Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia : The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism 9789811334795

​This book examines the history of a military expedition the Japanese government sent to southern Taiwan in 1874, in the

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Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia : The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism
 9789811334795

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xix
Introduction (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 1-20
Front Matter ....Pages 21-21
From Portals to Borders (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 23-41
A Justification for Colonization (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 43-71
Planning an Expedition to Taiwan (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 73-105
The Decision to Go to Taiwan (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 107-142
Front Matter ....Pages 143-143
Spies and Explorers (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 145-179
Punishing the “Savages” (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 181-225
The Fading Dream of Colonization (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 227-260
Front Matter ....Pages 261-261
Negotiating a Settlement (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 263-293
Justifying the Expedition in the Japanese Media (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 295-333
Conclusion (Robert Eskildsen)....Pages 335-352
Back Matter ....Pages 353-383

Citation preview

NEW DIRECTIONS IN EAST ASIAN HISTORY

Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism Robert Eskildsen

New Directions in East Asian History Series Editors Oliviero Frattolillo Roma Tre University Rome, Italy Yuichi Hosoya Keio University Tokyo, Japan Antony Best London School of Economics London, UK

This series addresses the ways in which history influences the political, economic and social development of East Asia, a region which now plays a pivotal role in our world’s multipolar international system. The series provides new perspectives on East Asia’s distinctive economic and political situation through the lens of 20th century history, with a particular focus on Pre-War and Cold War periods. It argues the need to re-examine the history of East Asia and provide new historical approaches to a vibrant and constantly changing region. Highlighting that history is at the root of many modern day conflicts in Asia, this series provides a global forum for rigorous academic research and timely debate by scholars worldwide, and showcases significant new research on East Asian history and politics in the contemporary era. The series will appeal to specialists in the history and politics of Asia; international history; scholars of modern and contemporary Japan, Chinese and Korea as well as international relations. More information about this series at http://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/15870

Robert Eskildsen

Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia The Taiwan Expedition and the Birth of Japanese Imperialism

Robert Eskildsen International Christian University Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan

ISSN 2522-0195 ISSN 2522-0209  (electronic) New Directions in East Asian History ISBN 978-981-13-3479-5 ISBN 978-981-13-3480-1  (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1 Library of Congress Control Number: 2018962908 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover credit: Artokoloro Quint Lox Limited/Alamy Stock Photo This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. The registered company address is: 152 Beach Road, #21-01/04 Gateway East, Singapore 189721, Singapore

To Max and Elena

Acknowledgements

My research into the Japanese expedition to Taiwan began more than two decades ago as I sat alone in the reading room of the Special Collections Room at Waseda University Library in Tokyo, leafing through a stack of Japanese woodblock prints. When I came upon a crude broadside from 1874 that depicted the “surrender” of indigenous Taiwanese to the Japanese military I laughed out loud, the sound echoing oddly in the silence. When I saw the broadside I enjoyed a moment of amused recognition because I understood it as a parody of a print from twenty years earlier that showed the fictitious “surrender” of Commodore Perry to Japanese authorities. The broadside has long since ceased to amuse me. Years later I recognized I made a simple but important error in my interpretation of the print: It was indeed based on the earlier print, but it was not a parody. It took me many more years to find a way to describe precisely the relationships I could see in the two prints and to explain their importance in the modern history of Japan and East Asia. From the outset, my journey has been supported by the twin pillars of history and relationships, and I would like to take a moment to thank the people and organizations who have helped me along the way. In the spring of 1998, I taught a colloquium at Smith College where the students and I compared the responses in China, Korea, and Japan to Western imperialism. I would like to thank the students for helping me to understand how Japan’s early embrace of Western diplomacy changed the trajectory of imperialism in East Asia. I also owe thanks to Lixin Gao, who in a chance discussion introduced me to the function of recursion vii

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Acknowledgements

in computer programming. Several months later I had the insight that Japan’s early embrace of Western diplomacy began a recursive relationship, and a key point in clarifying that insight was a long discussion with my brother Steve who gave me many ideas about how to explain recursive relationships in layman’s terms. My journey was aided by support from many institutions. In 1999, Smith College awarded me a Jean Picker Fellowship. In 1999–2000, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science awarded me a postdoctoral fellowship that supported a one-year affiliation as a visiting research scholar at the Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo. The fellowship and the affiliation it made possible proved invaluable. I owe a particular debt to Miyachi Masato for the time and the incisive criticism he shared while I was there. The Institute of Taiwan History at Academia Sinica in Taibei provided help for my project several times, in particular when it hosted a research trip I made there in 2001. I would like to thank Liu Ts’ui-jung, Chen Chiu-kun, Chang Lung-chih, and Ts’ai Hui-yu for the help they provided on that and other visits to the Institute. I also am thankful for the help given to me by Huang Ke-wu of the Institute of Modern History at Academia Sinica. He introduced me to libraries and museums in Taibei and joined me for a research trip to southern Taiwan. I had the good fortune to receive a Japan Foundation Fellowship for the summer of 2003 that made it possible to do important archival work in Tokyo. In 2006–2007, the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto generously supported me for a year as a visiting research scholar. In particular, I would like to thank Jim Baxter for everything he did to make my stay there productive, and the encouragement and advice he continued to give me for many years thereafter. This book is unquestionably better for the comments and criticisms I have received from scholars who gave freely of their time to read chapters or to serve as interlocutors in discussions about my research. Many thanks to Dani Botsman, Mlada Bukovansky, Alexis Dudden, Steven Ericson, Matthew Fraleigh, Andrew Gordon, Allen Hockley, Daniel Horowitz, David Howell, James Huffman, Paul Katz, Kyu Hyun Kim, Kimura Naoya, Kokaze Hidemasa, Ethan Mark, Morita Tomoko, Henry D. Smith, Tan’o Yasunori, Emma Teng, Bob Tierney, Tsuruta Kei, Jun Uchida, Anne Walthall, and Kären Wigen. Some of these scholars disagreed with my interpretation, and many gave me good advice that I did not heed, and to them, I offer particular thanks for their forbearance. I also benefitted immensely from participating in various writing groups. Excluding

Acknowledgements   

ix

members who are mentioned elsewhere, the participants included Kenji Hasegawa, Lisa Yinghong Li, Ryoko Nakano, and Okamoto Yoshiko. Paul Barclay deserves special thanks for the many insights he has shared about the indigenous people of Taiwan, for the many sources he introduced me to, and for reading parts of my manuscript. Behind my research lie primary sources, behind the sources lie libraries, museums, and archives, and supporting those institutions are their professional staff. My research would not have been possible without them, and I owe all of them special thanks. At the top of the list is Sharon Domier, the East Asian Studies Librarian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The digital revolution overtook libraries as I was doing the research for this project and Sharon repeatedly helped me identify strategies for finding information in the new environment. One of the most important resources she introduced me to was the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (Ajia Rekishi Shiryō Sentā), or JACAR. I became an early adopter, and it vastly increased the quality of my research. Many years later Hirano Ken’ichirō, at the time the director of the Center, gave me the opportunity to present my research as an example of what could be accomplished using JACAR sources. While I was affiliated at the Historiographical Institute, the staff at the library there helped me get access to sources that proved indispensable to my research. Ironically, I needed documents from the USA, and they overcame many difficulties to borrow microfilm copies that helped me take my project in a new direction. My research evolved yet again in an unexpected direction after a reference librarian at the National Diet Library tracked down a source from the National Central Library of Taiwan and then went out of her way to track me down to show me the source she had found. Her dedication still inspires me. The source she discovered prompted me to visit the National Central Library and the National Taiwan Museum in Taibei. Librarians and curators at those institutions helped me find a wealth of primary sources that gave me new insights into the history of the Taiwan Expedition. Finally, I would like to thank the Special Collections Room of the Waseda University Library. My journey began there, but the library staff has proven kind and professional on many occasions since, and I deeply appreciate their help. Several students have worked for me as research assistants, including Taeko Ohyama, Sunhee Chung, Ji Eun Lee, Yuima Mizutani, Shiori Inoue, and a couple of others whose names have been lost to operating system and email client upgrades. I appreciate the help all of them provided.

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Acknowledgements

I owe special thanks to friends and colleagues who read the manuscript and who otherwise kept me moving forward. Without their help, this book would not have been possible. Mark Ravina served as an important interlocutor and incisive critic. I thank him for his comments and criticisms and for standing by me during the seven lean years. Hyaeweol Choi always offered insightful comments and encouraged me to push my thinking a step or two farther. The book is better because of her help, and my life richer because of her friendship. I thank Rob Hellyer for his comments about my manuscript, and I deeply appreciate the constancy of his support. Lori Watt has been an inspiration for many years, and I thank her not only for reading my manuscript but also for making me rethink what is important about imperialism. Over the years, I have come to appreciate good mentors and good colleagues. I owe a great debt to Bill Steele who got me started in the field of Japanese history and who has provoked my thinking and helped me find solutions for decades. Peter Duus said less in order to make me think more, and to great effect. I respect and admire his thoughtful professionalism. Margaret Sarkissian and Jerry Dennerline, two colleagues from the “old days,” helped keep me moving, and thinking. Bruce Batten has been a great colleague, and I am thankful for the support of my colleagues in the History Department at International Christian University. Finally, let me thank my family. This book is filled with the memory of Mariko Uto. I would like to thank her and her family, Tatsuyuki, Tomoko, Hiroki, and Harumi, for the kindness they showed me. My wife Hiroko and my stepdaughter Yuima are a blessing. They helped me finish this book while making my life better. The final words go out to Steve, Chip, and Sue: thank you for being there.

Note to the Reader

Taiwan has seen many political changes over the last century and a half that have affected the linguistic diversity of the island and the way that the languages there are transliterated. Because of these changes, it has not been possible to use a consistent system for writing names. As much as possible I have transliterated the names of people and places in Taiwan to approximate local pronunciations at the time, but many inconsistencies remain, especially in place names. One example is the city of Takao, known today as Kaohsiung (Gaoxiong in Pinyin). The modern name for the city is written 高雄 in Chinese characters, but that character compound dates to the Japanese colonial period, and in Japanese, it is pronounced Takao. Before the Japanese colonial period, the city was known to Westerners as Takow, Takau, or Takao, and in Chinese characters, it was written 打狗 (Dagou in Pinyin). I follow the local pronunciation in the 1870s and call it Takao. The same approach applies to other city names, such as Taiwan-fu (present-day Tainan), Amoy (Xiamen), and Keelung (Jilong), but there are exceptions. For the town of Pongli, an approximation of the local pronunciation at the time, I use the Pinyin transliteration Fangliao to make it easier for readers to locate it on maps. As far as possible I have included in the index alternate pronunciations and Chinese characters for place names and personal names to help readers navigate between transliterations. The names of villages inside the indigenous territory pose particular difficulties of transliteration. The biggest question concerned what to call xi

xii   

Note to the Reader

the village of Butan (牡丹). Most secondary sources now identify it by the Pinyin transliteration Mudan, but the people of that village did not choose the characters that are used to write its name and primary sources by Westerners or Japanese in the 1860s and 1870s uniformly follow local pronunciation in calling it something similar to Butan. In this case, and several others, I chose a transliteration that approximates the local pronunciation as primary sources record it. A similar example is the town of Pilam (present-day Taitung or Taidong), which is often transliterated Peinan or Beinan (卑南). In some cases, however, Japanese sources mention a town or village using Chinese characters alone and do not provide a gloss showing the pronunciation. In these cases, I transliterated the names using Pinyin, for example, Beishiliao on the southwest coast and Nanfengwan in the northeast. Some villages are identified in Japanese sources using the Japanese syllabary, and I have transliterated them to approximate what I suspect would be the local pronunciation by removing vowels at the end of syllables that were added in transliterating the names into Japanese. With the exception of Amoy, Chinese names outside of Taiwan and Chinese terms in general are transliterated using Pinyin. Japanese names and special terms are transliterated using the modified Hepburn system, although macrons are not used for some well-known place names (e.g., Tokyo rather than Tōkyō). Personal names for Japanese and Chinese are typically presented family name first, given name second. Dates are expressed using the Gregorian calendar. Unless otherwise noted all translations and maps are my own.

Contents

1 Introduction 1 The Historiography of the Taiwan Expedition 4 The Key Claims of This Study 8 Japan’s Recursive Imperialism 10 Summary of the Chapters 12 Part I  The Regional Context of the Taiwan Expedition 2

From Portals to Borders 23 Early Modern Diplomacy and the Four “Portals” into Japan 25 The Meiji Restoration and the Sovereignty Revolution 30 The Transition to Borders 35 Conclusion 37

3

A Justification for Colonization 43 The Rover Incident as Context for the Japanese Expedition 44 The Initial Response to the Rover Incident 47 A Justification for Colonization 54 Mapping the Limits of Chinese Authority in Taiwan 60 The Massacre of the Ryūkyūans 63 Conclusion 67

xiii

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Contents

4

Planning an Expedition to Taiwan 73 Soejima Taneomi 75 News of the Massacre Reaches Japan 78 The Early Interactions Between LeGendre and Soejima 80 The Memoranda for Soejima 86 Memo Number 1 86 Memo Number 2 89 Memo Number 3 90 Memo Number 4 92 A Consolidated Approach to East Asian Relations 96 Conclusion 99

5

The Decision to Go to Taiwan 107 The Soejima Mission 110 The Challenge to China’s Territorial Authority 116 Soejima’s Open Secret 119 The Dispute Over Korea Policy 120 The Decision to Go to Taiwan 123 Plans for the Expedition 127 Implementing the Plans 130 Foreign Opposition to the Expedition 131 Conclusion 135

Part II  On the Ground in Taiwan 6

Spies and Explorers 145 Kabayama Sukenori in Beijing 147 Kabayama Explores Eastern Taiwan 149 Awaiting Word from Japan 155 Return to Taiwan 159 Debating Strategy 165 The Eastern Strategy 169 Conclusion 173

7

Punishing the “Savages” 181 The Organization of the Army 183 The Voyage to Taiwan 189 Arrival in Taiwan 192

Contents   

xv

Establishing a Base Camp 193 The First Negotiations 196 Skirmishes 199 Meeting the Headmen 202 The Campaign to Punish Butan and Kusakut 205 Surrender of the Indigenous Villages 211 The Limits of Projecting Japanese Military Force 216 Conclusion 218 8

The Fading Dream of Colonization 227 Plans for Pilam 229 Saigō’s Orders to “Lead the Natives to Civilization” 231 Gauging the Chinese Reaction 237 Manufacturing a Pretext 239 The Symbolism of Surrender 242 Japanese Impact, Western Response 249 Conclusion 255

Part III  Defending the Expedition 9

Negotiating a Settlement 263 Shelving Plans for Colonization 265 Yanagihara Sakimitsu’s Instructions 268 Ōkubo Toshimichi Goes to China 273 Yanagihara’s Negotiations 275 Ōkubo’s Negotiations 278 The Resolution 282 Reactions to the Japanese Negotiations 286 Conclusion 289

10 Justifying the Expedition in the Japanese Media 295 Analogies of Dominance in the Japanese Media 297 The Purposes of the Expedition 299 Civilization, National Prestige, and National Authority 304 Savagery, Barbarism, and Race 315 Evolving Attitudes Toward the Expedition 320 Conclusion 328

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Contents

11 Conclusion 335 Recursion in the Taiwan Expedition 336 Evaluating the Taiwan Expedition 342 Recursive Imperialism After the Taiwan Expedition 347 Appendices 353 Bibliography 361 Index 375

List of Figures

Fig. 3.1

Fig. 7.1 Fig. 8.1 Fig. 8.2

Fig. 10.1

Fig. 10.2 Fig. 10.3

Detail of Charles LeGendre’s “Formosa Island and the Pescadores” (1870) showing Taiwan, with an inset added by the author to show the boundary between Chinese territory and indigenous territory near Fangliao (Pongli) (Source Library of Congress [https://www.loc.gov/item/2002626733/]. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division) “Sialiao Anchorage—the Liang Kiau Bay of the Maps,” 1874 (Source National Central Library, Taibei) Illustration of a certificate of protection (Source Mizuno Jun, “Taiwan seibanki,” manuscript version. National Central Library, Taibei) Flag number 53, distributed to the headman Pashashim of South Teonshinron village on September 20, 1874 (the flag bears the date of September 10) (Source National Taiwan Museum, Taibei) Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, May 15, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo) Ochiai Yoshiiku (October 1874), “Tokyo nichinichi shinbun nanahyaku gojūni gō” (Tokyo Daily Newspaper No. 752) (Source Waseda University Library) Anonymous kawaraban (c. 1874), “Taiwan gunki” (A Military Tale of Taiwan) (Source Waseda University Library)

62 191 244

246

302 306 308 xvii

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List of Figures

Fig. 10.4 Fig. 10.5 Fig. 10.6

Fig. 10.7 Fig. 10.8 Fig. 10.9

Fig. 10.10

Map 2.1 Map 3.1 Map 6.1 Map 7.1 Map 8.1

Shōchō Ikkei (1873), “Etoki gojūyokajō” (Pictorial Explanation of the Fifty-or-so Clauses), clauses 1 and 2 (Source National Diet Library) Anonymous and untitled kawaraban (c. 1854), showing Commodore Perry capitulating to the Japanese (Source Kurofunekan, a General Incorporated Foundation) Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, June 10, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo) Ochiai Yoshiiku (October 1874), “Tokyo nichinichi shinbun nanahyaku jūni gō” (Tokyo Daily Newspaper No. 712) (Source Waseda University Library) Sensai Eitaku, book illustration, Meiji taiheiki vol. 8 (1876) (Source Waseda University Library) Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, August 10, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo) Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, August 15, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo)

309 310

312 313 319

322

323

Map of East Asia showing the transition in Japan from portals to borders 28 Taiwan at the time of the Rover Incident and the massacre of the Ryūkyūans 51 Taiwan c. 1873, with insets of the Suao, Kilai, and Liangkiau areas 150 Southern Taiwan, 1874 198 Taiwan, 1874, with insets showing East Asia, the range of three networks of villages in southern Taiwan that received Japanese flags and certificates of protection, and towns along the southwest coast 248

List of Tables

Table 7.1 Table 7.2 Table 7.3 Table 7.4

Estimated number of military and non-military personnel sent to Taiwan with number of deaths from illness and the estimated death rate from illness, by battalion 185 Number of soldiers in three combat units (and percentages by unit) suffering from illnesses during two time periods in August 1874 187 Organization of support personnel, including numbers of those who died from illness 188 Japanese casualties in skirmishes and battles against the indigenes 208

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CHAPTER 1

Introduction

At the beginning of June 1874, Saigō Tsugumichi wrote a letter from southern Taiwan to his superiors in Tokyo asking for permission to proceed with plans for colonizing the indigenous territory of the island. Saigō commanded an army the Japanese government sent to southern Taiwan to punish indigenous villagers there who had massacred dozens of people from the Ryūkyū Kingdom (present-day Okinawa), and in his letter he indicated that since he had finished pacifying the south he now looked forward to establishing a permanent presence in Taiwan. China’s reaction to the Japanese expedition concerned him, however, and his orders made it clear that the plans for colonization would be cancelled if the threat of war was too great. To address that concern he wrote another letter to an American advisor who he hoped would help overcome Chinese resistance to the expedition.1 We can see in Saigō’s letters hints of several issues that dominated the history of Japan in the 1870s: questions of domestic political control, diplomatic relations with China, the prospect of war, Western influence on Japanese foreign policy, colonialism, and abstract notions of territorial authority. Given the unsettled nature of Japan in the 1870s, it is remarkable that the massacre of the Ryūkyūans could spawn a plan for Japan to colonize half of Taiwan and nearly provoke a war with China, but while the plan was not an inevitable result of the massacre neither was it an accident. By chance, the massacre happened only a few years after the Meiji Restoration, a major revolution in 1868 that changed the nature of governance in Japan and decisively pushed the country toward a new diplomatic alignment with the West. Those political © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_1

1

2  R. ESKILDSEN

changes, due in part to the influence of Western imperialism, produced repeated confrontations between China and Japan during the final three decades of the nineteenth century, beginning with the Taiwan Expedition. To explain the expedition, it is therefore necessary to place it in the context of Western imperialism, revolutionary changes in Japan, and Chinese diplomatic dominance in East Asia in the second half of the nineteenth century. The diplomatic conflict between China and Japan over Taiwan ended with a negotiated settlement and for most Japanese the expedition to Taiwan soon faded from memory. The expedition was eventful but not particularly consequential, and for that reason its historical importance lies less in the modest results it produced than in the substantial historical circumstances it reveals. Most importantly, the conflict exposed a broad strategic competition between China and Japan over Taiwan, Ryūkyū, and Korea that continued at least until the end of the SinoJapanese War (1894–1895),2 and the early contours of the strategic competition can be seen in the issues that prolonged the disagreement between the two governments in 1874. In abstract terms, the conflict over Taiwan unfolded as a border dispute where China and Japan disagreed not simply about where Japan’s southern border should be located but also about what constituted the political authority of the state and how that authority should be inscribed onto territory. More concretely, the two governments disagreed about whether the idea of sovereignty, understood according to the norms of Western diplomacy, applied to China’s claim to the indigenous territory of Taiwan, whether China had an obligation to exercise civil administration there, and whether Japan could legitimately annex the territory. In their disagreement, the two governments found themselves on opposite sides of the question of whether Western norms of sovereignty applied to territorial claims in East Asia, and the disagreement extended beyond Taiwan, with the Japanese government simultaneously challenging China’s claims to suzerain authority over Ryūkyū and Korea. The dispute over Taiwan in 1874 thus constituted one part of a systematic Japanese challenge to Chinese territorial authority that extended across multiple areas in East Asia, and that systematic challenge gave rise to the long-term strategic competition between the countries. A specific problem of sovereignty lay at the heart of the dispute in 1874 but the long-term competition was rooted in broad-based changes in the diplomatic status quo in East Asia. In the decade before the Meiji Restoration, Japan took its first steps toward aligning its diplomatic stance with the norms of Western diplomacy, and after the Restoration it completed that alignment and began to adopt

1 INTRODUCTION 

3

some of the practices of Western imperialism. The disruptive effects of these changes became fully visible at the time of the expedition. The Restoration also had a disruptive effect on Japan domestically, and the expedition took place against a backdrop of the confusion and turmoil that it caused. Japan experienced profound political, economic, social, and cultural changes between the conclusion of the first treaties of amity and commerce with Western powers in 1858 and the promulgation of a constitution in 1889 that instituted a constitutional monarchy. The first decade of the Meiji period, from the ostensible restoration of imperial authority in 1868 to the last samurai rebellion against the new government in 1877, was particularly turbulent and the government obtained a measure of stability only in the 1880s.3 It took decades for the new Meiji government to consolidate its power and to clarify what its new authority meant in practice, a process that involved considerable contention and negotiation.4 The expedition took place in the early years of that process, and many signs of confusion and disagreement about domestic political authority can be seen in its planning and implementation. The Meiji government also faced multiple urgent border problems during those years. In the north, Japanese and Russians had been skirmishing in Sakhalin for decades and the new government recognized an urgent need to stabilize that border, in the west the Korean government refused to accept the legitimacy of the new Japanese government because it would overturn the precedents of early modern diplomacy, and in the south the government sought to establish a clear claim to sovereignty over Ryūkyū at the risk of provoking China, which had a competing claim to suzerainty there.5 When plans for the expedition first took shape, however, the government had not yet begun to address these territorial problems in a comprehensive manner, nor had it clarified the order in which it would deal with them; those changes happened concurrently with the planning of the expedition. In addition to the border problems, the new government also faced a threat posed by Western imperialism. In the 1850s, the Tokugawa bakufu, the old regime that had governed Japan for more than two and a half centuries and that had enjoyed a nominal monopoly over diplomatic relations, was drawn unwillingly into a system of unequal treaties with Western powers. The Tokugawa regime’s reluctant entry into treaty relations destabilized the government and contributed to its collapse in 1868. The new Meiji government inherited the treaty obligations of the bakufu and soon embarked on a decades-long quest to eliminate the treaties.6

4  R. ESKILDSEN

The attempted colonization of Taiwan took place at a time when Japan was still subordinated politically to Western imperialist powers under the unequal treaties, when it had only just begun its efforts to end that political subordination, and when perceptions of the threat from Western powers had not yet receded.7 In retrospect, the first decade of the Meiji period would hardly seem a propitious time for the attempted colonization of eastern Taiwan. The attempted colonization did happen, however, and for multiple reasons, ranging from narrow and particular to broad and general. Repeated massacres of foreigners in southern Taiwan created the perception of a shared need among Japan and Western powers to reduce violence in that area. Attempts by Western powers to establish the dominance of their diplomatic norms in East Asia provided a shared conceptual language that informed not just the revolutionary changes of the Meiji Restoration but also the specific justification for colonizing eastern Taiwan that the Japanese government appropriated from an American diplomat. Perhaps most importantly, Japanese people realized they could appropriate methods and ideas from Western imperialism and use them preemptively to exploit the indigenous territory of Taiwan. These and other conditions influenced the Japanese government’s decision to colonize eastern Taiwan in 1874. At the same time, the attempted colonization was closely related to the long-term competition for influence in East Asia between China and Japan. Indeed, both arose from a differential response in China and Japan to Western imperialism. Dynastic power collapsed earlier in Japan, with the fall of the Tokugawa house, and decades later in China, with the fall of the Qing dynasty. Western imperialism contributed to the collapse in both cases, but Japanese imperialism in only one, and that difference exemplifies an asymmetrical response to imperialism in China and Japan. The asymmetrical response was a fundamental condition of the Japanese attempt to colonize eastern Taiwan in 1874, it influenced Sino-Japanese relations well into the twentieth century, and it helped to define the nature of Japanese imperialism.

The Historiography of the Taiwan Expedition To study the Taiwan Expedition in relation both to the history of Japanese imperialism and to the significance of the Meiji Restoration marks a break from the way historians have explained it in the past. Indeed, the expedition has typically been seen as a bilateral diplomatic

1 INTRODUCTION 

5

conflict between China and Japan with little attention being given to the ideologies that informed the diplomatic positions of the two countries, to the colonial purpose of the expedition, or to what actually took place on the ground in Taiwan. The view of the expedition primarily as a bilateral diplomatic conflict emerged soon after the Japanese occupation of southern Taiwan ended. In January 1875, the Japanese government published a short official history of the expedition, the Shoban shushi sho, that set the paradigm for explaining it and for organizing document collections about it.8 According to the Shoban shushi sho, the Japanese government responded to an atrocity committed against Japanese subjects and sent an expeditionary force to southern Taiwan only because the Chinese government repeatedly refused to acknowledge its obligation under international law to find and punish the people responsible, a refusal that undermined China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan. The diplomatic narrative in that first history framed Japan’s invasion of southern Taiwan as a response to the Chinese government’s refusal to accept the obligations that are presumably inherent in legitimate claims to sovereignty. There are several problems with this narrative that have had a longterm effect on how the expedition has been studied. For example, it takes as a given a crucial point of disagreement between China and Japan during their diplomatic negotiations, namely that the Japanese government had sovereign authority over the Ryūkyū Kingdom. Many historical studies have explored the role of the Taiwan Expedition in the Japanese government’s effort to annex the Ryūkyū Kingdom,9 but the problematic nature of Japan’s claim to sovereignty over Ryūkyū is still often overlooked and it cannot be taken as a given. Another problem is the lack of explanation for why both Chinese and Japanese officials placed such great emphasis on the idea of sovereignty during their diplomatic negotiations about Taiwan. The idea of sovereignty, as it applied both to Taiwan and to Ryūkyū, became a central issue in the conflict but the historical reasons for its centrality have not been examined adequately. A further problem is the lack of attention given to the regional context that shaped the history of the expedition. Much good research has been done about the diplomatic conflict between China and Japan, including the excellent work of Ishii Takashi, but diplomatic histories still overwhelmingly treat the conflict between China and Japan as a bilateral affair.10 Such a narrow framing overlooks how the regional context affected the conflict, and it obscures the fact that the Japanese government approached what it called the Taiwan problem not in isolation but

6  R. ESKILDSEN

rather as part of a linked set of problems relating to Japan’s territorial authority. The idea that Japanese territorial authority could be understood in terms of a system of borders was new,11 and a comprehensive approach toward clarifying the limits of Japanese sovereignty developed concurrently with the early planning of the expedition. For that reason, the Japanese government’s aims in the expedition need to be understood in the same comprehensive context. More strikingly, most histories of the Taiwan Expedition, starting with the Shoban shushi sho, ignore what actually happened on the ground in Taiwan, and that includes the fighting that took place in southern Taiwan.12 Because of the lack of attention to what took place in Taiwan, it is not clear how or why the indigenous villagers fought the Japanese,13 and because historians have not scrutinized the terminology the government used in its descriptions of the indigenous villagers (who were typically called “savages”) we do not have a clear picture of the ideology that informed the Japanese government’s view of them. Historians have similarly paid little attention to the social organization of southern Taiwan. The Japanese expeditionary force did not encounter a tabula rasa when it landed there. Rather, by the time it landed others had already laid the groundwork for the Japanese to exploit social, political, and economic networks that stretched dozens of miles beyond the area where the fighting took place.14 These networks matter because members of the expeditionary force hoped to use them to establish military and political control over the region, and the details of that effort make visible some of the motivations for the expedition that remain only implicit in the diplomatic record. The composition of the army the Japanese government sent to Taiwan has also received little attention.15 Historical accounts sometimes describe the force as a samurai army and they assert that the government sent it there as a way of defusing samurai discontent in the wake of the Saga Rebellion, when samurai from Saga rose up against the government in a dispute over its policy toward Korea.16 There is some truth to this explanation, since many of the soldiers in the army that went to Taiwan were former samurai and disgruntled former samurai did in fact pose a risk to the government. The timing of the government’s decisions about Taiwan policy suggests, however, that the expedition was not primarily a response to debates about Korea policy and historians have not offered a detailed analysis of the army that might confirm how it was organized or who served in it. While it is difficult to discern the attitudes of most

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of the members of the army sent to southern Taiwan, it is possible to describe in some detail how it was composed, and its composition suggests that the expedition was not dispatched primarily as a response to samurai discontent. It is also surprising that historical studies of the expedition have paid so little attention to its purpose of establishing colonies in Taiwan. Strong opposition from the Chinese government and from British and American diplomats forced the Japanese government to shelve its plans for colonization, and it subsequently denied that it had any colonial intent, even as it kept open the possibility of colonization during negotiations with the Chinese government. Evidence of the colonial purpose of the expedition is incontrovertible, however, and it complicates historical interpretations of the formation of the early Meiji government and the beginning of Japanese imperialism. In the case of the formation of the government, the attempted colonization of Taiwan happened early in the Meiji period, and not as the product of a stable political order in Japan but rather as part of the process of stabilizing the new regime that had recently been established in a revolution. This interpretation is informed by Andre Schmid’s argument that the colonization of Korea was integral to the process of Japan’s modernization,17 but the attempted colonization of Taiwan happened decades before the colonization of Korea and it was entangled not just in the process of Japan’s modernization but more fundamentally in the process of defining imperial power in the early Meiji period. In the case of the beginning of Japanese imperialism, the expedition shows that explicitly colonial thinking arose in Japan both under the influence of and in response to Western imperialism. In both cases, the standard historical narratives of Japan’s political modernization and the emergence of Japanese imperialism do not provide adequate explanations for how this colonial thinking could have emerged.18 In short, there is no accepted explanation for the connection, readily apparent in the documentary evidence about the expedition, between the formation of a new political order after the Meiji Restoration and the emergence of a specific plan, based on a Western model, to colonize eastern Taiwan. These are the key historiographical issues that this book will address, and two ideas will be used to help address them. The first is the idea of a sovereignty revolution that will be explained in detail in Chapter 2. This refers to the global spread of a new way of thinking about state power and territorial authority from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. It helps to explain why Chinese and Japanese diplomats placed

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so much emphasis on sovereignty in their negotiations about Taiwan, it makes it easier to identify the connections between the expedition to Taiwan and the creation of a new government in Japan after the Restoration, and it helps to explain how a Western justification for colonizing Taiwan was created and how it became available for the Japanese to appropriate. The second idea is recursive imperialism. This idea provides a way of describing, first, how Japanese imperialism emerged not as the result of industrialization or political modernization but rather as the result of a dynamic process of interaction between people from Japan and the West that took place in the context of Western imperialism, and second, how Japanese imperialism proved more destabilizing than Western imperialism to the political and diplomatic status quo in East Asia. The basic outline of Japan’s recursive imperialism will be explained below.

The Key Claims of This Study Three key claims will be made here about the Taiwan Expedition. The first is that the Japanese government planned for the expeditionary force to begin a process of colonization in eastern Taiwan that would culminate in the Japanese annexation of the entire indigenous territory of the island. It is striking that the Japanese government seriously contemplated colonizing eastern Taiwan in 1874 despite the domestic political turmoil after the Meiji Restoration, the uncertainty over Japan’s borders, and the threat of Western imperialist intervention in Japan. Abundant and incontrovertible evidence shows that the expedition had a colonial purpose, but it is difficult to explain how that purpose could have existed at the time and it cannot be taken as self-evident. It needs to be demonstrated with care partly because it has not been widely accepted, especially in Japan, and partly because it forms the foundation of the other key claims. The second claim is that the colonial purpose of the expedition, and more broadly the government’s embrace of colonization as a policy option, bore a deep and systematic relationship to the processes of political, social, and cultural change in the Meiji Restoration. One of the transformations of empire that found expression in the Taiwan Expedition was the transformation of the imperial house of Japan into a symbol of the nation’s political and cultural unity, and it constituted a fundamental precondition of the expedition. The correlation between

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the expedition and the revolutionary changes of the Restoration is unmistakable as a matter of timing, but the ideas and practices that played out in both of them reveal deeper correspondences. Part of the transformation of the symbolism of the imperial house entailed appropriating selected aspects of Western civilization, and that transformation was closely related to the way the Japanese government used ideas appropriated from Western civilization simultaneously to strengthen its domestic control over Japanese society and to create a new foreign policy stance in East Asia. This dual use of Western civilization for domestic and foreign policy purposes shows that after the Restoration the domestic consolidation of political power in Japan shared an important ideological affinity with the effort to gain recognition of Japan’s new government throughout East Asia, and that ideological affinity can be seen in the planning for the Japanese expedition to Taiwan. The third claim is that Japanese imperialism, starting with the attempted colonization of eastern Taiwan, developed in a dynamic, interactive relationship with Western imperialism. This relationship involved selective Japanese appropriations and adaptations of the ideas and practices of Western imperialism, and the adaptations constituted the second of the transformations of empire that found expression in the Taiwan Expedition. The government’s new foreign policy stance combined features of Western diplomatic ideology with a willingness to use military force, and the government used that combination to press neighboring states in East Asia not only to recognize the authority of the new government of Japan but also to accept Western norms of sovereignty as the proper basis of territorial authority in East Asia. In effect, the new foreign policy stance replicated selected aspects of Western imperialism but it deployed them for specifically Japanese purposes. Japan’s new foreign policy stance had far-reaching consequences. It spread the effects of the transition from portals to borders in Japan that will be described in Chapter 2 to areas outside of Japan, and it informed the government’s comprehensive approach to dealing with Japan’s multiple border problems that will be discussed in Chapters 4 and 5. Over the longer term, Japan’s selective replication of Western imperialism provoked multiple diplomatic conflicts and military confrontations in East Asia, but the replication did not occur in isolation. Rather, it created a feedback loop between Japanese imperialism and Western imperialism that amplified the impact of Western imperialism and changed the diplomatic behavior of the Chinese government, the Korean government,

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and Western powers in East Asia. Through this feedback loop, Japan’s new foreign policy stance began to spread the effects of the Restoration to other regions in East Asia and to influence the ideas and practices of Western imperialism. Early signs of the feedback loop can be seen in the Taiwan Expedition and its effects comprise a third transformation of empire.

Japan’s Recursive Imperialism Japanese imperialism has struck many observers as difficult to explain and one reason is because it does not fit the patterns of European experience. As Peter Duus explains in the conclusion to his book about the Japanese colonization of Korea, “Ever since the 1920s Japanese analyses of Meiji imperialism have stressed the difficulty of fitting it into the Western model.”19 The debate in Japan over the nature of Japanese imperialism began with arguments supporting or opposing Leninist interpretations of Japanese imperialism, and the consensus view was that it developed for economic reasons and it could not be explained in the same way as Western imperialism because it was unique. Many explanations of Japanese imperialism, beginning with these Leninist interpretations, have assumed a fixed relationship between Japanese and Western imperialism or a relationship that is defined by static structural characteristics, and the view of the relationship as fixed is problematic. The history of the Taiwan Expedition, by contrast, suggests that Japanese imperialism evolved in a dynamic, interactive relationship with Western imperialism. Indeed, many of the characteristics of Japanese imperialism become easier to describe clearly and coherently if the relationship between Japanese and Western imperialism is understood as dynamic and interactive. One of the central characteristics of Japanese imperialism, including the colonial discourse associated with the Taiwan Expedition, is that it derived partly from Western imperialism. The fact of its derivative nature raises obvious analogies to arguments from postcolonial studies, including Partha Chatterjee’s discussion of the derivative nature of nationalist thought in India and Homi Bhabha’s idea of mimesis as an ironic form of political resistance to imperialism,20 which have been used as a way of describing Japanese imperialism, but the analogies raise problems of interpretation. It seems absurd to use an approach from postcolonial scholarship that typically describes a stance of resistance to imperialism as a way of explaining Japanese imperialism, but this approach has become

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an established feature of the historiography.21 Authors who use this approach often mark the seemingly illogical nature of Japanese imperialism by marginalizing it as absurd, contradictory, or ironic. These marginalizing strategies need to be treated with caution, however, because they encourage normative assumptions that Japanese imperialism cannot be “real” imperialism or that it cannot be fully logical because of its derivative nature. The normative assumptions also obscure another important characteristic of Japanese imperialism, that cultural adaptations of Western civilization, which was often perceived as inherently superior, were used in Japan in order to challenge the presumption of Western superiority. This characteristic demonstrates that Japanese imperialism had two simultaneous relationships to Western imperialism, one of affinity and another of antagonism. The Japanese strategy of appropriation and adaptation of Western imperialism gave rise to this simultaneous relationship of affinity and antagonism, and it is this relationship that has made Japanese imperialism difficult to explain. The explanation that will be given here is that Japanese imperialism developed in a dynamic relationship with Western imperialism through a recursive process of change. This interpretation is informed by approaches used in the new interactional structuralism or constructivist explanations in international relations that stress the dynamic process through which new meanings and social structures are created.22 A dynamic view of the relationship between Japanese imperialism and Western imperialism overcomes the limitations produced by seeing the relationship between them as static or fixed. To view Japanese imperialism as recursive also makes it possible to explain how it could derive from Western imperialism, then influence it, and then transform its impact in East Asia. Further, it explains how Japanese imperialism could have an affinity with Western imperialism and simultaneously be antagonistic toward it. Finally, it makes it possible to understand how Japanese imperialism could be seen as a means of resisting Western imperialism that shared an affinity with other forms of resistance to imperialism. Views of Japanese imperialism as a form of resistance to Western imperialism became fully apparent in the twentieth century and contributed to the appeal of pan-Asianism in Japan and to Japanese justifications of the Second World War, a question I will return to briefly in the Conclusion of the book, but early signs of the pattern could already be seen in the 1870s. The concept of recursion will be used here to explain the Taiwan Expedition as a specific example of how Japanese imperialism emerged

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in a dynamic interaction with Western imperialism. It will be used as an analytical tool for understanding a specific set of operations associated with the Japanese appropriation of Western imperialism. The operations include (1) the selective appropriation by Japanese agents of various ideas and practices associated with Western imperialism, (2) the adaptation of those ideas and practices once they were appropriated, (3) the inclusion of ideas and practices not of Western origin in the adaptations as well as the selective exclusion of some Western ideas and practices, (4) the use of the adaptations in order to transform Japanese power relations at home and abroad, and (5) the influence of the adaptations on ideas and practices associated with Western imperialism. By disaggregating the process of appropriation this way, it will be easier to see how Japanese imperialism began to emerge in the 1870s through the effects of a feedback loop that influenced Western imperialism and accelerated the transformation of territorial authority in East Asia. The recursive replication of imperialism posed dangers to Japan that became increasingly apparent in the twentieth century, but from the outset it also provided opportunities to increase Japanese power and security. By transforming the nature of Western imperialism, the Japanese could extend to other parts of East Asia the influence of the Meiji Restoration, and in doing so they could change to their advantage the balance of power in East Asia.

Summary of the Chapters Chapters 2 through 5 describe the regional context that the Taiwan Expedition took place in. Chapter 2 explains the shift in diplomatic thinking that happened in Japan after the Meiji Restoration. Debates about Taiwan in the 1870s took place in the context of a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s border problems, and the Japanese government’s long-term interest in the Taiwan problem, as well as in the status of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, arose in part because of the need to clarify where the border lay between China and Japan. It was necessary to define both the geographical limits of Japanese sovereign authority after the Restoration and the new meanings of those limits. Chapter 3 describes the origins of the justification for colonization that the Japanese government later used in its diplomatic arguments about the indigenous territory of Taiwan. The government took advantage of a particular argument that an American diplomat named Charles LeGendre developed based on Western diplomatic practice in China. He

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applied an interpretation of international law to the terms of the Treaty of Tianjin, an unequal treaty between China and the USA, to assert that the Chinese government had an obligation to establish civil authority over southern Taiwan. To do so would validate its claim to sovereignty there, whereas the failure to do so would leave the area vulnerable to foreign colonization. LeGendre developed the argument in response to a massacre of Americans in southern Taiwan in 1867, and the Japanese government later appropriated it and applied it by analogy to a similar massacre that happened to dozens of people from Ryūkyū in 1871. Chapter 4 describes how the Japanese government appropriated the justification for colonization in 1872 under the leadership of foreign minister Soejima Taneomi and adapted it for use as the basis for a planned Japanese expedition to Taiwan. Soejima hired LeGendre, who had recently arrived in Japan, as an advisor to the Japanese government and within weeks of his arrival Soejima dramatically adapted the scope and character of the justification. The adaptation included the idea that the Japanese could appropriate the methods and ideas of Western imperialism and use them preemptively to exploit the indigenous territory of Taiwan. At Soejima’s request, LeGendre drafted plans for an expedition based on that adaptation. Government leaders vigorously debated the wisdom of Soejima’s plans, some favoring an aggressive approach and others favoring a more cautious one. Soejima incorporated his plans for Taiwan into a comprehensive approach for dealing with multiple problems of territorial authority in areas that lay between China and Japan, and he applied that approach during his diplomatic mission to Beijing in 1873. Chapter 5 explains how debates over foreign policy—especially the dispute over whether to “chastise Korea” (Seikanron)—split the Japanese government badly at the end of 1873. The dispute over Korea disrupted plans for the expedition to Taiwan and sparked a rebellion against the government early in 1874, but despite the rebellion the government united, if narrowly, behind a new and more specific plan for the expedition. The plan envisioned carrying out the Japanese colonization of the indigenous territory of Taiwan in the name of bringing civilization to the “savages” who lived there. Ongoing disputes about what imperial authority meant and how it ought to be exercised complicated the dispatch of the expeditionary force late in the spring of 1874. The next three chapters explain what took place on the ground in Taiwan as Japanese people implemented the plan for the expedition.

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Chapter 6 describes the activities of a handful of Japanese agents who went to Taiwan in advance of the expedition in order to collect intelligence and lay the groundwork for establishing colonies there. The Japanese agents’ efforts to translate into practice the government’s plan for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan reveal what the abstract ideas of the plan meant. They hoped to establish bases at several points along the east coast of Taiwan that would become the colonies from which Japanese authority would later be extended to encompass the entire indigenous territory. They believed they needed to act quickly to preempt the exploitation of the territory by Westerners, and they worried that the Chinese might preempt them by establishing civil authority there first, thereby invalidating their justification for colonizing the territory. Chapter 7 explains the organization of the military force sent to southern Taiwan in the spring of 1874, how it established military control over the area through a combination of negotiations with local leaders and battles with indigenous villagers, and how it began preparations for expanding Japanese control over the indigenous territory. The expeditionary force experienced many problems of organization and it proved highly vulnerable to disease. These problems demonstrate the practical limits to the projection of Japanese military force overseas in the 1870s. Chapter 8 describes what happened to the plans for colonizing eastern Taiwan after the expeditionary force established military control over southern Taiwan. Saigō Tsugumichi, the commander of the expeditionary force, received orders to carry out a two-phase plan for the expedition. The first phase of the plan involved pacifying southern Taiwan and the second phase called for colonization of eastern Taiwan but only after the Japanese government had a chance to evaluate the threat of war with China. Because of strong Chinese opposition to the expedition, Saigō had to set aside the plan for colonization. Events in southern Taiwan, and across the Taiwan Strait in Amoy (Xiamen), show that the justification for colonization that lay at the heart of the government’s plan developed in unexpected directions as the Japanese sought to implement it, and those developments threatened to destabilize the area. Several of Saigō’s staff officers continued to argue in favor of colonizing the indigenous territory, and Western residents in Amoy responded to the expedition with confusion about what Japan’s challenge to China’s territorial authority in Taiwan actually meant.

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The next two chapters describe how Japanese people justified the expedition to Taiwan. Chapter 9 explains the negotiations that took place in Beijing that brought the conflict between the Japanese and Chinese governments to an end. By that time, Japanese negotiators did not expect to proceed with the plan to establish colonies in Taiwan, but they maintained the threat of colonization in the background as they demanded an indemnity from the Chinese government as compensation for its failure to establish effective civil authority over the indigenous territory. An indemnity would, at least implicitly, validate the Japanese argument that the Chinese government had a responsibility to civilize the indigenous territory, and according to the Japanese government’s argument the failure of China to acknowledge its responsibility would have justified the Japanese colonization of the territory. Chapter 10 explains reactions to and understandings of the Taiwan Expedition on the home front. Media reports reveal some of the ways that Japanese people understood the connection between the expedition and key concepts such as civilization and imperial authority, and they show an awareness that Japanese adaptations of Western civilization being used at home to transform domestic society could also be used overseas to transform other parts of East Asia. The media reports used analogies to the domestic Civilization and Enlightenment movement to indicate how the Taiwan Expedition would spread civilization to the indigenes of Taiwan, providing a clear link between the domestic cultural transformation of Japan after the Restoration and the emergence of Japanese imperialism. Not everyone in Japan agreed with the government’s vision or its actions, however, and by the end of 1874 something resembling a public discussion of the politics of the expedition began to emerge in the media and in petitions submitted to the government.

Notes



1. Saigō Tsugumichi to Ōkuma Shigenobu, June 7, 1874, Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, 1932–1935), 2: 349–364; Saigō Tsugumichi to Charles LeGendre, June 7, 1874, Papers of Charles William LeGendre, Library of Congress. 2.  Urs Matthias Zachmann, China and Japan in the Late Meiji Period: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895– 1904 (London and New York: Routledge, 2009); S. C. M. Paine,

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The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895: Perceptions, Power, and Primacy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 3. Mark Ravina, To Stand with the Nations of the World: Japan’s Meiji Restoration in World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). 4. Kyu Hyun Kim, The Age of Visions and Arguments: Parliamentarianism and the National Public Sphere in Early Meiji Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2007); Stephen Vlastos, “Opposition Movements in Early Meiji, 1868–1885,” in John W. Hall et al., eds., The Cambridge History of Japan (6 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988–1999), 5: 367–431; and Roger Bowen, Rebellion and Democracy in Meiji Japan: A Study of Commoners in the Popular Rights Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980). 5. Akizuki Toshiyuki, Nichi-Ro kankei to Saharintō: bakumatsu-Meiji shonen no ryōdo mondai (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1994); Gregory Smits, Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1999), 143–155; and Lionel Babicz, Le Japon face à la Corée à l’époque Meiji (Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2002), 39–54. 6. Michael R. Auslin, Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004); Morita Tomoko, Kaikoku to chigaihōken: ryōji saiban seido no unnyō to Maria Rusu gō jiken (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2005); Pär Kristoffer Cassel, Grounds of Judgment: Extraterritoriality and Imperial Power in Nineteenth-Century China and Japan (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); and Louis G. Perez, Japan Comes of Age: Mutsu Munemitsu and the Revision of the Unequal Treaties (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press and London, Associated University Press, 1999). 7. Fukuzawa Yukichi related the fear voiced by former American Secretary of State William Seward, who visited Japan in 1871, that “Japan with her inflexible nature could hardly be expected to keep her independence.” Seward mentioned the same sentiment in his memoirs. Fukuzawa Yukichi, The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa, trans. Eiichi Kiyooka (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), 206; and William Henry Seward, William H. Seward’s Travels Around the World, ed. Olive Risley Seward (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1873), 93. 8.  Banchi Jimukyoku, ed., “Shoban shushi sho (1875),” in Meiji Bunka Kenkyūkai, ed., Meiji bunka zenshū (7): gaikō hen (1928; Tokyo: Nihon Hyōronsha, 1992), 153–178. The organization of sources about the Taiwan Expedition in the Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho, the main collection of published Japanese diplomatic documents, reproduces the narrative

1 INTRODUCTION 

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structure of the Shoban shushi sho. Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936–1940). 9. Mizuno Norihito, “Early Meiji Policies Towards the Ryukyus and the Taiwanese Aboriginal Territories,” Modern Asian Studies 43 (2009): 683–739; Kobayashi Takao, “Taiwan jiken to Ryūkyū shobun (I): Rujandoru [LeGendre] no yakuwari saikō,” Seiji keizai shigaku 340 (1994/10): 1–16; Nishizato Kikō, “Ryūkyū shobun to KarafutoChishima kūkan jōyaku,” in Arano Yasunori et al., eds., Ajia no naka no Nihonshi (IV): Chiiki to minzoku/etonosu (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1992), 167–208; Edwin Pak-Wah Leung, “The Quasi-War in East Asia: Japan’s Expedition to Taiwan and the Ryūkyū Controversy,” Modern Asian Studies 17.2 (1983): 257–281; Kinjō Seitoku, Ryūkyū shobun ron (Naha, Okinawa: Okinawa Taimusu-sha, 1978); and Kuribara Jun, “Taiwan jiken (1871–1874 nen): Ryūkyū seisaku no tenki toshite no Taiwan shuppei,” Shigaku zasshi 87.9 (1978): 10–85. 10. Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983). Other accounts of the diplomatic conflict include Kō Sekai, “Taiwan jiken (1871–1874),” Kikan kokusai seiji 28.2 (1964): 38–52; Shu Cherin, “Gaisei to tōchi: 1874 nen Taiwan shuppei o rei ni shite,” in Gendai Kenpōgaku Kenkyūkai, ed., Gendai kokka to kenpō no genri (Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 1983), 389–416; Ichinose Norie, “Meiji shoki ni okeru Taiwan shuppei seisaku to kokusaihō no tekiyō,” Hokudai shigaku 35 (1995): 23–49. While accounts of the Taiwan Expedition from Chinese points of view do not always follow the narrative set down in the Shoban shushi sho, they often exhibit many of the limitations seen in accounts from Japanese points of view. See Mizuno Norihito, “Qing China’s Reaction to the 1874 Japanese Expedition to the Taiwanese Aboriginal Territories,” Sino-Japanese Studies 16 (2009), Article 8; Fujii Shizue, Jindai Zhong Ri guanxi shi yuanqi: 1871–74 nian Taiwan shijian (Taibei: Jinhe Chubanshe, 1992); Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, CT: The Shoe String Press, 1965); D. R. Howland, Borders of Chinese Civilization: Geography and History at Empire’s End (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), 35–41; T. F. Tsiang, “Sino-Japanese Diplomatic Relations, 1870–1894,” Chinese Social and Political Science Review 17 (1933): 1–106; and Leonard Gordon, “Japan’s Abortive Colonial Venture in Taiwan, 1874,” The Journal of Modern History 37.2 (1965): 171–185. 11. Takahiro Yamamoto, “Balance of Favour: The Emergence of Territorial Boundaries Around Japan, 1861–1875” (diss., London School of Economics, 2015). 12. An exception is the work of Fujisaki Seinosuke that describes in detail the fighting and many other events that took place in Taiwan in 1874.

