with survivors, painstaking demographic analysis, and a thorough reading of secondary scholarship in all of the relevant languages, Paul Katz examines the significance of the Ta-pa-ni Incident by focusing on what Paul Cohen terms history’s “three keys”: event, experience, and myth. Katz provides a vivid description of events surrounding the uprising as well as the ways in which it has been mythologized over time. His primary emphasis, however, is on the experiences of the men and women who were caught up in the flow of history.

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"Katz provides a detailed account and cogent analysis that enables scholars to make comparisons to religious-based uprisings in modern China and elsewhere. This volume presents what should become the standard account of Ta-pa-ni in the English-language literature." —American Historical Review (October 2006)

"Making use of Taiwan’s rich historical collections and oral histories, Paul Katz’s meticulous study on the millenarian-inspired uprising offers one of the best social histories of Japanese colonialism in recent years." —Pacific Affairs (Spring 2006)

"Paul Katz tells a gripping story, successfully rendering the human drama behind the tragic Incident. Anyone interested in Japan’s colonial past, Taiwanese history, or Chinese rural society and religion would greatly benefit from his meticulous study." —Meir Shahar, Tel Aviv University

Author: Katz, Paul R.;
Paul R. Katz is an associate research fellow at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.
Read the introduction (PDF).



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