18  R. ESKILDSEN Fujisaki Seinosuke, Taiwan shi to Kabayama taishō (Tokyo: Kokushi Kankōkai, 1926). See also Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936). It is not certain but Fuijisaki probably took the lead in writing this book. 13. Anthropologists and some historians have discussed the indigenous society in southern Taiwan. See, for example, Ōhama Ikuko, “‘Botansha jiken’ saikō: naze Paiwan zoku wa Ryūkyū tōmin o satsugai shita no ka,” Taiwan genjūmin kenkyū 11 (2007): 203–223; and Paul Barclay, “Cultural Brokerage and Interethnic Marriage in Colonial Taiwan: Japanese Subalterns and Their Aborigine Wives, 1895–1930,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (2005): 325–360. 14. Historians have studied the political and economic networks that the indigenes participated in, although they have often concentrated on different geographical areas or different chronological periods. See, for example, Paul Barclay, “‘They Have for the Coast Dwellers a Traditional Hatred:’ Governing Igorots in Northern Luzon and Central Taiwan, 1895– 1915,” in Julian Go and Anne L. Foster, eds., The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 217–255; Paul Barclay, “‘Gaining Confidence and Friendship’ in Aborigine Country: Diplomacy, Drinking and Debauchery on Japan’s Southern Frontier,” Social Science Japan Journal 6.1 (2003): 77–96; and Barclay, “Cultural Brokerage and Interethnic Marriage.” See also Robert Eskildsen, “Foreign Views of Difference and Engagement Along Taiwan’s Sino-Aboriginal Boundary in the 1870s,” in Ko-wu Huang, ed., Huazhong youhua: Jindai Zhongguode shijue biaoshu yu wenhua goutu (When Images Speak: Visual Representation and Culture Mapping in Modern China) (Taibei: Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, 2003), 253–287; and Paul D. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border,” 1874–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018). 15. One of the few articles about the Japanese army sent to Taiwan is Gotō Arata, “Taiwan shuppei ni okeru chōhei mondai,” Musashino Daigaku Seiji-Keizai Kenkyūjo Nenpō 5 (2012): 135–172. See also Robert Eskildsen, “An Analysis of the Japanese Army Sent to Taiwan in 1874,” Dejitaru ākaibu no sentan o mezashite—Ajia rekishi shiryō sentā no 10 nen (Tokyo: Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan Ajia Rekishi Shiryō Sentā, 2012), 70–85. 16. M. J. Mayo, “The Korean Crisis of 1873 and Early Meiji Foreign Policy,” The Journal of Asian Studies 31.4 (1972): 793–819. 17.  Andre Schmid, “Colonialism and the ‘Korea Problem’ in the Historiography of Modern Japan: A Review Article,” The Journal of Asian Studies 59.4 (2000): 951–976.

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18.  Peter Duus, in his chapter on the origins of Meiji imperialism, offers the best explanation currently available; The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895–1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 1–25. He argues that the Japanese colonization of Korea was the product of a complex coalition that united the political, opinion, business, and military leaders of Japan with a subimperialist Japanese community in Korea, and that it unfolded through linked political and economic processes. For Duus industrialization constituted an enabling condition of Japanese imperialism. The issue being raised here is how the Japanese government could have seriously considered establishing colonies in Taiwan before the formation of the coalition that Duus describes and before industrialization had been achieved. 19. Duus, The Abacus and the Sword, 434. 20. Partha Chatterjee, Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse (2nd ed.; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993); Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse,” in Frederick Cooper and Ann Laura Stoler, eds., Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 152–160. 21. Kim Brandt, Kingdom of Beauty: Mingei and the Politics of Folk Art in Imperial Japan (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007); Richard F. Calichman, ed. and trans., Overcoming Modernity: Cultural Identity in Wartime Japan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008); Robert T. Tierney, Tropics of Savagery: The Culture of Japanese Empire in Comparative Frame (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); Stefan Tanaka, Japan’s Orient: Rendering Pasts into History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993); Duus, Abacus and the Sword; and Robert Eskildsen, “Of Civilization and Savages: The Mimetic Imperialism of Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan,” American Historical Review 107.2 (April 2002): 388–418. 22. For examples of new interactional explanations of structuralism see Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement: Collective Action, Social Movements and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); William A. Gamson and David S. Meyer, “Framing Political Opportunity,” in Doug McAdam, John D. McCarthy, and Mayer N. Zald, eds., Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 274–290; Doug McAdam, Sidney Tarrow, and Charles Tilly, Dynamics of Contention (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). For examples of constructivism in international relations see Nicholas G. Onuf, World of Our Making: Rules and Rule in Social Theory and International Relations (Columbia: University of South Carolina

20  R. ESKILDSEN Press, 1989); Alexander Wendt, “Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics,” International Organization 46.2 (1992): 391–425; Martha Finnemore, National Interests in International Society (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996); and Peter J. Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).

PART I

The Regional Context of the Taiwan Expedition

CHAPTER 2

From Portals to Borders

In July, 1872, four years after the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government began a debate about annexing the Ryūkyū Kingdom. The debate started when Inoue Kaoru, the Senior Vice Minister of the Treasury, wrote a memorial to the Council of State arguing that Ryūkyū should be incorporated unambiguously into Japan, ending the early modern practice of “dual allegiance.” For most of Japan’s early modern period, Ryūkyū simultaneously occupied two relationships of allegiance that would be seen as mutually exclusive in Western diplomacy: one as a tributary state of China and the other as a vassal state of Satsuma, one of the several hundred largely autonomous Japanese domains that owed allegiance to the Tokugawa government known as the bakufu. In his memorial, Inoue attacked the illogical nature of dual allegiance and decried it as a crime that needed to be rectified.1 Inoue’s argument was densely packed with problems that the new Meiji government needed to deal with as it shed the legacy of Japan’s early modern diplomacy, and these problems formed part of the context for Japan’s expedition to Taiwan, the planning for which began only a few months after Inoue wrote his memorial. One problem involved the status of Satsuma. The new Meiji government eliminated the domains in 1871, a change that rationalized its domestic political authority but also nominally eliminated Satsuma’s authority over Ryūkyū. Eliminating the domains raised the question, broached explicitly by Inoue, of whether the government needed to claim sovereignty directly over one of what David Howell has called the “autonomous yet subordinate peripheries” © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_2

23

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of early modern Japan.2 In advocating that Japan should unilaterally annex the Ryūkyū Kingdom and dismiss China’s claim to suzerain authority there Inoue made a key assumption, shared by most of Japan’s leaders, that the Japanese government could unilaterally redefine the geographical limits and meaning of Japanese political authority purely as a matter of domestic Japanese politics. Such unilateral decisions caused few problems during the early modern period, when Japan had few diplomatic partners and the bakufu claimed nominal authority to dictate the terms of Japan’s diplomatic relationships, but by the 1870s the diplomatic context had changed and the Japanese government needed neighboring states to recognize both the new boundaries of the Japanese state and the meaning of the newly restored sovereign authority of the emperor. In the context of the 1870s, the government’s unilateral approach produced diplomatic conflict, especially as Japan challenged China’s competing claims to authority in several peripheral territories. Finally, even before the Restoration, many leaders understood that Japan’s early modern diplomatic system had to be set aside in favor of a new diplomacy that conformed to Western norms. Adopting this new diplomacy in the context of Western imperialism in East Asia proved no easy matter, however, especially when Japan’s interests diverged from the shared interests of Western powers. These problems suggest several issues that underlay the Japanese expedition to Taiwan. First, the government had a general concern about peripheral areas with weak or ambiguous state authority, and that general concern led to a specific concern about Taiwan. Second, the government had a strategic interest in protecting Japan by limiting Western exploitation of peripheral areas, and as Chapter 4 will show the plan for dealing with Taiwan originated ostensibly as a way of protecting Japan from the West by preemptively exploiting an area with weak state authority. Third, after the Restoration, the government’s ideology incorporated Western norms of sovereignty and its early adoption of the norms fed conflict between Japan and China because the two countries found themselves on opposite sides of the question whether Western norms of sovereignty applied to Chinese claims to territory. These three interrelated concerns about sovereignty and territorial authority lay at the heart of the Japanese government’s policy toward Taiwan in the early 1870s, and the purpose of this chapter will be to provide a context for understanding how the concerns emerged out of Japan’s transition to a new diplomatic system in the modern period. The context will be explained by focusing

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on two overlapping processes, one local that ended early modern limits on access to Japan and in their place instituted borders that defined the limits of Japanese sovereignty, and another global that embroiled Japan and East Asia in the propagation of new ideas about sovereignty from the West.

Early Modern Diplomacy and the Four “Portals” into Japan Diplomacy in early modern Japan consisted of limited, heterogeneous relationships between Japan and a small number of foreign states, and Japan’s geographical boundaries lacked clarity and uniformity because the Tokugawa bakufu intentionally defined them ambiguously, leaving some of the territories at the periphery both dependent and autonomous. Domestically, political authority within the “core polity” of Japan, to borrow Howell’s term, was also heterogeneous and amorphous, and the Tokugawa bakufu permitted the lords of the several hundred domains to exercise a largely autonomous authority over their respective domains while claiming for itself various powers that applied to all of Japan, including decisive if not absolute control over foreign relations. Using that power the bakufu implemented strict limits on Japan’s trade and diplomatic relationships and it channeled foreign contact through four discrete locations, what historians have come to know as four “portals.”3 On the whole, political authority in early modern Japan was variegated and the country’s trade and diplomatic relations were non-systematic, with the norms and practices of one relationship typically having little or no connection to the norms and practices of the other relationships.4 One of the important changes in Japanese diplomacy in the early Meiji period was the implementation of a more systematic approach to foreign relations that eliminated the vestiges of early modern period heterogeneity, and that process influenced the planning and implementation of the expedition to Taiwan. The unsystematic nature of early modern diplomacy can be seen in the variety of relationships that embodied the four portals of Japan.5 Nagasaki was the most important of the portals, both economically and politically, and the bakufu controlled it directly. Starting at the end of the sixteenth century, Japan’s leaders sought to limit the influence of Iberian Catholicism in Japan by restricting the activities of the Portuguese, Jesuits, and Spanish, and in the early decades of the seventeenth century,

26  R. ESKILDSEN

it forbid them any contact with Japan. At the same time, the bakufu ended the system of licensed trade that had permitted Japanese merchants to participate directly in a far-flung trade network that spanned East and Southeast Asia. While the bakufu limited trade into and out of Japan it did not cut the country off from the outside world and instead cultivated trade relationships that it could carefully regulate. It granted trading privileges to the Dutch because they were not intent on spreading Christianity, but it confined them to an artificial island in Nagasaki, and it also permitted Chinese traders from Fujian to visit Nagasaki, quarantining them in a Chinese quarter. Nagasaki thus connected Japan, through the Dutch and Chinese, to regional trade networks in East and Southeast Asia, but it did so in a way that limited foreign access to Japan, maintained bakufu control over foreign trade, and limited the influence of Christianity in Japan. The second portal was the small domain of Matsumae, on the southern tip of the island known today as Hokkaido, that existed in a kind of economic interdependence with the Ainu who inhabited most of the island.6 The bakufu granted Matsumae monopoly rights to trade with the Ainu and entrusted the domain with maintaining order in the north, a responsibility it found difficult to fulfill.7 To address concerns about Matsumae’s ability to manage Japan’s northern frontier, the bakufu took direct control over the territory, with mixed results, and later returned control over the northern frontier to Matsumae.8 Japan’s relations with Russia became the source of repeated conflicts in the early 1800s, especially farther north in Sakhalin, and armed clashes with Russians caused problems well into the Meiji period. In the southwest, Tsushima domain, a third portal, managed diplomatic relations with the kingdom of Korea, and in return, the bakufu permitted it to engage in limited trade at a factory the Koreans maintained in Pusan. Although the lord of Tsushima swore allegiance to the bakufu, the bakufu permitted the domain to enter into a tributary relationship with Korea, creating a relationship of dual allegiance. Tsushima served two masters, one in Japan and the other in Korea, and it sustained its ambiguous status through fairly transparent subterfuges that were an essential part of maintaining a functioning diplomatic relationship between Japan and Korea. Satsuma domain regulated the fourth portal, the Ryūkyū Kingdom. Satsuma conquered Ryūkyū militarily early in the seventeenth century, absorbing the northern islands of Amami and Gotō but leaving the

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remainder of the kingdom nominally independent, although Satsuma required it to pay annual taxes. Because Satsuma wanted to maintain trade with China it permitted Ryūkyū to remain a tributary state of China and the kingdom sent frequent missions to Fujian where they engaged in trade at a factory there. Under this arrangement, Ryūkyū also found itself in an ambiguous relationship of dual allegiance where it served two masters, China and Satsuma, and it too sustained its diplomatic relationship with China by means of fairly transparent subterfuges that nominally concealed from the Chinese its relationship with Satsuma.9 The four portals primarily served the interests of the bakufu but they also met the needs of several domains at Japan’s periphery. In economic, political, and diplomatic terms, the four portals permitted the bakufu to limit contact with the foreign world in a pragmatic, cost-effective manner that balanced its interests with the interests of the domains. Part of the bakufu’s pragmatism involved maintaining diplomatic relationships that were intentionally ambiguous and that relied on heterogeneous understandings of territorial authority in peripheral regions. The ambiguities and contradictions of early modern Japanese diplomacy posed no particular difficulties for nearly two hundred years, and in fact, they helped to maintain political stability, but they became problematic as contact with Western countries intensified and began to threaten the bakufu’s control over diplomatic ideology. A key conceit of early modern Japanese diplomacy was the belief that the Tokugawa bakufu controlled the nature and extent of Japan’s interactions with foreign powers, but increasing contact with Western countries in the first half of the nineteenth century challenged that fiction.10 Before the nineteenth century, the bakufu’s position was comparatively stronger, however, and it did have the power to deny or avoid relations with foreign powers, but even at its strongest it never had the ability to dictate the terms of its diplomatic relations with China and Korea. Until the second half of the nineteenth century, diplomatic relations within East Asia were idiosyncratic and unsystematic: The various relationships were bilateral and they remained discrete and isolated from one another. In the case of Korea, Japan engaged in “neighborly relations” (Kor.: gyorin, Jse.: kōrin) that conformed more to Korean norms than to Japanese, and the bilateral relationship between Korea and Japan was independent of Korea’s diplomatic relationship with China: China had no need to recognize Korea’s relationship with Japan and Japan

28  R. ESKILDSEN

Map 2.1  Map of East Asia showing the transition in Japan from portals to borders

equally had no need to recognize Korea’s relationship with China. China, although more powerful than Japan, used a similar arrangement of discrete and isolated diplomatic relations. Sometimes called the tribute system or the Sinocentric order, Chinese diplomacy accorded the country a presumed position of centrality based on an ideology of the superiority of the Chinese emperor, and to participate in the Sinocentric order foreign states had to send embassies to Beijing, to engage in the

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ritual exchange of gifts, and to conform to a diplomatic protocol that reinforced Chinese claims of political and cultural superiority.11 The Tokugawa bakufu, primarily because it refused to accept the subordination of the shogun to the Chinese emperor, did not participate in the Chinese tribute system,12 but several of China’s neighboring states, including the kingdoms of Ryūkyū and Korea, did accept the suzerain authority of the Qing dynasty and became tributaries. The relationships were unsystematic, however, and the Chinese government treated its suzerain relations with these states as discrete and isolated bilateral relationships.13 The unsystematic nature of diplomatic relationships in East Asia gave flexibility and stability to diplomacy in the region, but the same features proved problematic in the context of the normative expectations brought to East Asia in the nineteenth century by Western imperialism. For the Tokugawa bakufu, contact with Western powers in the middle of the nineteenth century posed a problem because of Western demands to enter into trade and diplomatic relations with Japan, but the diplomatic system lacked the flexibility to accommodate their demands and the bakufu lacked the strength to dictate the terms of its diplomacy unilaterally.14 The problems intensified after the Opium War (1839–1842) and by 1858 the bakufu had little choice but to abandon the early modern fictions of diplomatic dominance and to engage in a broad-based strategy of negotiating with Western powers.15 After the Meiji Restoration, the new Japanese government sought fundamental changes in its diplomatic relationships in East Asia, including the recognition by neighboring powers of the “restored” sovereign authority of the emperor and the clear definition of Japan’s borders. The systematic and broad-based Japanese effort to transform its diplomatic relations and to gain political recognition for the new Meiji regime could not be accomplished without challenging Chinese authority, and Japan’s new diplomatic stance soon brought the two countries into conflict. The expedition to Taiwan happened as part of that conflict, and in challenging Chinese authority, the Japanese government used a systematic diplomatic threat coupled with a credible threat of force to push the Chinese government to change the way it managed its territorial authority. Japan’s integrated challenge to China’s discrete and isolated diplomatic relationships was largely an outcome of the political and diplomatic transformation that began in Japan in the late 1850s and continued after the Meiji Restoration, and the expedition to Taiwan was one expression of the challenge.

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The transition to a modern system of borders after the Restoration, and Japan’s new approach to diplomacy, required that the restored sovereign authority of the emperor should be inscribed onto the political geography of East Asia (Map 2.1). This innovation in Japanese diplomacy produced resistance and conflict—primarily diplomatic but sometimes military—as Japan’s neighbors sought to maintain the status quo, but the conflict in East Asia over Japan’s new imperial geography was not created entirely by Japan. Rather, it was shaped and spurred on by a global shift in political authority from dynastic-based monarchies to governments based on popular will, a shift I call the sovereignty revolution. New ideas about political authority had been driving revolutionary changes in Europe and the Americas for decades and those ideas spread to East Asia through Western imperialism. In Japan, the new ideas were incorporated into domestic debates about political authority, including the authority of the imperial institution, that had been ongoing for more than a century. During the political process that led to the collapse of the Tokugawa bakufu and the creation of an emperor-centered government after the Restoration, a hybrid understanding of sovereignty emerged that combined older Japanese ideas about imperial authority with Western understandings of sovereignty, and it was this hybrid understanding of sovereignty that needed to be inscribed onto Japan’s borders in the Meiji period. The need to gain foreign recognition of Japan’s new sovereign authority spread the political effects of the Restoration beyond Japan and accelerated transformations in territorial authority throughout East Asia. The conflict between China and Japan over sovereignty in Taiwan illustrates one part of that process.

The Meiji Restoration and the Sovereignty Revolution At heart, the diplomatic conflict between China and Japan over Taiwan rested on a disagreement about sovereignty. As Chapter 9 will show, throughout their diplomatic confrontation the two governments debated what sovereignty meant, how it applied specifically to Taiwan, and how claims to sovereignty should be defended in general.16 Although sovereignty was a central issue, diplomatic sources do not explain why it became such a pressing matter. Viewed from a broader perspective, however, the debate about how sovereignty applied to Taiwan extended debates about sovereignty that arose during the revolutionary turmoil of the Meiji Restoration. The Chinese government became entangled

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in that turmoil when the Meiji government pushed it to interact with Japan according to the ideas of territorial authority that informed the Restoration. To be sure, the revolutionary changes in Japan did not occur in isolation. Rather, they happened as part of a long-term global process that transformed political authority worldwide. Scholars such as the historian Jeremy Adelman and the political scientist Mlada Bukovansky argue that a fundamental transformation of sovereignty began in Europe and the Americas during the eighteenth century and it shifted the dominant form of state authority from dynastic-based monarchies to governments based on popular will.17 Because of this shift, the idea of government based on popular will gained dominance in the international system and the new archetype spread to areas beyond Europe and North America largely through the agency of Western imperialism.18 New ideas about sovereignty spread to Japan through interactions with Western powers and the new ideas contributed to the Meiji Restoration, but the process did not stop there. The Restoration unleashed tremendous forces of change that reshaped Japan’s political boundaries and set in motion repeated regional political conflicts that accelerated the changes taking place in the political and diplomatic cultures of East Asia. The new ideas about sovereignty combined with existing ideas in Japan about territorial authority and produced a hybrid understanding of sovereignty. After the Restoration, the Japanese brought the hybrid understanding of sovereignty fully inside the diplomatic relationships of East Asia in a way that destabilized the status quo. The hybrid understanding of sovereignty was formed in Japan during the crucial decades in the middle of the nineteenth century. Debates about political authority were a consuming passion of Japanese intellectuals throughout the early modern period,19 and the new ideas about sovereignty brought to East Asia by Western imperialism were infused with ideas from these debates. The combination produced an alternative understanding of political authority that became a powerful tool for challenging the rule of the Tokugawa bakufu in a conflict that Bukovansky would describe as a legitimacy contest. According to Bukovansky, legitimacy contests are “self-conscious confrontations between an actor or actors espousing principles of legitimacy contradicting the dominant principles of the time,” and they may occur if a cultural system “contains contradictory conceptions of legitimate authority” that actors are able to mobilize to justify their actions.20 The legitimacy contest in Japan

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erupted in full force in the late 1850s and early 1860s and it pitted ideas of legitimacy based on the authority of the imperial house, buttressed by Western ideas of unitary sovereignty, against ideas of legitimacy based on the authority, precedents, and practices of the Tokugawa bakufu and the domains. In order to provide an alternative to the fragmented political authority of the bakuhan system, opponents of the bakufu adapted Japanese understandings of imperial authority to conform to Western norms of unitary sovereignty in the international system. The need for the adaptation was clear. In 1866, for example, the British Minister to Japan, Sir Harry Parkes, reached out to forces opposed to the bakufu and visited Satsuma for talks with the domain lord there. During his visit, he also met Saigō Takamori, an influential Satsuma retainer who later became a hero of the Restoration. In their meeting, Saigō voiced the hope that Japan might soon be able to renegotiate the unequal treaties that were signed in 1858. Parkes warned him that progress would be slow because Japan’s decentralized government was fundamentally flawed. He warned Saigō that foreign nations would not accord Japan full respect until it created a government “with a single national sovereign.”21 An agreement between Tosa and Satsuma in the same year set the stage for the alliance of domains that overthrew the bakufu. The agreement touched on some of the same points that Parkes had discussed with Saigō,22 and it influenced the famous Charter Oath of 1868 that spelled out the fundamental political commitments of the new Meiji regime, including the need for “public discussion” to decide government matters.23 By the eve of the Restoration, the idea of unitary sovereignty under the emperor supported by some measure of popular participation in government had become a commonsense alternative to the decentralized government of the early modern period. Japan’s embrace of this hybrid understanding of sovereignty fundamentally changed the nature of territorial authority in Japan. After the Restoration, the new regime swept away the fragmented political authority of the bakuhan system, where the authority of the Tokugawa bakufu was balanced carefully against the largely autonomous authority of hundreds of domains,24 and replaced it with a unitary state having sovereignty based on imperial authority.25 Even before 1868, many discussions had taken place in Japan about the need to transform government authority and by the eve of the Restoration the discussions typically assumed that sovereignty in Japan should be based on imperial authority

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and that it should take into account popular opinion, but debates continued well into the Meiji period about what imperial authority and popular opinion meant and how they should be balanced against each other.26 In the end, the government of Japan took the form of a constitutional monarchy that derived part of its legitimacy from popular support for the imperial house, a relationship that Andrew Gordon calls “imperial democracy,”27 but from the outset the revolutionary government operated according to the hybrid understanding of sovereignty. The Restoration produced radical changes in Japanese society. The revolutionary government abandoned centuries-old precedents and introduced new institutions. It stripped the Tokugawa family of its authority in 1868, eliminated the domains in 1871 and replaced them with prefectures under central government control, it replaced the independent domain armies with a conscript army under imperial control in 1873, and in roughly the same span of years it placed the villages of Japan under the control of officials appointed by the central government rather than under domain functionaries. In an even more striking change, the new government eliminated the hereditary political power of the samurai class, a process of disestablishment that took more than a decade to complete and provoked not only armed samurai rebellions but also a powerful political movement that demanded greater popular participation in the government. The legitimacy contest unleashed breathtaking changes in Japan but also created many new problems of political authority that troubled the new government for decades. The Taiwan Expedition took place against the backdrop of that domestic conflict. During the protracted domestic political turmoil in Japan after the Restoration an awareness of the threat of foreign intervention hung in the background, fed by the recognition that Western imperialist powers often exploited peripheral areas with weak or ambiguous state authority. Western diplomats, although sometimes uncomfortable with the reality, made little effort to conceal the strategy of exploitation, and Japanese observers did not need any special powers of perception to recognize it. For example, in 1853 Ii Naosuke, the future chief minister of the bakufu, noted with concern that the bakufu would be powerless to stop a foreign power from seizing an island off Japan’s coast and using it as a permanent base,28 and if a clearer example were needed the Russians provided it in 1861 when they seized part of Tsushima in order to establish a permanent naval base there.29 Nor did the risk end

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with the Restoration. On a visit to Japan in 1870, William Seward, the former American Secretary of State, warned the prominent intellectual Fukuzawa Yukichi that Japan might lose its independence because foreign powers would be tempted to take advantage of political divisions in the country.30 The former US President Ulysses S. Grant voiced a related concern during his visit to Japan in 1879 when he warned the Japanese emperor that the long-running conflict between China and Japan over the status of Ryūkyū posed a risk because Western powers had a tendency to exploit areas with weak territorial authority. He urged China and Japan to settle their dispute over Ryūkyū amicably without giving foreign powers a chance to intervene.31 At the time of the expedition to Taiwan, the threat from Western powers to peripheral areas with weak territorial authority was unmistakable for Japan’s leaders and that awareness informed their thinking about Taiwan. The Meiji Restoration introduced a new form of sovereign authority in Japan, but that alone was not enough to prevent the encroachment of Western powers. For protection, Japan needed institutional changes that would align the country both politically and economically with the West. To accomplish that alignment would require the efforts of what Ronald Robinson calls mediating elites, in other words Japanese people who would collaborate with Western imperialist powers in order to bring Japan’s political and economic system into conformity with Western practices.32 As part of its alignment with the West, the Meiji government collaborated, in Robinson’s sense of the word, with Western powers in eliminating areas with weak or ambiguous territorial authority at the periphery of Japan. This is the significance of Inoue Kaoru’s memorial that attacked the dual allegiance of Ryūkyū as a crime that needed to be rectified. As the Meiji government sought to make the transition to a new form of diplomacy, the boundaries of Japanese sovereign authority in the area between China and Japan needed to be brought into alignment with the practices of Western diplomacy and that could not be accomplished without clarifying the status of both Taiwan and Ryūkyū. Both territories were at risk because they had weak or ambiguous political authority, precisely the places that Western imperialist powers were most likely to exploit. From the outset, Japanese collaboration in the project of Western imperialism included efforts to protect Japan from the risk of Western exploitation of territories at Japan’s periphery.

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The Transition to Borders The Meiji Restoration had three important effects on Japan’s diplomatic stance toward East Asia. First, the Meiji government began to approach its diplomatic relations with neighboring countries in a systematic way, second, the transformations of political authority in the Restoration began to cause diplomatic conflicts outside of Japan, and third, issues of sovereignty became central to several of those conflicts. Evidence of all three effects can be seen in the Taiwan Expedition. Documents from the mid-1870s show that the government began to address the various problems of its diplomatic relations with neighboring countries in a consolidated way, entirely unlike the heterogeneous and unconnected functions of the four portals of the early modern period. Most historical studies of the diplomatic problems in the early Meiji period examine the problems independently and in discrete bilateral frames, and the same is largely true of this study, which focuses mostly on Japan’s engagement with China over Taiwan. The historical documents of the time tell a different story, however. They show that Japanese officials often considered problems in one area in relation to problems in other areas. For example, in the early 1870s documents about the “Taiwan problem” often mention Japan’s claim to the Ryūkyū Kingdom or the government’s “Korea problem,” and it is not unusual to see documents that refer to the problems jointly (e.g., the Taiwan–Korea problem). Even the problem with Russia in Sakhalin occasionally appeared in discussions about how to deal with Taiwan. As Chapters 4 and 5 will show, government leaders formulated their policy toward Taiwan as part of a general strategy for mounting a simultaneous challenge to China’s territorial authority in Taiwan, Korea, and Ryūkyū, and considerations of how to deal with Russia entered into their thinking as well. In a second effect of the Restoration, transformations of political authority began to cause conflicts outside of Japan as the government sought to reconfigure its diplomatic relations with neighboring countries. Japan’s new diplomatic stance led to multiple diplomatic and military confrontations in the early decades of the Meiji period as the Chinese and Korean governments sought to maintain the status quo and the Japanese government pressed for a fundamental realignment of state-to-state relations. Japanese pressure for a realignment led to protracted problems concerning three areas that lay between China

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and Japan: Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan. For the Meiji government to implement a new relationship with Korea that conformed to Western diplomatic practices and that gained Korean recognition of Japan’s new imperial authority, it would be necessary to challenge the assumptions of Chinese diplomatic centrality and superiority that formed the basis of Korea’s relations with China. The Korean government insisted on maintaining the status quo in its relations with Japan, however, and it refused to recognize the restored authority of the Japanese emperor because of its commitment to the ideology of the Chinese tribute system. As a result, the Japanese government’s stance toward Korea brought it into conflict not only with Korea but also with China. Similarly, for the Japanese government to solve the problem of dual allegiance in Ryūkyū and to establish its claim to sovereignty there it would be necessary to challenge Chinese claims to suzerain authority under the tribute system. In Taiwan, by contrast, the Japanese government challenged the Chinese government’s claim to the indigenous territory because its actual civil authority there was very weak. Japan’s simultaneous challenge to China’s territorial authority in all of these areas was an outgrowth of the Meiji government’s effort to transform Japan’s diplomatic practices and to clarify its relationships with its neighboring countries after the Restoration. A third effect of the Restoration on Japanese diplomacy in East Asia, closely related to the second, is that the Japanese government began to deploy ideas of sovereignty in its diplomatic conflicts with neighboring states. The emphasis on sovereignty can be seen most clearly in the conflict between China and Japan over Taiwan, where it took on an almost obsessive importance for both governments (an issue that will be discussed in Chapter 9). That conflict, however, was only one part of the Japanese effort to challenge China’s territorial authority that began with Soejima Taneomi while he was Japan’s Foreign Minister. As Chapter 5 will show, one of Soejima’s goals in leading an embassy to Beijing in 1873 was to clear the way for Japan to approach Korea outside the constraints of the Chinese tribute system. The Korean government refused to recognize Japan’s new hybrid sovereignty, however, and the Japanese government could not afford to ignore that problem. As a preliminary step in the effort to push the Korean government into recognizing its new sovereign authority, the Japanese government insisted in the mid1870s on challenging China’s claim to suzerain authority in Korea and on treating Korea as a completely independent sovereign power. At the

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same time, the Japanese government sought to eliminate the practice of dual allegiance in Ryūkyū not by abandoning Japan’s claim to authority there—a course that would have invited fierce opposition from the former samurai of Satsuma and would have left Ryūkyū vulnerable to exploitation by another foreign power—but rather by unilaterally claiming unambiguous sovereign authority over Ryūkyū and by denying China’s claims to suzerain authority there. In different ways, then, after the Restoration, the Japanese government asserted its hybrid understanding of sovereignty to mount a simultaneous and systematic challenge to China’s territorial authority in multiple regions of East Asia, including Taiwan.

Conclusion The process of defining Japan’s borders and seeking foreign recognition of Japan’s new sovereign authority after the Meiji Restoration spread the revolutionary effects of the Restoration beyond Japan, and the Taiwan Expedition was part of that process. The metaphor of a transition from portals to borders helps to explain the shift from managing Japan’s interactions with the outside world through a collection of ad hoc, heterogeneous relationships in the early modern period to the modern practice of managing its relationships systematically through clearly and unambiguously defined borders that were recognized by other states. The transformation of sovereign authority in the Restoration, and more broadly Japan’s engagement with Western imperialism after the middle of the 1850s, necessitated a new way of regulating Japanese relations with foreigners. The transformation was complex and multi-dimensional, however, and the idea of a global sovereignty revolution makes it easier to describe how the changes to territorial authority in Japan and East Asia fit into a single long-term process that involved interactions between Western powers and East Asian powers. Western imperialism transmitted the sovereignty revolution to East Asia, and the effects of the Meiji Restoration, as they spread beyond Japan, accelerated the transformations of the sovereignty revolution in other areas in East Asia. The Japanese expedition to Taiwan provides an early illustration of that acceleration. The Chinese government did not remain passive in the face of Japan’s challenge to its territorial authority, however, and in 1875, it responded in two ways that show just how serious a threat the Japanese posed to

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Chinese authority. First, in order to foreclose the risk that southern Taiwan might be annexed by a foreign power, the Chinese government took concrete steps to establish clear civil authority over the area. It established a new administrative city in southern Taiwan, fought a bloody war against the indigenes in the south to pacify the area, and began preparations to build a lighthouse at Oluenpi.33 As Chapter 3 will show, starting in 1867 an American diplomat named Charles LeGendre warned the Chinese that they needed to implement such measures to establish a valid claim to sovereign authority in southern Taiwan or else run the risk that a foreign power might colonize the territory. The Chinese ignored his warning but the Japanese expedition showed that the threat was real. In a recursive response to Western imperialism, the Japanese attempted to preempt Western exploitation by exploiting the indigenous territory of Taiwan themselves, and in response to the Japanese attempt, the Chinese belatedly took decisive action to prevent foreign exploitation of the territory. They could no longer afford to ignore challenges, based on Western understandings of sovereignty, to their territorial authority in Taiwan. As its second response, the Chinese government answered Japan’s systematic challenge to its discrete and isolated claims to suzerain authority in Ryūkyū and Korea by beginning to address its diplomatic relationships with those states systematically.34 In the process of clarifying its borders and defining its territorial authority uniformly, Japan began to challenge China’s territorial authority systematically, and the Chinese government responded by initiating a systematic approach to its suzerain relationships in order to defend the status quo. The transformation of political authority in the Meiji Restoration established Western understandings of sovereignty as the basis of Japan’s claims to territorial authority and brought Japan into diplomatic alignment with Western powers. The Taiwan Expedition is an early example of how the Meiji government, when it acted on its new foreign policy stance and carried its new claims to territory authority outside of Japan, threatened the stability of the diplomatic status quo in East Asia.

Notes

1. Motegi Toshio, “Nitchū kankeishi no katarikata: jūkyū seiki kōhan,” in Yang Daqing, Mitani Hiroshi, and Liu Jie, eds., Kokkyō o koeru rekishi ninshiki: Nitchū taiwa no kokoromi (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 2006), 9–10.

2  FROM PORTALS TO BORDERS 















39

2. David L. Howell, Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 8. 3. The first scholar to use the metaphor of four portals was Arano Yasunori. According to Tsuruta Kei, the metaphor is important historiographically because it provides a comprehensive explanation of the diverse organization of foreign relations in early modern Japan, and Tsuruta identifies Arano as the first to make an explicit connection between the existence of the portals and their political function. Tsuruta Kei, “Kinsei Nihon no yotsu no ‘kuchi’,” in Arano Yasunori et al., eds., Ajia no naka no Nihonshi (II): Gaikō to sensō (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1992), 297–316. See Arano Yasunori, Kōza Nihon kinseishi 2: sakoku (Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 1981). 4. Ronald P. Toby, State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (1984; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991); Howell, 4–5. 5. Toby; Robert Hellyer, Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640–1868 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2009). 6. Howell, 112–118. 7.  Brett L. Walker, The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). 8. Akizuki Toshiyuki, Nichi-Ro kankei to Saharintō: bakumatsu-Meiji shonen no ryōdo mondai (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1994), 47–50. 9. Toby, 45–52; Hellyer, 38. 10. Mitani Hiroshi, Escape from Impasse: The Decision to Open Japan, trans. David Noble (Tokyo: I-House Press, 2008). 11.  John King Fairbank, Trade and Diplomacy on the China Coast: The Opening of the Treaty Ports, 1842–1854 (1953; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1969); Mark Mancall, China at the Center: 300 Years of Foreign Policy (New York and London: The Free Press, 1984). 12. Toby, 227–228. 13. Motegi, 13. 14. The bakufu’s relative weakness compared to European powers contrasts with its relative strength at the beginning of the early modern period. Adam Clulow, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). 15. Michael R. Auslin, Negotiating with Imperialism: The Unequal Treaties and the Culture of Japanese Diplomacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004). In Escape from Impasse, Mitani frames Japan’s escape from diplomatic impasse in the late 1850s as a shift from support for a “closed country” policy (sakoku) to acceptance of an “open country” policy (kaikoku).

40  R. ESKILDSEN 16.  For two complementary views of the issue of sovereignty in nineteenth-century Taiwan, see Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, CT: The Shoe String Press, 1965); Chang Lung-chih, “From Island Frontier to Imperial Colony: Qing and Japanese Sovereignty Debates and Territorial Projects in Taiwan, 1874– 1906” (diss., Harvard University, 2003). 17. Jeremy Adelman, Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006); Mlada Bukovansky, Legitimacy and Power Politics: The American and French Revolutions in International Political Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002). 18.  Shogo Suzuki makes a similar argument in Civilization and Empire: China and Japan’s Encounter with European International Society (London: Routledge, 2009), 17. According to Suzuki, the international system had a “progressive face” that encouraged China’s and Japan’s entry into the system as well as a “coercive face” that relied on force. Western imperialism played a key role in the coercion. 19.  Tetsuo Najita, “History and Nature in Eighteenth-Century Tokugawa Thought,” in John W. Hall et al., eds., The Cambridge History of Japan (6 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988–1999), 4: 596–659. 20. Bukovansky, 39. 21. Saigō Takamori Zenshū Henshū Iinkai, ed., Saigō Takamori zenshū (6 vols.; Tokyo: Yamato Shobō, 1976–1980), 2: 157–161. Parke’s discussion with Saigō is mentioned in Mark Ravina, The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigō Takamori (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2004), 132. 22. Marius B. Jansen, Sakamoto Ryōma and the Meiji Restoration (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), 300. 23. Jansen, 295–296; Ryusaku Tsunoda, Wm. Theodore de Bary, and Donald Keene, comps., Sources of Japanese Tradition (New York: Columbia University Press 1958), 644. 24. Mary Elizabeth Berry, Hideyoshi (Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University Press, 1982); Mary Elizabeth Berry, “Public Peace and Private Attachment: The Goals and Conduct of Power in Early Modern Japan,” Journal of Japanese Studies 12.2 (1986): 237–271; Mark Ravina, “State-Building and Political Economy in Early-Modern Japan,” The Journal of Asian Studies 54.4 (1995): 997–1022; and Mark Ravina, Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999). 25. Jansen; Albert M. Craig, Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961); Conrad Totman, The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862–1868 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press,

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41

1979); and W. G. Beasley, The Meiji Restoration (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972). 26. Irokawa Daikichi, The Culture of the Meiji Period, trans. and ed., Marius B. Jansen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985); Carol Gluck, Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985); Takashi Fujitani, Splendid Monarchy: Power and Pageantry in Modern Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996); and Kyu Hyun Kim, The Age of Visions and Arguments: Parliamentarianism and the National Public Sphere in Early Meiji Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2007). 27. Andrew Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (University of California Press, 1991). 28. Ii Naosuke to Bakufu, October 1, 1853, W. G. Beasley, ed. and trans., Select Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy, 1853–1868 (London: Oxford University Press, 1955), 117. 29.  Hellyer, 207–213; Takahiro Yamamoto, “Balance of Favour: The Emergence of Territorial Boundaries Around Japan, 1861–1875” (diss., London School of Economics, 2015), 38–61. 30. Fukuzawa Yukichi, The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa, trans. Eiichi Kiyooka (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), 206. Seward made a similar comment in his memoirs. William Henry Seward, William H. Seward’s Travels Around the World, ed. Olive Risley Seward (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1873), 93. 31.  Ulysses S. Grant, Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: Volume 29 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2008), 204. 32.  Ronald Robinson, “Non-European Foundations of European Imperialism, Sketch for a Theory of Collaboration,” in Roger Owen and Robert B. Sutcliffe, ed., Studies in the Theory of Imperialism (London: Longman, 1972), 117–140. 33. Chang, 62–67. 34. Motegi, 13.

CHAPTER 3

A Justification for Colonization

In March 1867, a gale blew an American ship named the Rover off course and it struck rocks and sank off the southern coast of Taiwan. The captain of the ship, his wife, and the crew survived the wreck, took to the lifeboats and after long hours of difficult rowing safely reached shore. Indigenes from a nearby village then murdered them on the beach. One of the Chinese crewmembers escaped and reported the massacre to Chinese officials, and from there word spread to Western diplomats along the China coast. Over the next six months, a flurry of activity followed the massacre. Two Western naval expeditions visited the area and attempted to “punish” the villagers responsible for the massacre. Several diplomats and military officers from Britain and the USA suggested that the area ought to be colonized—preferably by the Chinese, according to some of them—and another American diplomat demanded an indemnity and bluntly warned Chinese officials that a foreign power would surely colonize the area if China failed to pacify it. Chinese officials in Taiwan tried to avoid taking any action, but a provincial leader, fearing that the Americans actually intended to colonize southern Taiwan, sent a Chinese military expedition to the area and permitted an American diplomat to accompany it. The American negotiated an independent agreement with a local indigenous leader to protect mariners from shipwrecked vessels and the agreement reduced violence against outsiders for a few years. After the initial flurry of activity ended nothing much happened. Chinese government officials, once they understood that the Americans had no © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_3

43

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intention of colonizing southern Taiwan, did nothing to pacify the area, and the American diplomat, after years of sporadic and fruitless negotiations, left China to return to the USA so he could lobby for a more prestigious assignment. The story would have ended inconclusively at that point if indigenes from a different, nearby village in southern Taiwan had not murdered dozens of Ryūkyuans from a shipwreck late in 1871. That massacre provided an opening for the Japanese government to pick up and act on possibilities that Westerners had imagined in response to the Rover Incident. Precedents and ideas relating to the Rover Incident contributed to the decision that the Japanese government later made to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan, but the more aggressive Japanese plan was by no means a necessary or inevitable result of the American and British responses to the Rover Incident. Those responses suggested several possible courses of action that the Japanese might follow in later years, including the dispatch of a punitive expedition, demands for an indemnity, or the colonization of a small part of Taiwan. In later years, all of these possibilities found advocates in the Japanese government but as Chapters 4 and 5 will show the government decided, with considerable dissent, to pursue colonization. Nothing happened in direct response to Western discussions in 1867 about the possible colonization of part of Taiwan, but the Western response to the Rover Incident established precedents that the Japanese later employed in their recursive response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans.

The Rover Incident as Context for the Japanese Expedition Four factors relating to the Rover Incident later influenced the Japanese response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans. The first factor was the problem of endemic violence in the indigenous society of southern Taiwan. Violence between the villages was common and any outsider who ventured into the territory without protection ran the risk of being murdered. The endemic violence created a shared interest among the Japanese and Westerners—foreign powers, including Japan, had a legitimate reason to worry about the violence—and their shared interest created an important point of solidarity between them. At the same time, Japanese interests diverged from Western interests in a way that limited their solidarity. For example, the Japanese government did not share

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Western economic interests in East Asia, including the goals of protecting shipping in the seas around China and maintaining the treaty port system, both of which were threatened by the endemic violence. The Japanese generally ignored these interests as justifications for action in southern Taiwan. The most important divergence, however, arose in their different attitudes toward the lack of state control in southern Taiwan. The lack of state control put the area at risk of exploitation by a Western power and the Japanese government perceived that risk as a threat to Japan’s security, creating a point of antagonism with Western powers. The duality of solidarity and antagonism concerning the problem of violence in southern Taiwan accounts for why the Japanese response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans differed from the Western response to the Rover Incident. A second factor were Western ideas about sovereignty in Taiwan. Chapter 2 explained how ideas about sovereignty influenced the politics of the Meiji Restoration and the chapter introduced the idea of a sovereignty revolution to describe how the ideas spread to East Asia as part of a global process. The same process affected China and it had two effects in Taiwan after the Rover Incident. One effect was a change in perceptions of a Chinese administrative boundary that marked the division between the Chinese and the indigenes and divided the island into two spheres, one under the administrative control of the Chinese government and the other not. The Chinese interpreted the boundary as the limit of their administrative authority but not as the limit of their territorial claims, whereas Western observers interpreted it as the limit of Chinese sovereign authority. The Japanese later appropriated the Western interpretation of the boundary and used it to support their justification for colonizing the entire indigenous territory. Another effect was that debates about sovereign authority became central in the diplomatic dispute between the USA and China over whether the Chinese government had any responsibility for the Rover massacre. In his negotiations with the Chinese government Charles LeGendre, the American diplomat most closely involved in the American response, repeatedly asserted Western understandings of sovereignty in his demands for redress concerning the Rover massacre. Chinese officials rejected those assertions and the gap between their respective interpretations prompted LeGendre to develop a particular justification for colonizing territory in Taiwan that he used as a threat to push the Chinese to take action. The justification was a weak diplomatic tool, however, and it had little effect in

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the dispute over the Rover Incident because the American government did not back it up with a concrete threat of colonization. The justification took on far greater importance when the Japanese government later appropriated it, applied it to a much larger area, and backed it up with a specific plan for annexation, and since the justification was based on assertions about the meaning of sovereign authority, questions of sovereignty also became central in the later diplomatic dispute between China and Japan. A third factor were Western ideas about the colonization of Taiwan. By the time of the Rover Incident Europeans and Americans had been talking for decades about colonizing part or all of Taiwan. The massacre provoked new talk but nothing came of it because Western governments remained cool to the idea. Still, Western ideas about colonizing Taiwan influenced the Japanese government’s thinking, if not by providing a specific model or idea for colonization then at least by suggesting that it was only a matter of time before a Western power might colonize the area. That view fed the perception in Japan that the potential Western exploitation of southern Taiwan posed a risk to Japan’s interests. A fourth factor that later influenced Japanese actions were many precedents set by Western diplomats and military leaders in their responses to the Rover Incident. The importance of the precedents was multidimensional. At one level specific actions, such as military expeditions to “punish” local villagers or negotiations with indigenous leaders that took place outside of Chinese authority, served as models for later Japanese actions. At another level some of the general principles established by Western actions also became an important part of justifications for later Japanese actions, for example, Chinese acquiescence to independent Western military initiatives after the Rover Incident demonstrated a level of indifference that contradicted later Chinese claims to full political authority over southern Taiwan. The wide public availability of information about the Western response to the Rover Incident suggests another level of importance of the precedents. It was not simply that various actions took place, but also that knowledge of them was distributed widely in newspapers and published diplomatic correspondence. There was nothing secret about the Western response to the Rover Incident, and later Japanese diplomatic initiatives were far more effective because the Japanese were able to use that publically available information freely. A final level of importance was the assumption in Western diplomacy that any power could freely use its precedents. Although Japan was still

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formally subordinated to many Western powers under the terms of its unequal treaties, by appropriating Western precedents it could align itself with Western diplomacy and deal with China on terms more or less equal to the West. The limited equality presented by the use of Western diplomatic precedents enhanced the effectiveness of Japanese diplomacy and constituted a key element of the recursive response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans.

The Initial Response to the Rover Incident After the beginning of the unequal treaty system in the 1840s, Western marine traffic along the China coast intensified and the number of vessels shipwrecked on the southern coast of Taiwan increased, giving rise to tales of massacres and beheadings and rumors of shipwrecked mariners being held captive. Several British and American parties visited Taiwan in the 1850s in search of Westerners who might be held captive, but they found none. In subsequent years, ships continued to disappear off the coast of Taiwan, fueling rumors about the ill-treatment of survivors at the hands of the indigenes and contributing to the reputation of the waters off of southern Taiwan as particularly dangerous.1 The Rover Incident was one of those disasters, but in this case, Western diplomats and military officers had a clear target for a forceful response when a Chinese crewman survived and provided a specific report that indigenes from the village of Koalut had committed the massacre. The initial Western response to the Rover Incident began at the end of March when news of the massacre reached Takao, the largest port city on the southwestern coast of Taiwan.2 The British vice-consul there asked Commander G. D. Broad of the British warship Cormorant to investigate. Broad reached Kwaliang Bay in southern Taiwan on March 26 and began a search for survivors. A landing party found a lifeboat from the Rover but had to abandon their investigation when indigenes from Koalut village opened fire on them. The Cormorant shelled the indigenes and then withdrew, making no further attempt to investigate.3 Contemporary sources remain largely silent about the justification for the Broad Expedition, probably because it was obvious at the time and required no explanation. The British government had no jurisdiction over the people who were murdered and the Broad Expedition did not seek to protect British interests, at least not directly. Rather, the expedition intended to protect the collective interest of all merchants

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who sailed the seas near southern Taiwan, and it did so in the name of humanity and civilization. Charles LeGendre, the American Consul at Amoy (Xiamen), learned of the massacre on April 1 when he received a letter from a member of a British firm in Takao, and he immediately sought to investigate the massacre and to pressure the Chinese government to take responsibility for it. In his negotiations with the Chinese, LeGendre played a key role in articulating a justification for colonizing Taiwan that the Japanese government later appropriated, but his role in China, and later in Japan, marked an unexpected departure from his earlier life in France and the USA. He was born on the outskirts of Lyon and later graduated from the University of Paris. He was intelligent and well-educated, but also ambitious and adept at using his connections for his personal advancement. In 1854, he married the daughter of a well-known lawyer from New York and became a naturalized citizen of the USA and served in the American Civil War, playing a leading role in recruiting the 51st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army. He was seriously wounded twice and by the time he was discharged from the army in 1864 he had risen to the rank of colonel and had earned a well-deserved reputation for bravery. After the war, he received the brevet rank of brigadier general, and for that reason he was often called General LeGendre during the time he lived in East Asia.4 He was appointed as US Consul in the Chinese treaty port of Amoy as a reward for his meritorious service in the Civil War and when he took up his new post there in December 1866 he left his family behind him and began a new life. Since Taiwan fell within LeGendre’s consular jurisdiction he went to Fuzhou as soon as he heard about the Rover massacre. In Fuzhou, he visited the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang to ask for Chinese assistance in rescuing survivors and punishing the people responsible for the massacre,5 and from there he went to Taiwan on the US Navy warship Ashuelot, arriving at the Chinese administrative center of Taiwan-fu on April 18. He informed the local Chinese officials that according to the Treaty of Tianjin (1858) the people responsible for the massacre should be punished under Chinese law.6 The next day he met the local officials again and reiterated his demand that they send troops to southern Taiwan to find and punish the people responsible for the massacre. Liu Mingteng, the Regional Commander for Taiwan, declined to do so. He claimed he had already sent troops to the area but they had found

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nothing. He further argued it was difficult to send troops to the indigenous territory because it was a wild and uncivilized place not subject to the control of the Chinese government. Even at this early point, the problem LeGendre faced was clear: The Chinese government claimed the territory of southern Taiwan but local officials refused to deal with violence against foreigners there because the area lay outside their administrative control. In the face of the resistance of Chinese officials, LeGendre decided to conduct his own investigation. He traveled south on the Ashuelot to Liangkiau and hired a local pilot to guide the ship to the site of the massacre in Kwaliang Bay. When he reached Kwaliang Bay he and the captain of the Ashuelot decided not to land a military force out of concern that it would come under attack as the British landing party had at the end of March. Instead, they spent ten days in the area investigating and planning how a larger military force could punish Koalut, and then they returned to Amoy. In early June, under orders from the US Secretary of the Navy and acting independently of LeGendre, Rear Admiral H. H. Bell left Shanghai with two US warships to punish the villagers of Koalut. He arrived at Kwaliang Bay on the morning of June 13 and dispatched a skirmishing party. The Americans landed and then exchanged fire with the indigenes as they advanced up a steep hill toward Koalut village. Their attack continued for six hours until the leader of the party, Lt. Commander Alexander McKenzie, was shot and killed as he led a charge up the hill. Suffering terribly from the heat and having lost an officer, the party retreated to their ships and the expeditionary force withdrew. The encounter was brief but it left a strong impression. Bell saw the indigenes as a formidable if “savage” adversary and, as did LeGendre, he understood them by analogy to “our native Indians.”7 In his meetings with local officials on Taiwan, and in a letter he subsequently wrote to them,8 LeGendre continued to demand that they take action to find the guilty parties under the provisions of the Treaty of Tianjin, but the Chinese officials displayed no enthusiasm to do so. In their letter to him on June 3, they specifically denied that the area where the massacre took place was under Chinese jurisdiction and they argued on that basis that the provisions of the treaty did not apply.9 LeGendre, angered by their denial of responsibility, warned them in his response on June 22 that if they did not take appropriate action to pacify the area some unspecified foreign power would be justified in colonizing the

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area.10 This was the earliest expression of the justification for colonizing Taiwan that the Japanese government later appropriated. In the initial response to the Rover massacre British and American expeditions to Kwaliang Bay had attacked the villagers of Koalut but the leaders of the expeditions did not believe they had successfully punished the villagers for the atrocity. LeGendre, after seeing these failures, concluded that the only way to prevent further atrocities in southern Taiwan would be to engage in direct negotiations with the indigenes.11 After the failure of Bell’s expedition to southern Taiwan, however, the American Navy would not provide any further support to LeGendre and without that support LeGendre had no other option but to ask for help from Wu Tang, the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang. At the end of August, LeGendre once again went to Fuzhou and in his meeting with Wu he insisted that a Chinese expedition must be sent to southern Taiwan. Wu acquiesced because Bell’s Expedition had disturbed the officials on Taiwan and made them suspect—incorrectly—that LeGendre was responsible for it. LeGendre had recently warned them that a foreign power might annex the area and they feared that the Americans intended to use the Rover Incident as a pretext for annexation, and in their report to Beijing they asked the government to file a protest with the Americans.12 Wu had heard from the local officials on Taiwan about LeGendre’s threat of colonization and he was concerned that the local officials in Taiwan had weakened China’s claim to the territory by arguing the Treaty of Tianjin did not apply there.13 In an effort to placate LeGendre and preclude further American military action he permitted LeGendre to join a planned review of garrison troops in southern Taiwan. Because of Wu’s intercession, LeGendre accompanied a Chinese Army, under the command of Liu Mingteng, when it departed Taiwan-fu on September 10 to visit southern Taiwan.14 Travel proved difficult, exacerbated by the absence of roads and the threat of attack by indigenes. The expedition stopped for a few days at Fangliao (Pongli), less than twenty miles north of Chasiang as the crow flies, while Chinese soldiers cleared brush and trees to make a road between the two towns (see Map 3.1). About a month before LeGendre went to southern Taiwan William Pickering, a Scotsman and an agent for the British firm Elles and Company in Takao, and James Horn, an English merchant who later

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Map 3.1  Taiwan at the time of the Rover Incident and the massacre of the Ryūkyūans

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co-founded a short-lived commercial colony in the Suao area, went to southern Taiwan to search for survivors of the Rover massacre and together they laid the groundwork for LeGendre’s later negotiations with the indigenes.15 They arrived in the Liangkiau valley at the beginning of August and spent more than a month negotiating with various Chinese and indigenous residents. They managed to recover the remains of Mrs. Hunt and some of the personal articles from the Rover but otherwise had little success discovering what happened to the victims. While they were in southern Taiwan they had many occasions to talk to the local residents, and in due course they learned that Tuilasok was the most powerful village in the south and its headman was Tokitok. While they were in southern Taiwan Pickering and Horn heard reports that a Chinese Army of thousands was on the way to destroy Koalut. The local Chinese, usually divided against each other in bitter antagonism, united in the hope of avoiding war since in the end they would all suffer at the hands of the indigenes after the Chinese Army had returned home. According to Horn’s account, Chinese villagers suggested the idea of having Tokitok negotiate an agreement to prevent future massacres by the indigenes.16 The headmen of the various Chinese villages in the area hoped to prevent war by stopping the Chinese Army from coming to Liangkiau and they asked Pickering to deliver a message to that effect to the authorities in Taiwan-fu. Pickering headed north to deliver their message but when he arrived in Fangliao he found LeGendre and the Chinese Army already there. He went to see LeGendre and explained what he had learned in southern Taiwan, and LeGendre convinced him to return to southern Taiwan and to help him as an interpreter.17 A few days later the army arrived in the town of Chasiang. Soon after the Chinese Army reached Chasiang a force of 200 Chinese soldiers escorted Pickering and a low-ranking Chinese official to a village on the outskirts of the territory controlled by the indigenes where they sought to arrange a meeting with Tokitok. Tokitok did not attend but several of his allies attended on his behalf and LeGendre’s second-hand account suggests that the meeting was tense. The Chinese official began with a threat that LeGendre wanted to fight a war against them but he had decided to wait to see if they had anything to say to him. Not intimidated, the indigenes said that if LeGendre wanted a fight they were ready to give it to him, and the Chinese official responded with a counterthreat to exterminate the indigenes if war broke out.

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Despite their harsh words, the two sides agreed that Tokitok would meet LeGendre, and on October 10 the two met inside the territory controlled by the indigenes.18 LeGendre hoped to establish a relationship of trust with Tokitok so he traveled in a small group, taking only Pickering, a few interpreters, and a guide to the meeting. According to LeGendre’s account, during the meeting Tokitok was surrounded by several village headmen and some two hundred indigenous men and women. The two of them talked about the murder of the crew of the Rover and LeGendre asked Tokitok to promise that in the future shipwrecked mariners would be protected and handed over to the Chinese villagers in Chasiang, and Tokitok agreed to do so. At Tokitok’s request, they also agreed that if foreigners landed for friendly purposes they should display a red flag and the indigenes would help them. LeGendre asked about building a Chinese fort near the center of Kwaliang Bay, but Tokitok refused, explaining that to have Chinese in their midst would provoke problems. He suggested that a fort could be built outside the territory controlled by the indigenes. The meeting lasted about forty-five minutes and ended abruptly when Tokitok had finished saying what he needed to say.19 Even in LeGendre’s one-sided account of the meeting, we can glimpse a few details of the indigenes’ point of view. They brooked little interference from the Chinese but proved more flexible in dealing with LeGendre. Tokitok, and the other indigenes, were fearless in the face of danger. Finally, Tokitok took control of the negotiations. He agreed to some of LeGendre’s proposals, but not all, and he dictated some of the terms of the agreement. He determined when, where, and if a meeting would occur, and when the meeting finally did take place he determined when it ended. LeGendre’s independent negotiations with Tokitok and their agreement established precedents that the Japanese later used in their own expedition to southern Taiwan, but more immediately it created the basis for an ongoing, if short-lived, relationship between LeGendre, as a representative of the US government, and Tokitok, as a representative of several villages in southern Taiwan. As part of that ongoing relationship LeGendre returned to southern Taiwan in February 1869 with Pickering and an Englishman for another visit with Tokitok. At their second meeting, much more relaxed than the first, LeGendre and Tokitok affirmed the details of the agreement they reached in 1867. One of the other indigenous leaders, probably Isa who was the headman of the nearby

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village of Shamali, suggested that the agreement should be reduced to writing, and the resulting document spelled out the agreement in more detail. LeGendre’s account of the meeting does not explain how the document was prepared, but it must have been written in Chinese, a language that Isa and some of the other indigenes could read. The document, although informal, outlined the mutual responsibilities established under the agreement of 1867. The content of the agreement, and the very fact that it existed, demonstrated that the indigenes enjoyed autonomy from Chinese control, something the Japanese used against the Chinese in later negotiations, but it promised only very limited protection for foreign mariners who were shipwrecked in southern Taiwan and its enforcement relied entirely on Tokitok’s personal influence in local society.20 As the narrative given above shows the response to the Rover Incident included two Western punitive expeditions to southern Taiwan, a Chinese expedition that LeGendre joined as an American diplomat, independent negotiations between LeGendre and an indigenous leader that produced an agreement that reduced violence against outsiders for a few years, and negotiations between LeGendre and Chinese officials regarding China’s responsibility for the massacre. The response provided various precedents that the Japanese government later used when it planned and executed its own expedition to Taiwan, but the most influential precedent was the justification for colonization that arose out of the inconclusive negotiations about whether the Chinese government was responsible for the Rover Incident. In those negotiations LeGendre, invoking the terms of an unequal treaty, contested the meaning of Chinese territorial authority in Taiwan and pressured the Chinese government to conform to Western expectations concerning sovereignty. The Sino-American negotiations initiated a frame of interpretation that continued to influence events until the interpretation was rendered moot when the Chinese government pacified southern Taiwan and established civil authority there in 1875.

A Justification for Colonization In June 1867 Charles LeGendre mentioned for the first time that if the Chinese failed to pacify southern Taiwan a foreign power would be justified in annexing the area and over the next five years he repeated the threat several times in a tactical effort to push the Chinese to provide

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redress to the USA for the Rover massacre. The justification for colonization that LeGendre explained to the Chinese proved apposite, but it was a weak threat for two reasons. First, it was weak because the American Secretary of State made an explicit decision that the USA would not annex any part of Taiwan21 and that decision prevented LeGendre from even hinting about a specific threat of colonization by the USA. Instead, he could do no more than to make a hypothetical threat that utterly failed to move the Chinese. Second, it was weak because it included a key assumption that limited its applicability. The aim of LeGendre’s hypothetical threat of colonization was to overcome Chinese inaction and the threat had meaning only so long as that condition held true. Because of this assumption, the justification for colonization became moot in 1875 when the Chinese government pacified southern Taiwan in response to the Japanese expedition. Until then, Chinese officials, especially the local authorities on Taiwan, rejected LeGendre’s argument about the responsibilities inherent in a claim to sovereign authority, they refused to apply the terms of the Treaty of Tianjin to the Rover massacre, and they refused to pacify southern Taiwan. The result was a stalemate that LeGendre could not break. The Chinese strategy of inaction succeeded for a time, but as long as the status quo continued China’s claim to southern Taiwan was vulnerable to an attack based on Western understandings of sovereignty, and the Japanese expedition later exploited that vulnerability. In most respects, the justification for colonization was an unremarkable product of the practices and institutions of Western imperialism. One of the features of the justification is that it arose explicitly as an application of ideas contained in the unequal treaties. Specifically, in seeking redress for the Rover massacre LeGendre insisted on applying the provisions of the Treaty of Tianjin, a unequal treaty concluded between China and the USA at the time of the Arrow War, and he gave a straightforward interpretation of the treaty when he applied it to the Rover massacre. The treaty gave US citizens the right to protection against “all insult or injury of any sort” (article 11), and it stipulated that if violent attacks or property damage should occur “the local officers, on requisition of the consul, shall immediately dispatch a military force to disperse the rioters, apprehend the guilty individuals, and punish them with the utmost rigor of the law.” Article 13 of the treaty further guaranteed the fair treatment of American ships in Chinese waters. If American ships were attacked, Chinese authorities were required to arrest the guilty

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parties and make an effort to recover and return any stolen property.22 LeGendre insisted that under these terms Chinese authorities had an obligation to find and punish the people who had committed the Rover massacre and to recover American property, including the remains of the dead.23 The justification for colonization arose out of these obligations. A second feature of the justification was its basis in a denial by Chinese officials that their government had jurisdiction over the indigenous territory in southern Taiwan. From the outset, the justification for colonization was intended as a political tool to pressure the Chinese to end their denial of jurisdiction over southern Taiwan and to apply the provisions of the Treaty of Tianjin to the Rover massacre. The denial of jurisdiction occurred early in the negotiations, and it was one cause of the stalemate between LeGendre and Chinese negotiators. LeGendre insisted several times in 1867 that Chinese authorities had an obligation to find and punish the people responsible for the massacre, including in a letter he wrote on May 3, and in their answer to him in early June local officials on Taiwan denied that the location of the massacre lay within Chinese jurisdiction.24 They claimed that because the Americans from the Rover were not murdered in Chinese territory or on Chinese seas, but rather in territory controlled by the indigenes, the Treaty of Tianjin did not apply. The Chinese stance thus asserted China’s claim to territorial authority over southern Taiwan but also denied that the Chinese government had any obligation to exercise actual civil administration in that territory. While the language they used changed at times, Chinese officials returned to this same basic point in the counterarguments they made to LeGendre: The Chinese government had no obligations, whether under the unequal treaties or not, concerning the territory controlled the indigenes because it lay outside of Chinese jurisdiction. The Chinese government’s refusal to pacify the area and its denial of jurisdiction there were a crucial prerequisite of the justification for colonization. LeGendre responded to this initial denial by writing a long letter on June 22 to the local officials on Taiwan, in which he articulated two other important features of the justification for colonization: The Chinese had an obligation to pacify the “savages” in southern Taiwan in order to prevent future massacres, and the area might be colonized if the Chinese government failed to do so. LeGendre based these features in part on an analogy between the indigenes of southern Taiwan and Native Americans, namely that Chinese authorities had an obligation to pacify the local population in the same way that the American government had

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pacified the Native Americans who lived within its territory. LeGendre and other Americans typically understood the indigenes by analogy to Native Americans, and they and many other Western observers viewed the pacification of southern Taiwan as a particular case of the general requirement that a state must pacify the territory of indigenous peoples to prevent endemic violence. LeGendre did not invent a new obligation of territorial authority, rather by analogy he applied an existing Western principle of territorial authority to southern Taiwan. Concomitant to the assertion that the Chinese government had an obligation to pacify southern Taiwan was the threat that the territory might be lost to foreign colonization if the Chinese failed to meet that obligation. LeGendre warned darkly that “humanity makes it a law of civilized nations to see that this part of Formosa is kept clean of any of the inhospitable hordes that infest it and if your government does not do it, on the ground that it has no jurisdiction therein or is inadequate to the task the foreign powers will have to take the case in hand.”25 According to the principles that LeGendre asserted the Chinese government could not legitimately claim sovereignty over the indigenous territory of southern Taiwan unless it acknowledged that it had political jurisdiction there and actively used the power of government to prevent violence. If the Chinese government failed to pacify the area, a foreign power would be justified in pacifying the area itself and annexing it. LeGendre made it clear that he did not see the obligation to pacify “savages” as particular to Western societies. He believed the Chinese shared that obligation and that they might suffer the consequences if they failed to meet it. Similarly, colonization was not a Western option so much as an option open to any society that made a serious effort to spread civilization to southern Taiwan. LeGendre specifically identified the Chinese government as a possible, indeed as the preferred, agent of colonization. LeGendre articulated the justification for colonization in response to particular conditions in southern Taiwan in the wake of the Rover massacre, but the idea of colonizing Taiwan had a powerful resonance among Westerners in the middle of the nineteenth century and many examples show that his attitude toward colonization fit comfortably within the mainstream of Western thinking. For example, both Matthew C. Perry and Townsend Harris suggested in the 1850s that the USA should colonize part of the island for strategic and economic reasons. Various British, Americans, and Prussians had also seriously advocated the economic colonization of eastern Taiwan. For example, an American civilian

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proposed in 1857 that the US government should support the commercial colonization of Taiwan. In 1862, a British consular official stationed in Taiwan proposed that Britain should colonize eastern Taiwan and found a penal colony there, and he argued that China might cede the entire island because the government was in such turmoil. Prussia also posed a threat of colonization. In July 1865, a Berlin newspaper printed a series of articles about “Prussia’s Colonial Policy” that outlined a proposal to found colonies for German emigrants. The articles argued that Prussia could send ships with soldiers to capture eastern Taiwan and then colonists could settle in the land. None of these suggestions received the official support of a government, but they show an enduring Western interest in the idea of colonizing Taiwan.26 LeGendre’s justification for colonization was neither the first nor the most serious discussion of colonization in response to the Rover Incident. The general idea that a Western power might colonize Taiwan informed the initial response of Western diplomats and military officials to the incident, and the possibility that it might be used as a pretext for annexing southern Taiwan was obvious to many Westerners in China. In 1867, Isaac Allen, the US Consul at Hong Kong, suggested that the incident could be used as a pretext for annexing the entire island of Taiwan, and he argued in a letter to the US Secretary of State that he hoped the USA would do so because American interests in Taiwan were increasing. His idea of colonization was more explicit and specific than anything LeGendre suggested at the time, and it may have provoked the Secretary of State to reject unconditionally the possibility of an American colonization of Taiwan. The basis of Allen’s argument, however, resembled LeGendre’s: The Chinese failure to pacify southern Taiwan justified American annexation.27 Allen’s proposal to the US Secretary of State was likely inspired by, or at least encouraged by, a letter published in a Hong Kong newspaper that spelled out a general justification for the Broad Expedition to southern Taiwan. The author of the letter, most likely a British diplomat or naval officer whom Allen described as “a gentleman attached to her Britannic Majesty’s steamer Cormorant,” described one view of how and why the area should be pacified: It is much regretted that these savage tribes should be allowed to hold possession of this beautiful and valuable anchorage, situated, as it is, so conveniently for northward-bound vessels in the northeast monsoon, and

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it would be a great boon to commerce could they be cleared out and a settlement of Chinese encouraged in their place. The hills are fertile and undulating, and the soil appears rich enough amply to repay the labor of cultivation. The climate in the winter is healthy and invigorating, and the summer would be cooled by the breezes of the southwest. As a sanitarium for the worn-out inhabitants of Hong Kong it would be unequalled. The mission of the Cormorant was intended as one essentially of peace and mercy, but, with the experience now gained, and with a force sufficiently strong, a single well-organized attack would drive the savages from the coast, and a few years of government protection would do the rest. I trust that the matter may be ere long taken up in the proper quarter and effectually carried out. The importance of the question affects not alone the English, the American, or any other nation, but touches all who are in any way connected with China—either its trade or its government.28

The letter framed the British expedition as a mission of “peace and mercy” and the threat posed by the indigenes as a matter that affects all nations, and it expressed the hope that some state, perhaps China but possibly another, will pacify the area by establishing effective government protection in the area. LeGendre’s argument to the Chinese government echoed many of the ideas expressed in the letter, and it is possible he appropriated some of the ideas from the letter, although there is no evidence to that effect. It is more likely that both the author of the letter and LeGendre expressed a commonly held view that the Chinese government needed to establish control over southern Taiwan and that another power might do so if the Chinese refused. H. H. Bell, the commander of the American expedition to southern Taiwan, expressed a similar, if more measured, opinion that the Chinese needed to colonize southern Taiwan.29 Other diplomats voiced opinions broadly similar to LeGendre’s. For example, in 1868 James Milisch and James Horn founded a short-lived economic colony in the indigenous territory south of Suao in an attempt to circumvent the Chinese monopoly on camphor (Chapter 6 will show that Japanese spies hoped to build on the experiences of Milisch and Horn to establish a base there in 1873).30 The Chinese government lodged a protest about the colony and British officials in China cooperated in shutting it down. Even as they did, however, a British diplomat expressed doubts about Chinese claims to sovereign authority in the Suao area similar to the doubts that LeGendre raised about southern Taiwan.31

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One other feature of the justification for colonization that LeGendre used in his negotiations with Chinese officials contrasts starkly with the way the Japanese government used it after they appropriated it late in 1872. LeGendre consistently limited the scope of his demands to southern Taiwan: He wanted the Chinese government to find and punish the parties responsible for murdering the captain and crew of the Rover, to pay an indemnity to compensate the families of the victims, and to take appropriate measures to pacify southern Taiwan. In LeGendre’s claims, the Chinese government’s obligation to pacify the indigenes was limited to southern Taiwan where the massacre happened, and he made concrete demands about the measures the Chinese government needed to take, such as building a permanent fort in the south, stationing Chinese troops there, building a road to make it possible to send troops there quickly, and building a lighthouse to warn ships away from rocks in the area.32 In contrast to Isaac Allen, who argued that America should annex the entire island of Taiwan, most Western observers who advocated colonization in response to the Rover Incident had a more limited view. They argued that some power, preferably China, should establish control over a small area in the south, and this narrow geographical focus also applied to LeGendre’s argument. Chapter 4 will show that in response to the massacre of Ryūkyūans late in 1871 the Japanese government vastly expanded the scope of LeGendre’s justification for colonization to support its plans for annexing the entire indigenous territory of Taiwan.

Mapping the Limits of Chinese Authority in Taiwan The justification for colonization developed out of a diplomatic disagreement between American and Chinese officials over what territorial authority meant, and the question of sovereign authority lay at the center of their negotiations. When the Japanese government appropriated the justification for colonization the meaning of sovereign authority once again became a central question in the negotiations, but the Japanese supplemented their argument with a key tool for visualizing the geographical limits of Chinese authority in Taiwan: a map of the island with a border running down the middle of it. Starting in the eighteenth-century Chinese maps of Taiwan typically showed a boundary dividing the western part of the island, inhabited largely by the descendants of Chinese settlers, from the eastern part, inhabited mostly by indigenes. In the nineteenth century,

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several Europeans and Americans made maps of Taiwan that included the Chinese boundary, but they gave it a different meaning. One example is “Formosa Island and the Pescadores,” a map published by Charles LeGendre in 1870 that gained wide recognition at the time (Fig. 3.1). For Western viewers, the boundary suggested a simple division of the island that expressed a self-evident limit of Chinese sovereignty. This interpretation was seriously misleading, however, because it ignored what the boundary meant in Chinese political discourse and the practical intent of the boundary to manage conflict between the Chinese and the indigenes. As John Shepherd has shown the Qing dynasty proved to be reluctant colonizers in Taiwan and they eventually adopted a pragmatic policy of maintaining nominally separate spheres of habitation for Chinese and indigenes.33 The government maintained enough control to prevent Taiwan from becoming a rebel stronghold that might threaten the mainland, but it consciously elected not to assume the huge fiscal burden that pacifying the entire island would have required. Throughout Qing rule over Taiwan, however, tension persisted between the expansion of Chinese settlements and the preservation of the status quo, what Shepherd characterizes as a debate over colonization versus quarantine. During the same period, the distinction between the Chinese and the indigenes became infused with a strong ideological tone. According to Emma Teng, Chinese perceptions of Taiwan as a “savage” land “beyond the pale” of civilization persisted long after the formal annexation of Taiwan by the Qing, and Qing writers continually debated whether the indigenes could be incorporated into the empire. Some argued that as “savages” the indigenes differed categorically from the Chinese and could not be assimilated, while others argued that because they possessed the same fundamental humanity as the Chinese they were capable of being “civilized.”34 The tension between the policies of colonization and quarantine, and Chinese ambivalence about the possibility of enculturating the indigenes, eventually led to the creation of an island-wide boundary in 1722 that formally inscribed onto the land a political and civilizational distinction between the Chinese inhabitants and the indigenes. The creation of the boundary had only a limited effect, however, and the continued expansion of Chinese settlement fed endemic conflict with the indigenes and provoked ongoing debate among Qing writers about the merits of Qing colonial policy toward Taiwan. The boundary thus did not mark the limits of Chinese political authority, as Western

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◄ Fig. 3.1  Detail of Charles LeGendre’s “Formosa Island and the Pescadores” (1870) showing Taiwan, with an inset added by the author to show the boundary between Chinese territory and indigenous territory near Fangliao (Pongli) (Source Library of Congress [https://www.loc.gov/item/2002626733/]. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division)

observers misunderstood it, but rather it marked the cultural difference between the Chinese and indigenes and it was intended as a means of containing conflict between the Chinese and indigenes during the gradual Chinese territorial expansion on the island. The depiction on Western maps of the boundary as the limit of Chinese sovereignty, although misleading, conveyed a meaning that was easy for Westerners to understand and that complemented the political message about sovereignty that lay at the center of the diplomatic dispute about territorial authority between LeGendre and the Chinese government. In later years, this feature of Western maps made it easier for the Japanese to visualize the key assertion that the Chinese government controlled only half of the island of Taiwan and it supported the radical expansion of the scope of the justification for colonization to encompass the entire indigenous territory of the island.

The Massacre of the Ryūkyūans For several years, LeGendre’s agreement with Tokitok helped to reduce violence against foreigners who were shipwrecked in southern Taiwan. In the absence of state authority to enforce the agreement, however, and given the divided and bellicose nature of local society it could hardly be expected to prevent massacres over the long term. An atrocity committed against Ryūkyūans late in 1871 abruptly shifted attention about lawlessness in southern Taiwan toward the Japanese government’s intentions. The massacre happened after a ship set sail from Naha, the capital of the Ryūkyū Kingdom, around the middle of November 1871 and headed for home in Miyakojima, only to be wrecked in southern Taiwan after a storm. Most of the passengers and crew were massacred but a few survived and returned to Naha where they reported the incident. According to a report by the survivors, the ship went to Naha to deliver annual tax payments to the capital, and the passengers included district and village officials, secretaries, and merchants.35 On their voyage home the ship encountered difficult winds and currents for nearly two

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weeks and then a storm struck that dismasted the vessel, tore away the rudder, and carried the helpless vessel far to the south.36 On December 5, they sighted land again, and by late afternoon of the next day, their ship had drifted close to shore. They made two trips in the lifeboat and landed on east side of the southern peninsula of Taiwan. The landing was perilous because of the high seas, but according to most accounts sixty-six people escaped the ship safely.37 As darkness gathered the Ryūkyūans set off in search of houses where they might find someone who would help them. They encountered two people who promptly robbed them of everything they could carry and then suggested that the Ryūkyūans should head south, which would have taken them to the comparative safety of Tuilasok. The Ryūkyūans, not trusting the people who had just robbed them, decided to head in the opposite direction, to the north and west, uphill and into the heart of one of the most dangerous areas in southern Taiwan. They slept beside the path leading up into the mountains that night and the next morning they continued to climb. They saw a village in the distance and when they reached it they found it inhabited by men and women of ordinary height who had ears so long they nearly touched their shoulders (the indigenes pierced their ears and decorated the elongated earlobes with large ornaments). After a short wait, the indigenous villagers fed them a meal of rice mixed with sweet potatoes and nothing more happened that day except that the villagers stole the rest of their possessions. The following morning five villagers armed with muskets appeared and told the Ryūkyūans, through what means is not clear, that they were going hunting and they should not try to leave the village. The Ryūkyūans asked to leave but the villagers refused them and then departed. After the villagers left the Ryūkyūans began to slip away by twos and threes, stopping to rest and regroup at a stream about a mile away from the village. They saw a small group of men and women from the village chasing after them, so they crossed the stream and began to flee again. Judging by where the massacre subsequently took place, they escaped to the west, heading downhill into a valley. When they reached the floor of the valley they came to a small hamlet and called for help. An old man came out of one of the houses. The man, a settler from Canton named Liu Tianbao, had only recently moved to the area and he lived in the mountains where he traded with the indigenes.38 The Ryūkyūans told him by writing characters that they were from Ryūkyū but he did not

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recognize the name. He offered them refuge in his house and his son told them to write down their names so he could notify the authorities in Taiwan-fu. As they were doing so a crowd of about thirty indigenes formed outside the old man’s house. They dragged the Ryūkyūans away one or two at a time and cut off their heads with their knives. When the Ryūkyūans realized what was happening most of them tried to flee, but nine of them hid inside the old man’s house. In all, fifty-four of the Ryūkyūans lost their lives in the massacre. The next day Liu’s son-in-law, Yang Youwang, came to the old man’s house and led the survivors out of the mountains and to safety in his village of Poliak. Two more survivors emerged out of the brush and were led to safety, and a third was found in a neighboring village. In all, twelve of the Ryūkyūans survived and Yang sheltered them for more than a month until he received a ransom from Qing officials in Taiwan-fu. The survivors then began a long journey that took them to Taiwan-fu and Fuzhou before they returned to Naha. Four years had passed since Tokitok made his agreement with LeGendre to protect foreigners who were shipwrecked in southern Taiwan. The indigenes had honored the agreement but implementing it did not always proceed smoothly. Twice Tokitok had helped shipwrecked foreigners but he did not receive the rewards he was promised on either occasion. Partly out of frustration with the way he had been treated, and partly because conflict between the villages of southern Taiwan was increasing, Tokitok sent word that he wanted to see LeGendre again. When LeGendre received Tokitok’s message at the end of February 1872 he set out for what would be his last visit to southern Taiwan. When he arrived he could not help but notice how tense the area had become and a local woman told him about the massacre of Ryūkyūans. Villagers throughout southern Taiwan anticipated that he would see the massacre as a violation of the 1867 agreement and they feared a punitive expedition would be sent. LeGendre proceeded inland to visit Tokitok as soon as possible, and on the trip, he encountered more signs of unease. He intended to go to Tuilasok village but his party had to stop at the village of Shamali for the night because of fighting between Koalut and other villages in the area. Isa, the headman of Shamali, joined him when he went to Tuilasok the next day and when they arrived they found that Tokitok had not yet returned from a trip to negotiate an end to the fighting with Koalut. LeGendre spent a tense day waiting before Tokitok finally returned late in the afternoon.

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The villagers of Tuilasok prepared a feast in LeGendre’s honor when Tokitok returned. While it was being prepared Tokitok engaged in an unusual performance to underscore the importance of the agreement he and LeGendre had negotiated. According to LeGendre’s account, Tokitok explained that he had done his best to honor the agreement. The text of our agreement, he said, was kept among his most valuable property. It was in a chest by his side, and he would hand the same to me to judge if he had not been most scrupulously guided by its stipulations. Upon a sign from him the chest was opened, and the text of the agreement and the red flag which would be displayed in token of friendship… were taken out and handed over to me…. He added that he was fast getting old and might be taken away at any time; that therefore it would be well if we could meet every winter, otherwise our agreement might be forgotten by his people; and that, as we were now gathered together, it would be expedient to read the agreement before all.39

Headmen from other villages had arrived to attend the feast and they also witnessed the reading of the document. Tokitok, who was close to losing control after drinking too much and frustrated at his inability to rein in the violence in the area, bitterly chastised Isa and the other headmen for going to war against Koalut. During his visit, LeGendre witnessed important lines of conflict among the indigenous villages in the area. His guide told him that the agreement with Tokitok had provoked opposition from several villages, especially Koalut and the villages higher in the mountains, including Kusakut and Butan, the ones responsible for the massacre of the Ryūkyūans. Tokitok’s ability to restrain the villages in the mountains had always been limited, and his influence suffered after he made the unpopular agreement with LeGendre. The rivalry between Tuilasok and Shamali villages was also growing worse and Tokitok sensed that his life was drawing to a close (he died the following year). As his vitality waned his political power declined, emboldening Isa to challenge his influence. Even as an outsider LeGendre could not help but notice the tension in the area and the increased risk of violence.40 After concluding his visit with Tokitok, LeGendre made one last attempt to convince local Chinese officials to pacify southern Taiwan, but with no success and his negotiations with Chinese officials about the Rover Incident ended inconclusively at that point. For several years, he

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had pressed the Chinese to pacify southern Taiwan and the officials had ignored his demands and threats. To the end, LeGendre believed that the Chinese government had not fulfilled its obligations under the Treaty of Tianjin to deal with the Rover massacre, but once the Chinese officials understood that the USA had no intention of colonizing southern Taiwan he lost all leverage in the negotiations. After serving in his post as consul in Amoy for several years, he shifted his attention to the possibility of being appointed as an ambassador somewhere in South America and he spent much of 1871 and 1872 corresponding with influential people in the USA for that purpose. After he was passed over for the post of Minister to Peru he decided to return to the USA to lobby in person to be appointed as Minister to Argentina.41 With his departure from China in 1872, all negotiations concerning the Rover Incident ended. Independent of his departure, the Japanese response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans had already begun.

Conclusion The massacres of the captain and crew of the Rover in 1867 and the Ryūkyūans in 1871 were two examples of an ongoing problem of violence in southern Taiwan and the justification for colonizing Taiwan that LeGendre articulated was a response to the problem of violence and to the Chinese government’s refusal to pacify the area. The justification began as a generic threat, since no Western government had an immediate intention to colonize Taiwan, and it was limited to southern Taiwan. The purpose of the threat was to overcome Chinese unwillingness to take responsibility for the Rover massacre and to push the Chinese to establish civil authority in southern Taiwan, but the Chinese government remained unmoved by LeGendre’s generic threat and did nothing. The resulting stalemate favored the Chinese who wanted to maintain the status quo, but the threat was real even if the Chinese did not take it seriously. As long as southern Taiwan remained outside the effective control of the Chinese government the area was at risk of exploitation by a foreign power. The Japanese government appropriated the justification for colonization late in 1872 and it became the foundation of Japanese diplomatic arguments with China through the end of 1874. The justification, developed in response to the Rover Incident, became an important element of

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Japanese diplomacy under Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi who used it in a new way, both for protecting a vulnerable area at Japan’s periphery and for challenging China’s territorial authority in several of its peripheral regions. LeGendre had little success in his negotiations with the Chinese because he could not make a concrete threat of colonization, but by contrast the Japanese government not only made a serious threat to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan it also backed up the threat with a willingness to use force. The combined threat of colonization and military force by the Japanese broke the stalemate that thwarted LeGendre. The Japanese expedition to Taiwan eventually proved to the Chinese government that it could no longer maintain the status quo in Taiwan, or in its relations with the Ryūkyū Kingdom and Korea, and when the Chinese government defended its territorial claims more vigorously Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations evolved in a new direction. In the process, however, the justification for colonization disappeared without a trace. From the beginning, it was premised on Chinese inaction and it became irrelevant early in 1875 when the Chinese government acted decisively to establish civil authority in southern Taiwan.

Notes



1.  James W. Davidson, The Island of Formosa, Past and Present: History, People, Resources, and Commercial Prospects (1903; Taipei: SMC Publishing, 1992), 111–115. 2. Takao, also sometimes written Takau, is the romanization of the old name in Fujian dialect for the city in southern Taiwan now known as Kaohsiung (Gaoxiong in Pinyin). The characters currently used to write the name of Kaohsiung (高雄) date to the Japanese colonial period, and can be pronounced Takao in Japanese, but before the colonial period the name was written with different characters (打狗). The place name antedates Japanese colonial rule, and as far as possible place names in southern Taiwan have been transliterated to approximate the pronunciations of the 1870s. 3. Davidson, 115. Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, CT: The Shoe String Press, 1965), 126. 4. Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Scribner, 1933), 145–146; James T. White, ed., The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: James T. White and Company, 1936), 79. 5. Yen, 126–127. Emily Howard Atkins, “Charles W. LeGendre and the Japanese Expedition to Formosa, 1874” (diss., University of Florida, 1953), 5.

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6. LeGendre to General, Taotai, and the Prefect of Taiwanfoo, April 19, 1867, United States Department of State, Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1867–1868 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1868), 1: 493 (hereafter Diplomatic Correspondence 1867–1868). 7. Dispatch No. 53, H. H. Bell to Gideon Welles, June 19, 1867, in Robert Eskildsen, Foreign Adventurers and the Aborigines of Southern Taiwan, 1867–1874: Western Sources Related to Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan (Taibei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2005), 50. 8. LeGendre to General and Taotai of Formosa, May 3, 1867, Enc., No. 22, LeGendre to Seward, June 5, 1867, Despatches From US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100, roll 3. 9. Taotai and General of Formosa to LeGendre, June 3, 1867, Enc., No. 23, LeGendre to the Secretary of Sate, June 30, 1867, Despatches From US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100, roll 3. 10.  LeGendre to the General and Taotai of Formosa, June 22, 1867, Despatches from US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100 roll 3. The letter is addressed to Liu Mingteng, the Regional Commander (zhentai) of Taiwan, and Wu Dating, the Circuit Intendant (daotai). 11. Chas. W. LeGendre, Notes of Travel in Formosa, eds. Douglas L. Fix and John Shufelt (Tainan, Taiwan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2012), 253 (hereafter Notes of Travel). LeGendre expressed this opinion in consular dispatches that he wrote after the fact, but James Horn, who visited southern Taiwan before LeGendre, wrote that local Chinese village headmen suggested the idea of direct negotiations with the aborigines. W. A. Pickering, Pioneering in Formosa: Recollections of Adventures among Mandarins, Wreckers, and Head-Hunting Savages (1898; Reprint, Taipei: Ch’eng Wen Publishing Company, 1972), 190–191. 12. Yen, 131. 13. Taotai and General of Formosa to LeGendre, June 3, 1867, Enc., No. 23, LeGendre to the Secretary of Sate, June 30, 1867, Despatches From US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100, roll 3. Wu contradicted the Taiwanese officials’ comment about Chinese jurisdiction over the aboriginal territory: “It must not be said that the country is not ours.” Atkins, 15. 14. Yen, 133–134. 15. Pickering, 183–193. 16. Pickering, 190–191. 17. Notes of Travel, 273–276. 18. Notes of Travel, 280. 19. Notes of Travel, 281. 20. Notes of Travel, 292. 21.  No. 202, Department of State, Washington, June 20, 1867 [Seward to Burlingame], United States Department of State, Diplomatic

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Correspondence of the United States, 1867–1868 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1868), 1: 498. 22.  The Chronicle & Directory for China, Japan & the Philippines, for the Year 1874 (2 vols.; Hong Kong: Daily Press, n.d.), 2: 164. 23. LeGendre to General, Taotai, and the Prefect of Taiwanfoo, April 19, 1867, Diplomatic Correspondence 1867–1868, 1: 493. 24. LeGendre to General and Taotai of Formosa, May 3, 1867, Enc., No. 22, LeGendre to Seward, June 5, 1867, Despatches From US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100, roll 3. Taotai and General of Formosa to LeGendre, June 3, 1867, Enc., No. 23, LeGendre to the Secretary of Sate, June 30, 1867, Despatches From US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100, roll 3. 25.  LeGendre to the General and Taotai of Formosa, June 22, 1867, Despatches from US Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844–1906, M100 roll 3. 26. Yen, 96–97, 101–104; Harold D. Langley, “Gideon Nye and the Formosa Annexation Scheme,” Pacific Historical Review 35 (1965): 397–420. 27. Shih-Shan Henry Tsai, Maritime Taiwan: Historical Encounters with the East and West (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2008), 110–111; Yen, 130, citing USNA CD Hong Kong VI (M108-R6), Allen to Seward, April 7, 1867; and No. 202, Department of State, Washington, June 20, 1867 [Seward to Burlingame], Diplomatic Correspondence 1867–1868, 1: 498. 28.  China Mail, April 6, 1867; Reprinted in Allen to Seward, April 7, 1867, Diplomatic Correspondence 1867–1868 1: 499–500. 29.  Dispatch No. 53, H. H. Bell to Gideon Welles, June 19, 1867, in Eskildsen, Foreign Adventurers, 51. 30.  Murray A. Rubinstein, Taiwan: A New History (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2006), 167. 31. Yen, 106–109. 32.  Notes of Travel, 280, 281–283, 293–294, 310–311, 321–324, 326–328; Eskildsen, Foreign Adventurers, 184–185. 33. John Robert Shepherd, Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600–1800 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993). 34.  Emma Jinhua Teng, Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2004). 35. The ship did not carry fishermen, as has often been claimed. In 1873, a group of fishermen from Oda Prefecture (present-day Okayama Prefecture) were stranded in Pilam, well north of the area where the Ryūkyūans were stranded. The Japanese government later used the incident of the Oda fishermen as part of its pretext for colonizing eastern Taiwan. Accounts of the massacre of the Ryūkyūans and the incident of the Oda fishermen were conflated in later accounts. For example,

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71

Takekoshi Yosaburō incorrectly describes the ship from Miyakojima as “a large fishing and trading vessel,” Japanese Rule in Formosa (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1907), 76. 36.  Except where otherwise noted, the narrative of the shipwrecked Ryūkyūans is based on an account of the survivors recorded by local officials in Naha and later submitted to the Japanese government by Ōyama Tsunayoshi. The documents have been published in several places, including Fujisaki Seinosuke, Taiwan shi to Kabayama taishō (Tokyo: Kokushi Kankōkai, 1926), 221–231. 37. The report of the survivors states that 66 people landed safely but three people drowned while landing, Fujisaki, 222. In 1925, the last living survivor added an important detail: only two had drowned while landing. The third, an old man, could not keep up with the group and fell behind and was never seen again; Fujisaki, 243. 38. Fujisaki, 233. 39.  Notes of Travel, 314. 40.  Notes of Travel, 310–318. 41. During 1871–1872, LeGendre corresponded often with General Orville E. Babcock, President US Grant’s personal secretary, and Elliot F. Shepard and Commodore Daniel Ammen, both of the Navy Department. Concerning LeGendre’s effort to be appointed as Minister to Argentina, see the following letters in Papers of Charles William LeGendre, Library of Congress: Babcock to LeGendre, April 10, 1872; Shepard to LeGendre, April 11, 1872; Ammen to LeGendre, April 22, 1872.

CHAPTER 4

Planning an Expedition to Taiwan

In November 1872, Japan’s Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi faced a problem that threatened to plunge the Meiji government into chaos. News that dozens of Ryūkyūans had been murdered in southern Taiwan reached Tokyo a few months earlier and pressure to send a punitive expedition to Taiwan was building. Members of the Japanese Navy and Army, all former samurai and most of them probably from the former domain of Satsuma, chafed at the restraints of central government authority and hatched a plot to launch an expedition of their own without imperial sanction. The result would have been a disaster for the government. To defuse the crisis, Soejima appealed to their loyalty to the emperor and asserted his authority as foreign minister: Around that time Soejima heard that samurai in the Navy and Army were talking about an absurd plan to punish the raw savages [of Taiwan] on their own without waiting for an imperial order and he was concerned about it. He made the following appeal to them. “Courageousness and righteousness must also be for the sake of our emperor. If you chastise them [simply] to protect your honor it will be no more than revenge. Rather, you must not be foolhardy. In planning for this [expedition] there are three things I have had to consider. The first is that foreign countries have been eyeing Taiwan for many years. The second is that China controls only half [of the island] but says it possesses it all. The third is that the savages [of Taiwan] with their wild nature love victory and concede defeat only in death. I want to address these three matters based on the authority of the Foreign Ministry and then, relying solely on your force, we will take © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_4

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74  R. ESKILDSEN this land and make it ours, and we will permanently pacify the southern gate of the empire.”1

According to Tei Einei, who compiled the account of the incident, the agitators settled down when they heard Soejima’s words, but some of them still hoped for immediate action. Soejima drew on a variety of sources for his appeal. For example, either directly or indirectly he owed his awareness of China’s ambiguous claim to sovereignty over Taiwan to Charles LeGendre, who took a leave of absence from his duties as the American Consul at Amoy and arrived in Yokohama in late October. LeGendre, who later agreed to help Soejima formulate plans for an expedition to Taiwan, mentioned the issue of sovereignty to Soejima directly when they first met, but Soejima had already heard from Charles DeLong, the American Minister to Japan, that a Western power might exploit Taiwan because of China’s weak control there. It is also possible that Soejima learned of China’s weak claim to Taiwan from some other source since news about Taiwan was circulating freely in Yokohama at the time. As Chapter 2 showed, he and others in the Japanese government already understood that Western powers might exploit areas on Japan’s periphery that had weak state authority, and no matter where he learned of China’s weak claim to Taiwan he believed it posed a threat to Japan. Soejima’s appeal also included echoes of the political transformations of the Meiji Restoration. For example, he explicitly invoked the authority of the emperor as the ultimate justification for the action the Japanese should take in Taiwan, alluding to the political principle of loyalty to the emperor as the basis of national political power. Internal conflict over the future political and military role of the former samurai, an artifact of ongoing political changes after the Restoration, also shaped Soejima’s approach toward Taiwan, and Soejima rebuked the former samurai for contemplating an act of revenge that reflected a domain-based understanding of samurai honor. His appeal also included a key appropriation and adaptation of an idea about colonization that derived from Western diplomatic discourse. He asserted that the Japanese would take Taiwan and make it their own, an argument that relied on the justification for colonization that LeGendre articulated in response to the Rover Incident (explained in Chapter 3), but he included in his justification a specific threat of military force unlike any threat LeGendre had made. Soejima appropriated and adapted the justification for colonization within weeks, or possibly days,

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of LeGendre’s arrival in Japan, and from the outset, he advocated using force in order to annex territory in Taiwan. The truly striking feature of Soejima’s appeal, however, is the assertion that Japan should annex foreign territory preemptively in order to secure Japan’s southern border from Western imperialist encroachment. The idea of preemptive annexation in order to protect Japan from Western imperialism had no precedent in Western thinking about Taiwan. The disgruntled former samurai that Soejima addressed found this novel idea easy enough to understand and convincing enough that it quelled their insubordination. In making the appeal Soejima had proposed a recursive response to Western imperialism—the Japanese could reproduce the ideas and methods of Western imperialism in order to protect themselves from a threat posed by Western imperialism—and that idea, it would appear, was Japanese.

Soejima Taneomi Soejima Taneomi, Japan’s Foreign Minister from 1871 to 1873, is best known for his strong “national rights diplomacy,”2 and with the help of Charles LeGendre, he formulated a policy for annexing Taiwan that would protect and extend Japan’s national rights. Soejima’s policy toward Taiwan did not exist in isolation, however, rather it formed part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen Japanese diplomatic influence throughout East Asia, and his strategy challenged Chinese territorial authority in a broad geographical area that encompassed Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan. LeGendre gave Soejima knowledge about southern Taiwan, Chinese officials in Fujian and Taiwan, and the diplomacy of Western imperialist powers, but when he arrived in Yokohama he knew little of Japan or its history and he had no real understanding of the Meiji Restoration. Soejima, by contrast, understood Japan and its history and he had a strong tendency to assert Japanese influence, both by pushing back against Western powers and by stepping away from Chinese precedents. Soejima used LeGendre’s knowledge to extend his “national rights diplomacy” out of which he fashioned a new approach toward diplomacy in East Asia. Soejima arrived at his position as foreign minister by a circuitous route. He came from Saga domain and would gladly have joined the imperial loyalists of Satsuma and Chōshū in overthrowing the bakufu in 1868 had it not been for the cautious nature of his lord, Nabeshima Naomasa. He and two other future leaders of the Meiji government, Ōkuma Shigenobu and Etō Shinpei, remained on the sidelines during

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the final years of Tokugawa rule, sometimes under domiciliary confinement to keep them out of trouble and sometimes studying English in Nagasaki with Guido Verbeck, a missionary who was Dutch by birth but a naturalized citizen of the United States and who is well-known for using the New Testament and the constitution of his adoptive homeland as instructional materials. Soejima never learned English as well as the younger Ōkuma but his commitment to the cause of the imperial house, his familiarity with Nagasaki, and his willingness to stand up to Westerners and assert Japan’s rights earned him a chance to participate in the construction of a new political order soon after the bakufu fell. He soon rose to the position of senior councillor and moved with alacrity from the sidelines of the revolution to the center of power.3 He was selected to serve as foreign minister at the end of 1871 as Iwakura Tomomi and several other of the most powerful government leaders prepared to depart on their momentous diplomatic mission to the USA and Europe, known as the Iwakura Mission. During his term as foreign minister, Soejima was aided by several foreign advisors who tended to defend Japan’s interests nearly as strongly as he did himself. He seems to have attracted strong-willed foreigners, mostly American, who were predisposed to respect Japanese sovereignty. For example, Erasmus Peshine Smith, an American legal scholar who Iwakura had hired as a government advisor, became an important supporter of Soejima’s policies. A notorious eccentric, Smith scandalized the foreign community in Japan with his libertine behavior but he was an accomplished legal scholar who vigorously defended Japan’s interests.4 Later, Soejima was aided by LeGendre, who also defended Japan’s interests vigorously, and Soejima worked well with the American Minister to Japan, Charles DeLong, who had a generally supportive attitude toward Japan.5 Soejima did not come to the post of foreign minister with a clearly articulated foreign policy vision, but as with so many of the leaders in the early Meiji government his education was steeped in the ethos of loyalty to the emperor and anti-foreignism,6 and the beliefs forged in his youth colored his goals. As foreign minister, he no longer sought to expel Westerners from Japan, as he once had, but he did hope to strengthen Japan’s national position. For Soejima that meant asserting or extending Japan’s sovereign rights wherever possible. For example, to prevent a further erosion of Japan’s sovereign rights under the unequal treaties, he advocated a hard-line stance toward demands that foreigners be

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permitted to travel freely outside the treaty ports. Soejima would have permitted foreigners the freedom to travel but only on condition that they surrender the trade and extraterritorial privileges granted them under the unequal treaties whenever they left the confines of the treaty ports.7 He also sought to clarify Japan’s claim to disputed territory or to expand the geographical reach of Japan’s sovereign territory. This can be seen most clearly in his negotiations with the newly arrived Russian Consul Eugenie K. Butzow concerning the problem in Sakhalin. In May 1872, Soejima offered for Japan to purchase Sakhalin from Russia, as the USA had purchased Alaska, to which Butzow made a counteroffer to trade three islands in the Kurile chain in exchange for Japan’s claim to Sakhalin.8 Finally, sometime in November 1872, around the time he and LeGendre were formulating a plan for an expedition to Taiwan, Soejima apparently offered to abandon Japan’s claim to Sakhalin in return for a contractual agreement with Russia that would permit Japanese military forces to pass through Russian territory should Japan want to invade Korea.9 The offer came to naught but the exchange between them shows that by the end of 1872 Soejima had come to see several of Japan’s territorial problems as interconnected and he understood the need to address them in a systematic, comprehensive way. He had another opportunity to strengthen Japan’s claims to sovereign authority in the so-called Maria Luz affair in 1872, an incident where Chinese coolies being transported on a Peruvian ship rose up in protest against ill-treatment by the captain. Soejima took advantage of the incident to assert Japan’s sovereign authority over the ships of non-treaty power nations that passed through Japan’s ports.10 It also fell to Soejima to complete several important initiatives that began before he assumed the duties of foreign minister. He sought, for example, to secure modifications to the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce that Date Munenari had negotiated in 1871, and to exchange ratifications of the treaty in 1873, and he pursued the formal incorporation of Ryūkyū into the Japanese state starting in 1872.11 By virtue of his forceful temperament, his education, his experiences during the Restoration, and the chance of timing, Soejima found himself at the helm of Japan’s foreign policy at a moment when foreign and domestic circumstances provided many opportunities for action. One of those opportunities included formulating a plan for annexing Taiwan.

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News of the Massacre Reaches Japan News that dozens of Ryūkyūans were murdered in southern Taiwan reached Japan at different times and through different sources. One source was Yanagihara Sakimitsu, a young court noble who accompanied Date Munenari to China in 1871 to help negotiate the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Li Hongzhang. Several foreign representatives in Japan raised questions about provisions in the treaty and Iwakura was also dissatisfied with it, so Yanagihara returned to Tianjin in the spring of 1872 for further negotiations.12 While in Tianjin he learned from a report in the Peking Gazette (Jinbo) that a group of Ryūkyūans had been murdered in “Qing-controlled Taiwan” (Shinkoku ryōchi Taiwan). He included a brief comment about the incident in a letter to Soejima and appended a copy of the report from the Peking Gazette.13 According to Mōri Toshihiko, the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo probably received its first news of the murder of the Ryūkyūans when Yanagihara’s letter arrived around the end of May or beginning of June, although his report did not attract much notice or provoke any action. Yanagihara himself paid little attention to the incident until early July, just before his return to Japan, when he had a conversation with the British consul at Shanghai, W. H. Medhurst. News of the incident had been circulating in newspapers in China and Medhurst mentioned that if such an atrocity had been committed against Westerners a punitive expedition would surely have been sent. Yanagihara returned to Japan in August and around that time the Foreign Ministry began to react to the massacre.14 News of the massacre reached Tokyo about a month later by a different route that passed through Kagoshima Prefecture, formerly Satsuma domain. Even after the central government eliminated the domains and replaced them with prefectures, the former samurai of Satsuma remained protective of their domain’s traditional prerogatives in Ryūkyū, one of the four portals into Japan described in Chapter 2. When the Foreign Ministry began the process of incorporating the Ryūkyū Kingdom formally into the Japanese empire, Kagoshima prefectural authorities dispatched two Satsuma men, Ijichi Sadaka and Narahara Shigeru, to Naha, the capital of Ryūkyū, to explain the central government’s intentions. While Ijichi and Narahara were in Naha local authorities reported that a number of survivors of a massacre in Taiwan had just returned from China.15 Ijichi immediately reported the incident to the Kagoshima Prefectural Counselor Ōyama Tsunayoshi, who on August 28 passed

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the information on to the Kagoshima branch of the Kumamoto garrison of the Army, in name part of the national army but in effect a regional army that was still controlled by former samurai of Satsuma. The local commander, Major Kabayama Sukenori, immediately departed for Kumamoto to report to the garrison commander there and finding him absent Kabayama hurried on to Tokyo in order to report the incident to the authorities there. Meanwhile, Ōyama prepared a petition on August 31 asking for imperial permission to raise a force to punish the murderers of the Ryūkyūans and to borrow a warship for that purpose, perhaps, as Mōri Toshihiko suggests, referring to a Satsuma warship that was given over to the Meiji government in 1869. Ijichi departed for Tokyo with instructions from Ōyama to deliver his petition and explain his position to the government.16 Kabayama, traveling as fast as possible, arrived in Tokyo about two weeks after leaving Kagoshima, beating Ijichi by a few days. He immediately began to lobby Saigō Takamori, Saigō Tsugumichi, and other Army leaders to send a punitive expedition to Taiwan. Over the course of several days, he scaled back his proposal and on September 16 he submitted a proposal to the Army Ministry calling for the dispatch of a reconnaissance party to the “barbarian territory” of Taiwan. In contrast to Ōyama, whose proposal to dispatch an expedition languished after Ijichi delivered it in the middle of September, Kabayama began to make headway with his vigorous lobbying. He lobbied everyone who would listen for more than a month, and on November 3, he met Saigō Takamori and Soejima Taneomi in order to pitch his proposal personally. Subsequently, he was permitted to submit a position paper outlining his proposal to the Council of State.17 On November 9, the Foreign Ministry and Army Ministry instructed him to go to Taiwan,18 but his dispatch was delayed until the following June over concerns about Soejima’s aggressive intentions in China (the government debate about sending Soejima to China will be described in Chapter 5, and Kabayama’s experiences in Taiwan will be described in Chapter 6). In October, before LeGendre arrived in Japan, Soejima was already contemplating what the government’s response to the massacre should be. Foreign diplomats in Japan had heard about the massacre and word was spreading among them that the Japanese government intended to take some sort of action. When DeLong visited Soejima on October 20, he asked about the Japanese government’s intentions in Taiwan and “I was informed,” he wrote,

80  R. ESKILDSEN that it was true, and an intimation was thrown out that steps would soon be taken by the Japanese government to punish those people. The minister then inquired of me very particularly about Formosa; the character, purposes, and result of the expedition against those people led by our late Admiral Bell, and expressed the wish that I would obtain for him from our naval officers any copies of maps or charts possible.19

DeLong did not indicate how he heard of the massacre, but it became a topic of conversation in Yokohama by early October and he probably read about it in one of the local newspapers.20 Nor is it clear where Soejima learned of the punitive expedition led by Admiral Bell, but at least a month before DeLong met Soejima word was already circulating in Tokyo that Americans had led an expedition against the indigenes of southern Taiwan. For example, Kabayama Sukenori wrote in his diary on September 21 that he had heard Americans were murdered in southern Taiwan and Americans and Chinese had sent a joint expedition to attack the savages, and on October 3, he wrote a garbled explanation of the Bell Expedition, noting that eastern Taiwan lay outside of Chinese sovereign control (using the modern Japanese word for sovereignty).21 Newspaper articles, published diplomatic correspondence, and reports from Yanagihara Sakimitsu were the likely sources of the information circulating in Tokyo, not, as Mōri Toshihiko speculates, some secret communication between DeLong and LeGendre for which no evidence exists.22 Even before LeGendre arrived in Japan, Soejima had known about the massacre for several months and he was planning to send a punitive expedition to southern Taiwan. He also knew that Americans had led a punitive expedition to southern Taiwan several years earlier and he wanted to learn more about it. Moreover, information about LeGendre’s negotiations with the indigenes in southern Taiwan, including the crucially important claim that eastern Taiwan lay outside of Chinese sovereign control, was already circulating in Tokyo. It was only a matter of time before Soejima learned enough from published accounts of LeGendre’s experiences in Taiwan to formulate a plan for annexing Taiwan. LeGendre’s unexpected arrival in Japan simply enlivened and accelerated Soejima’s learning process.

The Early Interactions Between LeGendre and Soejima LeGendre arrived in Japan at the end of October 1872 as Soejima struggled to decide how the government should respond to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans. Soejima jumped at the chance to talk to LeGendre

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when he heard from DeLong that he had direct experience dealing with the indigenes of southern Taiwan. The timing of LeGendre’s arrival seems too good to be true, but LeGendre’s correspondence shows he had no intention of remaining in Japan and instead was bound for Washington, DC where he hoped to lobby for an ambassador-level diplomatic appointment in South America.23 Soon after he arrived in Japan LeGendre agreed to help Soejima formulate plans for an expedition to southern Taiwan and he made his most important contributions to the Japanese government within weeks of his arrival in Japan, even before he had been formally appointed as an advisor. During that time he introduced Soejima to the justification for colonization that he used in negotiations with Chinese officials concerning the Rover Incident. He explained the connections between claims to sovereignty, the exercise of political jurisdiction, and the necessity of establishing civilization in “savage” areas, and he explained how the Chinese government’s weak claim to sovereignty over the indigenous territory of Taiwan exposed the area to the risk of foreign exploitation. Soejima and others in the Japanese government absorbed those ideas with striking speed and clarity. Soon after LeGendre arrived in Japan, he and DeLong had several meetings with Soejima.24 In the first meeting on October 25, DeLong met Soejima alone in order to explain to the Japanese foreign minister the expertise and knowledge that LeGendre might be able to offer the Japanese government. DeLong built up LeGendre’s reputation by stressing his status as a hero of the American Civil War and his close ties to President Grant. He also described LeGendre’s experiences dealing with the indigenes of southern Taiwan after the Rover Incident, and he spoke in glowing terms about the natural bounty that Taiwan had to offer, stressing the high level of interest the island had attracted among foreigners. Echoing LeGendre’s warning about the limits of Chinese sovereignty in Taiwan, DeLong enthusiastically reported that it was a possession waiting to be plucked by a foreign power because the Chinese could not enforce their jurisdiction there. This allusion may have been the first time a Western diplomat mentioned to Soejima that Japan might be able to colonize Taiwan, and it clearly preceded any direct mention of the matter by LeGendre. When Soejima pointedly asked whether China had jurisdiction outside of the boundary marked on one of LeGendre’s maps, referring to the indigenous territory, DeLong elaborated that China might claim jurisdiction there but it could not enforce it, and for that reason any agreements that dealt with the area outside of Chinese control would have to be negotiated directly with the indigenes.

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It is possible that Soejima had already begun to consider the possibility that Japan might annex part of Taiwan before the meeting, although there is no evidence to that effect, but DeLong’s optimistic assessment of the possibility of annexation surely encouraged his interest. Soejima lost no time in asserting during his meeting with DeLong that Taiwan had been a Japanese possession in the past, a bold exaggeration that outstripped reality,25 and that Japan had a strong interest in the island. He asked DeLong what America’s plans were regarding Taiwan and DeLong offered the encouraging response that the USA had no intention of possessing the territory of other countries but that it would welcome the colonization of territories by friendly states. At the end of the meeting, DeLong mentioned that LeGendre would be willing to talk to him, and Soejima readily agreed to a meeting. LeGendre and Soejima met the next day in Yokohama, accompanied by DeLong, the American legal advisor E. Peshine Smith, and several others, where they had a wide-ranging discussion that focused on the history of Taiwan, suggestions for how the Japanese might respond to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans, and details about the people who lived in southern Taiwan. Soejima began by discussing the history of Taiwan and claiming, once again on uncertain grounds, that Japanese people had been to eastern Taiwan before the Chinese had occupied the island. Soejima then turned the conversation to the question of how Japan should deal with the Chinese government in its negotiations about the massacre of the Ryūkyūans. LeGendre offered his personal view of how the Japanese could proceed based on analogies to his past experience. First, he explained that in his negotiations about the Rover Incident the Chinese government had claimed jurisdiction over southern Taiwan but had refused to act on agreements made with the US government because their administration did not extend to the region. He explained to the Chinese that if Americans chose to occupy the area the Chinese government would have no choice but to leave it, and his later comments show he meant to suggest that the Japanese could make an analogous argument concerning the massacre of the Ryūkyūans. Next, he noted that ships heading to and from Japan passed by southern Taiwan, and in an emergency, they would need to use one of the harbors in the area. People stranded in Taiwan would need to be protected and the Japanese could insist that the Chinese must take measures to do so. It would be possible to make an agreement with the indigenes to protect shipwrecked people, but they might not honor it, and to enforce the

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agreement it would be necessary to build a fort in the area. The Chinese government would object to the expense and difficulty, however, and he warned that even if they did post soldiers in the area they would simply remove them after a few months. He suggested that in response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans the Japanese government would be in a position to make substantial demands, and those demands should be to construct a lighthouse and to station troops in southern Taiwan. He added that the American government had no interest in annexing territory in Taiwan, and for that reason, it had not taken any action to pacify southern Taiwan directly, but if the Japanese government were willing to annex the territory it could negotiate with the Chinese to establish jurisdiction over an appropriate piece of land, to construct a lighthouse, to build a fort, and to station troops there to protect shipwrecked mariners. After asking several questions about the local population in Taiwan, Soejima ended the long discussion by asking LeGendre to come to Tokyo in a few days for another meeting. On October 28, Soejima and LeGendre met again in Tokyo where their discussion focused on how the Japanese could negotiate with the Chinese and what might be involved in dispatching an expedition to punish the indigenes of southern Taiwan. LeGendre counseled that the Japanese could negotiate with the governor-general of Fujian, but the matter of building a fort and a lighthouse in order to protect shipwrecked mariners rested on international law and therefore would have to be negotiated with officials in Beijing. He warned, however, that his past experience showed that the Chinese government could not be trusted to keep its word. He argued that the Chinese government thought of Taiwan as a foreign country and that if the island had to be under any country’s jurisdiction it ought to be under Japan’s. Soejima, for his part, told LeGendre that a decision had already been made to send a large expeditionary force to punish the indigenes of southern Taiwan in the near future. As the meeting drew to a close, he asked if there was anything the Japanese should be concerned about in their relations with the Chinese, and LeGendre suggested that it would be best not to break off relations with China. Rather, the Japanese should negotiate based on international law that the Chinese government had an obligation to protect humanity in the indigenous territory. The Chinese would undoubtedly refuse to do so, he suggested, and at that point the Japanese government could argue that it would fulfill that obligation itself.

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After LeGendre’s initial meetings with Soejima, the documentary record of his first two months in Japan is slim. During his time as consul at Amoy, and once again after he became a formal advisor to the Japanese government, LeGendre kept careful records, but at the beginning of his stay in Japan he did not do so because he had not yet been appointed as an advisor to the Japanese government and he did not intend to remain in Japan. He expected to continue his trip to the USA but Soejima was eager for his help in planning an expedition to Taiwan and after their initial meetings Soejima asked him to remain in Japan temporarily. At Soejima’s request, LeGendre remained in Japan and worked as an unofficial advisor to the Japanese government. During the autumn of 1872, he wrote several memoranda for Soejima that outlined a course of action the Japanese could take in response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans, and while the original plans were modified over the next year and half they became the basic template for the Japanese government’s actions when the expedition took place in the spring of 1874. Eventually, at Soejima’s request and with DeLong’s encouragement, LeGendre decided to remain in Japan. Two months after his initial meetings with Soejima he officially resigned as the US Consul at Amoy—until then he had been on a leave of absence—and he accepted a position as an advisor to the Japanese government at the impressive annual salary of 12,000 yen.26 While he worked as an advisor to the Japanese government he adopted as far as possible a Japanese point of view and defended Japan’s interests vigorously, especially during the time he spent with Soejima in Beijing in 1873 (Soejima’s mission will be explained in Chapter 5),27 and this was not the first time he subordinated his personal opinion to the opinion of the government he served. For example, in his capacity as the US Consul in Amoy LeGendre expressed opinions many times about what the Chinese government should do concerning the Rover Incident, but while he was the author of those opinions they did not necessarily represent his personal view. It is likely he personally believed that, because the Chinese government refused to take appropriate action in southern Taiwan, the US government should have annexed the territory and established a military base there to protect shipwrecked mariners. The US Secretary of State expressly forbid the annexation of any territory in Taiwan, however, so the matter became moot, and he followed the instructions of the Secretary of State scrupulously.28 The matter of annexation was not necessarily moot in Japan, however, and he seems to

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have come closest to expressing his personal opinion when he suggested on October 26, in his first meeting with Soejima, that the Japanese government might want to do what the American government had been unwilling to do: annex part of southern Taiwan in response to unremediated violence in the area. Because LeGendre’s first discussion with Soejima represented the closest thing to an expression of his own personal opinion about what should happen in southern Taiwan, the discussion deserves close scrutiny. He described several possible actions the Japanese government might take in response to the massacre of the Ryūkyūans, most of them analogous to what he told the Chinese government it should do in response to the Rover Incident, the key difference being his suggestion that the Japanese government could annex a small territory in southern Taiwan. His justifications for annexation, however, all resembled reasons he had given to the Chinese government explaining why it needed to pacify southern Taiwan. In the earliest phase of his interactions with the Japanese government, LeGendre did not alter the scope or nature of the argument he gave about the responsibility of the Chinese government, but his explanation to Soejima made a key assumption that the Japanese government could and should act in solidarity with Western powers because they had a shared interest in seeing southern Taiwan pacified. Within a short time, however, his explanations began to evolve rapidly as he adapted them to fit the interests of Soejima and the Japanese government. He did not hesitate to offer his personal opinion, sometimes forcefully, but in the end he followed the orders of Soejima, and later of other Japanese leaders, and the memos he prepared for Soejima should be understood in that light. They did not express his personal opinion, rather they expressed Soejima’s intentions filtered through his knowledge and understanding. There is little direct evidence concerning what Soejima thought about LeGendre’s ideas, but while his intentions are difficult to assess they probably account for the striking changes in LeGendre’s recommendations that could be seen soon after he arrived in Japan. The memos LeGendre wrote for Soejima proposed a course of action far greater in scope and vastly more aggressive than anything he had proposed during their initial meetings or during his time in China. In the meeting on October 26, for example, LeGendre had suggested that the Japanese government might negotiate with the Chinese government in order to annex an area in southern Taiwan that could be used for a military base to

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protect shipwrecked mariners. In the memos he wrote for Soejima, by contrast, he assumed that war with China, not negotiations, would settle the matter and that the Japanese would occupy half of the island, starting in Liangkiau in the south and extending up the eastern coast of Taiwan as far north as the border of Kamolan sub-prefecture, near present-day Suao (see Map 6.1).29 Similarly, the purpose of the annexation would not be to protect shipping in southern Taiwan, as LeGendre had suggested in his initial meetings with Soejima, rather it would be the vastly more ambitious goal of civilizing the entire indigenous population of Taiwan. It is not certain when LeGendre completed the memos, but he probably finished the first memo on October 2, the second memo around the middle of November, and the other memos in the following December or January.30 It is also not clear who, other than Soejima, spoke to LeGendre about what Japan should do in Taiwan, or how LeGendre and Japanese officials interacted, and for these reasons it is not possible to reconstruct precisely how his memos for Soejima became so radical. What is clear, however, is that in the space of only a few weeks LeGendre’s advice about Taiwan underwent a radical change in scope and tenor.

The Memoranda for Soejima Because there are no records about how LeGendre prepared his early memoranda for Soejima it is impossible to determine how the interaction between the two of them influenced their respective thinking. The best we can do is to analyze the memos for internal evidence about how LeGendre’s thinking changed and based on that to speculate about how he and Soejima influenced each other. The most likely scenario is that LeGendre prepared the memos interactively with Soejima, shaping their content to express his professional opinion about how the Japanese government might proceed in Taiwan in light of expectations voiced by Soejima and possibly other Japanese leaders. Although we cannot show precisely how they influenced each other the memos are undoubtedly a hybrid, combining ideas from both of them. Memo Number 1 The first and longest of LeGendre’s memos outlined arguments Soejima would be able to use as ambassador plenipotentiary in the discussions

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he hoped to conduct with Chinese officials in Beijing, and it adapted LeGendre’s justification for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan to accommodate Japan’s claim to sovereignty over the Ryūkyū Kingdom and to express a bold view of Japanese territorial aggrandizement. The memo began with the claim that the entire Ryūkyū archipelago had joined the Japanese empire and it decried the unwarranted murders of the shipwrecked Ryūkyūans at the hands of the indigenes from the village of Butan, the people who were blamed for the massacre. The memo attacked the failure of the Chinese government to extend its authority into the indigenous territory, in spite of warnings from the government of the USA—meaning LeGendre—to China, and it further specified that what our [Japanese] government wants is not limited to the southern area of Taiwan. As long as the violence has not been stopped and civilization not obtained along the entire coastline from the Koaluts in the south as far as the southern border of Kamolan sub-prefecture in the north it cannot be said that protection has been secured and the region made safe for foreign travel, and therefore that the intentions of our government have been fulfilled…. And if the Chinese government now promises to extend its administration to the south of the island, that will be for the benefit of the American government [i.e., as compensation for the Rover Incident] and obviously not for the benefit of our government, much less as compensation for the murder of the Ryūkyūans.

The memo proposed that Japan would go to Taiwan to punish the villagers of Butan and civilize them, without Chinese assistance, and that if the villagers of Butan spurned civilization and refused instruction in humanity they would be removed from the land and replaced by a civilized people, as had happened in Australia, New Zealand, and the American states of California and Georgia.31 The memo then recited historical associations between Taiwan and Japan that predated the Chinese occupation of the island and, in order to suggest that China was unfit to govern the island, it asserted that the Chinese had not won any military battles against the indigenes but rather had taken over the northern portion of the island by subterfuges that led the indigenes to detest them. The Japanese, by contrast, had begun during the last decade to adapt to changes in the world brought by improved transportation, and Japan alone had taken the lead among

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the countries of the East in appropriating Western customs and applying them at home. The memo further argued that some Western countries had subordinate territories in East Asia while others did not, implying that some of the “have-not” Western countries might be tempted to acquire territories in Taiwan. Some parts of China and Asia remained uncivilized, the memo continued, and those areas should be civilized by Easterners (Tōjin kanarazu kore o hiraku beshi) and not colonized by Westerners (Seijin ni ishoku o nasashimu bekarazu). To prevent further Western colonization, the memo argued, it would therefore be necessary to do three things: to protect humanity, to respect international law and treaty relations with the West, and to adapt to the changing requirements of the times. One of the requirements of the times was to protect shipping and aid travelers, and China had failed in this regard by neglecting to lead the “raw savages” of Taiwan to civilization. The memo argued that because of Japan’s historical connection to Taiwan, its geographical proximity to the island, and the fact that it would be better to have Taiwan controlled by an Eastern power than by a Western one, China should welcome Japan’s annexation of Taiwan.32 The first memo thus expressed the intention of the Japanese government to annex the entire indigenous territory of Taiwan, to pacify and civilize the territory, and to challenge China’s territorial authority in both Taiwan and Ryūkyū. It justified this course of action on the basis of, first, bringing civilization to the “savages” of Taiwan and, second, preventing a Western power from colonizing Taiwan. In this memo, as in the example of Soejima’s appeal to agitators seeking an unsanctioned expedition that was mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, Japan would preemptively use the methods and ideas of Western imperialism to prevent a Western power from annexing Taiwan. In a striking statement that foreshadowed pan-Asianist arguments of decades later, the memo claimed that Japan had taken the lead in Asia in adopting Western ways and that the Chinese should welcome the Japanese colonization of the indigenous territory because of Japan’s leadership and because of a presumed Asian solidarity between the countries. The memo shows many signs of LeGendre’s knowledge and attitudes, but in other ways it differed dramatically from what he had written before. The most important differences were, first, the way the memo conceived of Japan’s respective relationships to China and Western powers and, second, the overall scope and tenor of the plan it spelled out.

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Memo Number 2 The second memo shifted to the purpose of anticipating the military action the Japanese would need to take if war broke out between China and Japan, and it evinced a dramatically more threatening tone than the first memo. It began with the simple prediction that during negotiations with the Japanese government the Chinese government would claim the Ryūkyū Kingdom as a dependency of China and the indigenous territory of Taiwan as an integral part of the Qing empire. The responsibility to punish the guilty parties would therefore fall to China, as it had in 1867 at the time of the Rover Incident. The negotiations would, the memo further predicted, most likely lead to a rupture in peaceful relations between China and Japan, but the memo suggested that before breaking off relations Japanese negotiators should at least ask whether China would be willing to cede Taiwan. It gave three rationales that might be used in pressing that argument. First, because China had failed to extend its administration to the southeastern part of the island and foreign ships regularly passed that way it was inevitable that Westerners would eventually lay claim to the territory, and Japan would not welcome foreign control over Taiwan, again suggesting that Japan should use the methods of Western colonization preemptively in order to prevent Western colonization. Second, in contrast to the character of Chinese soldiers, the character of Japanese soldiers made them capable of defeating the “savages,” and Japan would be willing to devote the time, expense, and military power needed for developing and educating them. Third, it would be better if Japan took control of Taiwan rather than a Western country because Japanese customs were closer to those of China than Western customs, again suggesting a cultural and political solidarity between China and Japan. The memo anticipated that these rationales would have little effect, and the balance of the memo described the preparations the Japanese needed to make in order to fight the war with China that would result from the failure of negotiations. Before Soejima departed for Beijing, the memo argued, the government should lay up stores of food and weapons for the military and station eight thousand troops on Miyakojima, in Ryūkyū. It should also have on hand a large warship and a smaller steam vessel to patrol the South China coast and Taiwan Strait. If war broke out those ships could blockade the ports of the Pescadores, and three additional gunships would be sufficient to protect the troop transports

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traveling from Miyakojima to Taiwan and later to control the open ports of Taiwan. The balance of the memo described the key ports in the area and their defensive fortifications, how the Japanese troops and warships should be deployed in and around Taiwan, and how to conduct a campaign to capture the western half of the island. An addendum to the memo noted that it would be difficult to mount a sea offensive from Miyakojima and therefore the Japanese troops should be based instead at Nagasaki. The second memo proposed a highly aggressive approach toward Taiwan and it assumed that negotiations would fail and war would result. As a worst-case scenario that assumption may have been fine, but the memo assumed war as the most likely outcome of the plan. Worse still, it assumed that when war broke out Japan would annex all of Taiwan, including the western half of the island, inhabited not by indigenes but rather by descendants of Chinese settlers. None of LeGendre’s earlier writings even remotely envisioned such an outcome. This was an astonishing expansion of the scope and aggressiveness of LeGendre’s thinking, and under this plan colonization would no longer be justified simply by the imperative of bringing civilization to the indigenes but also by the imperative of war. The threat of war had no antecedent in LeGendre’s writings about Taiwan, and Japan’s willingness to threaten war helps to explain why its appropriation of the justification for colonization was so destabilizing. In one regard, the memo seems dangerously naive. LeGendre drew on his experience as a soldier to prepare plans for blockading China and limiting the ability of the Chinese Navy to challenge Japanese forces during the war that was envisioned in the memo. The plans may have sounded impressive to Soejima but they vastly underestimated the naval resources that would be required for war with China and they seriously overestimated the capability of the Japanese Navy. The expedition that actually took place in 1874, a much more limited affair than what was envisioned in the memo, revealed serious weaknesses in both the Army and the Navy that in retrospect make the plan seem dangerously simplistic.33 Memo Number 3 The third and shortest memo outlined a plan for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan. According to the memo, Japanese authority

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would be established by stationing soldiers in bases along the east coast that were fortified with blockhouses, and Japanese authority would then be extended gradually outward from the bases. The memo suggested that the bases should be established in locations convenient for agriculture and trade, and they could be transformed into true villages by giving protection to and winning over the support of friendly local people. The memo argued that the Japanese should follow the example of the Dutch and teach the indigenes to write their language in the alphabet or in Japanese kana, especially concentrating on teaching women because they cared for the children. Most of the memo outlined a strategy for colonizing southern and eastern Taiwan quickly and efficiently (see Map 6.1). According to the memo, the villages of Tuilasok and Shamali, with their respective leaders Tokitok and Isa, had begun to acquire civilization and the Japanese forces should govern southern Taiwan in consultation with them. The Koaluts, on the other hand, had a nasty temperament and the memo suggested that the Japanese should exterminate them or punish them with the help of Tuilasok, Shamali, and other cooperative villages. Farther north up the coast, the village of Pilam had also begun to acquire civilization, so the Japanese should construct blockhouses there. Japanese forces would then be in position to begin a gradual move south from Pilam and north from Tuilasok that would close in on Butan in the middle. The Japanese should also establish control over the large settlement in the north named Sansentai (Peifengwan), just south of the border of Kamolan sub-prefecture, and in a similar operation gradually close in on the “savages” between Pilam and Sansentai from the north and south. At the time LeGendre wrote his memos, no one in Japan could match his knowledge of the indigenous territory in Taiwan. For that reason, the third memo displays his unique knowledge and imagination more clearly than the others. Still, as impressive as his plan for civilizing the indigenous territory must have seemed it vastly underestimated the difficulty involved. The fact that after Japan colonized Taiwan in 1895 the colonial government did not manage to pacify the eastern part of the island until the 1930s suggests the depth of LeGendre’s naiveté; pacification would require decades, not months.34 More immediately, LeGendre’s direct knowledge of the indigenes was limited to what he had learned during a few short visits to the south, and he tended to focus his attention on the people he called the “Boutan” (Butan, or Mudan), whom

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he understood as a broad association of “untamed savages” who lived deep in the mountains. LeGendre remained largely ignorant of the more dangerous and powerful association of indigenes, centered on the key village of Takubien, that lay just north of the area he visited (Chapter 8 will describe Japanese efforts to establish friendly relations with villages in this area). Indeed, as Japanese spies, agents, and soldiers spent time in Taiwan in 1873 and 1874 they soon learned much more about Taiwan than LeGendre knew. Among those agents, Fukushima Kyūsei developed a more sophisticated and well-informed vision of colonizing Taiwan than LeGendre’s, but not until he had visited Taiwan several times in 1873 and 1874.35 Memo Number 4 LeGendre prepared a fourth memorandum for Soejima that slipped from the realm of the possible into the world of fantasy.36 It included some ideas that clearly originated with LeGendre but others that must have come from Soejima or other Japanese people. It framed Japan’s problem in Taiwan in terms of geopolitics and it articulated a regional view of Japanese foreign policy that saw Japan’s problems with Russia, Korea, Ryūkyū, Taiwan, and China as interconnected. The memo began by stressing the threat of foreign colonization in East Asia, and it argued that Western powers had an ideal opportunity to extend their influence in East Asia by colonizing Korea to Japan’s north and Taiwan to its south. In order to protect itself from this threat, Japan should use the failure of the Chinese government to punish the indigenes of southern Taiwan as a pretext for annexing Taiwan and the Pescadores. The memo justified this argument based on an assessment of international conditions at the time, much of which must have come from LeGendre’s understanding of European geopolitics. For example, the memo imagined that in the growing conflict between Britain and Russia over the fate of the Ottoman Empire, known as the Eastern Question, Russia might connive to have Prussia occupy Taiwan in order to draw it into an alliance against the British in East Asia. It assumed that Western powers would use force to annex Taiwan but they would be limited by the fact that they had no pretext for war with China. The Audience Question, a conflict that Western diplomats anticipated would occur early in 1873 when it was expected that the Chinese government would refuse their

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right to have an audience with the Chinese emperor when he came of age, might provide a justification for war if it could not be resolved satisfactorily. Japan should take advantage of this opportunity and dispatch an embassy to Beijing to open negotiations about the murdered Ryūkyūans. When the negotiations had reached their most precarious point Japan should seize the initiative and occupy Taiwan and the Pescadores by force or through negotiations. The memo predicted that Western powers would not intervene because Britain and Russia, as rivals, would prefer for Japan rather than their rival to occupy Taiwan. As the discussion in Chapter 5 will show, the assumption that Britain would remain neutral in a conflict between China and Japan proved naive and it showed how thoroughly LeGendre had failed to understand just how destabilizing it would be if Japan appropriated the methods of Western imperialism. The memo next broadened the analysis of geopolitics to link Japan’s interests in Korea to the vision of annexing Taiwan. “If Japan were to occupy the Korean peninsula,” it argued, Japan would gain free rein for its influence as far as the Yellow Sea. Currently Japan does not control the coast on the Korean side of the Japan Sea and it would cause Japan endless problems if Russia or another power came to that coast and occupied it. It would be the same for example as the constant deceit and bickering Turkey must endure and the abuse it must suffer because it is separated from a great power [Russia] by only a single body of water.

The memo identified Korea as the most important point in northern Asia because of its convenient position for trade and communication and its easy defensibility. Japan could protect itself from the threats of Russian expansion and the impending collapse of China by occupying Korea and Taiwan. The strong emphasis on Korea in the memo differed dramatically from the almost complete lack of attention to Korea in his writings while he was the American Consul at Amoy. LeGendre must have learned of the concern about Korea from members of the Japanese government and military, and he synthesized that concern into his understanding of European geopolitics. The memo further developed its argument by justifying Japanese expansion based on an analogy to the civilizing mission of Western imperialism:

94  R. ESKILDSEN Japan has developed greatly in recent years, in navigation techniques, military control, the building of railroads and telegraphs, changes that can be found nowhere else in Asia. If Japan occupied Korea it could freely extend its authority in all directions. If Japan occupied Korea and Taiwan and the Pescadores it could catch the old and decrepit China that is toppling over.

According to the memo, Japan’s civilizing mission provided a justification for territorial expansion and it envisioned that Japan would foster a new civilization in Asia. By virtue of the economic and institutional development it had experienced since the Meiji Restoration, Japan was poised to extend its influence throughout Asia. Just as guilds had created “cities of refuge” in medieval Europe that contributed to the principle of freedom and the spread of a new civilization, LeGendre argued that Japan, by annexing Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan, could create a metaphorical city of refuge that would surround a decaying China and spread a revitalizing civilization throughout Asia. In order to open China to civilization, the memo continued, Japan might need to resort to force but “it would be in accordance with Heaven to open the country peacefully.” The memo nevertheless envisioned an “unprecedented opportunity for Japan to extend its policy of opening to the Chinese empire,” a development that might eventually permit the two empires to be merged and ruled from Tokyo. “Even though China’s customs are different and it is a distant land,” the memo fantasized, “since there are telegraphs and railroads it would only take seven days to reach the four corners of China from the capital.” The crucial step, however, was to control Korea and Taiwan. After Japan has accomplished these great plans and hopes, Korea must be controlled and Taiwan occupied indefinitely. To control both of these lands it will be necessary to release the warriors from the old lords [of Japan]. Many of the warriors may cause problems for the government when they are released from service. We can guide them into serving in both of these campaigns and the problems for the government will be transformed into a benefit for the nation and will burnish the reputation of the empire. By putting the reputation of the empire on display we can develop the path of trade and commerce. This will benefit not just the empire but also many foreign countries.

This passage of the memo, more than others, appears to express a wholly Japanese point of view, and it echoed several of the themes enunciated in

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the appeal, quoted at the beginning of this chapter, that Soejima made to disgruntled samurai a month or two earlier. It proposed a sweeping enlargement of foreign policy thinking that analyzed Japan’s relations with its neighbors in geopolitical terms and that proposed for Japan to replace China as the dominant power in the region through territorial expansion justified by Japan’s civilizing mission and by warfare. The domains had only recently been transformed into prefectures and the conscript army had not been created yet, leaving the fate of the former samurai unclear. The memo proposed channeling the threat posed by the former samurai who had been cut loose from their former domains into support for the policies of the Meiji state. The plans for China outlined in the memo were so extreme that a majority of the government leaders opposed them outright, but while the views in the memo were extreme they were not anomalous. The expansionist vision, at times vaguely reminiscent of the megalomaniacal fantasies of Hideyoshi in the late sixteenth century,37 is difficult to take seriously, but many of the themes in the memo would return during the conflict less than a year later over the plan to send an embassy to Korea (Seikanron), and the idea that Japan should be the leader of Asia because it had taken the lead in adopting Western civilization became an important feature of pan-Asianist thinking that persisted well into the twentieth century. There is not enough evidence to determine who was responsible for the extreme nature of the memo, but while LeGendre wrote it, it sounded nothing like what he had written before he arrived in Japan. During the first few months LeGendre spent in Japan, Soejima seems to have made his thinking increasingly aggressive, and at the same time, LeGendre did nothing to rein in Soejima’s grandiose thinking. They seem to have brought out the worst in each other. The vision of annexing Taiwan spelled out in the memos alarmed some members of the government because it assumed that negotiations would fail and war would ensue. Indeed, as Chapter 5 will explain, Soejima’s mission to China was delayed for several months as the government debated the limits that needed to be placed on his authority as ambassador plenipotentiary in order to limit his ability to start a war with China. As Chapter 2 showed, it would be necessary for the Japanese government to deal with China to solve the problems it faced in Taiwan and Korea, and the view of the Taiwan and Korea problems as specifically linked to each other and to China seems to have emerged as Soejima, with LeGendre’s help, formulated a comprehensive policy

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for dealing with Japanese diplomatic relations throughout East Asia. At Soejima’s request, LeGendre prepared a fifth memorandum, more expansive in scope and aggressive in vision than the ones described here, that spelled out a range of geopolitical connections in East Asia and goals the Japanese government might adopt.38 The memorandum envisioned that Japan would displace China as the dominant diplomatic power in East Asia and conquer Taiwan, Korea, and even China. The government rejected the belligerent goals of the memo and it remained wary of taking any action that would bring Japan into military conflict with China. The goal of increasing Japan’s influence in Asia did not necessarily require war with China, however, and the government generally supported policies that challenged China’s diplomatic and political authority as long as it could avoid war. The government, even as it rejected the more extreme and belligerent aspects of the vision outlined in the memos, accepted the idea of challenging China’s authority by targeting its territorial claims in Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan.

A Consolidated Approach to East Asian Relations Soejima’s thinking about how to deal with East Asia evolved rapidly in November and December of 1872. Even before he became foreign minister, he understood that Japan’s discrete bilateral foreign policy problems were connected, but by the end of 1872, informed by LeGendre’s understanding of geopolitics and sovereignty issues, he had reached a more thorough understanding of China’s geopolitical importance. From that time onward, he approached Japan’s foreign policy goals in China, Korea, the Ryūkyū Kingdom, and Taiwan in a consolidated manner, and he saw an embassy to Beijing as an important step in addressing simultaneously multiple territorial problems that Japan faced in East Asia. Soejima may have decided on his own to lead an embassy to China in order to exchange ratifications of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, but it is possible that DeLong or LeGendre suggested the idea to him.39 DeLong, a relentless self-promoter, took credit for the idea in one of his dispatches to the State Department, but LeGendre, who had just arrived from China, had undoubtedly heard about the anticipated conflict over the Audience Question and he clearly saw it as an opportunity for Soejima to lead an embassy. Indeed, in memo number four he suggested using the planned embassy as leverage in dealing with the Taiwan problem. Whatever its origin, Soejima embraced

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the idea and in a meeting with DeLong near the end of November he explained his five goals for the embassy: (a) to exchange ratifications of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, (b) to demand a personal audience with the Chinese emperor, (c) to establish an unambiguous claim of Japanese sovereignty over the Ryūkyū Kingdom, (d) to seek redress for the murder of the Ryūkyūans in Taiwan, and (e) to clarify China’s relationship with Korea.40 Subsequent events show that Soejima in fact pursued these five goals. The first two involved ceremonial issues that enhanced Japan’s reputation among the Western powers and he pursued them openly. Soejima, assisted by Yanagihara Sakimitsu, pursued the last three goals in talks with Chinese officials that, while not secret, were not broadly publicized, and it was in these goals that he revealed his consolidated approach to foreign relations in East Asia. Around the time that Soejima spoke to DeLong, he submitted a memorial to the Japanese throne asking for the authority to lead an embassy to China, and the memorial provides a few clues about Soejima’s thinking about the interconnections between several problems of territorial authority: Were it not for me, your servant, it might not be possible to stop the foreigners who have ambitions toward Taiwan from interfering in the affairs of our emperor, to make China willingly cede the barbarian territory, to develop the land, or to understand the hearts of the people there. I request to go to China myself using the treaty as a pretext. I will win over the ministers of the various countries in Beijing, calming their envy, and discuss the imperial audience with the Qing government. At that time I will inform them of our reasons for punishing the barbarians and inquire into their relationship with Korea in order to clarify its governance and to develop the peninsula.41

Soejima’s memorial identifies the public purposes of the embassy, to exchange ratifications of the Sino-Japanese treaty and to request an audience with the Chinese emperor. It also identifies the other goals for the embassy, where he reveals the interconnections between problems of territorial authority. To seek redress for the murder of the Ryūkyūans, Soejima could simply have demanded an indemnity from China, as happened in the end in negotiations that took place in Beijing late in 1874. According to the first memo, however, Soejima assumed that the Chinese government

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would not accept responsibility for the actions of the indigenes in southern Taiwan and on that basis would refuse to pay an indemnity. Their refusal would justify Japan’s colonization of Taiwan, and Soejima’s statement in the memorial about making China cede territory in Taiwan was a logical extension of the justification for colonization that he had appropriated from LeGendre. Soejima also assumed that Japan had a right to seek redress from China, and to colonize Taiwan, based on its claim of sovereignty over Ryūkyū. He did not mention Ryūkyū in the memorial, although he spelled out the importance of the kingdom in his discussion of the embassy with DeLong, but his position assumed the validity of Japan’s unilateral assertion of sovereignty over Ryūkyū and it ignored China’s claim to suzerain authority there. As Chapter 2 showed, the Japanese effort to challenge China’s suzerain authority in Ryūkyū did not originate with Soejima, but it was a foundational element of his challenge to Chinese sovereignty in Taiwan. Finally, the memorial to the throne promised to clarify China’s relationship with Korea. Doing so would clear the way for establishing a new diplomatic relationship between Korea and Japan based on Korea’s status as an independent sovereign state, a move that would similarly undermine China’s claim to suzerain authority there. The memorial suggested that Japan would develop the peninsula, using a word (kaitaku) that evoked associations with the settlement and colonization of Hokkaidō, but it is not clear what Soejima meant by this comment. He may have been alluding to the idea that Japan should “develop the path of trade and commerce” in Korea that is mentioned in the fourth memo that LeGendre wrote for him. Taken together, Soejima’s description of the goals of the embassy to DeLong and his memorial to the throne reveals several characteristics of his consolidated approach to East Asian relations. Both sources acknowledged that exchanging ratifications of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce and pressing the Chinese emperor for an audience would be important goals of the embassy. The sources also show that Soejima would assert Japan’s claim to sovereignty over Ryūkyū and challenge China’s claim to suzerain authority there. Further, he would inform the Chinese that the Japanese government intended to punish the indigenes directly for the murder of the Ryūkyūans in Taiwan. Claiming this right would implicitly challenge China’s claim to suzerain authority in Ryūkyū and at the same time would challenge China’s claim to sovereign authority over the indigenous territory of Taiwan. Finally, the embassy would

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seek to clarify China’s relationship with Korea, setting the stage for Japan to challenge China’s claim to suzerain authority there as well. The strategy amounted to a simultaneous Japanese challenge to Chinese territorial authority in three regions. The details of the challenges were different in each of the regions, but all of the challenges relied on the unilateral assertion that the Japanese understanding of sovereignty, appropriated from the West, should supplant Chinese understandings of territorial authority as the guiding principle in East Asian diplomacy. This was a revolutionary challenge to Chinese authority. It extended to China the new understandings of territorial authority that gained prominence in Japan during the Meiji Restoration and it set the stage for a decades-long competition between China and Japan about how to define the territorial status of Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan. Soejima’s consolidated approach to East Asian relations also involved a recursive element. In his memorial to the throne, he asserted, based on what he had learned from LeGendre and DeLong, that Western powers had ambitions toward Taiwan. He further claimed that the exploitation of Taiwan by Western powers would harm Japan’s interests, something he understood well long before he had any contact with LeGendre. The obvious solution, his memorial suggested, was for Japan to annex the indigenous territory of Taiwan preemptively. In other words, Japan should protect Taiwan, and itself, from Western colonization by preempting Western powers in colonizing Taiwan. The fourth memo that LeGendre wrote for Soejima makes it clear that Japan’s “development” of Korea would protect Japan in a similar way. The proposal to use ideas and methods appropriated from Western imperialism in order to protect Japan from Western imperialism constituted a recursive response, and it was present from early in the process of crafting a consolidated approach to Japan’s diplomatic relations in East Asia after the Meiji Restoration.

Conclusion By late in 1872, Soejima’s understanding of the conflict between China and Japan over Taiwan was informed by several ideas. One idea clearly derived from LeGendre’s response to the Rover Incident, where he proposed, based on common understandings in Western diplomacy, that the failure of a state to civilize a territory could be used by a foreign power as a justification for colonizing the territory. A second idea

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proposed that the Japanese could protect themselves from Western imperialism by appropriating the methods of Western imperialism, and Soejima used this idea when he advocated the preemptive seizure of territory in Taiwan in order to secure Japan’s southern border from Western imperialist encroachment. This idea had no antecedent in LeGendre’s thinking and the evidence presented in Chapter 2 suggests that something similar to it may already have been evolving in Japan even before the Taiwan problem became an issue for the government. A third idea proposed that Japan should be the natural political and cultural leader of Asia because it had begun the process of modernization by appropriating Western civilization. This idea, which anticipated Fukuzawa Yukichi’s essay on the need for Japan to escape Asia (datsu-A) and later pan-Asianist claims, also had no antecedent in LeGendre’s thinking, although he later embraced the idea,42 and it became an important part of Japan’s strategy of challenging Chinese diplomatic dominance in East Asia.43 One of the key claims in this study is that Japanese imperialism developed in a recursive relationship to Western imperialism. The recursive process appears to have begun around the time of the Taiwan Expedition and it developed in a kind of feedback loop that destabilized Chinese diplomatic practice in East Asia and influenced Western imperialism. The recursive relationship can be seen clearly in the appeal Soejima Taneomi made to disgruntled former samurai in November 1872 when he proposed that Japan should annex Taiwan to prevent its annexation by a Western power, and not long afterward he reiterated the proposal in the memorial he submitted to the Japanese throne asking for authority to lead an embassy to China. By itself, a recursive strategy would not necessarily have been destabilizing, but it proved so because of the way that Soejima, and subsequent Japanese leaders, used it instrumentally to challenge Chinese authority and to push back against Western incursions into East Asia. The destabilizing potential of the strategy can be seen in the fourth memo that LeGendre prepared for Soejima. It asserted the need for Japan to supplant a decaying China so that it might lead the revitalization of civilization in Asia, and it framed Japan’s policy choice in terms of the need to resist Western territorial expansion by taking preemptive action to control Korea and to annex Taiwan. The grandiose vision outlined in the memo never came to pass, but the fundamental aims of supplanting Chinese diplomatic dominance and resisting Western imperialism survived as long-term goals of the Japanese government.

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In the autumn of 1872, Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi initiated a coordinated, systematic challenge to China’s claims to territorial authority in Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan, but he did not create the need for the challenge and it survived even after he resigned as foreign minister a year later. If anything, the systematic challenge to Chinese diplomatic dominance was necessitated by changes in the way the Japanese government defined its territorial authority after the Meiji Restoration. Once Japan began to participate fully in the international system it needed its neighboring countries to recognize its new borders, and that need brought Japan into conflict first and foremost with China. Subsequent leaders, such as Ōkubo Toshimichi, also recognized the utility of challenging China’s diplomatic dominance and they perpetuated the approach. The systematic challenge to China’s territorial authority increased the leverage of the Japanese government, but implementing it did not always proceed smoothly. Setting priorities was not the strong suit of the early Meiji government and in 1873 major disputes about both the goals and priorities of Japan’s foreign policy wracked the government.

Notes



1.  Tei Einei, comp., “Soejima taishi tekishin gairyaku,” in Meiji Bunka Kenkyūkai, ed., Meiji bunka zenshū (7): gaikō hen (1928; Tokyo: Nihon Hyōronsha, 1992), 64–65. Tei compiled his report in November, 1873. 2.  Wayne C. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi: Statesman of Early Meiji Japan, 1868–1874” (diss., University of Kansas, 1973), 137–185; Maruyama Kanji, Soejima Taneomi haku (Tokyo: Dainissha, 1936): 184– 199; Kemuyama Sentarō, Seikanron jissō: Chōsen ri shunshinden—bunroku seikan suishi shimatsu (Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shuppanbu, 1907), 40–49; Yasuoka Akio, Bakumatsu ishin no ryōdo to gaikō (Osaka: Seibundō, 2002), 23–36. 3.  McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 47–53, 63–69, 82; Yasuoka, 8–23; Anonymous, “Soejima-haku keireki gūdan,” Tōhō kyōkai kaihō 44 (1898): 5. 4. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 143, 187 note 12; Sandra Carol Taylor Caruthers, “Charles LeGendre, American Diplomacy, and Expansionism in Meiji Japan” (diss., University of Colorado, 1966), 73. 5. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 251 note 44; Caruthers, 71. DeLong to Fish, January 19, 1871, No 136, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Japan, 1855–1906, M133 R18; Fish to DeLong, March 2, 1871, No. 62, Diplomatic and Consular Instructions to Japan, M77 R105.

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6. Maruyama, 68–83. 7. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 236–237. Haraguchi Kiyoshi, Nihon kindai kokka no keisei (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1968), 155–156. 8. Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983), 248–253. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 202–205. 9. Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936–1940), 7: 445 (hereafter DNGB); “Soejima-haku keireki gūdan,” 21–22. 10. Morita Tomoko, Kaikoku to chigaihōken: ryōji saiban seido no unnyō to Maria Rusu gō jiken (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2005), 142. 11. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 120–125. Tei, 63–64. 12. Tei, 63. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 148–151. 13. Yanagihara to Soejima, May 19, 1872 (Meiji 5, 4th month 15th day), DNGB, 5: 258–260. 14. Mōri Toshihiko, Meiji ishin seiji gaikō shi kenkyū (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2002), 136–137. 15. Mōri, 138–142. 16. Fujisaki Seinosuke, Taiwan shi to Kabayama taishō (Tokyo: Kokushi Kankōkai, 1926), 220–222, 243. Mōri, 138–139. 17. Fujisaki, 244–245. 18. “Kabayama rikugun shōsa Shinkoku Taiwan shisatu saken,” Meiji 5, 10th month 9th day, Kokuritsu Kōbunshōkan, naikaku, dajōruiten, gaikoku kōsai, dajōruiten•dai ni hen•Meiji yonen-Meiji jūnen•dai hachi jū nana kan•gaikoku kōsai sanjū•sho kan’in saken ni (JACAR A01000016800). 19.  United States Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1873 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1873), 553. 20. Based on news from Yokohama dated October 2, 1872, the New York Times reported on October 24 that “Several Japanese sailors, shipwrecked on Formosa Island, were eaten by the natives. The King of the Loo Choos [Ryūkyūs] has sent an embassy to Yeddo [Tokyo] for aid to avenge their death.” Similarly, on October 24, the North China Herald reprinted an earlier report from the Japan Gazette that “Great horror is expressed by men in high places in Japan, at the accounts of cannibalism in Formosa, lately sent from the Satsuma Ken [Kagoshima Prefecture].” Uchikawa Yoshimi and Miyachi Masato, eds. Gaikoku shinbun ni miru Nihon: kokusai nyūsu jiten (3 vols.; Tokyo: Mainichi Komyunikēshonzu, 1989–1990), 1.2: 633. The reports of cannibalism were unfounded. 21. Kabayama Sukenori, “Taiwan kiji,” in Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 144–145 (hereafter “Taiwan kiji”).



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22. Mōri Toshihiko sees LeGendre’s shadow in Kabayama’s diary entries. At the time Kabayama made the entries, however, LeGendre had not yet left Amoy and he had not corresponded with anyone in Japan. Mōri also speculates, based on mere chronological possibility, that some sort of communication with Soejima must have taken place, and he asserts, without any basis in evidence, that Soejima mentioned the massacre to DeLong who contacted LeGendre to invite him to Japan. Mōri, 144– 146. Mōri’s speculation is wrong. There is no evidence that DeLong contacted LeGendre before he arrived in Japan and considerable evidence that shows LeGendre intended to return to Washington, DC to seek appointment as an ambassador. The circumstances of LeGendre’s arrival in Japan are explained in Robert Eskildsen, “Meiji nananen Taiwan shuppei no shokuminchiteki sokumen,” in Meiji Ishinshi Gakkai, ed., Meiji ishin to Ajia (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2001), 68–69. 23.  LeGendre’s letters to friends and allies in America leave no doubt that when he left Amoy in October 1872 he intended to return to Washington, DC, not to reside in Japan. As he explained in his 1874 memoirs, “Notes of Travel in Formosa,” on his way back to America “I was persuaded to remain in the country to give my advice as to the best way of establishing a series of Japanese colonies on the eastern and southern coasts of Formosa, for the protection of castaways and other purposes.” Chas. W. LeGendre, Notes of Travel in Formosa, ed. Douglas L. Fix and John Shufelt (Tainan, Taiwan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2012), 324. LeGendre’s personal correspondence in 1873 tells a similar story of his being persuaded to remain in Japan to work for the Japanese government, while he still held out hope that he might return to the service of the US government. C. W. LeGendre to W. C. LeGendre, September 6, 1873, LeGendre Papers, Library of Congress. As LeGendre explained in a letter to J. C. A. Wingate, the US Consul at Swatow, “While passing through Japan on my way home I was asked to remain; but at first I declined and merely consented to spend one month here for the purpose of drawing up certain papers that were wanted.” February 28, 1873; LeGendre to Wingate, October 20, 1873, LeGendre Papers, Library of Congress. 24. DNGB, 7: 5–15. 25. Soejima stated that the island was known as Takasago at the time and that Japanese possession predated Dutch possession; DNGB, 7: 6. It is not clear what Soejima referred to when he made this historical claim to Taiwan, but he may have been alluding to unsuccessful attempts by Japanese merchants to establish bakufu-sanctioned trade relations in Taiwan in the early seventeenth century. In a later statement to LeGendre, Soejima asserted that Japanese people had traveled to eastern Taiwan before the Chinese went there, and he also mentioned an

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incident where Hamada Yahei took Pieter Nuyts hostage in 1628; DNGB, 7: 9. The earliest reference in Japan to any variation of the place name Takasago was in 1593 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi sent Harada Magoshichirō there to demand tribute (the attempt failed because Taiwan had no ruler). Yokota Kiyoko, “Nihon ni okeru ‘Taiwan’ no koshō no hensen ni tsuite: omoni kinsei o taishō toshite,” Kaikō toshi kenkyū 4.3 (2009), 169. See also Adam Clulow, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014), 218–228. 26.  DNGB, 7: 15–16. Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, CT: Shoestring Press, 1965), 165–170. 27. Robert Eskildsen, “Ajia no naka no Amerikajin: Chāruzu Rijendoru to Meiji shoki no gaikō,” Meiji Ishin Shigakkai, ed., Kōza Meiji ishin 6: Meiji ishin to gaikō (Tokyo: Yūshisha, 2017), 97–103. 28.  Seward to Burlingame, No. 202, June 20, 1867, United States Department of State, Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, 1867–1868 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1868), 498. 29. Memos No. 1–3, Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, ed., Ōkuma monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, 1958), 1: 17–33 (hereafter Ōkuma monjo). 30. “Taiwan kiji,” 150, entry for 10th month 3rd day (March 11, 1872). Kabayama notes that Soejima submitted a memo to the Cabinet the day before, and Chō Ko argues that this is LeGendre’s memo 1; Chō Ko, “Soejima tai-Shin gaikō no kentō: Soejima gaimukyō ate chokushi o hyōzai ni shite,” in Meiji Ishinshi Gakkai, ed., Meiji ishin to Ajia (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2001), 34; Memo 2 was formally submitted to the Cabinet on November 15; Ōkuma monjo 1: 26. Chō (36) surmises that memo 3 was completed in early December. 31.  Ōkuma monjo, 1: 19–20. 32. Ōkuma monjo, 1: 22–25. 33. Robert Eskildsen, “Suitable Ships and the Hard Work of Imperialism: Evaluating the Japanese Navy in the 1874 Invasion of Taiwan,” Asian Cultural Studies 38 (2012), 47–60; Robert Eskildsen, “An Army as Good and Efficient as Any in the World: James Wasson and Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan,” Asian Cultural Studies 36 (2010), 45–62. 34. Paul D. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border,” 1874–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018). 35. Fukushima Kyūsei to Ōkuma Shigenobu, June 22, 1874, “Fukushima sanbō yori Ōkuma chōkan e banchi shōrai shobun iken narabi ni Shinkan Riku [Liu] bō e fukusho unnun raikan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai jūnana kan (JACAR A03031041900).

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36. Fujimura Michio, “Meiji shoki ni okeru Nisshin kōshō no ichi danmen: Ryūkyū buntō jōyaku o megutte (jō),” Nagoya Daigaku bungakubu kenkyū ronshū (shigaku) 16 (1968): 1–3; “Taiwan seitō jiken /8 nana gaimushō yatoi gaikokujin Rizendoru oboegaki yakubun,” Gaimushō gaikō shiryōkan, senzenki gaimushō kiroku, 1 mon seiji, 1 rui teikoku gaikō, 2 kō Ajia, Taiwan seitō kankei ikken /gaikō shiryō Taiwan seitō jiken dai ikkan (JACAR B03030113700). 37. Mary Elizabeth Berry, Hideyoshi (Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University Press, 1982). 38. Chō, 43–44. 39. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 222. 40.  DeLong to Fish, No. 309, November 22–23, 1872, Diplomatic Despatches, Japan, M133, R21. 41.  Maruyama, 205–206. In addition to the version of Soejima’s memorial quoted in Maruyama, another can be found in Tei, 65. Tei’s version lacks the phrase “and inquire into their relationship with Korea” (mata Kankoku to no kankei o shisshi) and includes the word “border” (keikai) in place of “governance” (keiryaku). Further, the characters translated here as “peninsula” can in different contexts mean “half the island.” Thus, the end of Tei’s version of the memorial can be translated “I will inform them of our reasons for punishing the savages, clarify the boundary, and develop [the savage] half of the island.” Mōri interprets the memorial to have this meaning (155), whereas Chō’s interpretation follows Maruyama’s version of the memorial (40). I follow Chō’s interpretation rather than Mōri’s because it makes more sense in the context of what Soejima told DeLong about his intentions and it accords better with the actions of the embassy in China in 1873. 42. C. W. LeGendre, Progressive Japan: A Study of the Political and Social Needs of the Empire (New York: C. Lévy, 1878). 43.  Urs Matthias Zachmann, China and Japan in the Late Meiji Period: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895–1904 (London and New York: Routledge, 2009).

CHAPTER 5

The Decision to Go to Taiwan

For more than a decade after the Meiji Restoration, the new Japanese government struggled to assemble a functioning national administration and in 1873 conflicts over foreign policy brought the government to the point of rupture. Opposition to the government from many quarters increased around that time,1 and the complex interaction between the government and its opponents gave rise to many of the features of the modern Japanese political system.2 The opposition included half a dozen armed insurrections by former samurai who were outraged both at the perceived weakness of Japan’s foreign policy and at the elimination of their political and economic privileges. The government also faced a concurrent and more dangerous threat from farmers who protested many of the government’s administrative reforms.3 They pushed back, sometimes violently, against the economic disruption caused by the new land tax system, the conscript army, and the compulsory education system. Against this backdrop of domestic unrest in the mid-1870s, the government also had to contend with multiple foreign challenges, including an alarming skirmish with Russians in the north, military expeditions to Taiwan in the south and Korea in the west, and the possibility of war with China. The first decade of the Meiji period, although a time of danger, also saw bold new initiatives in foreign relations. The Japanese government dispatched several major diplomatic missions during those years, including an embassy to China to negotiate a Treaty of Amity (1871), a diplomatic mission to the USA and Europe to explore how Japan should © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_5

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integrate itself into the international system (1871–1873), another embassy to China to assert the new territorial limits of Japan’s imperial authority (1873), an embassy to Russia to settle the border in the north (1874–1875), yet another Japanese embassy to China to negotiate a resolution to the conflict over Taiwan (1874), and an embassy to negotiate an unequal treaty with Korea (1876). The government also received an embassy from the King of Ryūkyū in 1872 as it prepared to annex the kingdom. The Taiwan Expedition took place in the midst of this remarkable flurry of diplomatic activity, but in explaining the government’s decision to dispatch the expedition to Taiwan historians have typically seen it as a secondary effect of the abrupt cancellation of a planned embassy to Korea that plunged the government into a serious political crisis late in 1873. The crisis, known as the debate whether to “chastise” Korea (Seikanron), seemed to appear out of nowhere, and it temporarily displaced all discussion of an expedition to Taiwan. In the spring of 1873, Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi led an embassy to Beijing where he pressed Chinese officials to accept Japan’s stance regarding Taiwan, Korea, and the Ryūkyū Kingdom. During his absence, a presumed slight of Japan’s imperial dignity by Korean authorities in Pusan provoked outrage in Tokyo and Soejima returned home to find the government discussing plans for an embassy to and possible invasion of Korea. Later that year the members of the Iwakura Mission, who had voyaged to the USA and Europe, returned home after a nearly two-year absence to find themselves embroiled in a bitter dispute over the planned embassy. The dispute erupted into a full-fledged political crisis when a minority of leaders who opposed the embassy ignored a majority decision of the Cabinet and cancelled the embassy. Their autocratic action precipitated the resignation of half of the core leaders of the government, including Soejima. At the time it happened the dispute over Korea was seen as a defining moment in domestic politics and since then it has taken on even greater symbolic importance. Despite its importance, however, it was just one part of a larger process of consolidating government power and transforming Japan’s diplomatic relations after the Restoration. To modernize Japan’s diplomatic relations, the government needed to inscribe new political meanings onto Japan’s borders and to institute those meanings in new diplomatic practices. That necessarily required challenging the diplomatic status quo in East Asia, and convincing Japan’s neighboring

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states that they must not only set aside precedents from the early modern period but also recognize Japan’s new imperial sovereign authority. The Korean kingdom found this break with precedent unacceptable, leading to perceptions in Japan of Korean intransigence that precipitated calls for a possible invasion of the kingdom. China also posed a threat to Japan, because it could be expected to fight to defend its claim to territorial authority in Korea, Taiwan, and the Ryūkyū Kingdom. The Japanese government had to deal with all of these interrelated diplomatic problems as it sought to modernize its territorial authority, and practically speaking it could not deal with them all simultaneously. It had to set priorities, something it did not do well during its first decade. Although many historical accounts argue that the government decided to dispatch the expedition to Taiwan in response to the dispute over Korea, the timing of the decision to go to Taiwan and the government’s dispute over Korea policy resulted primarily from the government’s haphazard prioritization of how it should deal with the many diplomatic problems it faced. This chapter will begin by explaining the Soejima Mission to Beijing, which posed multiple challenges to Chinese territorial authority but also provoked opposition within the Japanese government because of Soejima’s belligerence. The domestic opposition is instructive because it prefigured concerns about a possible embassy to Korea later in the year. The chapter will also show that the government’s Taiwan policy and Korea policy were closely linked, and that the government usually gave priority to Taiwan. Notably, the dispute over Korea in 1873 did not precede planning for the expedition to Taiwan, rather it delayed the expedition and made the planning for it more fraught and contentious. One consequence of the dispute over Korea is that it exposed confusion about what imperial orders meant and how government policies sanctified by imperial authority should be implemented, a problem that recurred during the dispatch of the Taiwan Expedition. A second consequence of the dispute over Korea is that it forced the government to clarify its haphazard foreign policy priorities. The consensus about priorities that emerged from the dispute provided a more stable basis for decision making for several years to come. Finally, the chapter will show that the government continued to see the colonization of the indigenous territory of Taiwan as an important goal so long as it did not provoke war with China.

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The Soejima Mission That the government of Japan intended to mount a serious challenge to China’s territorial authority and to assert its place in the international system became apparent at the time of Soejima Taneomi’s diplomatic mission to Beijing in 1873. With respect to Western powers, Soejima wanted to improve Japan’s stature by asserting a role for Japan within the community of Western diplomats in China. With respect to China, he had three goals, first, to set the stage for Japan’s annexation of the indigenous territory of Taiwan, second, to assert Japan’s claim to sovereignty over the Ryūkyūs, and third, to clear the way for Japan to approach Korea outside the constraints of the Chinese tribute system. The three goals amounted to a serious challenge to Chinese territorial authority and to the ideology of Chinese centrality. By bringing the challenge to the Chinese, Soejima’s diplomacy projected the effects of Japan’s embrace of sovereignty in the Meiji Restoration into its diplomatic relations with China and he initiated a major strategic competition over the norms and practices of state power in East Asia that continued for decades. His mission boldly asserted a leadership role for Japan in the region and it pressured Western powers to pay more respect to Japan, but while his initiatives promised to increase Japan’s stature overseas they also provoked opposition within the Japanese government because of their belligerence. From an early point in planning for the mission to Beijing Soejima intended to deal with two problems. The first was the matter of the Ryūkyūans who were murdered in southern Taiwan, and the second was the Audience Question that arose when the Chinese government refused to grant Western diplomats an audience with the emperor Tongzhi in 1873. Western powers, led by Britain and France, won concessions from the Chinese government at the end of the Arrow War in 1860, including permission for their ministers to have an audience with Tongzhi in order to present their credentials to him. Their audience was postponed during Tongzhi’s minority, but when he reached the age of majority in February 1873 Western ministers submitted a request for an audience and, as they anticipated, the Chinese government declined the request. Thus began the protracted disagreement known as the Audience Question. The strategic opportunities presented to Japan by the Audience Question soon became apparent to Soejima. It is not certain who first proposed the idea of having him lead an embassy to Beijing, but Charles

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DeLong, the American minister to Japan and a relentless self-promoter, claimed credit. In a letter to the American Secretary of State, DeLong revealed the strategy that Soejima intended to use: Japan would settle the Audience Question by forcing the Chinese emperor to receive its ambassador and if that effort failed it would suspend relations between the countries and go to war.4 An account by Ōhara Shigemi, who kept Iwakura Tomomi informed about deliberations in the government during his absence from Japan as he visited the USA and Europe, indicates that Soejima intended to pursue ceremonial goals, including the audience with the Chinese emperor, and strategic goals such as challenging China’s diplomatic authority.5 On December 9, 1872, the Cabinet met and decided on five preliminary goals for the embassy: Soejima would (1) have an audience with the Chinese emperor, (2) exchange ratifications of the Treaty of Amity negotiated the year before, (3) inform Chinese authorities of Japan’s claim to sovereignty over the Ryūkyūs, (4) inform Chinese authorities that a group of Ryūkyūans had recently been massacred by indigenous villagers in eastern Taiwan and warn them that if they did not take action to prevent future massacres the Japanese government would punish the indigenes itself and take steps to prevent future incidents, and (5) avoid provoking the Chinese government and make every effort to resolve problems through negotiation.6 The first and second goals expressed the ceremonial purpose of the embassy, and they formed the basis of the imperial orders issued to Soejima on December 19.7 The third and fourth goals, left unstated in Soejima’s imperial orders, expressed the strategic goal of challenging China’s territorial authority, and the fifth goal expressed the Cabinet’s concern that Soejima might start a war with China. The ceremonial purpose of the embassy posed no problems for the Cabinet but the belligerence of Soejima’s challenge to the Chinese aroused opposition in the government and led to a long delay in dispatching the embassy. The leaders of the government divided over Soejima’s aggressive intentions toward China in a response that prefigured debates about Japan’s Korea policy later that year. The councillors Saigō Takamori and Itagaki Taisuke supported his plan for Taiwan but Inoue Kaoru, the ranking official at the Ministry of Finance, and the councillor Ōkuma Shigenobu opposed it, mainly because it would place an unsupportable fiscal burden on Japan. In addition, Ōkuma favored maintaining peaceful

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relations with China, something Soejima was willing to sacrifice, and Inoue strongly criticized the idea of seizing territory on the pretext of having a duty to punish the indigenes of southern Taiwan. Inoue also feared that the expedition would exacerbate domestic turmoil and he believed it violated the pledge the leaders had made not to undertake major new policies during the absence of the Iwakura Mission.8 Several months later opponents of the proposed embassy to Korea would cite many of the same concerns. Concerns about Soejima’s intentions led to protracted debates about what the mission to Beijing should try to accomplish and what limits should be placed on Soejima’s diplomatic authority. In the weeks that followed the December decision, Soejima had the American advisor Charles LeGendre prepare memorandum number four (discussed in Chapter 4), which spelled out some of Soejima’s longer-term aims in East Asia. The aggressive nature of the memorandum alarmed several members of the government, especially since Soejima would have considerable latitude in deciding whether to commit Japan to war while he was in Beijing. These concerns prompted the Cabinet to press Soejima to clarify his intentions. He did so in two versions of a fifth memorandum (the Cabinet rejected the first draft as too belligerent), both of which still took as a given the Japanese colonization of Taiwan and the possibility of war with China. Soejima obdurately stuck to his position despite the Cabinet’s reservations and he continued to argue that Japan should colonize the entire island of Taiwan.9 The threat of war with China was the main point of disagreement, however, and in order to restrain Soejima the Cabinet eventually issued orders on February 27 that instructed him to seek redress for the Ryūkyūans who were murdered in Taiwan but that also placed limits on his authority to start a war with China.10 After setting these limits, the government permitted preparations for the embassy to proceed. At Soejima’s insistence, the government elevated him to the position of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, a high diplomatic rank that would increase his freedom of action in Beijing but that would also rival the rank of Iwakura Tomomi during his embassy to the USA and Europe. Soejima also asked for and received authorization to travel to China with two of Japan’s steam-powered warships, the Ryūjō and the Tsukuba, permitting him to make a statement—to both China and Western powers—about the Westernization of Japanese military power. He departed Yokohama with the warships on March 17 and arrived in Shanghai two weeks later.

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Once Soejima arrived in China he began working, with LeGendre’s help, to enhance his diplomatic position. Wayne McWilliams suggests that LeGendre helped Soejima recognize the importance of three goals. The first was to secure recognition of his high diplomatic status from Chinese officials, the second was to secure the same from Western diplomats, and the third was to use the Audience Question to enhance Japan’s influence on Western diplomacy in Beijing.11 As soon as Soejima arrived in Shanghai LeGendre began to advise him about the first task. The local magistrate, Chen Fuxun, invited him to a formal banquet in his honor. Chen had visited Japan the previous year in connection with the Maria Luz Incident, and he undoubtedly wanted to thank Soejima for his help in resolving the dispute. LeGendre advised against meeting the low-ranking Chen, whom Li Hongzhang had delegated to receive Soejima, because it would undermine Soejima’s rank and authority. According to Western diplomatic protocol, Soejima needed to present his credentials formally to the Chinese government before meeting low-ranking officials. The Chinese government delayed receiving his credentials for as long as possible, and as a result even after he arrived in Beijing Soejima refused to meet Chinese officials in person and relied on Yanagihara Sakimitsu, the second ranking member of the mission, to carry out most of the negotiations. While Soejima avoided meeting Chinese officials he made an exception in the case of the high-ranking Li Hongzhang. Soejima arrived in Tianjin on April 19 and had his first meeting with Li there on April 24. He met Li several times during his stay in Tianjin and they spent much of their time sparring over different views of how diplomacy ought to be conducted. Part of the disagreement involved Soejima’s aggressive use of Western cultural symbols, and in some cases even Chinese cultural forms such as poetry and calligraphy, to challenge Chinese assumptions of cultural and political superiority. Even something as simple as the clothing of the Japanese expressed a challenge to the Chinese. Eli Sheppard, the US Consul at Tianjin, described the Chinese reaction to the clothing of the Japanese: The interest and curiosity which is always excited in the minds of the Chinese by the presence of Japanese in this country was greatly heightened in this instance by the fact that the Japanese appeared here for the first time in foreign clothes, i.e., European costume. Among the lower classes this fact simply provoked good-natured, idle curiosity…but among the

114  R. ESKILDSEN literati and official classes a very different feeling was plainly manifest…. The adoption of foreign dress and foreign manners by the Japanese has stung almost to exasperation the proud, stolid Chinese.12

Li Hongzhang recognized the nature of the symbolic attack, and he objected to the fact that members of the embassy wore Western clothing whereas members of previous missions, such as Date Munenari and Yanagihara Sakimitsu during their visit two years earlier, had not. Soejima’s pointed response underscored the aggressive meaning of the symbolism: If, Your Excellency, the dress of foreigners is not beautiful, it is quite useful, especially on board our men-of-war which are also of foreign style…. [S]ince we have changed our dress, we get along very well, so well in fact, that in the ironclad and corvette which we brought with us to China there is not a single foreigner.13

In a later exchange with officials from the Zongli Yamen, the Board of Ministers for Foreign Affairs created after the Arrow War to deal with the Western legations in Beijing, Soejima argued even more trenchantly that Japan had learned from Turkey’s example in the Crimean War and had decided to follow Europe and change its ways, a course that would revitalize Japan’s sovereign rights in the future. He cited the Chinese classics to criticize the Chinese government for not doing the same and for looking down on Westerners, a criticism that left his hosts livid.14 Western diplomats and Chinese officials alike understood the message Soejima intended to convey: The Japanese now sought to use a selective appropriation of Western norms and practices to challenge assumptions of Chinese cultural and political superiority. On April 30, Soejima and Li took a break from their wrangling to hold a ceremony to exchange ratifications of the Treaty of Amity, thereby establishing formal diplomatic relations between the countries, without which Soejima would not have had the standing to ask for an audience with the Chinese emperor. Finally, the embassy left Tianjin on May 5 and arrived in Beijing two days later. Once in Beijing, Soejima and his entourage busied themselves securing recognition of his status as the ranking foreign diplomat in the capital, something he could claim as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and preparing for an audience with the Tongzhi Emperor. For several months, the Western

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diplomats in Beijing had been approaching the Audience Question collectively, and Japan’s late entry threatened to disrupt their negotiations. It was not certain that Soejima’s involvement would be well received. Echoing the advice he had given him in Shanghai, LeGendre told Soejima not to pay official visits to the ministers representing foreign governments before his diplomatic status had been recognized by the Chinese government, partly for reasons of diplomatic protocol but also to force Western diplomats to treat Japan as an equal. LeGendre spelled out the tactics in a letter to an American friend, writing that it was “important for us to enter into diplomatic relations with China, so that the foreign representatives would have no excuse for refusing to acknowledge us as one of their number” and so that Japan could “gain a deliberative voice in the great foreign-Chinese questions.”15 By using the pronoun “us” to refer to the Japanese LeGendre showed he had committed himself to advancing Japan’s interests and that he believed Japan should be treated as an equal to Western powers. LeGendre’s forceful approach, although effective, alienated some of the Western diplomats in Beijing. Frederick Low, the American minister to China, criticized his behavior in a scathing letter to the American Secretary of State. On May 8, a day after the Japanese mission arrived in Beijing, LeGendre paid an unofficial visit to Low and told him that Soejima would insist that all Chinese and Western officials recognize his superior rank. Low rejected the idea that Soejima should take the lead in resolving the Audience Question. LeGendre, citing precedents from international law, argued so aggressively in defense of Soejima’s—and Japan’s—interests that Low sharply criticized LeGendre’s threatening behavior in his letter to the Secretary of State.16 LeGendre’s forceful behavior, and his uncompromising defense of Japan’s diplomatic status, earned him the enmity of some of the diplomats in Beijing and contributed to the foreign opposition to Japan’s expedition to Taiwan the following year, but if the Japanese hoped to get Western diplomats to treat Japan as an equal someone had to speak forcefully to them, and LeGendre embraced the task with relish. The foreign diplomats eventually agreed to meet Soejima informally before the Chinese government had received his credentials, and after meeting him they accepted his status as the ranking foreign diplomat in Beijing. The Japanese mission then turned its attention to persuading the Chinese to permit Soejima an audience. The negotiations proved difficult

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and acrimonious, and at length Soejima gained the upper hand only by threatening to return to Japan without having been received by the Tongzhi Emperor, a diplomatic insult so grave it would have triggered war between the two countries. Soejima’s threat was consistent with what he told Charles DeLong he would do back in November of 1872, but it brought him close to violating the orders he had received from his government to maintain peace. In the end, the Chinese government relented and the Audience Question was resolved when the Tongzhi Emperor received the representatives of foreign governments in audience at the end of June. He received Soejima first, in recognition of his higher diplomatic status, and next received as a group all of the resident ministers representing Western countries. Soejima, with LeGendre’s help, had gained an important symbolic victory over the Chinese government and had enhanced Japan’s reputation among the Western powers.

The Challenge to China’s Territorial Authority At the same time that the Japanese embassy pressured the Chinese government over the Audience Question, Yanagihara Sakimitsu carried out a parallel set of negotiations that challenged China’s claims to sovereignty and suzerainty over several regions that lay between China and Japan: first, in the Ryūkyūs by ignoring Chinese claims to suzerainty and unilaterally asserting Japanese claims to sovereignty there; second, in Taiwan by challenging the Chinese government’s claims to sovereignty over the eastern half of the island; and third, in Korea by undermining Chinese claims to suzerainty and opening the door to Japan’s establishing independent diplomatic relations with the kingdom. As part of this effort, Soejima contrived to extract statements out of the officials at the Zongli Yamen about the status of Korea and the indigenous territory in Taiwan that would provide a basis for future Japanese action. Soejima chose his moment well. Kabayama Sukenori, who accompanied Soejima to Beijing, described the drama of the moment in his diary, writing on June 19, “we have decided on a policy to strike directly with the short sword, raising the Taiwan problem immediately and arguing that our government should deal directly with the raw savages based on the precedent relating to America from several years ago that the raw savages in that area are not part of the Qing empire.”17 Soejima’s strategy in Beijing closely tracked his earlier stated intention either to provoke a rupture in

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Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, which would lead to war, or to pressure Chinese authorities into acknowledging that the indigenous territory of Taiwan lay outside of Chinese control. Either outcome would have been sufficient, in Soejima’s view, to justify an immediate Japanese punitive expedition to southern Taiwan and the eventual colonization of the indigenous territory. On June 20, Soejima announced his threat to break off negotiations with China concerning the Audience Question, and on June 21 Yanagihara Sakimitsu and Tei Einei visited the Zongli Yamen to deliver the blow that Kabayama mentioned in his diary. The meeting between Yanagihara and the officials at the Zongli Yamen was poorly documented—apparently no Chinese record of it exists—and it produced no written agreement or statement, an oversight that may have been intentional.18 Yanagihara began by asking the officials of the Zongli Yamen about the status of Macao, and the officials responded it was Chinese territory that had been ceded to Portugal on perpetual lease. Next, he brought up the French and American expeditions to Korea in 1866 and 1871 and asked the officials whether Chinese policy toward Korea had changed from what they said to the Americans in 1871. They told him it had not, suggesting that Japan could send a similar expedition to Korea without inviting Chinese intervention. Finally, he brought up the matter of Taiwan. Indigenous “savages” had murdered Japanese subjects there in 1871, he stated, and the Japanese government intended to send an expeditionary force to punish them. “But as the region lies adjacent to the territory under the local government of China,” he continued, “the Ambassador [Soejima] thought it better to inform you of the fact, in order to avoid a collision endangering amity between the two empires.” The Chinese officials refuted the implicit Japanese claim to Ryūkyū, countering that the indigenes had killed Ryūkyūans and not Japanese subjects, and they stated unequivocally that Ryūkyū was a Chinese territory. Yanagihara countered by explicitly asserting Japan’s claim to sovereignty over Ryūkyū, and he asked what the Chinese government had done to punish the indigenes who had murdered the Ryūkyūans. The officials answered that they remained “beyond the influence of China.” In the discussions about Taiwan, the Chinese officials had responded as LeGendre predicted, based on his experiences dealing with the Rover Incident. Yanagihara jumped on the Chinese denial of jurisdiction in the indigenous territory and used it as the basis for a veiled threat that Japan would carry out a preemptive colonization of Taiwan to protect

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itself. The Chinese government’s failure to act, he asserted, “might lead to a very serious consequence—namely, the occupation of Formosa by other Powers, as in the case of Cambodia, Tonquin [Tonkin], and Amur districts, which is inconvenient, and a source of danger both to Japan and China. Hence the Japanese Government has decided to undertake the work of chastisement itself.” The officials of the Zongli Yamen responded the same way that officials in Taiwan had responded to LeGendre concerning the Rover Incident years before. “The ‘raw barbarians’ have not been chastised,” they countered, “because they are beyond the reach of our government and culture.” Based on this statement, Soejima later told his own government and foreign diplomats that China had denied any claim to the indigenous territory of Taiwan and to Ryūkyū and had tacitly agreed that they could be annexed by Japan,19 a view that Japan’s leaders continued to hold throughout the diplomatic conflict with China in 1874. Kabayama’s account of what transpired at the meeting reveals more clearly the multiple goals Soejima intended to pursue in the negotiations. He wrote, The raw savages of Taiwan have murdered our countrymen and the Japanese government wants to punish them itself as soon as possible. However, since we have always valued amity and the pursuit of friendly relations with neighboring countries Ambassador Yanagihara expressed our views today [to the Chinese government]. The Chinese government refused to acknowledge that the people murdered by the raw savages were Japanese, but they said they had heard Ryūkyūans were killed and they responded that Ryūkyū is their dependency. [Yanagihara] boldly stated that everyone knows Ryūkyū has always been protected by our country and now is not the time to argue about Ryūkyū, rather it is the time to rebuke the raw savages for their murderous violence. After that no further disagreements arose. Quite the contrary, the unexpected result was that when he raised the Korea matter the Chinese indicated they had no relevant limitations on their relations [with Korea]. This caused all of us to feel exhilarated and invigorated. Needless to say, because American research has explained the source of the problem in the savage territory, objections and disagreements will not arise in the various [Western] countries. [The Chinese] have also been vague and tentative about the Audience Question so now Soejima will negotiate with the intention of returning to Japan. We have decided to do an immediate field inspection of Taiwan and our group will leave the capital the day after tomorrow in order to go there.20

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The dispute with the Chinese government over the Audience Question had not yet been resolved when Kabayama wrote his diary entry and he expected that the negotiations would fail, leading to Soejima’s return to Japan and raising the possibility of war. Irrespective of Soejima’s high stakes gambit, it seemed to the members of the Japanese embassy in Beijing that Yanagihara’s negotiations had cleared the way for an expedition to Taiwan.

Soejima’s Open Secret Soejima played fast and loose with the response from the officials of the Zongli Yamen about China’s limited authority over the indigenous territory of Taiwan, interpreting it as an unambiguous validation of Japan’s plans for colonization. In 1874, Chinese officials played equally fast and loose in expressing surprise at the unilateral action that the Japanese government took in southern Taiwan, as if Yanagihara had not warned them in 1873 what they intended to do. Japanese officials were similarly disingenuous in their repeated denials in 1874 that they had any territorial ambitions in Taiwan, denials that the Chinese clearly did not believe because Yanagihara had indicated those ambitions fairly clearly in 1873. Depending on their tactical needs to build foreign support for their respective positions, both governments offered one-sided explanations or conveniently ignored evidence. Despite the denials and feigned surprise, their actions suggest that both sides understood clearly what the other side thought. Western diplomats also had a good idea about the intentions of the Japanese government in Taiwan long before they began to raise objections to the expedition in the spring of 1874. For example, while Soejima was in Beijing in 1873 he told the American Minister Low that in dealing with the Chinese government he had two intentions. First, he intended to determine whether “China is responsible for the acts of the aborigines on the island of Formosa,” and depending on the answer he would either press China for an indemnity for the murder of the Ryūkyūans in 1871 or give notice that Japan would send a military force to Taiwan. Low’s report to the American State Department shows that Soejima saw the invasion of Taiwan as an alternative if the Chinese refused to pay an indemnity and accept responsibility for policing Taiwan. Second, Soejima intended to determine the precise

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relationship between China and Korea in order to clear the way for Japan to seek redress for outrages the Koreans may have committed against the Japanese.21 Soejima’s statements could not have surprised Low. Only six months earlier DeLong had informed him that Japan intended to send a mission to Beijing and if the mission failed Japan would invade Taiwan.22 Moreover, Low had no concerns about Japan sending an expedition to Korea similar to the one the Americans had sent in 1871, and he even gave Soejima a copy of the statement the Chinese government had given him explaining that the Korean government was independent of Chinese control.23 The Western diplomats in Beijing and Tokyo had a good idea about Soejima’s intentions because he had told them what he would do, and some of those accounts had appeared in published diplomatic records.

The Dispute Over Korea Policy Soejima returned to Tokyo in the summer of 1873, still enjoying the afterglow of his diplomatic success in China, and he expected that the Japanese government would dispatch the expedition to Taiwan that autumn.24 Matters did not proceed as Soejima expected, however, and the government instead turned its attention to Korea. The need to transform Japan’s diplomatic and economic relations with Korea began to pose a problem during the final years of the Tokugawa regime and the problem became more important in the early Meiji period.25 It was not the most pressing problem the government faced in 1873, however. Problems with China in Taiwan and Ryūkyū were more serious and the problem with Russia in Sakhalin was particularly worrisome. Sakhalin had been under an uneasy joint control by Russia and Japan since the 1850s and the unwieldy arrangement had led to several confrontations between Russian troops and Japanese residents there, most recently in the spring of 1873 when Russians attacked a Japanese fishery at Hakkotomari.26 The border in the north needed to be stabilized and while perceived insults from the Koreans clearly aggravated Japan’s leaders the potential of armed conflict with Russia posed a far more serious strategic threat. The problem with China was less urgent than the problem in Sakhalin but the geographical limits of Japan’s authority along its southern border could not be clarified without addressing the status of both Taiwan and Ryūkyū, and that meant engaging China. For the Chinese government, the problems in Taiwan and Ryūkyū had no connection to the

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problem in Korea and they expected it would be dealt with separately, but the Japanese saw all of these problems as linked and they understood that solving the problem with Korea required dealing with China at some point. The policy debates in the Japanese government showed time and again that while Korea was important, a majority of Japan’s leaders thought that the problems with China should be dealt with first. That narrow consensus flipped in the middle of 1873, and one way of understanding the nature of the dispute about Korea policy is that it initiated a debate within the government about how to prioritize its response to several interrelated problems of territorial authority in East Asia. Government leaders argued with each other for months, but by the spring of 1874 the debate produced a consensus about the order in which the problems of territorial authority should be addressed. The path toward that consensus began in the summer of 1873 when the problem with Korea suddenly overshadowed the plans for Taiwan. The trouble started in late May when a local Korean official in Pusan objected to unauthorized trading by Japanese merchants and posted a notice forbidding smuggling. The notice reminded Korean merchants to abide by the law and it referred to Japan as a lawless country. A Japanese official in Pusan forwarded a copy of the notice to Tokyo, drawing attention to its “rude” language.27 The leaders in Tokyo took the Korean notice as an insult to Japan and began to clamor for a response. This was not the first incident that had provoked Japanese anger toward Korea, nor the most serious. The perceived insults began in 1869 and their nature suggests that the transformation of Japanese political authority in the Meiji Restoration created an intractable diplomatic problem with Korea. In 1869, the Foreign Ministry instructed Tsushima, the domain that managed diplomatic contact with Korea during the early modern period, to notify Korea formally of the imperial restoration in Japan. An envoy from Tsushima delivered letters explaining the change to a Korean official in Pusan who adamantly refused to forward them to the royal court in Seoul because they used the terms “emperor” and “imperial edict.” The refusal of the Koreans to recognize the restored authority of the Japanese emperor set off a storm of outrage in Japan. The Meiji government even considered sending an imperial envoy to Korea in 1870, backed by warships, to open new diplomatic and trade relations, a proposal that recalled the Perry Expedition to Japan of 1853 and 1854 and that prefigured the Japanese expeditions to Korea in 1875 and 1876. Kido Takayoshi, a councillor who opposed sending an embassy to Korea

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in 1873, was slated to be the ambassador in 1870, but in the end the government opted to pursue a Treaty of Amity with China first in order to secure Chinese neutrality with respect to Korea.28 The crux of the problem in 1869 was the language the Japanese letters used. The Koreans objected to words that indicated Japan had an emperor because the words elevated Japan to the same diplomatic level as China, which also had an emperor, and implied that the emperor of Japan outranked the king of Korea.29 The Japanese letters were by no means neutral, and in fact they aimed at overturning the diplomatic status quo of the early modern period. The letters expressed a dual message that was typical of early Meiji Japanese diplomatic communications with Korea. They conveyed two discrete meanings, one based on Western diplomatic practice that expressed the equality of sovereign states and another based on East Asian diplomatic practice that asserted the superiority of Japanese imperial authority.30 Translated into English or other Western languages the communications appeared unremarkable and conformed to Western norms. In the Chinese original, however, they challenged centuries of diplomatic precedent and asserted a higher status for Japan at Korea’s expense. For the Japanese, it was not a question of conveying one or the other of these meanings. Rather, both needed to be conveyed simultaneously: The communications expressed the hybrid understanding of sovereignty described in Chapter 2 that informed the Meiji Restoration and they used Japan’s new relationship with the West to present Japan simultaneously as equal to and superior to Korea. To conform to Western diplomatic norms the Meiji government needed the Korean government to recognize the sovereign authority of the emperor, but the message of Japan’s superiority built into the ideology of the Meiji Restoration was a bitter pill that the Koreans could not swallow. The perceived insult in 1873 added to the sense of injury in Japan and provoked calls for a firm response. Ōkuma Shigenobu, writing about the events more than twenty years after the fact, remembered Soejima as the driving force behind the plan to send an embassy to Korea, and that Saigō Takamori, usually remembered as the main proponent of “chastising” Korea, only became interested in the plan after Soejima threw his support behind it.31 The Cabinet met early in July 1873 to discuss the report from Korea, and while they agreed that an envoy should be sent they disagreed over whether a large military force should be sent as an escort. Soejima’s name was suggested as the best candidate to serve as the envoy to Korea, and when he returned to Tokyo at the end of July

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he assented. Soejima had the backing of Sanjō Sanetomi but Saigō began to lobby to be appointed as envoy instead.32 To gain support Saigō wrote a well-known letter to Itagaki Taisuke where he exclaimed, “If it is decided to send an envoy officially, I feel sure that he will be murdered. I therefore beseech you to send me. I cannot claim to make as splendid an envoy as Soejima, but if it is a question of dying, that, I assure you, I am prepared to do.”33 His letter is usually understood to mean he intended to go to Korea and give such a spirited defense of Japan’s imperial dignity that the Koreans would become enraged and murder him, and his death would provide a pretext for war. His motivations remain unclear, however, and some scholars, including Mōri Toshihiko, have argued that Saigō may have wanted to negotiate a peaceful solution to the diplomatic standoff.34 Whatever his motivations, he surely wanted to upstage Soejima, and in mid-August he won that battle by having himself appointed to the prestigious post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Korea. His appointment came with the understanding that the embassy would wait until the Iwakura Mission returned to Japan from Europe.35 After the Iwakura Mission returned Iwakura joined Ōkubo Toshimichi, Kido Takayoshi, Ōkuma Shigenobu, and several others in opposing the embassy to Korea. Their bitter disagreement precipitated a catastrophic split in the government that led Ōkubo and his supporters to submit their resignations in protest in the middle of October. Iwakura refused to accept their resignations, and negotiations to resolve the impasse continued. Sanjō Sanetomi, who presided over the meetings of the Cabinet in his capacity as Prime Minister (Dajō Daijin), fell ill from stress and Iwakura replaced him as acting Prime Minister. The Cabinet decided by a majority vote to dispatch the embassy to Korea and, in an autocratic act that subverted the political process, Iwakura simply refused to inform the emperor of the Cabinet’s decision. His action outraged the councillors who had voted in favor of the embassy and in late October Saigō, Soejima, Itagaki, and several others resigned in protest.

The Decision to Go to Taiwan The government made its decision to send the Japanese expedition to Taiwan in the aftermath of its dispute about Korea. If the Taiwan problem is considered in isolation the government’s decision seems puzzling, but from the outset most government leaders expected to deal with

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Taiwan before Korea, and after the dispute over Korea they returned to that stance.36 Since at least December 1872 Soejima expected for Japan to send an expedition to Taiwan, to be followed by an expedition to Korea, and as late as September 1873 he continued to argue that the expedition to Taiwan should take precedence. In the beginning, at least, Saigō Takamori had a similar understanding. Even Ōkubo, Ōkuma, and Iwakura, the three leaders who opposed the embassy to Korea, later expressed the expectation that the Taiwan problem should be addressed first. Historians have given several explanations for the decision to go forward with the expedition to Taiwan after the dispute over Korea, often attributing it to pressure from disgruntled samurai. To be sure, samurai discontent had an influence but distaste for Iwakura’s political methods and lobbying by longtime advocates of sending an expedition to Taiwan were more important factors. In the end, the dispute over Korea policy simply delayed the expedition to Taiwan and it did not fundamentally change the government’s approach toward Taiwan or China. Ōkubo Toshimichi and Ōkuma Shigenobu emerged from the tumultuous disagreement over Korea as the most powerful leaders in the government and they assumed responsibility for dealing with the Taiwan problem. An assassination attempt early in 1874 that nearly killed Iwakura, and the Saga Rebellion that broke out a few weeks later, must have influenced their thinking,37 but the debate about going forward with the expedition to Taiwan began before either of those events happened and the debate was driven primarily by disagreements over Japan’s foreign policy priorities. Before he fell ill in October 1873 Sanjō reluctantly agreed that Saigō should lead an embassy to Korea, but during his illness Iwakura, Ōkubo, and other opponents of the embassy ignored Sanjō’s decision. To rally opposition to the embassy Iwakura proposed an alternative, that the outstanding border problem with Russia should be addressed first after which an embassy could be sent to Korea. Soon after the faction supporting the embassy to Korea resigned from the government Ōkubo began to push for a decision to send an ambassador to Russia. Ōkubo and Iwakura may have used the Russia problem rhetorically to stop the embassy to Korea, but Ōkubo took the problem seriously enough to act on it almost immediately. The Cabinet had little difficulty agreeing to the proposal and in mid-January Enomoto Takeaki was selected to lead an embassy to Russia. Debates about Enomoto’s instructions dragged on for months as the leaders disagreed about what to do concerning Sakhalin, but the disagreement was resolved in

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March 1874 when the Cabinet decided that Japan had to abandon its claim to Sakhalin, and soon after the Saga Rebellion was suppressed the government gave Enomoto his formal instructions to go to Russia.38 The Korea problem had only been postponed in order to deal with Russia first, however, and as the political process unfolded opposition to Ōkubo and Iwakura hardened over how they had handled the dispute about Korea. Once Sanjō returned to his duties as Prime Minister in December 1873, he began pressing Ōkubo to follow through with the commitment Iwakura had made to send an embassy to Korea, and in January he instructed Ōkubo and Ōkuma to investigate the Korea and Taiwan problems. Takahashi Hidenao argues that Sanjō, surprised at how Iwakura and Ōkubo took advantage of his absence to circumvent the decision to send Saigō Takamori to Korea, and under pressure from Satsuma samurai, pressed Ōkubo to follow through on the commitments he and Iwakura had made during the political crisis in October. Takahashi concludes that the decision to go to Taiwan was made on the basis of a contrived “misunderstanding” where Satsuma samurai agitated for an expedition to Korea and Ōkubo relented by agreeing to an expedition, but to Taiwan rather than to Korea.39 Ōkubo may have used a bait-and-switch maneuver to placate the Satsuma samurai, but pressure to send an expedition to Taiwan had been building since December and the Korea problem quickly receded in importance. One source of pressure came from several agents who went to Taiwan in the summer and autumn of 1873 and who returned to Japan in December. Soejima sent Narutomi Seifū, Kodama Toshikuni, Fukushima Kyūsei, and several other agents to Taiwan to prepare for the invasion of the south and the colonization of the east coast. They feared the expedition to Taiwan might be cancelled in the wake of the dispute over Korea and when they returned to Japan in December they lobbied aggressively for the expedition to move forward as planned. Fukushima Kyūsei, who had also supported sending the embassy to Korea, framed his argument in favor of an expedition to Taiwan in terms of respecting the imperial will. In a report filed with the Foreign Ministry in December 1873 he aimed a thinly veiled criticism at Iwakura and Ōkubo for failing to do so: Every time there is an imperial will, truly it is a mission that should be respected, and once an imperial directive has been given it should not be reversed. It is crucial that we punish the savages [in Taiwan]. Once a

126  R. ESKILDSEN favorable opportunity has passed by it cannot be recovered. In this case, if the matter [of punishing the savages] is delayed others will take the lead. This will bring contempt from foreign countries and will crush our spirit at home. Indeed, it will lead to unforeseen clashes and people may say that the strategy was inept.40

“Imperial will” referred elliptically to the decision made by the Cabinet and approved by the emperor to send Saigō Takamori to Korea as ambassador. Fukushima implied that Iwakura and Ōkubo, who overturned the decision, could not be trusted to implement a sensible solution to the Taiwan problem and he warned that further delay would give some other country the chance to seize the indigenous territory of Taiwan. As Chapter 6 will show, anxiety that Europeans or Americans might win the race to exploit the indigenous territory of Taiwan preyed on the Japanese agents who went to explore the island in advance of the expedition. Those anxieties stoked their desire to annex the indigenous territory of the island preemptively. For Fukushima, losing the race to exploit Taiwan, more than disrespecting the imperial will, would provoke “unforeseen clashes” at home, an ominous foreshadowing of samurai rebellion. It is difficult to say how much influence Fukushima and the others had on the policies formulated by Iwakura, Ōkubo, and Ōkuma Shigenobu, but all of the agents eventually received orders to return to Taiwan, and Fukushima himself was subsequently appointed as Japan’s Consul at Amoy. They had valuable firsthand knowledge of Taiwan that the government could not afford to ignore and the government drew on their expertise to plan and carry out the expedition, and it is likely their lobbying swayed the government.41 In response to Sanjō’s request in January that they investigate the Korea and Taiwan problems, Ōkubo and Ōkuma prepared proposals for submission to the Cabinet, and it approved the first of the proposals, “Taiwan banchi shobun yōryaku” (Outline for the Disposition of the Savage Territory of Taiwan), at its meeting on February 6.42 Kido continued to oppose the expedition and he refused to attend the meeting.43 The document followed Soejima’s proposal from the previous year, explaining how the government would prepare for the invasion of southern Taiwan and offering similar justifications for the expedition. It reiterated Soejima’s claim, appropriated from LeGendre, that the indigenous territory was “unclaimed land,” and by referring to it in those terms the

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Outline established the logical basis for colonization that LeGendre had spelled out in his memoranda for Soejima. The document also articulated a strong claim to Japanese sovereignty over the Ryūkyūs and took that claim as justification for Japan’s right to punish the indigenes who had murdered “our Ryūkyū people.” It stated that a minister would be dispatched to Beijing to handle any Chinese challenges to Japan’s claim to the Ryūkyūs or to its right to punish the indigenes, and that a consul would be dispatched to Amoy to manage communication with Chinese officials in Fuzhou and Taiwan. It ordered both of those diplomats to preserve peace. Finally, it ordered a handful of agents to proceed to Taiwan to explore the indigenous territory and to investigate the anchorages in southern Taiwan where Japanese troops would land. The agents it named included Fukushima Kyūsei, Narutomi Seifū, and Kodama Toshikuni, all of whom had already been to Taiwan and had submitted lengthy reports about conditions there.44 After the Cabinet approved the Outline, Iwakura expressed relief in a letter to Ōkubo that the decision had been made but he noted that the question of colonization had not been decided and would have to be discussed again.45

Plans for the Expedition After extensive debate, and again with sharp dissent from Kido Takayoshi, the Cabinet subsequently decided to authorize the plan to establish colonies in Taiwan, but it rejected Soejima’s more aggressive vision of territorial expansion in East Asia and elected to pursue a more limited vision of occupying southern Taiwan and colonizing the eastern part of the island. Final plans for the expedition took shape during the turbulent months of February and March 1874. Rumors of unrest in Saga reached Tokyo early in February, and outright rebellion erupted on February 16. Ōkubo left immediately for Kyushu to oversee the government’s military response. Suppressing the rebellion sapped the resources of the Army’s garrisons both in Kumamoto and in central Japan, and Iwakura worried that samurai unrest might spread throughout the country. Under the circumstances it would be unwise, he thought, to dispatch an expedition to Taiwan that would draw the government’s military forces away from the potential need to put down domestic trouble. He also put a brake on other foreign policy initiatives in Ōkubo’s absence.46 By the end of February government forces had broken the resistance of the rebels in Saga and in early March Ōkubo announced to the

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Cabinet that the rebellion had been defeated. He remained in Kyushu to oversee the effort to track down Etō Shinpei and other rebel leaders who had fled, and the Cabinet resumed its deliberations about foreign policy. They approved instructions for Enomoto Takeaki’s embassy to Russia and they made rapid progress in preparing for the expedition to Taiwan. On March 13, Charles LeGendre submitted a plan for the expedition to Ōkuma Shigenobu.47 It resembled what he had written for Soejima late in 1872 but was more specific and focused. The plan identified two purposes for the expedition. The first was the “real purpose” of establishing multiple colonies along the east coast, but since this purpose might provoke foreign opposition it had to be concealed by a second “ostensible purpose” of punishing the indigenes of southern Taiwan who had murdered the shipwrecked Ryūkyūans. The plan devoted some attention to the pacification of the indigenes but it placed clear emphasis on the purpose of colonization, and it spelled out several steps that must be taken, including the following explicit instruction: To occupy with military colonies, either by force or by means of negociations [sic] with the aborigines, that portion of the aboriginal coast that may not already have been occupied, from Chasiang to a point on the east coast in about latitude 24° 33′ north.

The plan thus envisioned the establishment of multiple colonies in southern Taiwan and at various points along the east coast as far north as Suao (see Map 6.1). In the plan LeGendre suggested putting the expeditionary force under the command of a “High Commissioner,” and he nominated himself serve as an “Associate Commissioner” because of his familiarity with the area. The expedition would also need Japanese military and naval commanders, supported by key foreign personnel serving under them. He recommended James Wasson, a lieutenant on leave from the American Army serving at the time under Horace Capron at the Hokkaidō Colonization Office, to serve as Chief Engineer and to oversee the construction of defensive fortifications for the military base to be established in southern Taiwan, and he recommended Douglas Cassel to be in charge of selecting locations along the east coast for the military

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colonies that the expeditionary force would establish. Cassel, a lieutenant commander in the American Navy, took a one year leave of absence to join the Japanese government as an advisor. LeGendre also recommended that the government hire Patrick Manson, an English physician he knew from his Amoy days. Manson had lived in Takao for years, spoke the local Taiwan dialect, and had visited Pilam several times, forming a close friendship with a man named Chen Ansheng who since then had become the leader there. While LeGendre stressed Manson’s role as an interpreter, he also expected him to provide his services as a doctor and to help smooth over problems that might occur when the Japanese established the colony in Pilam. He hoped the expedition would be able to depart by the end of March, and if it did he expected that we will be able to fairly settle at Sialiao with the corps of expedition, and occupy three points on the east coast before the end of May…and complete the annexation of Aboriginal Formosa in such season that His Majesty will receive the tidings of it on the 1st of January, 1875.

LeGendre’s hopes proved optimistic. By the end of March, the government had only just appointed Saigō Tsugumichi and several others to “investigate the disposition” of the indigenous territory of Taiwan,48 and the Cabinet had not yet committed to the plans for establishing colonies there. Saigō, leery of what had happened during the debate about Korea, pressed Sanjō Sanetomi for an explicit decision by the Cabinet on the question of colonization.49 On March 29 Ōkuma invited Saigō, Foreign Minister Terashima Munenori, and several other principals to his residence for a discussion about how to proceed, and on March 30 the Cabinet formally approved the plan for establishing colonies. The discussion is not well documented but the orders Saigō received in March placed strict limits on his authority to establish colonies—a measure taken to prevent war with China—and the limits remained in force throughout his stay in Taiwan (an analysis of his orders will be given in Chapter 8). As he had in early February, Kido expressed his strong disapproval by refusing to attend the meeting.50 Iwakura, on the other hand, believed that the Taiwan problem had finally been resolved and he expected the government to turn its attention once again to the Korea problem.51

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Implementing the Plans The key decision having been made, the government issued formal orders during the first week of April. It established the Banchi Jimukyoku, a “Savage Affairs Bureau” or “Colonization Office” under the authority of the Cabinet, and transferred LeGendre’s appointment from the Foreign Ministry to the new bureau. It hired Cassel and Wasson as LeGendre recommended, formally appointed Saigō Tsugumichi as commander of the expedition and appointed Tani Tateki and Akamatsu Noriyoshi respectively as the Army and Navy commanders to serve under Saigō.52 The government then began to assemble the army that would be sent to Taiwan. The starting point for understanding the composition of the army sent to Taiwan is a twelve point proposal for pacifying the indigenous territory that Saigō Tsugumichi wrote in early April.53 The proposal suggested that a battalion of infantry, a company of artillery, and a large company of 800 volunteers recruited from Kagoshima would land at Shaliao and establish a base there, and that subsequently half of the volunteers would be sent to Pilam, meaning that Saigō expected half of the volunteers to establish a colony there after the south was pacified. The organization of the army actually sent to Taiwan in April and May closely matched Saigō’s proposal. It numbered about 1600 soldiers, including about 740 from the Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion, 200–250 from the Kumamoto 3rd artillery company, 300 former samurai volunteers who were accompanied by about 300 attendants, plus various staff officers, medical officers, and civilian employees (the composition of the army will be described in more detail in Chapter 7). There is only slim evidence concerning the recruitment of the volunteers slated to become the actual colonists. Saigō asked Ōkuma for permission to recruit 800 former samurai from the various prefectures of Kyushu who would serve as laborers at the time of the invasion of southern Taiwan. According to Saigō’s proposal, the volunteers would help build roads in southern Taiwan and would take up arms should war break out with China. After the planned pacification of southern Taiwan the volunteers would remain in Taiwan to help “civilize and protect” the area, in other words to start Japanese colonies there.54 Ochiai Taizō, a medical officer who went to Taiwan with the expedition, explains that Saigō Takamori handled the recruitment of soldiers in Kagoshima.55 Other sources show, however, that an officer named Yamamoto Masamoto recruited

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39 volunteers from various prefectures (overall roughly a tenth of the volunteer soldiers came from prefectures other than Kagoshima).56 From the early planning stages many members of the Japanese government expected former samurai from Kagoshima to play a special role in the expedition, and some of the Kagoshima soldiers who served in the Imperial Guard or the Police Force who either quit their jobs or were expelled at the time of the dispute over Korea policy were recruited as volunteers for the expedition to Taiwan. When it came time actually to recruit former samurai volunteers to go to Taiwan as potential colonists, however, the presumably hotheaded samurai appear not to have been warm to the idea. In the end, Saigō Takamori and Yamamoto Masamoto managed to recruit only 300 soldiers, no more than 260 of them from Kagoshima, and roughly an equal number of attendants (see Appendix B), and they played a different role in Taiwan than Saigō’s proposal called for, with half of them being organized into a combat unit and the other half working as laborers. Even before the Cabinet made a formal decision to authorize the plans for colonization Saigō instructed LeGendre to sound out his friend Patrick Manson in Amoy. LeGendre sent him a telegram on March 24 asking if he would “accompany myself and friends to Pilam, to remain there for four months at 500 dollars per month.” Manson sent word back two days later accepting the offer. Ōkuma approved Manson’s salary and LeGendre telegraphed his friend in Amoy again on April 7 asking him to purchase supplies for the expeditionary force. Finally, on April 13, the “Department of Colonization” issued a government order to LeGendre under Ōkuma’s seal formally announcing Manson’s appointment to the staff of the expeditionary force.57 Cassel had been hired to oversee the work of establishing the Japanese colony in Pilam and Manson had been hired to help him, although Manson remained unaware of the full intent of the plan. Saigō left Yokohama for Nagasaki on April 9, and by the middle of the month it looked as if the expedition was set to proceed smoothly.

Foreign Opposition to the Expedition Although the Japanese government tried to conceal its plan to annex eastern and southern Taiwan, the purposes of the expedition were far from secret. All the principal British and American diplomats in China and Japan learned of Japan’s territorial ambitions in the spring of 1873

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when Soejima widely reported that China had tacitly agreed to Japan’s annexation of Taiwan and Ryūkyū, and the matter had been mentioned several times in newspapers. When news began to break in the spring of 1874 that a Japanese expedition would be dispatched, foreign newspaper reports openly speculated whether Soejima’s plans for annexation still held. The Yokohama Gazette broke the news on March 30, the very day the Cabinet met to approve the colonial plans, that Japan had declared war against Taiwan. Its editors wondered, “what then comes of Japan’s application to China, and the threatened Expedition from the Empire claiming suzerainty over the island? We sincerely hope Japan…will possess the island altogether.”58 Other papers evinced a more sanguine attitude. On April 7, the Japan Daily Herald derided the planned expedition and wondered if Soejima’s “original programme is to be carried out, or whether it is to be followed at all.” Britain’s Minister to Japan, Harry Parkes, had better sources of information than the newspapers and he had already gleaned by April 4 that the real purpose of the expedition was colonization and that punishing the indigenes was largely a pretext. Concerned that the expedition might provoke war between China and Japan, Parkes telegraphed Thomas Wade in Beijing on April 11 to alert him to the imminent dispatch of the expedition and its purposes.59 Wade told the Chinese government what he had heard and informed his home government that Japan was considering the annexation of Taiwan and that it also had a “design on Korea.”60 After these news reports appeared foreign opposition to the expedition began to spread. British officials wanted to protect British commercial interests in Taiwan that might be disrupted by war, and they faced a serious diplomatic quandary. Since Japan lacked ships and trained ship captains the Japanese government had chartered foreign vessels to carry troops and had hired foreign captains, many of whom were British, to command the ships. British subjects enjoyed extraterritorial protection under the unequal treaties with China and all British subjects would lose that protection if any Britons helped Japan in a war with China. In order to maintain British neutrality, and to protect Britain’s extraterritorial privileges, British subjects could not be permitted to support the belligerent activities of either China or Japan.61 In several letters to Foreign Minister Terashima Munenori, Parkes sought a clarification of Japan’s motives for the expedition and assurances that Japan had obtained China’s assent. On April 13, he informed Terashima that

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“If the Japanese Government has come to a clear understanding with that of China on this subject no difficulty will of course occur, but if on the other hand the Chinese government should regard the expedition as hostile to themselves, Your Excellency will readily perceive that all British subjects engaged in it would have to be at once recalled.”62 The Japanese government had been relying on the verbal assurances Yanagihara had received, on Soejima’s behalf, from the Zongli Yamen in June 1873 that China would permit Japanese forces to land in southern Taiwan. Without written assurances from China, Western diplomats would not accept Terashima’s argument.63 Parkes found an ally in the Japan Daily Herald that ran a story on April 17 leveling scathing—and unfounded—criticism at the US Minister John Bingham for abetting the Japanese by permitting American ships to participate in the expedition. The criticism had the desired effect of prodding Bingham into action. He contacted Terashima the following day and, citing the Herald article, inquired whether “any ships of the United States have been chartered under the authority of the government of Japan to engage in a military expedition against and hostile to Formosa, and whether any officers or citizens of the United Sates have been employed by the government of Japan in such expedition,” and he protested the Japanese government’s use of US citizens or ships in hostile action against China. Terashima offered assurances that the expedition had no hostile intent toward China, but Bingham refused to accept Terashima’s explanation until Japan had received written consent to the expedition from China, and he reiterated his demand that US citizens and ships should not be used. In response to Bingham’s protests, the Japanese government agreed to “detach” the US transport New York and the American advisors LeGendre, Cassel, and Wasson from the expedition.64 The unexpected opposition from the foreign ministers and the growing talk of war with China was the last straw for Kido Takayoshi who resigned from the government in protest on April 18,65 and the uproar prompted the Cabinet to decide to postpone dispatch of the expedition on April 19.66 In the meantime, Saigō had arrived in Nagasaki where he continued to prepare to depart for Taiwan. The Cabinet ordered Fukushima Kyūsei to go to Nagasaki and tell Saigō about the decision to postpone the expedition. He arrived on April 25 and on the next day he met Saigō to discuss the situation. Saigō explained that with spirits running high among the troops it would be impossible to postpone the expedition.

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When they met again the next day, joined this time by Akamatsu and Tani, Saigō decided to dispatch Fukushima, Cassel, Wasson, and about 150 troops to southern Taiwan via Amoy. With spirits still running high among the troops, Saigō decided it would be best to send the rest of the force as soon as possible and he dispatched the rest of his ships, under the command of Tani and Akamatsu, on May 2. When Ōkubo and Ōkuma arrived in Nagasaki the next day they found themselves facing a fait accompli: Much of the expeditionary force had departed and could not be recalled, and the Americans Cassel and Wasson had already arrived in Amoy and could not easily be detached from the expedition. Saigō, mindful of how the decision to countermand the embassy to Korea had led to the Saga Rebellion, had forced the issue and dispatched the expedition before Ōkubo and Ōkuma could stop him. Ōkubo had little choice but to affirm Saigō’s actions after the fact. The three agreed that Cassel and Wasson would be detached from the expedition once Saigō arrived in Taiwan, although in the end that did not happen, and Ōkuma ordered LeGendre to return to Tokyo at once to deal with the protest that Bingham had raised. Ōkubo and LeGendre departed for Tokyo on May 6, and within a few days Saigō had arranged to buy a couple of ships in Nagasaki, at inflated prices, to replace the ones lost to Bingham’s protests. With his newly acquired transport ships he proceeded with the balance of the expeditionary force to southern Taiwan.67 Saigō’s preemptive dispatch of the expedition may have been an act of insubordination, but the matter is not clear-cut.68 Danny Orbach argues that Saigō’s decision to dispatch the expedition was an act of disobedience that set a pattern for later acts of military leaders disobeying orders. Orbach fails to consider the many instances where Saigō followed his orders, however, and more importantly he does not distinguish carefully between Saigō’s imperial orders, which clearly authorized him to dispatch troops to Taiwan, and a decision made by the Cabinet without imperial approval that intended to overturn orders that had been approved by the emperor. The imperial orders Saigō received in March authorizing the expedition were never countermanded and they gave him the authority to dispatch the ships under his command. His formal orders could legitimately be seen as an expression of the emperor’s will, and Ōkubo intended to override them with verbal instructions from the Cabinet that did not have the sanction of the emperor’s approval. Saigō’s orders did include a restriction that he must receive further

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permission before he could proceed with the colonization of the indigenous territory, and when the time came to make that decision Saigō followed his orders and sought permission (that process will be explained in Chapter 8). While Saigō clearly ignored the will of the Cabinet in dispatching the troops under his command it is difficult to state categorically that he disobeyed orders because his imperial orders were never countermanded. The muddled process of dispatching the expedition shows that the government still had not clarified what an imperial order meant, how it ought to be issued, and how it ought to be countermanded. The storm of protest at the autocratic decision to stop the embassy to Korea in 1873 and the terrible rebellion it provoked in Saga hung like a pall over the expedition to Taiwan. Under the circumstances Saigō acted prudently. If he had not dispatched the expedition the former samurai who had been recruited to fight in Taiwan and establish colonies there would have risen up against the government because it had once again not kept its word and had not respected the imperial will. The government seems to have developed a clear understanding of the problem of Saigō’s orders and when it came time to withdraw the expeditionary force from Taiwan at the end of November it issued new imperial instructions and sent the Grand Chamberlain Higashikuze Michitomi as an emissary from the emperor to deliver them in person to Saigō.69

Conclusion The decision to dispatch the expedition to Taiwan took place amidst the conflict that arose, both domestically and abroad, from the uneven process of creating a new government in Japan after the Meiji Restoration. Japan’s leaders often disagreed about government policy but, as partisans in the struggle to restore the emperor to power, they took imperial authority seriously and by all appearances many of them truly believed in it. Their commitment to imperial authority amplified their outrage at perceived insults by Korean officials in 1873 and temporarily elevated the importance of the Korea problem. The resulting dispute over Korea policy created a terrible rift among Japan’s leadership precisely because of uncertainty about what it meant to sanctify policy decisions as an expression of the imperial will. At the same time, the government faced the problem of how to gain recognition of Japan’s new sovereign authority from its neighboring states. To do so required convincing them to

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abandon old precedents and enter into new diplomatic agreements that at least tacitly acknowledged the ideology behind the restored authority of the emperor. Not surprisingly, the process did not go smoothly. The dispute over Korea raised the specter of civil war, but it was not so much a dispute between progressives and reactionaries, or realists and idealists,70 as it was between advocates of different visions of how imperial authority should be translated into practice and the role that former samurai as a class should play in the new political system. The elimination of the domains in 1871 ended the patrimonial authority of the domain lords and their vassal bands, although it took time for the full effects of the change to register. By the time of the Taiwan Expedition the vassal bands had lost much of the coherence they once had. They may have retained an emotional attachment to their old lords but political action could no longer be justified by loyalty to the lord, only by loyalty to the emperor and Japan. The Saga Rebellion sought not to restore the patrimonial authority of the lord of Saga, but rather to challenge the foreign policy priorities of the government and to oppose a perceived abuse of imperial authority. For similar reasons, Saigō Tsugumichi dispatched his ships from Nagasaki in order to prevent an uprising among the former samurai who had been recruited to serve as volunteers in Taiwan. Their spirits ran high not because they hoped to restore the authority of their former lords but because the government, in the face of Western opposition, seemed to be vacillating and ignoring the imperial will. The “real purpose” of the expedition, to annex the indigenous territory of Taiwan preemptively, also had little to do with discontent among the former samurai. Rather, it aimed at transforming territorial authority in East Asia. Practically speaking, the need to gain recognition of the new boundaries of Japanese imperial authority left the Japanese government with little choice but to pressure China, Korea, and the Ryūkyū Kingdom to abandon the diplomatic precedents of the early modern period and to adopt new diplomatic practices in their stead. As events unfolded over the next several decades the Japanese government repeatedly projected military force abroad to support that purpose. The illusion that the former samurai might exercise a special political role in the Meiji political system largely evaporated with the defeat of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1878, but in the spring of 1874 it was still possible for some former samurai to believe they might play a special role. As subsequent chapters will show, however, that belief was sorely tested by what transpired in southern Taiwan in the summer and autumn of 1874.

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The former samurai volunteers fought bravely in Taiwan but otherwise proved so unreliable that in future military missions overseas former samurai volunteers never again played a role.

Notes









1. Stephen Vlastos, “Opposition Movements in Early Meiji, 1868–1885,” in John W. Hall et al., eds., The Cambridge History of Japan (6 vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988–1999), 5: 367–431. 2. Kyu Hyun Kim, The Age of Visions and Arguments: Parliamentarianism and the National Public Sphere in Early Meiji Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2007); Mark Ravina, To Stand with the Nations of the World: Japan’s Meiji Restoration in World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). 3.  Banno Junji, “Dai san setsu: Meiji seiken no kakuritsu,” in Inoue Mitsusada et al., eds., Nihon rekishi taikei 4: Kindai I (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 1987), 358–359. 4. Delong to Fish, No. 309, November 22–23, 1872, Despatches From U.S. Ministers to Japan, 1855–1906, M133, roll 21. 5. Ōhara Shigemi to Iwakura Tomomi, January 12, 1873, Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Iwakura Tomomi kankei monjo, 8 vols., vols. 18–25 of Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai sōsho (1928; Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1968), 5: 216–219 (hereafter Iwakura Tomomi kankei monjo). 6. DeLong to Fish, No. 323, December 20, 1872, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Japan, 1855–1906, M133, roll 21. DeLong’s despatch to Fish includes a summary of the plans for the embassy that Soejima gave Delong on December 16. For a discussion of the politics surrounding Soejima’s instructions see Chō Ko, “Soejima tai-Shin gaikō no kentō: Soejima gaimukyō ate chokushi o hyōzai ni shite,” in Meiji Ishinshi Gakkai, ed., Meiji ishin to Ajia (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2001), 36–39. 7. Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936–1940), 5: 300 (hereafter DNGB). 8. Chō, 35; Wayne C. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi: Statesman of Early Meiji Japan, 1868–1874” (diss., University of Kansas, 1973), 226–227; Yasuoka Akio, Meiji zenki tairiku seisaku shi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Hōsei Daigaku Shuppankyoku, 1998), 149–150; Ōhara to Iwakura, January 12, 1873, Iwakura Tomomi kankei monjo, 5: 216–220. 9. For example, in a letter he wrote to Ōkuma on February 17 Soejima continued to advocate colonizing all of Taiwan. Soejima to Ōkuma, February 17, 1873, “Ōkuma monjo” B26, Waseda University Library, cited in

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Wayne C. McWilliams, “East Meets East: The Soejima Mission to China, 1873,” Monumenta Nipponica 30 (1975): 243. 10.  Dajōkan satasho to Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi, February 27, 1873, “Meiji rokunen Shinkoku haken chokushi jirei dai-kyūten,” Soejima-ke monjo 97, Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan Kensei Shiryō Shitsu; cited in Chō, 45. 11. McWilliams, “East Meets East,” 237–281. 12. Sheppard to Low, enc. 1, May 7, 1873, Low to Fish, No. 256, May 13, 1873, United States Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1873 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1873), 178–179 (hereafter Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1873). 13. LeGendre to Babcock, July 2, 1873, Papers of Charles William LeGendre, Library of Congress (hereafter LeGendre Papers); quoted in McWilliams, “East Meets East,” 248. 14. DNGB, 6: 151–152. 15. LeGendre to Ammen, May 10, 1873, LeGendre Papers. 16. Low to Fish, No. 256, May 13, 1873, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1873, 178–179. 17. Kabayama Sukenori, “Taiwan kiji,” in Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 198 (hereafter “Taiwan kiji”). 18. The account of Yanagihara’s meeting with officials of the Zongli Yamen is based on the translation by Nagao Ariga, “Diplomacy,” in Alfred Stead, ed., Japan by the Japanese: A Survey by Its Highest Authorities (London: William Heinemann, 1904), 162–163. For the original Japanese see DNGB, 6: 177–179. 19. Soejima to Sanjō, June 29, 1874, DNGB, 6: 160; Low to Fish, No. 264, June 13, 1874, China Despatches, R 35 and DeLong to Fish, No. 458, August 4, 1873, Japan Despatches, R 25, cited in Sandra Carol Taylor Caruthers, “Charles LeGendre, American Diplomacy, and Expansionism in Meiji Japan” (diss., University of Colorado, 1966), 127, 130. See also DeLong’s statements in the San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 1873, in Uchikawa Yoshimi and Miyachi, Masato, eds., Gaikoku shinbun ni miru Nihon: kokusai nyūsu jiten (3 vols.; Tokyo: Mainichi Komyunikēshonzu, 1989–1990), vol. 1 pt. 2: 690. 20. “Taiwan kiji,” 199. 21. Low to Fish, No. 264, June 13, 1873, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1873, 188. 22.  Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, CT: The Shoe String Press, 1965), 168–169.

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23. Enclosure No. 1, Low to Fish, No. 61, April 3, 1871, United States Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1871 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1871), 112. 24. In a meeting with Harry Parkes on August 7, 1873, Soejima explained that Japan would dispatch warships to southern Taiwan within a month. Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983), 37. As Chapter 6 will show, the Japanese spies who went from Beijing to Taiwan in 1873 to prepare for the expedition expected it to arrive in Taiwan around September and to establish colonies there. 25.  Kimura Naoya, “Bakumatsu no Nitchō kankei to seikanron,” Rekishi hyōron 516 (1993): 26–37; Kimura Naoya, “Bakumatsuki no Chōsen shinshutsuron to sono seisakuka,” Rekishigaku kenkyū 679 (1995): 16–29; Shim Ki-jae, Bakumatsu-ishin Nitchō gaikōshi no kenkyū (Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten, 1997); Yasuoka Akio, Bakumatsu ishin no ryōdo to gaikō (Osaka: Seibundō, 2002), 133–155; Yoshino Makoto, Meiji ishin to seikanron: Yoshida Shōin kara Saigō Takamori e (Tokyo: Akashi Shoten, 2002). 26. Akizuki Toshiyuki, Nichi-Ro kankei to Saharintō: bakumatsu-Meiji shonen no ryōdo mondai (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1994), 210–214. 27. DNGB, 6: 280, 282. 28. Yoshino, 118–119. 29. Key-hiuk Kim, The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order: Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860–1882 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 116–120. 30. Ishikawa Hiroshi, “Kindai Nitchō kankei to gaikō girei: tennō to Chōsen kokuō no kōsai no kentō kara,” Shigaku zasshi 108.1 (1999): 47. 31.  Ōkuma Shigenobu, Ōkuma-haku sekijitsutan, ed. Kimura Ki, vol. 2 of Waseda Daigaku Shihenshūjo, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu sōsho (1895; Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shuppanbu, 1969), 268. 32. Ikai Takaaki, Saigō Takamori: Seinan sensō e no michi (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1992), 124–127. 33. Ryusaku Tsunoda et al., comps., Sources of Japanese Tradition (New York, Columbia University Press 1958), 655–656. 34. Key-hiuk Kim, 179–180; Mōri Toshihiko, Meiji rokunen seihen no kenkyū (Tokyo: Yūhikaku, 1978), 140. 35. Mōri, 7. 36. McWilliams, “Soejima Taneomi,” 361; Sidney Devere Brown and Akiko Hirota, trans., The Diary of Kido Takayoshi (3 vols.; Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 1983), 2: 370. 37. Marlene Mayo, for example, argues that the attack on Iwakura and news of the Saga Rebellion provided the decisive influence for the Cabinet to

140  R. ESKILDSEN make its decision on February 6, 1874, to go forward with the Taiwan Expedition. M. J. Mayo, “The Korean Crisis of 1873 and Early Meiji Foreign Policy,” The Journal of Asian Studies 31.4 (1972): 818. 38. Takahashi Hidenao, “Meiji ishinki no Chōsen seisaku: Ōkubo seikenki o chūshin ni,” in Yamamoto Shirō, ed., Nihon kindai kokka no keisei to tenkai (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1996), 42–44; Akizuki, 214–220. 39. Takahashi, 47–49. 40. Fukushima Kyūsei, report to the Foreign Ministry, December 5, 1873, “Gaimushō yori Shinkoku shisatsu Fukushima Kyūsei Taiwan bunkenroku jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•mizunototori [1873] ge•daisan satsu (JACAR A03030099400) (hereafter JACAR A03030099400). 41. Iwakura to Ōkubo, December 20, 1873a, Iwakura to Ōkubo, December 20, 1873b, Rikkyō Daigaku Nihonshi Kenkyūshitsu, ed., Ōkubo Toshimichi kankei monjo (5 vols.; Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1965– 1971), 1: 316–318 (hereafter Ōkubo Toshimichi kankei monjo). 42. DNGB, 7:1–3. 43. Brown and Hirota, 2: 428. 44.  JACAR A03030099400; Narutomi Seifū, Report, December 1873 (no day), “Shinkoku shisatsu Narutomi Seifū Taiwan jijōsho jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•mizunototori [1873] ge•daisan satsu (JACAR A03030099500); Kodama Toshikuni, report to Navy Ministry, January 7, 1874, “Kaigunshō hattō shusshi Kodama Toshikuni banchi jigen kengen narabi ni kaitaku kenchiku shuhei nado shohiseki sho,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] haru•daiyon satsu (JACAR A03030099900). 45. Iwakura to Ōkubo, February 6, 1874, Iwakura Tomomi kankei monjo, 5: 496. 46. Iwakura to Ōkuma, February 28, 1874, Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, 1932–1935), 2: 263 (hereafter Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo); Iwakura to Ōkubo, February 28, 1874, Ōkubo Toshimichi kankei monjo, 1: 331. 47.  Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 22, March 13, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C426, Waseda University Library. 48.  Rinji Teishitsu Henshūkyoku, ed., Meiji Tennō ki (13 vols.; Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1968–1977), 3: 229 (hereafter Meiji Tennō ki). 49. Sanjō to Ōkuma, March 28, 1874, Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 2: 283. 50. Brown and Hirota, 3: 13. 51. Iwakura to Ōkuma, April 13, 1874, Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 2: 289–290.

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52. Meiji Tennō ki, 3:233; DNGB, 7: 18, 20–21; Ōkuma to LeGendre, April 7, 1874, LeGendre Papers. 53. Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, ed., Ōkuma monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, 1958), 1: 47–48. 54. “Horumosa goshobun ni tsuki riku-kaigun kan’in narabi ni Kyūshū shoken shizoku shōshūren ukagai,” April 1, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, kōbunroku, dajōkan, kōbunroku•Meiji 7 nen•dai 4 kan•Meiji 7 nen 4 gatsu•kaku kakyoku ukagai (naishi honka-banchi jimukyoku) (JACAR A01100039300); Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), pt. 1, p. 9 (hereafter STKS). Saigō sent his request to recruit volunteers to serve as potential colonists to Ōkuma Shigenobu, one of the highest ranking members of the government, and Ōkuma, knowing that some of the volunteers would remain in Taiwan as colonists, authorized Saigō to contact the Savage Affairs Bureau (Banchi Jimukyoku) so that funds could be disbursed to pay for the volunteers. “Ōkuma chōkan yori Saigō totoku e Kagoshima ken chōshūbo nyūhi shiharai unnun ōkan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan• dai jūgo kan (JACAR A03031028800). 55. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku (Tokyo: Kunii Gorō, 1920), 46. The same claim is made in STKS, 9. Neither of these sources cites the original source, but Saigō Takamori’s interest in the Taiwan Expedition dated back to the summer of 1873, before the debate about sending an embassy to Korea had erupted, when Takamori indicated his intention to raise volunteers for the expedition to Taiwan. Saigō Takamori to Saigō Tsugumichi, July 21, 1873, Saigō Takamori Zenshū Henshū Iinkai, ed., Saigō Takamori Zenshū (6 vols.; Tokyo: Yamato Shobō, 1976–1980), 3: 369–370. I would like to thank Mark Ravina for bringing this source to my attention. 56. “Saigō totoku narabini shikyoku e Inoue Zenshirō bohei hennyū no gi ni tsuki ōfuku,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe inu jūni gatsu no ichi•dai hachijū san satsu (JACAR A03030362700). 57. Saigō to LeGendre, March 20, 1874, “Saigō totoku yori Rizentoku e dokutoru Manson yatoiire no gi ōkan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•daijūni kan (JACAR A03031013300); telegram, LeGendre to N. C. Stevens, March 24, 1874, LeGendre Papers; telegram, Manson to LeGendre, March 26, 1874, LeGendre Papers; order to pay Manson’s salary, Banchi Jimukyoku, March 6, 1874, “Manson narabi ni Shina tsūbenkan gekkyū sagewatashi no gi muika,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui,

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tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•shūi no ichi (JACAR A03030480700); telegram, LeGendre to Manson, March 7, 1874, LeGendre Papers; Government Order No. 4, March 13, 1874, LeGendre Papers. 58. Quoted in the North China Herald, April 18, 1874. 59. Ishii, 48–53; Yen, 214–215. 60. Wade to Granville, June 4, 1874, quoted in McWilliams, “East Meets East,” 262. 61.  The problems of neutrality and extraterritoriality for Americans and Britons at the time of the expedition are discussed in detail in Chapter 8. 62. DNGB, 7: 31. 63. DNGB, 7: 34–37. 64.  United States Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1874 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1874), 678–681. 65. Brown and Hirota, 3: 20–21. 66. Meiji Tennō ki, 3: 244. 67. “Kanai gonnoshō naishi shisaki nisshi,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] gogatsu no go•daijūyon satsu (JACAR A03030150700). 68. Danny Orbach, “‘By Not Stopping’: The First Taiwan Expedition (1874) and the Roots of Japanese Military Disobedience,” Journal of Japanese Studies 42.1 (Winter 2016), 29–55. 69. STKS, pt. 1, p. 22; pt. 2, p. 126. 70.  Mayo; Hilary Conroy, The Japanese Seizure of Korea, 1868–1910: A Study of Realism and Idealism in International Relations (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960).

PART II

On the Ground in Taiwan

CHAPTER 6

Spies and Explorers

In 1873, a handful of Japanese spies and explorers went to Taiwan to prepare for an imminent military invasion of the south and to lay the groundwork for colonizing the indigenous territory in the eastern half of the island. Diplomatic histories of the Taiwan Expedition typically dismiss the colonial purpose of the expedition, but the diplomatic sources and government documents they use do not adequately capture the government’s intentions. The experiences of the agents who went to Taiwan, by contrast, show not only a persistent interest in colonization but also the striking gap between the abstract plans of the government and the concrete realities of Taiwan. Political turmoil in Japan disrupted plans for the expedition and nearly led to its cancellation, and in the midst of that turmoil several of the agents left Taiwan and returned to Japan where they submitted reports about their explorations and lobbied the government to go forward with the expedition. Their efforts seem to have succeeded and a few months later they received new orders to return to Taiwan. During their explorations, they gained valuable knowledge about Taiwan but also experienced countless problems as they tried to translate the government’s plans for colonization into practice and to respond to events on the ground. The problems they faced included competition from Chinese and Westerners over who would occupy or exploit the indigenous territory, and the Japanese government’s plan for the preemptive exploitation of the indigenous territory clearly exacerbated that competition. © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_6

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The experiences of the agents reveal several features of the Japanese government’s plans for Taiwan. First, the agents focused on the entire indigenous territory, not just the area in the south. Second, their efforts were disorganized and the ambiguous orders they received from the government and their conflicting personal interests led to frequent disagreements about what actions they should take. Third, they were almost laughably unprepared to operate in the difficult environment of the indigenous territory. Finally, they had a keen awareness of the risks and potential benefits of the government’s strategy of preempting Western exploitation of the indigenous territory, and that awareness fed their anxieties and added urgency to their actions. Perhaps most importantly, their experiences show that the government’s plans for colonization were dangerously simplistic and that the indigenous territory was not the blank slate they assumed it to be. Before proceeding, it will be necessary to explain some of the terms that the Japanese agents used in their descriptions of the indigenous people of Taiwan. Chinese sources often contrast “plains aborigines” (pingpufan) with the indigenes who lived in the mountains (shanfan). This binary corresponds loosely to the “cooked savage” (C. shufan, J. jukuban) and “raw savage” (C. shengfan, J. seiban) binary that the Japanese agents used in their accounts.1 These derogatory terms imply a distinction between the presumably civilized indigenes who partially acculturated to Chinese norms and the presumably uncivilized ones who did not. The terms did not map well onto actual behavior, however, nor did they refer to a fixed identity or capture the realities of intermarriage between Chinese and indigenous people. Rather than indicating levels of civilization or ethnic characteristics, the binary terms instead indicated a village’s comparative level of collaboration with the Chinese, and the social and cultural boundaries suggested by the terms were malleable, potentially changing as the level of collaboration changed.2 The Japanese agents paid no attention to these subtleties. They freely described local society using the jukuban-seiban binary, they saw different indigenous groups in static, essentialized terms, and they accepted uncritically the derogatory connotations of the terms. Practically speaking, it is impossible to describe their experiences in Taiwan without reproducing their derogatory attitudes about the indigenous people. In the descriptions that follow, I will use jukuban and seiban in italics to indicate how the agents talked about the indigenes, but I do not accept the derogatory connotations of the terms.

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Kabayama Sukenori in Beijing Of the Japanese agents who went to Taiwan, Kabayama Sukenori left the most detailed contemporaneous record of his experiences. The diary he kept provides a unique view into what he and other Japanese agents were thinking during their explorations, and it, along with accounts by other participants such as Mizuno Jun and Narutomi Seifū, forms the core of the evidence used in this chapter. Kabayama, a former samurai from Kagoshima, developed an early interest in Taiwan and he first expressed an interest in going there in the autumn of 1872. The Council of State issued orders at that time dispatching him to “investigate Taiwan,”3 but debates in the Cabinet over the purposes and methods of the proposed expedition delayed its dispatch and Kabayama’s departure was likewise delayed. In the end, he was instructed to accompany Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi to Beijing rather than to go to Taiwan (157–164; numbers in parentheses refer to pages in Kabayama’s “Taiwan kiji”). Kabayama did not explain the decision in his diary, but the government distrusted Soejima because of his belligerence and they placed limits on Kabayama at the same time that they restrained Soejima. Kabayama left for China on February 20, 1873, and after a leisurely journey he reached Shanghai on March 8 where he met Narutomi Seifū, Fukushima Kyūsei, and Kurooka Yūnosuke, three of the Japanese students sent to China in 1871 for language study.4 Kabayama waited in Shanghai until Soejima arrived, and on April 1 he accompanied the foreign minister to Tianjin, and then to Beijing (168–186). Soejima spent a busy two and a half months in China pursuing the multiple diplomatic goals described in Chapter 5, but even before he arrived in Beijing Soejima assumed that the Japanese would send an expedition to Taiwan soon. While he was still in Shanghai Soejima instructed Fukushima, Mizuno Jun, and several other language students to begin explorations of Taiwan. Kabayama was not permitted to go with them, and instead he spent the spring waiting in Beijing, hearing secondhand about the trips that the others made to Taiwan.5 The situation in Beijing changed dramatically at the end of June when Soejima threatened to break off diplomatic relations with China and Yanagihara Sakimitsu, the second-ranking diplomat in the Japanese delegation who handled most of the actual negotiations with the Chinese government, pressured Chinese authorities into acknowledging that the indigenous territory of Taiwan lay outside of Chinese control. Soejima

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believed the Chinese government’s admission meant the indigenous territory was “unclaimed land” and that Japan could therefore justifiably colonize it. For Kabayama, Soejima’s interpretation meant that he would finally be permitted to go to Taiwan and lay the groundwork for the expedition, and Soejima ordered him to depart immediately (198–199). Kabayama left Beijing on June 23 with Kodama Toshikuni, Narutomi Seifū, and Mizuno Jun, who had returned to Beijing from their trips to Taiwan, and they arrived in Shanghai on July 3. Soejima left Beijing after them and returned directly to Japan without passing through Shanghai, so Kabayama turned to Yanagihara, the next highest ranking member of the mission, for more detailed instructions on how to proceed in Taiwan. He convinced Yanagihara to permit Jōjima Kenzō, who had been studying Chinese for five years, to go to Taiwan and help as an interpreter, and on July 16 Kabayama left Shanghai with the others on a coastal mailer bound for Fuzhou (204–206). Various delays kept them in Fuzhou far longer than expected. After a difficult voyage from Shanghai, Kabayama and his party arrived in Fuzhou on July 20, where they spent over a month trying to arrange passage to Taiwan. During the long wait, Kabayama explored the area and kept abreast of news from Japan as best he could from the Shanghai newspapers that made it to Fuzhou. He also learned as much as he could about Taiwan from Zhang Chenqi, a Chinese man who operated the inn where Kabayama and his party stayed and who had visited Taiwan many times. Not surprisingly, the Japanese attracted the attention of Chinese officials while they were in Fuzhou, and one of them paid Kabayama a visit to ask whether Japan was sending a punitive expedition to Taiwan. Kabayama offered the flimsy cover story that he and his compatriots were merely merchants and they knew nothing about an expedition. His story failed to allay the suspicions of the Chinese but he used it whenever necessary over the next year. The incident shows that from the outset Chinese officials had suspicions about Kabayama and he knew that they were keeping an eye on him (206–211). Kabayama expected that the Japanese expedition to Taiwan would be dispatched within a matter of months and he planned to take part in the fighting in the south. He noted in his diary that he had planned to return to Japan from Taiwan at the end of August 1873, but by the middle of August he had still not even left Fuzhou. He concluded it would be a waste of time to return to Japan and he decided to go to Taiwan instead and await the arrival of the expeditionary force there. He

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received a message from Fukushima Kyūsei in Hong Kong, who had visited southern Taiwan with Kurooka Yūnosuke in May, telling him that he planned to return to Taiwan soon. Kabayama and his party decided that Narutomi should go to Hong Kong to confer with Fukushima, and that either Fukushima or Narutomi would return to Japan to give a report to Saigō Takamori and others in the government on conditions in Taiwan. Finally, a coastal mailer arrived from Shanghai that could take them to Taiwan, and Kabayama and his party departed for Tamsui on August 22, accompanied by Zhang Chenqi, who convinced Kabayama he would need his services as an English interpreter (211–212).

Kabayama Explores Eastern Taiwan Kabayama arrived in Tamsui the following morning, and from the outset he found himself working in and through the peculiar institutions of the treaty port system in Taiwan. As he alighted to a small Chinese boat to go ashore a man named Peterson from the British Consulate greeted him and invited him to dinner and to stay in the Consulate’s compound if he wished. Kabayama declined to stay at the Consulate, but he did join Peterson for dinner that evening. Peterson had helped Mizuno and Kurooka in their explorations near Tamsui a few months earlier and over dinner he described where they had gone and showed Kabayama a map of Taiwan. After dinner, Kabayama retired to an inn run by a man named Peter or Pedro, who is identified in some sources as a Mexican and in others as a German. Peter had married a Chinese woman in Tamsui and made his living running his inn and hiring out several junks that he owned. Peter provided indispensible assistance to Kabayama, and later to Narutomi and Kodama, during their explorations of eastern Taiwan. He possessed a convenient means of transportation, he spoke the local indigenous dialect, he knew how to operate in the political economy of the treaty port at Tamsui, and he knew how to interact with different indigenous groups in northern Taiwan. Indeed, Peter had adapted well to the local political and economic ecosystem and Kabayama would have been hard pressed to accomplish much without his help.6 Almost immediately Kabayama set his sights on exploring Suao, an area on the northeastern coast of the island (see Map 6.1), guided by the hope of establishing a Japanese base near Sansentai that would help prepare for the colonization of the area. Charles LeGendre mentioned Sansentai in the memoranda he prepared for Soejima Taneomi in 1872,7

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Map 6.1  Taiwan c. 1873, with insets of the Suao, Kilai, and Liangkiau areas

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but he never visited the area and only knew about it from accounts of an outpost that James Milisch and James Horn established there in 1868.8 In 1867, the Chinese government imposed a strict monopoly on the production and export of camphor from Taiwan, and Milisch and Horn hoped to circumvent the restrictions by founding a fortified settlement among the “plains aborigines” (pingpufan) in Sansentai and recruiting “plains aborigines” and Chinese settlers to harvest camphor trees for their distilling operation. Horn augmented his influence among the local residents by marrying the daughter of the village headman of Sansentai. The Chinese government saw the outpost as an infringement on their authority and they protested vigorously to the British Minister in Beijing who pressured Milisch and Horn to abandon the outpost.9 Despite the Chinese interest in the area, Kabayama never wavered in his hope of building on the experiences of Milisch and Horn to establish a Japanese outpost there. On August 30, a week after arriving in Tamsui, Kabayama hired Peter and his junk to take him to Suao, and they departed on September 5. Unfavorable winds trapped them in Keelung for several days, but they finally departed early on the morning of September 8 (217). After braving dangerous currents and waves “as high as mountains” that threatened Peter’s junk several times, they arrived late that afternoon at Wushi (present-day Toucheng), a harbor at the mouth of a small river downstream from Kamolan, the administrative center of Kamolan subprefecture (present-day Ilan). Kamolan was incorporated into China administratively as a sub-prefecture in 1810 after decades of unsanctioned encroachment into the area by Chinese settlers,10 but even at the time of Kabayama’s visit several decades later it was still a socially diverse and politically complex frontier region. On September 10, Kabayama and his party headed upriver to the administrative city of Kamolan, where a local official greeted them courteously but with suspicion. He asked them pointedly where they were from, where they were headed, what business they had in the area, and he warned them that since seiban had recently shot to death four Chinese in the area it would be both pointless and dangerous for Kabayama’s party to go “into the mountains” (220). The warning, while not specious, was likely meant to discourage Kabayama’s explorations rather than to save him the indignity of being murdered. Kabayama left Kamolan and returned to the coast but bad weather trapped him in Wushi for another two weeks. Finally, on September

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23, the weather moderated and he and his party left the harbor on the receding tide and after a smooth day’s sailing they arrived in Suao. When they arrived Kabayama noticed several warships in the harbor, probably Chinese although he neglected to identify them. Recognizing the strategic importance of Suao, Kabayama noted that it offered the best harbor on the east coast and that the Japanese would need to exercise care toward the Chinese there (223). Peter anchored his boat near the southern shore of the harbor and a jukuban acquaintance of his greeted them and led them to a nearby village. Kabayama’s attempt to establish a Japanese base on the east coast of Taiwan was about to begin. The village, Nanfengwan, lay just outside of the Chinese administrative boundary and it exhibited many of the features of the Taiwan frontier. Kabayama soon found himself participating in the ubiquitous ritual of diplomacy by feast.11 Forewarned, he brought along a bottle of Chinese liquor for the village headman, and before long the entire village was drinking with gusto. Kabayama immediately noticed the militant nature of indigenous society. The village, he remarked, was well protected by a thicket of bamboo, and a bare skull adorned a narrow shelf at the village entrance, a memento of an attack on the seiban about a month earlier. The seiban had exacted revenge by murdering a young boy whose skull, his hosts speculated, now adorned the entry to the seiban village. The visit left a vivid impression and he remarked that he had heard many strange tales that confounded the imagination (223–224). He hoped to explore some of the seiban villages near Suao and the next morning he visited a village where several of the jukuban had taken seiban wives who might be able to arrange a meeting. That evening the villagers of Nanfengwan gathered once again for a feast, and in his diary Kabayama revealed his intention that Japan should build on the experience of Milisch and Horn to establish a colony in Suao: The ruins of the house of a German man Milisch are in this jukuban village. In the past he was involved in a plan to develop the area…. It would undoubtedly be an advantage if [the jukuban] took the lead in invading the seiban. A plan using sufficient money and food would make it unnecessary to use our soldiers. As the saying goes, use the barbarian to fight the barbarian, use poison to control poison. Indeed, this would not be a difficult matter. If we undertake the effort it will be a stroke of good fortune and a great benefit for Japan. We can benefit from following the practices of the German Milisch which are similar to our plans for governing northern Taiwan. [226]

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Kabayama based his hope for Japan to establish a colonial outpost in the area on a strategy of adapting Milisch and Horn’s approach. He did not mention, and may not have recognized, that the Japanese base he envisioned would be a far more aggressive undertaking than the limited commercial base that Milisch and Horn had established. Nor did he recognize that the Japanese government had changed the political context in Taiwan by telegraphing—both to the Chinese government and to Western diplomats—its intent to annex part or all of the indigenous territory. He soon had to contend with problems and anxiety caused by the new context. A meeting was scheduled for the next day, September 24, with the leaders of the local jukuban villages but in a sign of trouble a Chinese person came to the village in the afternoon and to avoid interference the village headmen suggested holding the meeting on Peter’s boat. In his diary, the next morning Kabayama spelled out what they discussed: Last night we discussed a plan to establish a temporary residence between this harbor and Nanao, and for that purpose we invited all of the headmen on board the boat to have a private discussion and none of them dissented in the slightest, rather they all welcomed it. Because it is dangerous to be near the seiban it would require 30 or so people for protection in addition to 70 or 80 workers in order to go into Nanao and build a house there. It would be difficult to start any operations there so we decided not to do anything rash and, seeing that the weather is favorable, only to explore the area and take a group along for our protection. The best policy is to prepare to spend about three days in the field exploring the area. As we discussed the matter, however, we decided that if we follow through and implement the larger plan in the future we should make a base inside the jukuban area. Nanao is a seiban area, but we do not want to provoke the resistance of the Chinese government. We decided that in order to handle matters peacefully the best approach would be to rely on the [jukuban] headmen and to pay them an appropriate amount of food and money to do the exploring for us. With a payment of 20 taels we should be able to strike a friendly agreement [with the jukuban]. Otherwise we may provoke plots by the Chinese who will spread rumors that the construction is being done by Japanese and as a result the house may be burned down. In that case, a creative solution would be to give the house to the jukuban, and it would not be unreasonable for us to spend a small amount toward that end. We won over their hearts with this argument and decided to start constructing a house tomorrow. We then began the feast and secured their good favor, and then all of the chiefs departed. I must say it felt good to

154  R. ESKILDSEN get started on what we have been thinking about for so many days. The negotiations were handled through Peter’s use of the native tongue or by having Narutomi respond to one of them who could understand English. [227–228]

The village headmen suggested that Kabayama reward them with food and money and build a house for the headman of Nanfengwan, partly to secure their protection against attacks by the indigenes from Nanao but also to avoid antagonizing the Chinese by intruding into the indigenous territory. For Kabayama, the cost seemed cheap and he was relieved to get started, but he still did not recognize the perils of working through the social and economic networks of the local villagers and how much leverage they had over his plans. The next few days gave Kabayama an unforgettable lesson in those risks. The effort to build the house started well and villagers headed up into the hills to gather materials for the construction, but within a few days they began to complain about the work. Kabayama paid them half of the agreed-upon amount in advance, and he continued to give them gifts of cloth and food in an effort to maintain their cooperation. He lamented in his diary that his generosity merely encouraged them to ask for more and their desire for “gifts” continued to mount. More troubling still, warnings that the Chinese might try to interfere proved accurate. Kabayama noted on September 30 that the Chinese had been interfering and raising doubts about the plan to have the jukuban explore the Nanao area for the Japanese. It is not clear who these “Chinese” were, but Kabayama’s diary entry for the next day suggests it was an official from Kamolan. Because the Chinese opposed the plan to explore Nanao the construction of the house in Nanfengwan had to be stopped (227–229). In the meantime, Kabayama’s effort to set up a meeting with a seiban village headman began to bear fruit as several indigenous women came to Nanfengwan to discuss the meeting. Kabayama noted that he was visited by an “interpreter,” one of the indispensable and surprisingly powerful local figures, often outsiders who married into local families, who mediated between different ethnic, political, and economic groups in the frontier areas of Taiwan.12 The interpreter invited the indigenous village headman on board Peter’s boat for a private discussion that took place on October 3. Kabayama gave the headman presents of cloth, pigs, liquor, and even contraband salt that he bought from pirates who paid

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an illicit visit to Suao Bay a few days earlier. One of Kabayama’s reasons for meeting the seiban headman was to gain support for building a road from Suao to Nanao in order to improve communication with the interior. He discussed the possibility with the headman who said it could be done but that it would provoke the local villagers and it would be best not to proceed aggressively.13 Indeed, the area had been unsettled recently—the seiban and jukuban had attacked each other several times, and neither group trusted the Chinese—prompting Kabayama to describe the area as “hostile territory.” Obstacles to Kabayama’s plan continued to mount and he lamented on October 4 that the jukuban were now fighting among themselves and that the jukuban and seiban could not trust each other. Facing insurmountable problems, he concluded it would be impossible to establish a Japanese base near Nanao and he abandoned the plan (234). He left the area a few days later and after a difficult return trip he arrived back in Tamsui on October 16, forty-three days after he had first departed for Suao.

Awaiting Word from Japan After returning to Tamsui, Kabayama spent an anxious several weeks awaiting word from Japan about when the expeditionary force would arrive. When Kabayama left Beijing for Taiwan, almost four months earlier, he expected that the expeditionary force would arrive in the autumn when cooler weather would make military operations easier.14 He was delayed in leaving Fuzhou, and delayed again by inclement weather during his trip to Suao. By the time he returned to Tamsui in the middle of October, the expeditionary force was already several weeks overdue. Unbeknownst to Kabayama, a divisive debate had erupted among the leaders of the Japanese government over whether to invade Korea (Seikanron). It would be months before Kabayama learned how the crisis had split the government and threatened to derail plans for the expedition to Taiwan. In the meantime, he grew increasingly anxious about what might be causing the delay. He worried about rumors that the Chinese government might oppose the Japanese plan to establish colonies in the indigenous territory. In Keelung, the day before he arrived back in Tamsui, he heard that the Chinese had sent a warship to Suao to investigate what Peter and the Japanese party were up to, and two days later he heard again that the

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“Chinese have dispatched a warship to Suao because there are rumors the Japanese are planning to develop the area.” The report, apparently groundless, implied that the Chinese might occupy the area Kabayama had just visited, and if they did so it would invalidate the Japanese argument that Suao was unclaimed land and therefore a justifiable target of colonization. Kabayama rejected the possibility of a valid Chinese claim to the area, writing in his diary that his visit to Suao was justified because the area was entirely outside of Chinese sovereignty, but rumors over the next few days that the Chinese would send 3000 people to start a colony near Nanao simply intensified his concern (237–240). The rumors underscored a key weakness of the Japanese government’s justification for colonization: the Chinese could preempt the Japanese threat to annex the indigenous territory as unclaimed land by occupying the territory themselves. The rumors about the Chinese could not explain the lack of news from Japan, though, and from mid-October to early December Kabayama’s diary betrays open anxiety about it. Soon after returning to Tamsui, Kabayama heard from Jōjima that the Iwakura Mission passed through Shanghai on its way back to Japan from Europe. Kabayama shared the optimistic view of many of Japan’s leaders that the return of Iwakura would ease the problems of the government.15 Kabayama remarked simply that “The return of Count Iwakura will be a good opportunity concerning the problems of current affairs” (238). Since Iwakura had returned plans for the expedition should have been decided already, and the lack of news increased his anxiety. He and the others had not received any newspapers from Shanghai or Hong Kong and they had no other access to information about Japan. He still hoped to explore southern Taiwan, but that would require additional money from the government and he needed further authorization before he could proceed. Narutomi and Kodama had similar concerns and they decided around the end of October they might need to return to Japan to receive further orders. A few days later a mailer bound for Amoy arrived in Tamsui, prompting their decision to leave, and they all departed together on November 3. After arriving in Amoy, Narutomi and Kodama continued on to Hong Kong to report back to Japan by telegram and ask about the status of the expedition. Kabayama and Kodama, accompanied by Jōjima and the innkeeper Zhang from Fuzhou, went to Takao to await word on whether to proceed with the investigation of the south (241–243).

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Kabayama arrived in Takao on November 6, and once again working through the institutions of the treaty port system he promptly visited the British Consulate where he paid his respects to William Gregory, the British Consul and the ranking foreign diplomat in Taiwan. Since Japan had no diplomatic representative on the island, or in Amoy, Kabayama and the others would need to turn to Gregory if they encountered serious difficulties with local Chinese officials (243–245). Kabayama knew that something had gone awry in the government back home, but he still had no specific idea what had happened, and he continued to worry that Chinese opposition had caused the problem or that China had sought the support of the “savages” on the pretext of Japanese encroachment. Delays would cause incalculable damage, he thought, and he regretted that he could not report back to the authorities in Japan (245–246). After nearly a month of waiting, word finally arrived from Narutomi and Kodama. They arrived in Hong Kong on November 10 and learned that a warship had been dispatched to do soundings in the vicinity of Taiwan but they had not been able to contact the ship (they referred to the warship Kasuga that was dispatched to Taiwan and South China on November 11). They decided to return to Japan, leaving Hong Kong on November 27.16 Kabayama still had no specific idea what had happened in Japan, but he heard enough from Narutomi and Kodama to conclude that he should not proceed with his exploration of southern Taiwan. He went to Hong Kong instead, catching a mailer bound for Amoy that very afternoon. He arrived in Hong Kong on December 10 and promptly visited the Japanese Consulate to ask for news about Japan. He finally heard about the debate over Korea policy and that Saigō Takamori, Soejima Taneomi, and Itagaki Taisuke had resigned as councillors and that Saigō had resigned from the Army and Navy Ministries and returned to Kagoshima. Kabayama acknowledged in his diary that he should return to Japan, but he continued to stall in the hope that he might be able to return to Taiwan. He passed up the chance to board a mailer for Yokohama and decided to go instead to Shanghai where he might learn more about what was happening in Japan (257–260). Kabayama arrived in Shanghai on December 20, and for once his luck held as the Kasuga unexpectedly arrived in port on the same day. Several Army officers were on board to help with the ship’s survey mission and since they all stayed in the same Japanese-run inn in Shanghai Kabayama, himself a major in the Army, finally had the chance to learn from them some of the details of the conflict that had split the government.

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He learned of the Russian attack on the Japanese fishery at Hakkotomari in Sakhalin the previous April, and that Saigō Takamori resigned in protest because Iwakura, who took control of the government when Sanjō Sanetomi fell ill, overturned the confidential orders Saigō received to lead an embassy to Korea. The Army Ministry had erupted in turmoil when Saigō resigned. A few days later a mailer arrived from Japan carrying several Army officers, among them Masumitsu Kunisuke who gave Kabayama more details about what had happened. In his diary entry for December 23, 1873, Kabayama recorded his reaction to what he had heard: The argument made by Mr. Saigō [Takamori] aroused the attention of the soldiers in the Army Ministry. The plan was courageous, resourceful, and praiseworthy in abundance. Future relations with our neighboring countries are too important to be neglected and they cannot be dealt with indecisively. Small matters precede great events, and the small matter now is to be resolute in our preparations. A letter came from Captain Saigō [Tsugumichi]. He indicated that a dispute broke out concerning the problems in the three lands of Karafuto [Sakhalin], Taiwan, and Korea, and the Army Ministry nearly blew apart internally, but since then the atmosphere has become calmer. As a result [he says] I should come back to Japan for awhile, and he said he would explain the details later and I would understand his message. Mr. Kodama [Toshikuni] demonstrated his thorough understanding of conditions in Taiwan when he saw him on the thirteenth of last month. Concerning my opinion about the Taiwan problem, [he says] any plans I may have are unnecessary. The unfortunate result [of what he says] is that all of my plans will go up in smoke, and I have not finished my explorations yet. Fortunately the voyage of the Kasuga presents an opportunity and I am thinking of replying that I will go to sea again rather than return to Japan. [262]

The version of events that Kabayama heard, colored by the outlook of members of the Army Ministry, stressed the key role that Saigō Takamori played in the conflict over Korea policy and cast the machinations of Iwakura Tomomi in a negative light, but Kabayama immediately grasped how terrible the domestic political conflict had been. More than anything, he despaired that the expedition to Taiwan might be cancelled as a result. Beyond showing his personal disappointment, Kabayama’s account provides several insights into the government’s split over Korea policy.

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First, it is notable how quickly his earlier optimism about the return of Iwakura gave way to the view that Iwakura had caused the crisis in Japan by his raw power politics. In addition, Kabayama saw Saigō Takamori’s call for action in Korea as admirable but lamented that it distracted from the more important plan for an expedition to Taiwan. Finally, it is striking how Saigō Tsugumichi placed both the expedition to Taiwan and the debate about Japan’s Korea policy in the context of multiple disputes in East Asia. Kabayama continued to think that the Japanese government’s policy toward Taiwan should take precedence over its policy toward Korea and Sakhalin, but he and Saigō shared an understanding that the problems in Korea, Sakhalin, and Taiwan were interconnected, echoing the consolidated approach to East Asian relations that Soejima Taneomi adopted late in 1872.

Return to Taiwan Prospects for an expedition to Taiwan looked bleak as 1873 drew to a close but Kabayama refused to give up and he took advantage of the Kasuga’s cruise to remain in China, ready to return to Taiwan should the opportunity arise. Many months earlier, he had received instructions from Soejima to proceed to Taiwan and prepare for the arrival of the expeditionary force, but after the split in the government Soejima had resigned and those plans looked uncertain. Saigō Tsugumichi had instructed him to return to Japan, but Saigō had no specific authority over Kabayama and the instructions were not strictly speaking orders. Kabayama should have returned to Japan but he interpreted his situation as loosely as possible to justify his decision to remain on board the Kasuga. He spent the next two months on the Kasuga as it made its way down the South China coast to Hong Kong. Despite the Kasuga’s official mission to survey the waters around Taiwan, the crew did not seem to have any pressing business, and during the voyage Kabayama took advantage of every opportunity to meet people and find out more about the foreign communities in the treaty ports they stopped at along the coast and about conditions in China. After the Kasuga arrived in Hong Kong, it spent three weeks there before crossing over to Macao, via Guangzhou. In Macao, Kabayama received word from Japan about the status of the expedition to Taiwan:

160  R. ESKILDSEN Two letters from Kodama Toshikuni and the others arrived from Japan by mailer from Hong Kong. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened since the disturbance that split the government over the Korea problem. Narutomi Seifū and Fukushima Kyūsei have been pressuring the government about the Taiwan incident. Tanaka Shūzō and Ikeda Tokujirō have been ordered to return to Taiwan and they have gone to Tokyo from the Kagoshima branch [of the Kumamoto garrison]. Kodama and the others have received similar orders and they are working their hardest because this time the government is resolute about making a major plan. Accordingly they expect to set sail any day now for Hong Kong and then sail to Taiwan where they will recommence their activities. If I am told to return to Japan now it will simply result in a delay to travel there and back again and I will lose the chance to go on patrols with this ship, so it will not be possible for me to return to Japan. Receiving this news made me feel better and better. I have to say this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. [281]

Finally Kabayama had received some good news about the expedition and he had a good excuse not to return to Japan, and his mood brightened. His optimism dissipated nearly as soon as it had formed. Only two days later, a French ship arrived in Hong Kong carrying newspapers from Yokohama and telegrams reporting that a major rebellion had broken out in Saga and that Ōkubo Toshimichi had taken a warship to Nagasaki where government soldiers and warships were assembling in order to mount a military response. Kabayama felt profound disappointment, and he worried—correctly as it turned out—that the rebellion would interfere with plans for the expedition to Taiwan. Undeterred, he wrote back to Kodama and the others promising to meet Tanaka and Ikeda in Taiwan. The Kasuga left Macao for the Pescadores on February 25 and a few days later sailed from there to Takao, where it arrived on March 9. After enduring a tedious delay of several months and emotional highs and lows about events in Japan, Kabayama had finally returned to Taiwan. On his first trip to Taiwan, the previous summer Kabayama went to Suao to try to establish a base that would support the planned colonization of eastern Taiwan. His effort ended in complete failure and he abandoned the idea, but the diary entry on the day he arrived back in Taiwan shows that he had not abandoned the hope of colonizing the indigenous territory:

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I hoped to explore from this port [Takao] around to the waters on the east side [of the island]. The plan was to do some exploring in the vicinity of Butan and then to go up to Pilam to meet the aborigine named Anshin [Ansheng] who helped rescue our countrymen last summer, and to remain there in order to take advantage of the opportunity to guide that area. Of course I thought that if my plan was implemented the Navy’s future strategy would be easier, so I decided to travel once again on the warship [Kasuga]. Since Mr. James had gone ashore this evening I went to the British Consulate where he explained to me the difficulties involved in traveling around to the east of Taiwan. Not surprisingly some of the equipment on board has been damaged, and if it became physically impossible to sail around [the island] my indulgence would strand us in the middle of the sea. I felt a regret that I could not contain. We will have to think again about our plans for colonial reclamation [shokumin kaikon] in the Nanao area in the north. [288]

James, an Englishman who sailed with the Kasuga from Japan to help pilot the ship (263), threw cold water on Kabayama’s proposal to visit the southeastern coast because the ship itself was not up to the task, a frank assessment that underscored the weakness of the Japanese Navy.17 Reluctantly, Kabayama began to consider returning to the north. Although he was disappointed when James dismissed his proposal to go to Pilam, he did not give up immediately and he raised the matter again the next day. Inoue Yoshika, the captain of the ship, settled the argument by pointedly reminding Kabayama it was not the mission of the Kasuga to sail around the island and “guide” people (289). Although he abandoned the idea of visiting Pilam almost as soon as he took it up, something in his thinking about colonizing the indigenous territory had changed. Until then he had paid little attention to Pilam, but after returning to Taiwan he began to focus on Pilam and its leader Ansheng. Ansheng had helped four Japanese fishermen who were shipwrecked near Pilam in the spring of 1873 and Fukushima Kyūsei met Ansheng in Takao later that year to thank him for his help.18 Kabayama most likely learned of Ansheng from Fukushima and he hoped to go to Pilam and “guide” (yūdō) the area, meaning to civilize it, using a code word similar to the language in the special instructions that Saigō Tsugumichi would receive in Tokyo roughly a month later.19 His use of this code word shows that he wanted to go to Pilam to prepare for the colonization of the indigenous territory.

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In the end, however, he had to abandon the idea of going to Pilam and he concluded that returning to Suao would be fruitless. Instead, he decided to make an overland trip to Liangkiau in southern Taiwan and from there to make a foray into the indigenous territory. He pleaded his case with the captain of the Kasuga and succeeded in having Mizuno Jun assigned to accompany him on the trip to the south. On March 14, the Kasuga left Takao and Kabayama and Mizuno began to make arrangements for their trip (290). As they prepared for their trip Kabayama and Mizuno once again found themselves working through both the peculiar institutions of the treaty port system in Taiwan and the local networks of the Taiwan frontier. To begin with, they needed papers that would permit them to travel into the indigenous territory beyond Fangliao, the southern limit of formal Chinese authority on the island, a need that shows a measure of Chinese control over access to the indigenous territory. Because Japan lacked a consulate in Taiwan Mizuno went to the British Consulate and through their good offices applied for travel papers. He also enlisted the help of James Hardie, a Scotsman who worked in Taiwan-fu for the English firm Tait and Company and whose work often brought him to Takao. Hardie arranged to hire a boat that would take them to Liangkiau and he arranged for Lin Teshou, a merchant from Chasiang, the largest town in the Liangkiau valley, to serve as their guide. Kabayama and Mizuno hoped to learn more about the lay of the land in the indigenous territory in the south, and they greeted with interest news that Matthew Dickson, a missionary in Takao who established a hospital in Taiwan-fu, had visited both the Liangkiau area and the indigenous territory. Dickson had mapped the indigenous territory of the south more accurately than Charles LeGendre in his 1872 map of “Southern Formosa,”20 and Mizuno borrowed Dickson’s map to make a copy.21 After spending a few more days in Takao making preparations and awaiting their travel papers, Kabayama and Mizuno finally departed for the south on March 23. They spent their first night at Tangkang and arrived in Fangliao the next day, and from there continued on to Liangkiau. Soon after their arrival in Liangkiau Lin Teshou paid them a visit, and he confirmed the news that Tokitok, the famous headman of Tuilasok village, had died and his son had become the new headman. According to Lin, Tokitok’s agreement with LeGendre promising that the indigenes of the south would not harm shipwrecked foreigners had

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only been sustained by LeGendre’s efforts and it no longer had any force since Tokitok’s death. He offered to accompany Kabayama and Mizuno during their explorations of the Liangkiau area, but warned that the area had become unsettled in recent months. Rumors that the Chinese government would dispatch an expedition to punish the people of Butan had raised tensions in the area and now the indigenes were busy preparing for an expected attack. He explained that it would be safe for them to go as far as Tosupong but warned that they would not be able to enter the indigenous territory since even their guides would be at risk.22 Lin may have been reluctant to take the Japanese into the indigenous territory for another reason. Chinese officials were acutely aware of the Japanese explorers and suspicious about their motives, and they probably put out word that the Japanese should not go into the indigenous territory. As soon as Kabayama and Mizuno arrived in Fangliao, two local officials, Wang Maogong and Guo Zhanao, paid them a visit to inquire about the purpose of their trip and to inspect their travel papers. Wang and Guo kept track of Kabayama and Mizuno over the next month and filed two brief reports explaining their movements. They did not identify the sources of their information but they probably learned much of what they knew from Lin Teshou, who often traveled back and forth between Liangkiau and Fangliao.23 The presence of Kabayama and Mizuno in southern Taiwan intensified the concern of Chinese officials in Taiwan that the Japanese would send a military expedition soon. The reports by Wang and Guo emphasized the military nature of Kabayama and Mizuno’s visit, routinely identifying them as “Japanese Navy men.” They also paid close attention to their efforts to learn about the indigenous territory and the geography of the Liangkiau area, and they had a keen interest in the maps the Japanese visitors possessed. Wang and Guo forwarded the information they collected to the Taiwan Circuit Intendant, who in turn sent a report to the governor-general of Fujian on April 12. In his report to the governor-general, the Circuit Intendant made an explicit connection between Kabayama and Mizuno’s activities in Liangkiau and the threat of a Japanese invasion. After repeating the gist of what Wang and Guo had reported, he added that he had heard reports from Hong Kong that Japan was preparing to send a force of 15,000 men to Taiwan to punish the people of Butan for murdering the Ryūkyūans, and that Japan also had a complaint about four Japanese people whose ship was wrecked in the indigenous territory but who made it safely to Shanghai (referring to

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four fishermen from Oda Prefecture who were shipwrecked near Pilam in 1873).24 The Circuit Intendant’s information about the size of the force to be sent to Taiwan was exaggerated but otherwise he had a sound understanding of the Japanese plans. As preparations for a Japanese invasion of southern Taiwan quickened Kabayama’s interests shifted. Until his visit to Liangkiau, he had been concerned mainly with laying the groundwork for colonizing the indigenous territory, but now he and Mizuno focused on preparing for the pacification of southern Taiwan. He scrutinized the mountains of the indigenous territory from a distance for hints about how to carry out the military campaign, he asked about the route to Butan village up in the mountains, and he tried to learn about the weapons the indigenes used and the number of fighting men they could muster. He also noted that Liangkiau, in the lowlands near the coast, would be the key point from which to launch a campaign against Butan and, echoing the view of Charles LeGendre, that in order to carry out the campaign it would be necessary to maintain the support of the local leaders in Liangkiau. Already that support was proving useful to them. During Kabayama’s and Mizuno’s trip to Liangkiau, they stayed with the leaders of the two most influential families in the area, Lin Teshou of Chasiang and Zhang Guangqing of the neighboring town of Shaliao.25 Zhang and Lin took Kabayama and Mizuno to visit Tosupong, a village allied with the Zhang family, from which they could view the indigenous territory.26 From Tosupong, Kabayama and his party climbed a nearby mountain to get a better view of Koalut in the distance, the village responsible for the Rover Incident described in Chapter 3. Mizuno drew a sketch of the area, the sort of intelligence gathering that drew the attention of Chinese officials in Fangliao, and Kabayama scrutinized Kwaliang Bay, which he described as the best anchorage in southern Taiwan. Having observed as much as they could, they returned to Shaliao. After paying their respects to Zhang and compensating Lin for his assistance they left Liangkiau and began their return journey to Takao. When they returned to Takao, they paid Hardie for the boat they had rented from him and paid their respects to the British Consul William Gregory. After a few days rest they hired chairs to take them from Takao back to Tamsui, where they arrived on April 22.27 Kabayama had finally accomplished his exploration of southern Taiwan and now he hoped to rejoin Narutomi, Kodama, and the others in Tamsui as they awaited the arrival of the Japanese expeditionary force.

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Debating Strategy Soon after returning to Tamsui, Kabayama and Mizuno went to see the Mexican Peter where they unexpectedly ran into Kodama, Narutomi, and the others who had arrived several weeks earlier and rented a house from Peter while they awaited Kabayama’s return. They brought Kabayama up to date about what had transpired in Japan during the past several months and in his diary he expressed appreciation for their hard work and the difficulties they endured in order to bring their government closer to dealing with the Taiwan problem (314). They soon got down to work and began to debate what they should do next in Taiwan. The debate turned on whether to pursue what Kabayama called the eastern (or northern) strategy, to prepare for establishing colonies on the east coast, or what he called the southern strategy, to head south and participate in the military campaign. Kodama and Narutomi wanted to pursue the eastern strategy and go to Kilai (present-day Hualian) to lay the groundwork for a Japanese colony there while Kabayama hoped to go to Liangkiau and join in the fight to pacify southern Taiwan. Uncertainty about the Japanese government’s intentions made it difficult for Kabayama to decide which strategy to follow, and the different goals of the explorers reflected the different purposes of the expedition. The expedition was designed to unfold in two phases, starting with the military pacification of the south to be followed by the establishment of colonies in the east. In the outline for how to deal with the Taiwan problem that the government issued at the beginning of February 1874, Ōkubo Toshimichi and Ōkuma Shigenobu instructed the explorers to go to the jukuban area in Liangkiau to inspect the location where the Japanese forces would land.28 This instruction expressed the purpose of preparing for the military campaign in the south. At the same time, when Kodama, Narutomi, and others, such as Fukushima Kyūsei, lobbied hard to go forward with the expedition they also pushed for the colonization of eastern Taiwan. Their lobbying paid off and by March colonization had also become one of the stated goals of the expedition.29 Although colonization was a goal of the expedition, the government placed an important limit on it: The decision to proceed with colonization would only be made after the Japanese government gauged the Chinese government’s reaction to the first phase of the expedition, and colonization would not proceed if the Chinese threatened war. That delicate balance—to proceed with colonization but only after confirming that it

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would not provoke war with China—represented the status quo of the Japanese government’s instructions to the explorers. Under the circumstances, it made sense for them to prepare for colonization, since this was the second stated purpose of the expedition, but they understood fully that the Chinese government’s reaction might derail those plans at any moment, and they knew enough about their own government to expect it would quickly back down in the face of pressure from Western powers. The ambivalence of the government’s intentions made it difficult for the explorers to decide which course of action to take. From December through March, Kabayama had avoided returning to Japan on the pretext that traveling there and back again would be a waste of time and he expressed a similar sentiment about the confidential orders the explorers had received telling them to go to Liangkiau. He revealed his concerns in his diary: However, concerning the confidential orders to wait in Liangkiau for the dispatch of the warships, it would provoke rumors if we pointlessly wasted our time waiting inside the jurisdiction of the Chinese government. It is clear that the best thing to do is to invade the savage land down there as soon as possible and send warships there to attack Butan. From the outset Kodama and the others have thought that the best plan is to develop an area in the north around Kilai and to occupy it for the time being. They want to begin that undertaking as soon as possible, and they want us to accompany them. Accordingly we have made an arrangement to sail there in a boat that Peter owns. [314]

Kabayama hoped to return to Liangkiau to join in the fight against Butan but he had no idea how long he would have to wait for the campaign to begin and he did not want to wait idly in Liangkiau. In the meantime, he also saw preparing for the colonization of the east coast as an important goal. His desire to return to Liangkiau to fight tugged at him, but without specific information about when the expeditionary force would arrive he agreed reluctantly to go to Kilai. As Kabayama explained it, the explorers wanted to rent two boats from Peter for their trip but an English merchant had already rented one of them to explore coal deposits near Nanao. On hearing this news, Kabayama revealed frustration with the indecisiveness of his government, echoing the concern that Fukushima had expressed in December that Europeans might beat Japan in the race to claim eastern Taiwan.30 Kabayama wrote,

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In general this area [Nanao] has been seen as having no connection to the Chinese government and recently we made plans for it. If we occupied the area at once we would have no difficulty subduing the surrounding areas but it would be a waste of time to make this argument because the policy of our country is perpetually cautious. Once foreigners lay their hands on the area they will be able to do anything they want. A single gambit at a mountain of coal will not cause them any difficulty but it will hurt us in the future because the willingness [of people] in the area to work with us will dry up. [314]

Kabayama understated the challenges that Europeans faced in Taiwan— Milisch and Horn had been forced to abandon their outpost, after all—but in his frustration he revealed two key perceptions. One perception concerned the need for speed. Japan’s recursive strategy of colonizing Taiwan began with the aim of preempting Western countries in the exploitation of the indigenous territory. On the ground in Taiwan, Kabayama recognized that the Japanese needed to act quickly or risk losing the chance to preempt Western powers. He does not mention the matter explicitly in his diary, but the Japanese effort to establish a base in Nanao seems to have provoked Western and Chinese attempts to block the Japanese, and the race to control the indigenous territory was accelerating. The other perception concerned the indecisiveness of the Japanese government. It exacerbated Japan’s disadvantages, and his greatest fear was that its indecisiveness would render his work futile. Both perceptions fed Kabayama’s sense of urgency and that accounts for his willingness to accompany Kodama and the others to Kilai despite his desire to go south to fight. The tension over which strategy to follow continued to build as the explorers prepared to leave for Kilai. On May 1, a little more than a week after he had returned to Tamsui, Kabayama and the others boarded the boat they rented from Peter, along with several Chinese boatmen hired for the trip, and tried to leave port. They encountered unfavorable winds and made no progress and they settled in to spend the night on the boat. As they sat in the harbor Mizuno Jun, who had remained behind in Tamsui, came aboard with news from the British Consul in Tamsui: Mizuno came aboard to report that a Chinese man had spoken to Peterson about something he had heard from a jukuban in Suao. A foreign warship towing several small boats landed three days ago in seiban Kilai. Mizuno explained that in response [to the news] Tanaka and Yoshida along

168  R. ESKILDSEN with the translator Yazawa will take the Hailong, since it is in port and will depart tomorrow at noon, and head for Takao. The rumor is probably a fabrication by the Chinese man, but towing small boats sounds a bit like the truth, although it would be difficult to do that without stopping in port at Keelung. We should establish a presence immediately in the Shukoran area in the north because that is where the jukuban live and we could wait there for the [Japanese] warships to arrive before executing a plan to invade the south from that area. A better plan would be to devise a strategy based on the information we get from Tanaka and the others. Since the plan of our country is based on rendezvousing in Liangkiau we should decide whether to scout [the east coast] depending on the information we get [from them]. If the plan to invade the south is executed from a base in Ryūkyū [instead of from Liangkiau] then of course it is hard to say whether anything will come of the northern strategy. [317–318]

The Japanese explorers’ trip to Kilai had become an open secret in Tamsui soon after they spoke to Peter about renting his boat, and Kabayama correctly surmised that the story of a foreign warship towing boats to their intended destination was a fabrication. Still, the possibility that Europeans might beat the Japanese not just to Nanao but also to Kilai preyed on his fears and he worried that his government would yield to pressure from the Chinese and not land its expeditionary force in Liangkiau. In that case, the force would be sent from Ryūkyū or Nagasaki and the plans for colonization would be moot. Kabayama and the others left for Keelung the following morning and spent several days there making further preparations and waiting for the weather to improve. He still hoped that he would hear news about Japan’s plans for eastern Taiwan, noting in his diary on May 3 and 4 he had heard nothing (318–319). Finally on May 7, he and the others boarded their boat to depart for Kilai. The wind died, however, and they made no progress. After waiting aimlessly for several hours, Kabayama and the others spotted a steamship on the horizon. When it dropped anchor and lowered its boats they identified it as the Japanese warship Nisshin, which had come to Keelung to lay in coal and other supplies.31 They made their way over to the Nisshin and, as Kabayama described it, everyone endured several minutes of “joyous shouting and jumping for joy” when they boarded the warship. After they had settled down, Kabayama heard about the government’s plans for the expedition from Admiral Tani Tateki and General Akamatsu Noriyoshi, respectively the highest ranking Navy officer and the second highest ranking Army

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officer in the expeditionary force. Having finally heard the news he had waited for so eagerly, Kabayama wasted no time in deciding to join the crew of the Nisshin and to go south to Liangkiau (320). Even as he jumped at the opportunity to go to Liangkiau, however, Kodama and the others remained committed to going to Kilai and neither he nor the high-ranking officers on board the Japanese warship attempted to dissuade them. Rather, they all agreed to help in the endeavor, and their support shows that they all still expected Japanese forces to go to Kilai to establish a colony there as soon as the south was pacified. After their happy reunion Kabayama and the others returned to their own boat for the night. The next morning the weather had worsened, and they received word that it was too dangerous for the Nisshin to tow their boat to Kilai and that it would be departing soon. As Kabayama prepared to take leave of his compatriots, the Nisshin abruptly weighed anchor and steamed out of harbor leaving Kabayama behind, surprised and disappointed. He resigned himself to traveling overland to Liangkiau, but now that he knew the military campaign would begin soon he did not waver in his resolve to head south. “From the start Kodama and Narutomi have made the colonial plan in the north their entire focus,” he wrote in his diary entry for May 9, “and for that reason we discussed it and they will part company with us. Sagara, Ikeda, Sugino, and I will go with one of the boatmen and take a river boat back to Tamsui, and from there we will arrange for chairs to take us overland” (321). Early the next morning, he arrived back in Tamsui and arranged to travel to Takao. Once in Takao, Kabayama, Mizuno, and the others hired a junk to take them to Liangkiau, where they arrived late on the morning of May 26. Kabayama had lunch on board the Takasago, which had just arrived, and then he presented himself to Saigō Tsugumichi and Tani Tateki at the expedition’s headquarters, explaining to them what he had learned about the people and land of Taiwan, both in the north and in the south. At last, after years of effort and countless delays, Kabayama would have the chance to fight in southern Taiwan.32

The Eastern Strategy As Kabayama made his way down the west coast of Taiwan to join the expeditionary force in Liangkiau, Kodama and his party made their way down the east coast toward Kilai. As Kabayama noted in his diary, Kodama and Narutomi wanted to pursue the eastern strategy from the

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outset in spite of their confidential orders that instructed them to go to Liangkiau and await the arrival of the expeditionary force. They were driven by enthusiasm to get started as soon as possible in Kilai, fed by undue optimism about the government’s willingness to proceed with the colonization of eastern Taiwan, and also spurred by the fear that Westerners might beat them to Kilai. They never seem to have considered how difficult it would be to operate in the indigenous territory and their enthusiasm and optimism set the stage for a failure as laughable as it was disastrous. The trip to Kilai began uneventfully. Kodama and his party left Keelung on May 9 on the boat they rented from Peter and they arrived the next day in Suao. The villagers in Nanfengwan remembered Kabayama’s visit the year before and they welcomed the Japanese warmly. One of the villagers, a man named Ragan, had visited Kilai before and he spoke a bit of English because he had worked with Milisch and Horn, so Kodama and Narutomi hired him to serve as their guide. Narutomi, who left the most detailed account of the trip to Kilai in a report to the government, offered only the briefest explanation of their trip from Suao to Kilai, but it must have been difficult because it took them more than a week to cover the fairly short distance. They reached Kilai on May 22, and their real troubles began almost as soon as they arrived.33 They wanted to enter the small bay at Kilai but the wind changed direction and their boat had difficulty approaching the shore, so Peter went ashore to make sure his boat could enter the bay safely. The waves were too high for them to pass through the mouth of the bay and they hired several dozen indigenes—Narutomi does not mention it but by then they had no doubt drawn quite an audience—to pull the boat into the bay. As they were pulling it in, however, a huge wave struck and tossed the boat about, and then backwash from the wave surged out of the bay and dashed the boat onto rocks, ripping open its bottom. Narutomi noted laconically in his report that they lost many of their possessions at that point. Peter ordered the Chinese boatmen to carry ashore as much of the cargo as they could salvage and they spent the night on the rocky seashore, the boatmen fearing for their lives because they had heard rumors the indigenes would kill them all. Everyone survived the night, and the next day several hundred indigenes from Kalewan, Pokpok, Chikasowan, Tauran, and other villages came down to the shore and the Japanese enlisted their help pulling the wreckage of the boat into the bay where they hoped to repair it. After several hours of hard work they succeeded in moving the boat, and when

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they finally dragged it into the bay the crowd let out a great cheer and a festive celebration ensued. By the end of the celebration, after liberal consumption of alcohol, the indigenes vowed to remain forever amicable with the Japanese and two of the local residents, ethnic Chinese to judge by their surnames, led Narutomi and Kodama to Pokpok, where the village leader agreed to rent a hut to them. They then returned to the beach where they hired a dozen or so of the locals to guard their possessions. The next day the jukuban of Kilai helped assemble a group of seventy seiban who carried the salvaged possessions of the Japanese party to Pokpok village. By the time Kodama and Narutomi settled in at Pokpok, if not sooner, they had noticed how volatile the local society could be. Kalewan, the largest and most powerful village in Kilai, lay only a short distance—but up a steep hill—from where their boat was wrecked. Because it would have been difficult to carry their possessions to Kalewan they decided to go to Pokpok instead, a more accessible village that lay farther away. Their choice inadvertently offended the leader of Kalewan, however, and they managed to mollify him only by having Peter stay there. The villagers of Kalewan did not stay mollified for long. They went to Pokpok a day or two later vowing to start a fight with the Chinese of Kilai who had, according to them, been spreading baseless rumors, an all-too-common tactic, that they had stolen some of the property of the Japanese. Kodama and Narutomi managed to calm them down by assuring them they did not believe the people of Kalewan had committed the theft. This brief reference is the closest Narutomi comes to explaining in his report the mysterious disappearance of one thousand Mexican silver dollars.34 In the proposals that Kodama and Fukushima submitted to the Japanese government several months earlier about exploring Taiwan, they mentioned the importance of providing the explorers enough money in advance to cover the expenses they would incur. Their pleas apparently produced results, because when they arrived in Kilai Kodama and Narutomi had with them nearly four thousand Mexican silver dollars, a currency accepted throughout the treaty ports of East Asia. After their boat was wrecked, they managed to salvage all four of the boxes containing the cash, but sometime before they moved their belongings to Pokpok a number of items, including one of the boxes containing a thousand silver dollars, disappeared. A few weeks later, as Peter and Narutomi made their way back to Tamsui, Peter alerted the Chinese authorities in Kamolan about the theft and it provoked a minor

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diplomatic incident. The Chinese claimed that under the terms of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce the Japanese had no business being in Kilai while the Japanese disagreed because they believed Kilai was not under Chinese sovereignty. The incident also led to some serious questions for Kodama and Narutomi after they returned to Japan. A formal investigation by the Japanese government early in 1875 concluded that the money had indeed been stolen and it cleared them of any wrongdoing, but it brought Kodama’s and Narutomi’s colossal foul-up under the close scrutiny of the highest officials in the Japanese government.35 More immediately, however, within days of arriving in Kilai Kodama and his party found themselves stranded without a boat, having lost a thousand dollars of the Japanese government’s money, and having provoked a troubling round of competition for influence among the ethnic Chinese, the jukuban, and the seiban of Kilai. It was clear that such a small party did not have the resources to hold out for long and since no one in Kilai had the tools or materials needed to repair Peter’s boat, the Japanese would have to find some other way to get home. When a fishing boat passed through Kilai, Peter arranged for it to transport himself and his boatmen back to Suao. Narutomi joined them, leaving the other Japanese behind in Kilai. Narutomi says in his report that he intended to make his way to Liangkiau in the south where he would ask for Japanese soldiers to be sent to Kilai to begin the “business of reclamation” there. When he arrived in Suao, he was surprised to see about 30 Chinese soldiers there; none had been there on their trip south only two weeks earlier. He rented a chair to take him back to Keelung and when he arrived he stayed for a night with a foreign resident there who, alarmed at the bad case of malaria he had contracted, forced him to drink large doses of quinine. He returned to Tamsui the next day but had to rest for a week before he had the strength to continue his journey south to Liangkiau. After Narutomi left Kilai, the luck of the Japanese who remained behind went from bad to worse. One of them, Jōjima Kenzō, developed a serious case of malaria and the party began to run low on food. Eventually a junk passed through and they paid for passage on it back to Keelung, leaving a number of their possessions behind. When they arrived in Keelung, they boarded the Japanese ship Yūkō, which happened to be passing through, and it took them back to Nagasaki. In one of his reports to the government about Taiwan, Kodama suggested that the headman of Butan should be brought back to Tokyo to impress

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him with Japan’s enlightenment, and perhaps in an echo of that plan he convinced Ragan, their guide from Nanfengwan, to return to Japan with them for a visit.36 Despite their grand hopes their efforts had otherwise ended in failure. From the outset, the Japanese explorers chose, for practical reasons, to work through the political and economic networks of the treaty ports and frontier areas of Taiwan. The merchants in the treaty ports and the interpreters in the indigenous territory had no interest or need to conceal from Chinese authorities what the Japanese were up to and they became a valuable source of information for the Chinese, and as a result the activities of the Japanese became an open secret. The Chinese officials had two principal concerns about the Japanese, that they had designs on the indigenous territory and that they were forming alliances with the indigenes, especially the seiban. The trip of the Japanese to Kilai concerned the local Chinese officials enough that they sent a party there to investigate. The officials warned the villagers in Kilai not to have anything to do with the Japanese since they wanted to take over the area, and they retrieved the possessions that Kodama and the others had left behind, including ordinary items such as pots and sleeping mats and items from Peter’s boat such as the anchor and chain and a small cannon that was used for protection against pirates. The Chinese were kind enough to deliver the items to Japan’s Consulate in Shanghai, with a warning that the Japanese had no business visiting Kilai.37 The Chinese investigation of the incident at Kilai suggests that at least some areas in the indigenous territory were not completely independent of Chinese authority and the Japanese justification for colonization was not as clearcut as they claimed. Perhaps more importantly, a Japanese party had once again utterly failed in an attempt to lay the groundwork for the anticipated colonization of the indigenous territory. Events on the ground in Taiwan demonstrated many unforeseen perils in the Japanese strategy of colonization to preempt the Western exploitation of the indigenous territory.

Conclusion The actions of the Japanese spies and explorers sent to Taiwan demonstrated an optimism and self-confidence that outstripped reality, but also showed the seriousness of the Japanese government’s plan to establish colonies in Taiwan. Indeed, their experiences reveal several features of

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the planned colonization that cannot be seen in conventional accounts of the Taiwan Expedition. The first feature was the wide geographical area they targeted. They visited, or tried to visit, areas that stretched across the entire range of the indigenous territory of Taiwan, from Suao in the north, to Kilai and Pilam along the east coast, and to the Liangkiau valley in the south. Three of these areas lay far from the location where the Ryūkyūans were murdered in 1871 and thus had no connection to the ostensible purpose of the expedition. The second feature was the often-conflicting purposes of their explorations. The agents hoped to prepare for the invasion of the south and at the same time to lay the groundwork for the establishment of colonial bases in the indigenous territory. In the case of the agents sent to Taiwan, open disobedience of their orders was less of a problem than a tendency to interpret their orders as loosely as possible, and they often struggled to clarify their priorities as they mediated conflicts between the ambiguous instructions they had received from the government and their personal desires for action. They had to do this in a hostile, isolated environment where they had little chance to communicate with their government back in Tokyo and where they had to respond to potential competition from Chinese and Westerners alike. It is not surprising that their goals sometimes seemed confused and that they occasionally chose to ignore their instructions. The third feature was their almost laughable lack of preparedness for the difficult environment they encountered in Taiwan. The plans for colonization drawn up back in Tokyo failed to anticipate the difficulties they would encounter in the field, and their fate, as well as the fate of the expeditionary force in southern Taiwan that will be explained in the next two chapters, suggests that if any colonies had actually been established they would have been doomed. Many of the obstacles the agents faced were created by the institutions of the Taiwan frontier that had evolved to resist the exploitation of the indigenous territory,38 but others were created simply by the harsh natural environment. The obstacles proved insurmountable and the agents never came close to laying the groundwork for the establishment of colonies. Finally, their actions show how the recursive strategy of using Western methods to preempt Western exploitation of the indigenous territory played out on the ground in Taiwan. The strategy produced a confusing pattern of cooperation and competition between the Japanese, Chinese, and Westerners in Taiwan that belied the clarity of the government’s

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justification for colonization. In some cases, the agents took advantage of the institutions of the treaty port system to support their efforts to lay the groundwork for colonization, in effect using the treaty port system parasitically to resist Western exploitation. In one case, Kabayama hoped to follow the model of Western merchants and to establish an outpost in northern Taiwan, but the intentions of the Japanese were more aggressive and thus bound to provoke stronger resistance from the Chinese government. Chinese and Westerners alike responded almost immediately to the Japanese attempt to establish an outpost in Nanao with actions that threatened to preempt the Japanese. Their responses produced persistent anxiety among the Japanese that they might lose the race to occupy the indigenous territory. Moreover, while it is clear that Kabayama and the other Japanese agents in Taiwan believed in their government’s legalistic justification for the colonization of the indigenous territory, in many cases events on the ground raised doubts about the government’s argument. Even as they challenged the Chinese government’s claim to authority in the indigenous territory they acknowledged implicitly or explicitly that in some cases the Chinese had at least limited authority there. The complex pattern of interaction between the Japanese, Chinese, and Westerners as they all sought to exploit the indigenous territory shows that the territory was not quite the blank slate that the Japanese government assumed, and that the Japanese attempt to implement the government’s plans for colonizing the indigenous territory provoked a complex response from the Chinese and Westerners and a multilateral competition to control the area.

Notes



1. Paul Barclay, “‘They Have for the Coast Dwellers a Traditional Hatred:’ Governing Igorots in Northern Luzon and Central Taiwan, 1895– 1915,” in Julian Go and Anne L. Foster, eds., The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 226. 2. Antonio C. Tavares, “The Japanese Colonial State and the Dissolution of the Late Imperial Frontier Economy in Taiwan, 1886–1909,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (2005): 364–366. 3.  Kabayama Sukenori, “Taiwan kiji,” in Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed. Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 143,

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152. Hereafter numbers in parentheses in the body of the text or in square brackets at the end block quotes refer to page numbers in this source. In footnotes it will be cited as “Taiwan kiji.” Meiji 5, 10th month, 9th day, “Rikugun shōsa Kabayama Sukenori e tasshi,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, dajōruiten, gaikoku kōsai, dajō ruiten•dai ni hen•Meiji 4–Meiji 10•87 kan•gaikoku kōsai 30•shokan’in saken 2 (JACAR A01000016800). 4.  “Taiwan kiji,” 168; “Kagoshima han Komaki Zenjirō hoka gomei Shinkoku ryūgaku o meizu•ni jō,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, dajōruiten, dajōruiten•daiichi hen•Keiō 3 nen–Meiji 4 nen, dajōruiten•daiichi hen•Keiō 3 nen–Meiji 4 nen•dai hyaku nijū kan•gakusei•seito dai ni (JACAR A15070929100); “Kagoshima han Kurooka Yūnosuke Shinkoku ryūgaku o meizu,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, dajōruiten, dajōruiten•daiichi hen•Keiō 3 nen–Meiji 4 nen, dajōruiten•daiichi hen•Keiō 3 nen–Meiji 4 nen•dai hyaku nijū kan•gakusei•seito dai ni (JACAR A15070929200). 5. Fukushima Kyūsei, “Kenpaku,” Kyū riku-kaigun kankei monjo, R34 T132; Mizuno Jun, “Taiwan seibanki,” in Dairōkai, ed., Dairō Mizuno Jun sensei (Taihoku: Dairōkai Jimusho, 1930), 188 (hereafter “Taiwan seibanki”); “Taiwan kiji,” 190, 192, 194, 197. 6. “Taiwan kiji,” 213; Fujisaki Seinosuke, Taiwan shi to Kabayama taishō (Tokyo: Kokushi Kankōkai, 1926), 296, 627. 7. Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, ed., Ōkuma monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, 1958), 1, 19–20, 30, 32. 8. Chas W. LeGendre, “The Coast from Kwa-liang Bay to Kelung, from published and unpublished accounts,” in Notes of Travel in Formosa, ed. Douglas L. Fix and John Shufelt (Tainan, Taiwan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2012), 335–339 (hereafter Notes of Travel). 9.  Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, Connecticut: The Shoe String Press, 1965), 106–109. 10. Kai-Shyh Lin, “The Frontier Expansion of the Qing Empire: The Case of Kavalan Sub-Prefecture in Nineteenth-Century Taiwan” (diss., University of Chicago, 1999), 170–184. 11.  Paul Barclay, “‘Gaining Confidence and Friendship’ in Aborigine Country: Diplomacy, Drinking and Debauchery on Japan’s Southern Frontier,” Social Science Japan Journal 6.1 (2003): 77–96. 12. Paul Barclay, “Cultural Brokerage and Interethnic Marriage in Colonial Taiwan: Japanese Subalterns and Their Aborigine Wives, 1895–1930,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (2005): 323–360. 13. “Taiwan kiji,” 230–233; Fujisaki, 679–681. 14. Soejima expected as late as August 1873 that Japan would dispatch the expedition in September of that year; Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon

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to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983), 37. Charles LeGendre stressed the importance of delaying military operations until after the heat of the summer months had passed. Memo No. 22, March 13, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C426, Waseda University Library. 15.  Ōkuma Shigenobu, Ōkuma-haku sekijitsutan, 1895, Kimura Ki, ed., vol. 2 of Waseda Daigaku Shihenshūjo, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu sōsho (Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shuppanbu, 1969), 253. 16. “Taiwan seibanki,” 196. 17. Robert Eskildsen, “Suitable Ships and the Hard Work of Imperialism: Evaluating the Japanese Navy in the 1874 Invasion of Taiwan,” Asian Cultural Studies 38 (2012): 47–60. Douglas Cassel felt the same limitation acutely several months later when he contemplated the difficulties involved in going to Pilam to select a site for a Japanese colony there. Cassel to LeGendre, May 26, 1874, Robert Eskildsen, ed., Foreign Adventurers and the Aborigines of Southern Taiwan, 1867–1874: Western Sources Related to Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan (Taibei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2005), 216. 18. Fukushima Kyūsei, Untitled Report to Foreign Ministry, December 5, 1873, “Gaimusho yori Shinkoku shisatsu Fukushima Kyūsei Taiwan kenbunroku jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•mizunototori [1873] ge•daisan satsu (JACAR A03030099400) (hereafter “Fukushima Untitled Report”). 19. Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936–1940), 7, 19. Saigō’s instructions will be explained in Chapter 8. 20. “Southern Formosa” (1872), Map compiled by Charles LeGendre, Notes of Travel, 386. 21.  “Taiwan kiji,” 291–294; “Taiwan seibanki,” 204–206; Harold M. Otness, One Thousand Westerners in Taiwan, to 1945: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary (Taibei: Institute of Taiwan History, Preparatory Office, Academia Sinica, 1999), 42, 72. 22. “Taiwan kiji,” 296–297; “Taiwan seibanki,” 206–207. 23.  Wang Yuanzhi, ed. Jiaxu gongdu chaocun (Taibei: Taiwan Yinhang, 1959), 2–4. 24. Wang, 4–5. 25. “Taiwan kiji,” 299–300; “Taiwan seibanki,” 207. Elsewhere Mizuno identifies Guangqing as the headman of Shinke and Zhang Guangshou as the headman of Shaliao. Shinke was a nearby branch village of Shaliao and Guangshou and Guangqing were probably brothers or cousins. Similarly, Lin Teshou was headman of Chasiang, and Lin Mingguo, probably a close relative, was headman of a nearby branch village; “Taiwan seibanki,” 270.

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26. Kabayama writes that they stayed with a certain Mr. Wu, the village headman of Tosupong, and he described the Wu household as a “brother house” (kyōdai ke) of the Zhang family of Shaliao; “Taiwan kiji,” 300. Mizuno included Tosupong, and its headman Wu Guji, among the villages in the sphere of influence of Shaliao; “Taiwan seibanki,” 210. 27. “Taiwan kiji,” 302–314; “Taiwan seibanki,” 208–209. 28. DNGB, 7: 3. 29.  See the discussion in Chapter 5 about LeGendre’s Memo No. 22 to Ōkuma. Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 22, March 13, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C426, Waseda University Library. 30. “Fukushima Untitled Report.” 31. “Taiwan seibanki,” 221. 32. “Taiwan kiji,” 321–327; “Taiwan seibanki,” 221–222. 33. “Narutomi Seifū yori tōhoku banchi zakki narabi ni Tansui kenchi kō jōshin,” December 22, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] jūni gatsu no hachi•daikyūjū satsu (JACAR A03030385300) (hereafter “Narutomi Report”); Fujisaki, 392. Except where otherwise noted, the accounts of Kodama’s party in Kilai and Narutomi’s experiences are based on the “Narutomi Report.” 34.  “Narutomi Report.” He explains the loss of the silver in a separate report he wrote the following year. “Narutomi Seifū hoka sanmei Karen [Hualian] kō ni oite hasen shitsugin ikken narabi ni Pītoru yakujōkin no gi,” March 20, 1875, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinotoi [1875] san gatsu no san•dai ippyakuyon satsu (JACAR A03030444000) (hereafter “Report on Lost Silver”). 35. “Report on Lost Silver;” Wang, 57, 102; B. W. Bax, The Eastern Seas: Being a Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. “Dwarf” in China, Japan, and Formosa with a Description of the Coast of Russian Tartary and Eastern Siberia, from the Corea to the River Amur (London: John Murray, 1875), 271–273. 36. Fujisaki, 393; “Akamatsu sangun yori Nagasaki shikyoku e Jōjima Kenzō kichō unnun raikan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai jūnana kan (JACAR A03031041600); “Akamatsu sangun yori Nagasaki shikyoku e jukubanjin Ran’an Kodama daihisho ni zuikō kichō unnun raikan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai jūnana kan (JACAR A03031041800).

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37. Wang, 57, 63, 70, 102; Bax, 271–273; “Report on Lost Silver;” Fujisaki, 397. 38. The systemic difficulty of working across the frontier border is one of the key findings of the articles in the special issue about colonialism in Taiwan in The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (May 2005). See also Paul D. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border,” 1874–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018).

CHAPTER 7

Punishing the “Savages”

In May 1874, a Japanese military force landed in southern Taiwan to carry out a two-phase plan for dealing with what the Japanese government called the Taiwan problem. In the first phase, the army would pacify the south, and in the second phase, part of the army would begin the colonization of the indigenous territory. Plans for the expedition to Taiwan survived the upheaval over Korea policy in the autumn of 1873 and the rebellion in Saga the following February, but by the time the action began in southern Taiwan, the two architects of the original plan no longer played a significant role. Soejima Taneomi resigned from the government in protest over the government’s Korea policy, and Charles LeGendre fell from grace for failing to anticipate Western opposition to the expedition. The plan in 1874 still included Soejima’s idea of challenging China’s territorial authority in Korea, Ryūkyū, and Taiwan, and it still relied on the justification, appropriated from LeGendre, that Japan could annex the indigenous territory because of China’s weak claim to sovereignty there, but by that time, it also incorporated the knowledge and experience of the spies and explorers who went to Taiwan in advance of the expedition. The plan still envisioned the Japanese colonization of the indigenous territory, but it also included an automatic check built into the orders of the expedition’s commander, Saigō Tsugumichi, to stop the implementation of the second phase if necessary. Wary of war with China, the Japanese government included an instruction that Saigō must receive specific approval from the government before he could proceed with the second phase of the plan. This chapter will focus primarily on what happened during the © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_7

181

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first phase of pacification, and the next chapter will discuss what happened to stop the implementation of the second phase. When the Japanese expedition arrived in southern Taiwan, it encountered a complex, heterogeneous local society that had a long history of internecine violence and entrenched political, social, and economic relationships. The leaders of the expedition actively sought the support of local networks in the area, and without that support, it would have failed. Unlike the Japanese spies and explorers who attempted to lay the groundwork for prospective colonies in the east and north of Taiwan, however, the expeditionary force benefitted from sustained logistical support from the Japanese government, without which it also would have failed. The Chinese government could have caused serious problems for the Japanese had it chosen to do so, but it had a mixed reaction to the Japanese invasion of southern Taiwan. At the highest level of the Chinese government and in Fujian Province, officials objected strongly to the Japanese invasion and described it as an act of war. These high-level objections caused many diplomatic problems in Beijing, Amoy (Xiamen), and Tokyo. On the ground in Taiwan, however, the Chinese never mounted a military response. The lack of a Chinese military response made life easier for the Japanese force, but it surprised Western observers who expected China to back up its claims of authority in Taiwan, and it undercut Chinese claims that the Japanese invasion was an act of war. The Chinese government made enough of a threat of war to disrupt the Japanese plans to colonize the indigenous territory, but the Chinese response in Taiwan was muted. In addition to describing how the Japanese military force pacified southern Taiwan, this chapter will also explain the role that the indigenous people played in the conflict, and it will show the difficulties the Japanese encountered during the invasion and explain why they were important. Historical studies of the Japanese expedition to Taiwan typically pay little attention to what actually happened in Taiwan and thereby miss the intensity and seriousness of the threat that the expedition posed, both to the Chinese government and to the indigenes of southern Taiwan, but they also miss the seriousness of the problems that the Japanese Army faced in Taiwan. Chinese government opposition to the expedition constrained the options of the Japanese, but the most serious challenges the expeditionary force faced happened in southern Taiwan. The expedition succeeded in its military mission only because it successfully mobilized support among the existing local political, social, and

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economic networks in the south, but that support was fragile, and the Japanese had to expend substantial time and energy to sustain it. The problems the expeditionary force experienced also exposed serious problems that the Japanese faced in projecting their military power overseas. The idea of colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan had tremendous appeal to Japanese supporters of the expedition, but the reality of conditions in Taiwan exposed many serious problems. Logistical weaknesses made it difficult to sustain the military force, organizational problems limited its effectiveness, and tropical diseases incapacitated it for several months. The Japanese Army managed to pacify southern Taiwan, but that success belied its limited military capability.

The Organization of the Army By most measures, the Japanese campaign to punish the indigenes of southern Taiwan was a success. The indigenes fought hard to defend their territory but could not prevail against a more numerous and technologically advanced foe that fought with determination, but the apparent ease of the Japanese success masked the logistical and organizational weaknesses of the army sent to Taiwan. Logistical problems plagued the expeditionary force from the outset, beginning with the sudden cancellation of contracts for foreign ships that were chartered to carry troops to southern Taiwan. The Japanese Navy, in particular, struggled to support the army in southern Taiwan, especially when a malaria epidemic incapacitated nearly all of the soldiers and laborers in the summer. It was difficult for the government to meet the urgent requests for replacement soldiers and laborers because the Navy lacked the ships needed to transport them to Taiwan.1 The army in Taiwan also experienced many problems of discipline that stemmed from inadequate organization and training. It was a hybrid force that included conscripts from the Kumamoto garrison and a large company of former samurai volunteers, mostly from Kagoshima Prefecture, and its hybrid nature exacerbated the problems of discipline. Neither the conscripts nor the former samurai volunteers monopolized the fighting, and while the command structure and organization of the army did not particularly favor either group, its ad hoc organization did not always produce satisfactory results. The army was unwieldy and fraught with tensions that arose from its heterogeneous nature. The actions of Japanese soldiers in southern Taiwan exhibited many signs of disorganization that clearly appalled the American participants

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Douglas Cassel and James Wasson, but those were not merely problems of disobedience. For example, the army sent to Taiwan had no clear chain of command and soldiers often received contradictory orders. The army also consisted of heterogeneous combat units that had different command structures and that, not surprisingly, tended to follow the orders of their immediate superiors rather than higher-ranking officers. Moreover, until Saigō arrived Cassel saw himself as the commanding officer, a view that the Japanese officers chafed at. The army had a topheavy command structure, with many high-ranking officers who served either as staff officers or in an ad hoc capacity that did not fit into a chain of command. Because of the hybrid and top-heavy command structure, it was not always clear who was in charge of operations, and even when it was clear, the soldiers did not always follow the orders of higher-ranking officers. On the whole, the soldiers followed orders more often than they ignored them, but the organization of the army made it difficult to control. It proved robust in battle, but its organization and discipline were clearly inadequate.2 Many historical accounts stress that the expedition took place as a concession to disgruntled samurai, but the army that went to Taiwan was by no means an army of samurai. Rather, it included soldiers and laborers from a wide range of prefectures and status groups, and it had a heterogeneous organization that shifted over time, with former samurai losing importance. Between 6000 and 6500 Japanese went to Taiwan, although only half that number were actually present in Taiwan most of the time (see Table 7.1). The soldiers were organized into several battalions and companies and the laborers into several divisions. Roughly half of the soldiers and laborers arrived in Taiwan in May 1874, and a statistical analysis of those who died from illness reveals an organization similar to what is described in documentary sources (see Appendix B).3 The other half of the soldiers and laborers arrived as replacements between early September and early October, and their organization differed somewhat from those who arrived in May. They were younger, included fewer former samurai, and came predominantly from southern Japan.4 Most of the soldiers who served in Taiwan were conscripts from infantry battalions in the Kumamoto garrison, one of the six standing garrisons established by the Army Ministry when it instituted the conscript Army in 1873. The first deployment of the conscript Army in battle took place early in 1874 when government soldiers went to Saga to suppress the rebellion there, and soon after the government’s victory, many of

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Table 7.1  Estimated number of military and non-military personnel sent to Taiwan with number of deaths from illness and the estimated death rate from illness, by battalion Battalion or company

Size

Dead

Death rate (%)

Total military personnel Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion Kumamoto 3rd artillery company Former samurai volunteers Kumamoto 11th infantry battalion Kumamoto 22nd infantry battalion Officers attached to headquarters Civilian employees Servants

3138–3198 744 200–250a 300 680 680 300 172 62

205 66 23 27 50 20

6.4–6.5 8.9 9.2–11.5 9.0 7.4 2.9

19

3.6

Total non-military personnel

3000–3200

365

11.4–12.2

aKumamoto

3rd artillery company estimated to include 55 members of a naval artillery company. Sources Appendices A and B

the soldiers from the Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion, who fought in Saga, were sent to Taiwan.5 A large company of volunteers, all of them former samurai, also went to Taiwan in the spring of 1874. As was explained in Chapter 5, Saigō Tsugumichi arranged to recruit them and he expected half of them to stay in Taiwan as colonists. As the mission of the expedition shifted from establishing colonies to occupying southern Taiwan, however, the importance of the volunteers declined and the importance of the conscripts increased. The Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion formed the core of the army in Taiwan during the first phase of the expedition. It was the largest combat unit, outnumbering the combined size of all the other units sent to Taiwan in May, and its soldiers, together with the company of former samurai volunteers, played a central role in pacifying southern Taiwan in late May and early June. The military force also included the Kumamoto 3rd artillery company, which was originally formed as part of an army in Kishū domain (Wakayama Prefecture). After the elimination of the domains and establishment of prefectures in 1871 and the implementation of a conscript Army in 1873, the artillery company was incorporated into the conscript Army. It too fought in the Saga Rebellion before being sent to Taiwan.6 Gotō Arata puts the number of soldiers in the company at 150, but the number of deaths in the company suggests it must have been larger, probably in the range of 200–250. It must have absorbed 55 members

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of a naval artillery company that was converted for use in Taiwan,7 and possibly other members as well. The Kumamoto 3rd artillery company served mostly as a reserve force, a role that became more important as the former samurai volunteers fell ill at an alarming rate in August.8 The soldiers dispatched to Taiwan in the spring of 1874 also included a Signal Corps of about 40–50 current and former junior officers who were supposed to learn a system of signals based on the system used in the American Army.9 They were absorbed into other companies and battalions after they arrived in Taiwan. The most striking change in the army’s organization during the occupation of southern Taiwan was the rapid decrease in the importance of the former samurai volunteers after June 1874. The volunteers suffered a high rate of illnesses, they were older than the conscripts, and they suffered very low morale. Their importance decreased because they were unsuited, both physically and emotionally, to the expedition’s new mission of occupying southern Taiwan, and their lack of fitness can be seen in the quantity and type of medical problems they had. Of the 1038 reported cases of illness among soldiers in the second half of August, there were nine cases diagnosed as hypochondria, including two cases of “hypochondriac madness.” Although the total percentage of hypochondriac illnesses was small, all of them occurred among the volunteers (Table 7.2).10 A letter that Saigō Tsugumichi wrote to Ōkuma Shigenobu on August 13 alludes to the reasons for their low morale. Saigō bluntly proposed that the company of volunteers should be disbanded because they were sick and would have to be replaced by a new battalion and because it was difficult to predict what the results of the negotiations with China would be. Under the circumstances, the volunteers themselves wanted to disband their unit. Saigō explained that he tried to convince them they needed to stay in southern Taiwan because war might break out at any time, but they were unmoved by his appeal.11 Faced with the possibility of staying in Taiwan either to help the government win a key diplomatic conflict with China or to fight a war with China if necessary, the former samurai volunteers instead lobbied to disband their company and go home. At the most difficult point in the occupation of southern Taiwan, the former samurai volunteers proved completely unreliable. Their personal motivations took precedence over the motivations of the government, and the government had little leverage to keep them in Taiwan. In response to the malaria epidemic that decimated the army, the Japanese government sent the Kumamoto 11th infantry battalion as wa second battalion of replacement troops, the Kumamoto 22nd infantry

181 (24%) 493 (66%)

64 (9%) 92 (12%) 69 (9%) 28 (4%) 59 (8%)

Kumamoto 19th

7 (3%) 67 (33%) 104 (51%)

18 (9%) 8 (4%) 4 (2%)

Kumamoto 3rd 63 (21%) 35 (12%) 18 (6%) 11 (4%) 13 (4%) 11 (4%) 186 (62%) 337 (112%)

Volunteers 66 (9%) 56 (8%) 29 (4%) 21 (3%) 56 (8%) 19 (3%) 186 (25%) 433 (58%)

Kumamoto 19th

August 16–31

4 (2%) 8 (4%) 32 (16%) 114 (56%)

46 (22%) 15 (7%) 9 (4%)

Kumamoto 3rd

8 (3%) 10 (3%) 15 (5%) 153 (51%) 491 (164%)

273 (91%) 32 (11%)

Volunteers

N.B.: The source counts multiple illnesses per soldier and the totals sometimes exceed 100%. Percentages are calculated based on the number of soldiers per unit: n = 744 for the Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion, n = 200 for the Kumamoto 3rd artillery company, and n = 300 for the former samurai volunteers. For an explanation of the size of the combat units, see Appendix B Source “Saigō totoku yori byōin hōkokuhyō jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe inu ku gatsu no jūni•dai gojū ni satsu (JACAR A03030265200)

Remittent fever Intermittent fever Dysentery Rheumatism Beriberi Jaundice Misc. illness Totals

Condition

August 1–15

Table 7.2  Number of soldiers in three combat units (and percentages by unit) suffering from illnesses during two time periods in August 1874

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battalion, arrived and replaced the remaining troops of the Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion and the Kumamoto 3rd artillery company. The malaria epidemic eased at that time, but it intensified again at the end of October as the new arrivals began to fall ill. Although the number of deaths was still high, fewer of the soldiers died from illness in the cooler weather and the epidemic receded when the last group of replacement soldiers from the Kumamoto 1st infantry battalion arrived on November 4.13 Conditions had improved enough by that time that the Kumamoto 1st infantry battalion suffered only a very small number fatalities from illness. In addition to military personnel, the expeditionary force also included a large number of laborers, and they too were diverse demographically. The Savage Affairs Bureau, the civilian office in the government that oversaw the expedition, paid more attention to the military personnel sent to Taiwan and collected less information about the laborers, but it is still possible to describe the labor force in some detail. At least three-quarters of the labor force worked either in the Quartermaster division or in the Construction division. The rest of the laborers included hospital workers (about 5%), a few military servants, and a small handful of general military laborers, some of whom worked in the camp’s armory (see Table 7.3). Table 7.3  Organization of support personnel, including numbers of those who died from illness Quartermaster division

Construction division

General laborer

150

Food preparation Tailor Fisherman Cooper

37 9 6 5

Fire tender Servant Butcher Blacksmith Harness maker

3 3 2 1 1

Source Appendix A

Construction laborer Carpenter Roofer Scaffolder Other construction

Attendants of volunteers 37 10 8 3 4

General laborer Food preparation

Other 25 Hospital laborer

19

3

General laborer

19

Seaman Servant Armory laborer

7 5 2

Craftsman Gunsmith Photographer Other

1 1 1 3

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189

The Voyage to Taiwan The first group of soldiers in the hybrid army began their voyage to Taiwan late in April 1874. The Yūkō, an old Peninsular and Oriental steamship formerly known as the Nepaul, departed Nagasaki on April 27 bound for Liangkiau on the southwestern coast of Taiwan, via Amoy (Xiamen), a treaty port across the Taiwan Strait. The Yūkō transported about 100 troops, both marines and members of the Signal Corps, as well as supplies and the two Gatling guns that the Japanese government had recently purchased. On board were Fukushima Kyūsei, the newly appointed Japanese Consul to Amoy, and Douglas Cassel, an American naval officer hired by the Japanese to help lead the expedition. Not long after the Yūkō left Nagasaki, the Japanese government recalled Charles LeGendre to Tokyo in order to appease the American minister to Japan who opposed all American involvement in the expedition. In LeGendre’s absence, Fukushima dealt with Chinese officials in Taiwan-fu and Amoy while Cassel negotiated with the indigenes of southern Taiwan. They went to Amoy first, rather than going directly to Liangkiau, in order to deliver a formal statement of the purposes of the expedition to Li Henian, the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang, as well as to take on supplies and pick up the English doctor Patrick Manson, a friend of LeGendre’s from his Amoy days who had lived in Taiwan for many years and had visited Pilam on the east coast. The vessel was dangerously overloaded, and its engine died partway through the voyage, leaving the ship to drift for a day until it could be repaired, but at length it reached Amoy safely on May 3.14 When he arrived in Amoy, Douglas Cassel found that Patrick Manson had sold the animals and other supplies he purchased for the expedition and had abruptly returned to England. LeGendre contacted Manson in March to offer him a job on behalf of the Japanese government and to ask him to go with the Japanese to Pilam. Manson promptly accepted the offer, and LeGendre asked him to buy animals and other supplies for the expedition, but soon after he made the purchases, he heard an erroneous report that Japan had declared war on China. Manson had no intention of acting as an agent for Japan in a war against China, a role that would have stripped him of his extraterritorial protection and led to his arrest.15 When he realized belatedly that his friend LeGendre had embroiled him in rather more than a simple expedition to explore Pilam, he sold off the animals and other supplies and promptly left for England.16 LeGendre had expected Manson to serve as an interpreter during the negotiations with the indigenous villagers in southern Taiwan,

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and Cassel had to scramble to find a replacement in Amoy. Everyone in Amoy believed war between China and Japan was imminent and no one wanted to work for the Japanese. Cassel did manage, “with much trouble” he wrote, to hire a naturalized American citizen named James Johnson, as well as an unnamed Malay, to serve as interpreters. Johnson, Chinese by birth and originally a resident of Amoy, went to the USA and became a citizen there, serving in the New Jersey regiment during the Civil War. He later returned to Amoy where he worked in the US Consulate. Johnson knew LeGendre well from his time in Amoy, and he knew the indigenous territory of southern Taiwan, having accompanied LeGendre there in 1872.17 LeGendre had also expected Manson to serve as a guide to Pilam. When he learned that Manson had withdrawn from the expedition, he drafted a memo to Saigō Tsugumichi, the commander of the expeditionary force, based on information he had previously heard from Manson, explaining how to recognize Pilam from the sea and giving a few details about Chen Ansheng, the headman of Pilam who had once been Manson’s patient and whose cooperation would be essential when Cassel led the effort to establish a colonial outpost there during the second phase of the expedition.18 As Cassel searched for a replacement interpreter, Fukushima Kyūsei delivered to Chinese authorities in Amoy a letter that Saigō Tsugumichi had written to Li Henian. The authorities in Amoy forwarded the letter to Fuzhou where Li finally received it on May 8.19 The letter staked out Japan’s position concerning the indigenous territory, namely that for years the “savages” of Taiwan had been murdering and otherwise abusing Japanese who were shipwrecked there and the Japanese government could no longer tolerate such attacks. The goal of the expedition, it stated, was to go to the indigenous territory to find and punish the people who had committed the offenses against the Japanese and to prevent such attacks from occurring again in the future. In an appendix, the letter specified two incidents of concern: first the murder of 54 people from “our islands of Ryūkyū” in 1871 and second the robbery and abuse of four people from Oda Prefecture (part of present-day Okayama Prefecture) that occurred in Pilam in 1873. A few days later, Li wrote a response that was delivered to Saigō when he arrived in Liangkiau near the end of May. In his letter, Li cited international law in order to reiterate China’s claim that all of Taiwan was part of the Qing empire and that its inhabitants, barbarous though some of them may be, were subject to Chinese authority. Similarly, he reiterated the Chinese government’s claim to suzerainty over the Ryūkyū Kingdom, challenging Japan’s implicit claim to sovereignty

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there. He ended with the demand that Saigō disband his army and return to Japan because Taiwan was Chinese territory and the responsibility for preventing future offenses there rested with China.20 Fukushima and Cassel, having finished their business in Amoy, set sail for Liangkiau on the evening of May 5. Cassel had already visited Liangkiau Bay as a lieutenant commander on board the U.S.S. Ashuelot during a trip LeGendre made to the area in the spring of 1872. LeGendre, perhaps at Cassel’s recommendation, recognized that other ship captains attached to the expedition might have difficulty recognizing Liangkiau Bay from the sea, and in early April 1874, he proposed to Ōkuma Shigenobu that an illustration of the anchorage at Liangkiau be “engraved and distributed among the masters of the various transports or vessels attached to the Expedition” so that they would be able to find the bay. The Japanese government subsequently issued such an illustration based on a sketch that Cassel had made in 1872, along with instructions for how to recognize the anchorage (Fig. 7.1).21 After an uneventful voyage across the Taiwan Strait, the Yūkō arrived in Liangkiau on the evening of May 6.

Fig. 7.1  “Sialiao Anchorage—the Liang Kiau Bay of the Maps,” 1874 (Source National Central Library, Taibei)

192  R. ESKILDSEN

Arrival in Taiwan The Liangkiau valley and the indigenous territory beyond it hosted a complex and diverse society, and the leaders of the Japanese expedition had to deal with three different groups in that society. The first group of people were the Hoklo, meaning the Han Chinese whose families originally immigrated from Fujian and who spoke a dialect similar to the Fujian dialect. They dominated the town of Chasiang. The second group were interethnic people with Chinese surnames whose families had intermarried with indigenous families and who lived in villages near Chasiang. LeGendre unselfconsciously called these residents “half-castes,” and Chinese and Japanese typically called them “cooked savages.” In some cases, the Chinese forebears of these mixed-race Chinese came from Fujian, as was true of the people in Shaliao and its branch village Shinke, but most came from Canton. The immigrants from Canton were of Hakka background and spoke Cantonese as their native language. The interethnic families of Hakka ancestry lived in the villages of Poliak, Tanlianpo, and Koutang. Finally, there were the indigenes, the so-called raw savages, who lived farther away from Chasiang, most of them in villages in the mountains. Most of the indigenes of southern Taiwan spoke the Paiwan language, although some spoke Ami, and they had formed themselves into several political alliances, the largest two being centered on the villages of Tuilasok and Shamali. The mixed-race Chinese stood between the Chinese and the indigenous villagers, not only literally in terms of their geographical location but also figuratively in trade and political relations. As LeGendre learned during his visits to the region between 1867 and 1872, it would be most effective to mount a military operation against the indigenes from a base in the Liangkiau valley,22 and that is where Fukushima and Cassel began their activities to secure the support of the local population. As soon as they arrived Cassel immediately ordered the interpreter Johnson to go ashore and contact two people, Mia and Kien, who had served as guides for LeGendre in the past. The identities and background of Mia and Kien are not clear, but they were related to the headman of Shaliao, either through real or fictive kinship or through adoption (they did not share the same surname as the headman). Mia— and probably Kien, too—was of mixed-race background, his father having a close relationship by marriage to the indigenes of Tuilasok, and he lived in Shinke, a branch village of Shaliao. Because Mia and Kien had close ties to some of the leading families in Liangkiau, their cooperation promised to facilitate Cassel’s and Fukushima’s efforts.23

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Early the next morning, May 7, Mia and Kien came aboard the Yūkō and Cassel explained the purpose of the expedition to them, “in accordance with the instructions that had been furnished him in Tokio [Tokyo],” as James Wasson described it. Cassel was instructed to announce “that the Japanese are coming with a large force to exterminate all the Aborigines and half castes [mixed-race people] as a punishment for the murder of their people two years ago,” and Cassel reported that he made the announcement “as forcibly as possible.” He balanced his threat with the possibility of reward, and as Wasson recalled, Mia and Kien “seemed greatly reassured” when they heard that the people of Liangkiau would not be harmed if they cooperated with the Japanese. They immediately agreed to serve as guides, and Cassel paid them generously for their help.24 Cassel, Fukushima, and several officers then debarked and began to search for a site that would be suitable for a Japanese camp. During their visit to the area in March, Kabayama Sukenori and Mizuno Jun had found the residents of Chasiang and Shaliao eager to see the Butan “punished.” They had not yet returned to Liangkiau from the north when the Yūkō arrived, but Cassel and Fukushima found the local population equally cooperative. It helped that the Japanese offered to pay the locals for all manner of assistance, but mainly they supported the Japanese because they hoped for protection from frequent attacks by the indigenes. Other visitors to the area also noted the cooperative attitude of the locals. For example, William Gregory, the British Consul at Takao, visited Liangkiau on the British warship Hornet on May 8 and 9, and he found the area completely peaceful, at odds with the rumors of imminent war that gripped Amoy, and he learned that the people of Chasiang actively supported the expedition.25 Unconcerned about questions of Sino-Japanese diplomacy and sovereignty, the people of Liangkiau welcomed the Japanese because they hoped they would bring peace to the area.

Establishing a Base Camp Cassel, Fukushima, and several other officers spent hours looking for a place to locate the Japanese camp before deciding to establish a temporary camp on a flat, sandy patch of land near the bay, just north of Shaliao. Once Cassel had selected the site, James Wasson devised a simple plan of earthen barriers that would surround the camp and one of

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the Japanese officers arranged with Mia’s help to hire local laborers to construct earthen works under Wasson’s direction. Several hundred people showed up to help in the construction and, while not always well motivated or easy to manage, they constructed the simple fortifications within a few days. The Japanese soldiers placed a couple of pieces of field artillery in the camp, along with the two Gatling guns, and they set up tents for shelter, an uncomfortable arrangement for the troops in the sub-tropical climate but one they intended to endure for only a few weeks until permanent barracks could be constructed. The population of the camp swelled from 100 to about 500 when Akamatsu Noriyoshi and Tani Tateki arrived with more troops on the Nisshin on May 10.26 As soon as they had established the temporary camp, the Japanese began to prepare for the anticipated battle against Butan and to lay the groundwork for a more permanent occupation of Liangkiau. They established a local administrative office, called the chihō jimuka or chihōka, that would manage the local affairs of the expeditionary force and record its activities and its relations with the local population.27 The Japanese needed more help to construct a permanent camp, and according to the written record of the administrative office, on May 13 Fukushima asked the leaders of ten local communities around Chasiang and Shaliao to make lists of people from their villages who would be willing to work for the Japanese, and all of the leaders agreed to provide names. Fukushima also began to hire a small number of key local residents—mostly sons of village headmen— to work in the administrative office. Over the coming weeks and months, these employees, familiar with the needs and customs of the local population, proved indispensible in solving many problems for the Japanese. Local leaders were particularly helpful in supplying strategic information about the indigenous villages. During the first week and a half after Fukushima arrived, he met repeatedly with local leaders to ask for their help supplying food and other necessities for the expeditionary force, and to learn as much as possible about the indigenous villages. The Japanese hoped to collect intelligence about the fighting strength of the indigenous villages, how likely they were to cooperate with or resist the Japanese, their location, the roads that led to the belligerent villages, and the distances and travel times needed to get there. The village headmen in Liangkiau proved eager to share what they knew.28 The Japanese stationed the bulk of their troops near Chasiang and Shaliao and worked through the elite families in that area to prepare for

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the campaign against Butan and its allies, but the Japanese also quickly grasped the importance of establishing a branch camp in Hongkang, a town a few miles up the coast, and they learned that the people there would be a good source of information about the indigenous villages to the north of the Liangkiau valley. The Japanese had good reasons to be concerned about the north. If the Chinese decided to attack, they would send troops overland, south from Fangliao. In that case, the indigenous villages in the area between Fangliao and Hongkang might be able to provide intelligence about the Chinese and perhaps even help in the fighting. The indigenes north of Liangkiau, especially Takubien and its allies, also posed a potential military threat that the Japanese could not ignore (see Map 8.1). The threat would be serious if the villages in the north formed an alliance with Butan against the Japanese. Another point of concern was Shafuli, a village that perennially caused problems for the people of Hongkang and that was not far from where the Japanese expected to be fighting. By permitting the establishment of a branch camp in their town, the people of Hongkang would gain protection from the Japanese in return for helping the Japanese secure the neutrality of the villages in the north. The Japanese would also gain their support for the planned annexation of the area north of Liangkiau in the second phase of the expedition. In the middle of May, the headman of Hongkang came down to the Japanese camp for discussions, and near the end of the month, Huang Wenglong, a resident of Hongkang who later served as a guide for the Japanese during the attack on Niinai village, came to the camp to provide more information. He told them that land was available for a Japanese camp just outside of Hongkang, and the people there eagerly sought Japanese protection from the indigenes of Shafuli. He also explained the lay of the land between Hongkang and Fangliao through which the Chinese Army might approach from the north.29 Encouraged by the availability of land and the enthusiastic response of the people of Hongkang, the Japanese decided to establish a branch camp there. By the end of May, the Japanese had gained the cooperation of the Chinese and mixed-race population along the west coast of Taiwan from Tosupong in the southwestern tip of the island up to the village of Hongkang, and they stood poised to extend their influence farther northward and eastward into territory occupied by indigenes.

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The First Negotiations For the first week and a half after they arrived in southern Taiwan, the Japanese concentrated on securing their base in Liangkiau and lining up the support of key local leaders. The Americans attached to the expeditionary force, Douglas Cassel and James Wasson, took the lead in establishing the Japanese camp and formulating a military plan for attacking Butan, while Fukushima Kyūsei and other Japanese officers took the lead in conducting negotiations with the local Chinese residents. Only after securing their position in Liangkiau did the expedition, under Cassel’s leadership, take its first step to contact the leaders of the indigenous villages. The picture of the shared leadership of the expedition emerges from various sources, but it can be seen most clearly in the Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi, the written record of the local administrative office. Japanese diplomatic records and correspondence overwhelmingly stress the leading role of the Japanese, while records left by Cassel and Wasson, and accounts in English-language newspapers, overwhelmingly stress the leading role of the Americans. The records in the Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi, by contrast, show a clear division of labor. Cassel attended some of the discussions with the leaders of various villages in the Liangkiau valley, but Japanese officers led those discussions, and the results were recorded in kanbun, a method of writing Chinese so it can be read in Japanese. The discussions with the indigenous leaders, on the other hand, were handled by Cassel who wrote his reports in English that were then translated into Japanese. When Cassel was ready to meet the indigenous leaders, he sent Mia to ask Isa, the headman of Shamali, to come to a meeting in Shaliao. Mia returned with word that Isa agreed to meet Cassel at Mantsui, a village halfway between Shaliao and Shamali, and on May 15, Cassel and several Japanese officers went there for the meeting. The indigenous leaders were cautious and distrustful, and they insisted that the meeting take place on their terms, inside the house of the Mantsui headman and not in the open as Cassel wished. Cassel had little choice but to relent. He and the Japanese had come armed but alone, save for their guides, and the indigenes had agreed beforehand to come to the meeting alone as well. By agreeing to trust them, Cassel put his party at risk of an ambush, and for a brief moment, it appeared he had made a terrible mistake. Cassel’s account captures the tension of the moment:

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[U]pon reaching the named village [we] were shown into the best house and Esa [Isa], the renowned, made his appearance but instead of being accompanied only by the other three headmen, no less than forty or fifty of the most truculent looking devils alive appeared to start from the bowels of the earth with the suddenness of thought. Armed to the teeth as they were it had every appearance of a trap, and for ten seconds I could scarcely keep my fingers off my “Winchester” which my faithful guide, Mia, had carried in the rear. However, I was lucky with my nerves and I took it quite as a matter of course.30

Despite the tense beginning to the meeting, Cassel’s act of trust paid dividends and he quickly gained Isa’s cooperation. Tokitok, the great leader of the indigenes in southern Taiwan, died the previous year and was replaced by his nephew, Tsului.31 A young man identified as Tokitok’s son and at least one other headman also attended the meeting, but Isa spoke for the indigenes. LeGendre had suggested in his memos to Ōkuma Shigenobu that the expedition should avoid bloodshed wherever possible and gain the trust and support of Tuilasok and its allied villages, and Cassel made great strides toward accomplishing that goal in his first meeting with Isa. He explained the purpose of the expedition—to punish the people of Butan—and he assured Isa that neither his village nor the others would be harmed as long as they did not interfere. He told Isa that LeGendre had said the Japanese could trust him, and he assured him that he could trust the Japanese. LeGendre’s influence colored many aspects of this first crucial meeting with the indigenous leaders, and Cassel noted how highly Isa regarded the former American Consul.32 Toward the end of the meeting, a revealing exchange took place that provided the Japanese an unexpected and powerful symbol for asserting Japanese authority over the indigenous territory. Cassel told Isa he wanted an agreement with the indigenous villages that they would aid people who were shipwrecked, in effect reiterating and expanding the agreement that LeGendre made with Tokitok in 1867. Isa assented, but in return he asked the Japanese to provide a written agreement that guaranteed the protection of villages from attacks by the Japanese Army. Isa had seen for himself the document LeGendre prepared for Tokitok in 1869, and he saw the way Tokitok used it to assert his power.33 It is impossible to know what Isa was thinking, but he may have hoped to emulate Tokitok’s success and power by obtaining a document that replicated the one that Tokitok

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Map 7.1  Southern Taiwan, 1874

had received from LeGendre. Whatever his motives, after the end of the campaign against Butan a few weeks later the Japanese began, as Isa had requested, to distribute certificates of protection and Japanese flags as a symbol of the submission of indigenous villages.34

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Although the number of Japanese troops in Liangkiau increased with the arrival of Tani and Akamatsu on May 10, the bulk of the military force and its commanding general Saigō Tsugumichi had yet to arrive. The balance of the expeditionary force would not be in place until the end of May, when the weather had already grown quite hot, and because of delays in dispatching the expedition, LeGendre had recommended waiting until the cooler weather of the autumn before launching a campaign against Butan. Still, Cassel wanted to be ready so he drew up plans for an overwhelming military response in case Butan attacked the Japanese first. Through their investigations, they learned the approximate population of the various villages and could estimate their military strength, and they had determined which villages were likely to cooperate with the Japanese and which would resist. They also learned that Butan could be reached by three routes, one that went north through Hongkang, another that went east through a narrow pass called Sekimon or “Stone Gate,” and a third that went south and then east through the village of Chiksha (see Map 7.1). The northern route would take them to Niinai, a branch village of Butan, and the southern route would take them to Kusakut, an allied village that neighbored Butan. The Japanese learned that villagers from Kusakut participated in attacks on Japanese troops late in May that will be described below, and attacking Kusakut became a high priority. Based on this information, Cassel devised a plan for a three-pronged attack that would take place simultaneously along all three of these routes.35 Although the plan for the expedition anticipated that the campaign against Butan would take place in the autumn, events outstripped Cassel’s intentions and by the end of May an immediate attack against Butan became unavoidable.

Skirmishes During his meeting with Isa on May 15, Cassel asked the headman to tell the other indigenous villages that the Japanese would be surveying the waters around the South Cape (Oluenpi) and he asked Isa to warn them not to fire on the Japanese. Having received Isa’s assurances, Cassel in turn warned the Japanese that while they could send boats to survey the waters they should not attempt to land since that would provoke an attack.36 In spite of these assurances, when Akamatsu Noriyoshi took the corvette Nisshin to Kwaliang Bay a few days later and launched a small boat to conduct surveys, villagers from Koalut shot at the boat with

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their muskets. No one was injured, but the attack outraged Akamatsu who insisted on leading an immediate attack against Koalut. Cassel managed to restrain him and prevent the attack, which would have inflamed all the indigenes in southern Taiwan and destroyed the effort to gain their cooperation for the campaign against Butan. Akamatsu was unhappy with the result, but as Wasson put it in a later report to Ōkuma Shigenobu, events soon transpired that made an attack on Koalut moot.37 Cassel did his best to implement LeGendre’s plan of earning the cooperation of the indigenous villages in the south and avoiding bloodshed as far as possible, but to his frustration Japanese soldiers, often under the command of Japanese officers but sometimes acting independently, engaged in forays that approached the border of the indigenous territory and risked provoking skirmishes that might escalate into a major battle. At this early stage, a major battle might undermine the effort to earn the trust and cooperation of the indigenes and it could potentially threaten the success of the entire expedition. On May 18, one of these forays provoked precisely the sort of confrontation Cassel feared, and the incident in turn precipitated a major unplanned battle on May 22.38 According to several accounts, it rained hard on May 17 and the temporary camp just off of the beach flooded when the rivers to the north and south of it rose. The soldiers moved their tents to slightly higher ground in an effort to escape the water, but conditions were miserable. To escape the flooding, Akamatsu Noriyoshi sent a few soldiers from the company of former samurai volunteers further up the river toward Shitenkei where they established an advance camp. A small party of villagers from Butan ambushed the Japanese party as it straggled up the narrow valley and a sergeant from the volunteers was killed and another Japanese soldier was wounded. By the time the survivors regrouped for a counterattack, the indigenes had taken the dead sergeant’s head as a trophy and disappeared into the brush.39 Not content to wait after having suffered casualties, a small party of Japanese soldiers, principally from the volunteers, returned to Shitenkei on May 21. Villagers from Butan had laid a well-prepared ambush and caught the Japanese fully exposed with no place to take cover. The indigenes let fly a volley that killed a handful of soldiers and wounded several others, including the mixed-race guide who accompanied the Japanese. The Japanese returned fire as best they could and sent word back to the camp for help. Some three or four hundred soldiers, who could

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hear gunfire from up the valley, quickly assembled and ran to the battle. Wasson, who accompanied the soldiers, described the chaotic scene: The companies had been properly formed in camp on starting but in a short time the ranks were broken and when rivers were crossed those that got out first dashed ahead without waiting to reform ranks and the march out soon became a mere race to see who would reach the scene of action first. Had it turned out that the enemy were in full force and meant to fight the result of this lack of discipline and system would have been felt very severely.40

By the time the reinforcements arrived, however, the indigenous fighters had fled and no further fighting took place on that day. It began to get dark and Wasson, who worried that the Japanese might go further into the indigenous territory and provoke a major engagement, counseled a return to camp. Many of the Japanese soldiers refused to return to camp, however, and insisted on staying in the field that night in hopes of catching the indigenes by surprise early the next morning as they came out of the mountains. The next day, when the indigenes did not descend out of the mountains, the Japanese soldiers instead continued farther up the valley. Eventually, they reached a steep, narrow rift in the mountains through which the river flowed, a natural formation that the Japanese called Sekimon and the Americans called Stone Door, perhaps after a Chinese name for the place.41 Villagers from Butan, probably assisted by villagers from nearby Kusakut, anticipated the arrival of the Japanese and skillfully prepared an ambush there. Their defenses took advantage of the steep slopes of the rift that would make an attack from the flanks difficult, an elevated position concealed by boulders from which they could fire down on the approaching Japanese, and a sharp bend in the river that forced the Japanese to return fire from the middle of the river in a position directly under their muskets. When the Japanese soldiers reached the ford in the river, the indigenes fired on them and killed several soldiers. A number of soldiers took cover behind boulders in the river and returned fire as best they could, but they could neither advance nor retreat without exposing themselves to musket fire from above. Sakuma Samata, a staff officer in command of the force, belatedly decided to avoid an engagement and ordered a retreat, but by that time, the soldiers had become aroused and they ignored his command and continued to

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fight. The battle continued for about two hours, and the Japanese gained the advantage only when a number of soldiers ascended the steep rock face across the river from the indigenes’ position. From this elevated position, and using rifles more accurate than the indigenes’ muskets, the Japanese were able to fire down on them to great effect and they took flight. The Japanese emphatically ended the battle by taking as trophies the heads of twelve indigenes including, according to some reports, a few from injured men who had not yet died.42

Meeting the Headmen Saigō Tsugumichi arrived in Liangkiau on May 22, as the sound of gunfire from the battle at Sekimon echoed through the valley, and he soon found himself busy dealing with a wide range of problems. To start with, Saigō had to contend with the expedition’s disorganized and ill-defined command structure, a problem that became all too evident in the unplanned battle at Sekimon. The battle disrupted Cassel’s plan to attack Butan, and he was disgusted that the soldiers had disobeyed orders and precipitated an unsanctioned battle. After the soldiers returned to camp from the battle, he confronted Akamatsu, who insisted that he had ordered a retreat from the area and that the soldiers had acted without orders, but the damage to Cassel’s plan had been done, and it necessitated starting the campaign against Butan immediately, rather than in the autumn when the weather had cooled. A number of sources indicate that the volunteers took the lead in the fighting and their lack of discipline and disregard for orders complicated the military operation in southern Taiwan. As E. H. House described it, the volunteers paid little heed to the authority of any of the officers other than Saigō.43 Saigō himself left few records about what happened in southern Taiwan, and other sources remain mostly silent about how he treated the volunteers, but he must have exerted firm control over them as soon as he arrived. After the unsanctioned battle at Stone Door, they caused few problems. Saigō also had to deal with the problem of taking the heads of the enemy. The Japanese soldiers who fought at Sekimon returned to camp ebullient at their victory and proud to show off the heads they had taken, but the practice angered Saigō and he forbade the soldiers from repeating it. Cassel described the act as a “horrible savage custom,” and there is little doubt he expressed that opinion directly to

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Saigō. For centuries samurai had taken the heads of their defeated enemies, and as recently as April 1874, the heads of Etō Shinpei and Shima Yoshitake, leaders of the ill-fated Saga Rebellion, had been displayed after their execution. The practice invited foreign criticism when photographs of their heads began to circulate, prompting the government to ban the photographs and forbid the practice of taking heads, and Saigō undoubtedly hoped to avoid similar foreign criticism.44 In this case, too, Saigō restrained the Japanese soldiers and they took no more heads. One further incident threatened to strain the good relations the Japanese enjoyed with the Chinese of Liangkiau. A certain Huang Wenzhen of Chasiang ignored warnings from the Japanese to stay away from the battle and went to Sekimon to observe the fighting, where one of the Japanese soldiers accidentally shot him. Saigō feared the young man would die, and on the day after the battle, he sent Sakuma and another Japanese officer to visit his father to pay him twenty-five silver dollars as compensation.45 The Japanese prevailed over the indigenes in their first major fight, but the battle revealed the disorganized nature of the expeditionary force and the difficulty the officers had in controlling it, and the Japanese hold on southern Taiwan was still tenuous. Saigō also found himself dealing with matters of diplomacy as soon as he arrived in southern Taiwan. A “large fine Chinese sloop of war” and a smaller Chinese gunboat arrived in Liangkiau on the day Saigō arrived, and the next morning he held a meeting in a tent pitched near the beach with representatives sent by Li Henian, the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang. They delivered Li’s answer to the letter that Fukushima Kyūsei had presented on Saigō’s behalf to Chinese officials in Amoy on May 3. Plans for the expedition had anticipated that LeGendre and Fukushima would take the lead in dealing with diplomatic matters, but LeGendre had been recalled to Tokyo, and Fukushima left Liangkiau a few days before Saigō’s arrival to deal with officials at Taiwan-fu. Consequently, Saigō had to deal with the Chinese officials on his own. He heard from them that Li asserted China’s claim to suzerainty over the Ryūkyū Kingdom and demanded that Saigō disband his army and return to Japan.46 The Chinese government’s opposition to the second phase of the expedition would become clearer to Saigō in negotiations that took place in southern Taiwan at the end of June (those negotiations will be explained in Chapter 8), but Li’s assertive response gave Saigō the first

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hint that the Chinese government would push back against the expedition and that the Japanese government would likely abandon its plans for colonizing the indigenous territory. The more immediate task Saigō faced was how to prepare for the campaign against Butan, and for that, he relied on Cassel’s help. Cassel hoped to pressure Tuilasok, Shamali, and other villages into a more formal agreement to support the Japanese. Once Saigō arrived, he sent Mia to arrange another meeting with the indigenous leaders, and on the evening of May 25, a half dozen or so of them came to Mia’s house in Shaliao. In contrast to the tense atmosphere of their first meeting, Cassel found the indigenes subdued in this meeting, and Wasson attributed their new attitude of cooperation to the demonstration of Japan’s overwhelming force in the battle at Sekimon. Cassel spoke as the representative of the Japanese, and Isa spoke for the indigenes. Cassel explained that the Japanese intended to deal with the villages of Butan and Kusakut, and he asked Isa again for the support and cooperation of the other indigenous villages in the south, threatening them with attack if they refused. Isa promised that the other villages would cooperate and would not provide protection to any villagers from Butan or Kusakut who might attempt to flee the Japanese, but he expressed concern that one of the villages under his protection, Kachilai according to Mizuno Jun, lay near the route the Japanese would take into the mountains and the village might by accident or misunderstanding come to harm at the hands of the Japanese. In the context of seeking to protect an allied village, Isa returned to his request for a written guarantee that the Japanese would not harm his and other villages. In response to his request, the Japanese agreed, through Cassel, to provide certificates of protection and Japanese flags to villages that cooperated.47 The dynamics of the meeting suggest that the indigenes understood the Japanese flags and certificates as symbols of cooperation, similar to the arrangement LeGendre made in 1867 where pieces of red cloth—a luxury item to the indigenes—symbolized the agreement.48 Cassel’s description of the negotiations suggests that the indigenes viewed the agreement they were making with the Japanese as a quid pro quo arrangement of cooperation in exchange for a guarantee that the Japanese would not attack them, a reassurance they wanted in the wake of the devastating Japanese attack at Sekimon. Isa asked the Japanese to give him several certificates and flags immediately so he could distribute them to other cooperative villages, but

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Cassel pressed his advantage and insisted that any village headman who wished to receive a flag and certificate must come to the Japanese camp and pay his respects personally to Saigō. Once these matters had been settled, they all drank in friendship, and the Japanese distributed gifts to the headmen.49 The battle at Sekimon upended the plans that Cassel had prepared after arriving in Liangkiau, but it increased support for the Japanese among most of the villages in southern Taiwan. It also forced the Japanese into the more practical approach of launching their campaign against Butan immediately rather than waiting for cooler weather. The preparations for battle quickened dramatically at the end of May. Villagers from Hongkang came to the Japanese camp on May 24 when they provided information about the villages to the north of Liangkiau and finalized plans for the Japanese to establish a branch camp at Hongkang. Kabayama Sukenori and Mizuno Jun, who arrived from the north a few days earlier, and another Japanese officer went to Hongkang on May 30, and they established the camp on June 1 as Japanese forces passed through on their way to attack Niinai. Cassel finalized his plan for the campaign against Butan and presented it to Saigō just after the May 25 meeting with the indigenous leaders. Finally, only a few days before the attack began, the local administrative office hired guides for each of the three routes that Japanese forces would take into the indigenous territory. The Japanese hired people from Shinke and Poliak to lead the central and southern columns, bound, respectively, for Sekimon and Chiksha. For the northern column, bound for Niinai, they hired people from Hongkang as guides.50 Having finished their preparations at the end of May, the expeditionary force stood poised to launch its war against the villagers of Butan and Kusakut.

The Campaign to Punish Butan and Kusakut On June 1, Saigō gave the order for the troops to begin the attack and the three columns prepared to depart their camp at Shaliao. The northern column was under the command of Tani Tateki with Kabayama Sukenori as second in command, the southern column was under Akamatsu Noriyoshi and Fukushima Kyūsei, and the central command was under Saigō and Sakuma Samata. The three columns had to travel different distances to reach Butan and the plan envisioned the columns leaving at different times so that they would all arrive in Butan at the

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same time, with some of the marching taking place at night in order to maximize the surprise. Heavy rains had swollen the rivers to dangerous levels, however, so the plan for night marching was abandoned and the northern and central columns departed Shaliao around 1 p.m. on June 1. Even in daylight, the rivers were dangerous and one of the conscript soldiers in the central column was swept to his death. The road for Sekimon had become almost impassable because of the mud and the attack was delayed for a day as workers came up from the main camp to repair the road.51 The soldiers of the northern column arrived without incident in Hongkang on the evening of June 1. The rains ceased that night and all three columns departed in earnest early on the morning of June 2. The northern column left a platoon of soldiers behind at the new branch camp in Hongkang and at 5 a.m. the balance of the column headed up into the mountains toward Niinai village. The center column spent the night in the field near Shitenkei, and at 6 a.m. they sent several platoons of volunteers up to Sekimon with the idea of drawing an attack by the indigenes. The fighters of Butan prepared their defenses farther up the mountain, however, so when the volunteers met no resistance the rest of the column advanced to Sekimon. The central column brought along one of the Gatling guns but the roads were nearly impassible so they left it behind in Shitenkei. The southern column departed Shaliao at 6 a.m. on June 2, taking the other Gatling gun with them. The roads were equally bad along the southern route and they sent the gun back to Shaliao. By midday on June 2, all three columns had crossed into the territory controlled by the indigenes and stood ready to commence fighting. All of the columns had to deal with difficult terrain, but the movements of the central and southern columns were slowed by barriers of felled trees and brush that the indigenes had skillfully placed along the paths into the mountains. The columns also experienced different levels of armed resistance. The plan for the attack anticipated that the stiffest resistance would come at Sekimon, and the company of volunteers took the lead there expressly because they expected to have a chance to fight in the decisive engagement of the campaign. Instead, the central column met no resistance. Their guides abandoned the central column just past Sekimon and the soldiers had to search for the path that led up the mountain to Butan. Eventually, they found it, and as they climbed

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up toward Butan, they heard gunfire from the southern column as it engaged the villagers of Kusakut. James Wasson describes the defenses that the central column encountered high on the mountain, not far below Butan: Just as dark came on we entered a wood near the summit of the mountain over which we were passing; here the savages had cut down the trees and so interwoven them as to make an almost impassable barricade. Still we saw nothing of the savages, though had even a small force been stationed at this place it would have been difficult to dislodge them from it. It was evident that it was here that they had meant to give us battle, and the place had been skillfully chosen, and had been made as strong as was possible. Even without opposition the troops could only creep through the trees; in many places the road was so effectually vaned that men had to be sent ahead with axes to chop away the barricade before we could pass.52

The fighters of Butan had prepared a strong defense against the Japanese attack from the direction of Sekimon, but they apparently fled when they heard gunfire from Kusakut and realized they were about to be attacked from the rear. Although the central column had a difficult time approaching Butan, the southern column encountered the most difficult terrain and it sustained the highest number of casualties. It headed southeast from Shaliao and then up into the mountains. Their guides told them they could either take a shortcut to Kusakut up a narrow, steep path or take a longer path through the mountains. One of the platoons of the company of volunteers took the lead and headed up the steep mountain path, followed by a platoon of conscript soldiers. An additional platoon of conscripts carried supplies for the column, but the path proved too steep and overgrown with brush for them and they turned back and took the longer path through the mountains. The lead platoon did not wait for the others and pressed on over one mountain and on to the next. The climb left many of the soldiers from the platoon of conscripts feeling exhausted but they and the volunteers pressed onward down the other side of the pass until they came upon the path that led up to Kusakut. The volunteers continued on toward Kusakut while the platoon of conscripts stopped to rest. By the time the soldiers carrying the supplies caught up with them via the longer route the volunteers had reached the outskirts of Kusakut where a running gun battle had started.

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Despite taking fire the volunteers refused to take cover and instead charged after the Kusakut villagers who fled and hid in the brush on either side of the path. The indigenes fired at the Japanese as they charged up the path and into the ambush. One soldier was shot through the stomach and fell dead, and another was wounded, but the Japanese pressed onward and the indigenes fled once again into the brush. The Japanese charged up the hill after them and into another ambush where the Kusakut villagers fired on them from cover behind a low ridge. Another Japanese soldier fell dead and one more was wounded, but they kept up the pursuit until they had nearly reached the boundary between the villages of Butan and Kusakut. By that point all of the indigenes had fled. The Japanese burned Kusakut village, and since all of the villagers had fled they decided to press onward. Night had begun to fall, however, and they had run out of food and were low on ammunition, so they spend the night in the field resting. The soldiers arose around 2 a.m. on June 3 and began the march again, heading down into the valley below Kusakut and Butan, and by the time they reached Sankeikau, the sky had grown light. They headed up the valley, and by 10 a.m., they reached Butan where they joined up with the soldiers from the central column. Altogether three of the soldiers in the southern column died from gunshot wounds, and another was wounded (Table 7.4).53 The northern column out of Hongkang had a comparatively easier time, suffering fewer casualties and seeing less fighting. The indigenes apparently did not anticipate an attack from the north through Niinai, and they had not prepared defenses along the route. Two platoons of Table 7.4  Japanese casualties in skirmishes and battles against the indigenes

Dead Killed by gunshot Died later from gunshot wounds Other death in action (drowning) Wounded Gunshot wound Other injury (snakebite)

May 18

May 21–22

June 1–3

Total

1 – –

4 2 –

4 – 1

9 2 1

1 –

8 –

5 1

14 1

N.B.: The number of wounded does not include local guides Sources Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 433, 435, 440, 446; Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi (Tokyo: n.p., 1887), 8–11, 34

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volunteers and one platoon of conscript soldiers took the lead as the column headed up from Hongkang toward Niinai. Tani Tateki and his second in command Kabayama Sukenori deployed their troops in a more defensive posture than had the commanders of the other columns, probably out of concern that Chinese forces from Fangliao or the villagers of Shafuli might try to surprise them from behind. They left behind a platoon of conscript troops at the new branch camp in Hongkang, and they also deployed a platoon of conscript soldiers and a platoon of volunteers as a rear guard for the column as it advanced into the indigenous territory. For most of their march into the mountains, the column did not encounter any resistance from the indigenous fighters and their only difficulty came from the natural features of the mountain path they ascended. By mid-afternoon, the soldiers had climbed most of the way up to Niinai, having passed through two small hamlets whose inhabitants fled before they arrived. The soldiers took a break from their climb, and after about twenty minutes, the bugle sounded the end of their rest and they gathered themselves to resume the ascent. A few moments later shots rang out from the brush to the left of the path. The soldiers had unwittingly stopped for their rest only a short distance below Niinai, and the sound of the bugle had alerted the villagers to their presence and given them enough time to grab their muskets and set up an ambush. The volley injured one of the Japanese soldiers, and the indigenes disappeared into the brush as soon as they fired. The soldiers chased them as best they could, coming upon the village a few minutes later. The found it deserted, except for an old woman and a young girl. As they explored the village more shots rang out from the brush at the edge of the village, injuring one of the soldiers and severely injuring one of the guides from Hongkang. The villagers of Niinai had inflicted a few casualties, but after the initial encounter, the soldiers of the northern column did not take any more fire. The unexpected arrival of the Japanese in Niinai had interrupted the villagers’ preparations for dinner, and in several of the houses, the soldiers found potatoes still boiling in pots and rice that had freshly been cooked. The soldiers helped themselves to the food and water in the houses, and slaughtered and cooked several pigs for good measure. Darkness had begun to fall, so the Japanese decided to stay in Niinai for the night. The commander set pickets around the village in case the indigenes decided to attack during the night, and they commandeered one of the houses for use as a hospital to treat the wounded soldiers and

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guide. Around eight p.m. the northern column suffered its only fatality when the pickets mistook one of the soldiers for an indigene and shot him. After that, the rest of the night passed uneventfully. In the morning, they prepared to press onward toward Butan. Porters arrived from Hongkang with food, but Tani decided to send half of the force back to Hongkang because they did not have enough food, even with the resupply, and they had begun to run low on ammunition. The guides from Hongkang refused to go any further, having seen one of their number suffer a serious injury, and several of the porters were pressed into service as guides. No one knew where the path to Butan lay until the old woman who had been captured the evening before escaped and ran away, revealing the direction they needed to go. The young girl remained, however, perhaps too frightened or confused to escape, so Tani sent her to Hongkang. Her fortune took a strange turn when the soldiers in Hongkang sent her back to the main camp in Shaliao, and her journey continued when Saigō asked Ōkura Kihachirō, the civilian procurer for the expedition, to send her to Japan. Ōkura arranged to send her to Tokyo where she remained until November.54 By mid-morning the northern column had finished its preparations and they burned the village of Niinai before departing for Butan. The path led them westward and then southward down into the valley below Butan where they eventually reached Sankeikau. At Sankeikau, they met up with soldiers on their way back from Butan, and they learned that the central column had captured Butan and the southern column had burned Kusakut. By that evening, the campaign to pacify southern Taiwan had ended. In retrospect, it is clear that the fighting ended but some of the soldiers in the central column wanted to continue to fight, perhaps out of disappointment that they had met no resistance. According to a couple of reports members of the volunteers wanted to pursue the villagers of Butan farther into the indigenous territory, but doing so would have provoked other villages in the area without accomplishing much and Saigō forbid them to go any farther.55 Most of the Japanese force left Butan on the morning of June 4, but Saigō stationed a platoon of volunteers and a platoon of conscripts there to prevent a recurrence of fighting, and the volunteers, interpreting Saigō’s orders as loosely as possible, advanced farther into the indigenous territory in search of anyone who might still want to fight. On one occasion they fired on a group of thirty or so indigenes who they spotted running for cover in the brush some distance away, but to no effect. The next day the two platoons left Butan and set up a camp in the valley below at Sankeikau.56

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The Japanese spent the next several days wrapping up the loose ends of their campaign and they began constructing a new camp at Kameyama (Guishan), gradually transferring soldiers there as barracks were completed, a process that lasted until the end of June. The headmen of indigenous and mixed-race villages throughout southern Taiwan also began to come to the Japanese camp in small groups to receive certificates of protection and Japanese flags. On June 9 the Japanese formalized an agreement with Isa permitting the Japanese to establish a branch camp on the southeast coast. On June 11 Akamatsu Noriyoshi took a party of Japanese soldiers on the Nisshin to the mouth of the Tuilasok River where they founded the camp. The Japanese maintained the camp there until the middle of July when the prospects for a permanent occupation of southern Taiwan dimmed. Japanese troops also remained in Sankeikau for a month and a half after the battle of early June, poised to attack Butan at short notice, but the need never arose. The branch camp at Hongkang, by contrast, remained in place until the end of the Japanese occupation of southern Taiwan because it served as a point of defense against a possible attack from the north by Chinese troops and because it permitted easier contact with indigenous villages to the north. Saigō and his officers wrote reports about the fighting and sent them back to the government in Tokyo, and since the pacification of southern Taiwan had been accomplished Saigō asked for permission to proceed with the next phase in the plan, the colonization of eastern Taiwan. He sent Tani Tateki and Kabayama Sukenori back to Tokyo to deliver the news about the campaign to the government and to ask for more details about how China had reacted to the expedition. Sick and wounded soldiers were also sent back to a hospital in Nagasaki that had been established to care for the expeditionary force.57 The pacification of southern Taiwan had been completed, and the army settled into its new role as an occupation force, awaiting permission to proceed with the colonization of eastern Taiwan.

Surrender of the Indigenous Villages After the decisive Japanese victory over the villages of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai, the leaders of other indigenous villages throughout southern Taiwan began to come down to the Japanese camp, usually in small groups, to submit to Saigō Tsugumichi and to receive Japanese flags and written certificates of protection to assure them that the Japanese would not attack their villages. The villages of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai truly

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did surrender, however, and the tone of their meeting differed dramatically from the generally congenial visits that involved the presentation of flags and certificates of protection. After the various battles ended, Lin Aqiu, Chen Asan, and Lai Shengwen visited the headman of Butan and asked him to surrender. The involvement of Lin, Chen, and Lai shows that the Japanese took advantage of the mixed-race intermediaries in arranging the surrender of the indigenous villages. Lin was headman of Tanlianpo, a mixed-race village near Poliak, and Chen was headman of Koutang, a mixed-race village south of Liangkiau and near the boundary of the indigenous territory. Lai also came from Koutang and he worked for the chihōka, the local administrative office that the Japanese established in Liangkiau.58 Mizuno Jun, who served as an interpreter on the occasion of their surrender, recorded what took place and his description, despite its biases, gives rare voice to the indigenes and their view of the fighting that took place in southern Taiwan.59 On July 1, nearly a month after the fighting had ceased, the village headmen of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai came down from the mountains and surrendered to the Japanese and apologized for what they had done. The formal surrender took place at the house of Yang Tianbao, the headman of the mixed-race village Poliak. Poliak served as a key intermediary in trade between the indigenes and the Chinese residents of Liangkiau and it generally enjoyed good relations with the indigenous villages. It was as close to neutral territory as the indigenes could hope for, and the fact that the Japanese agreed to hold the meeting there instead of at their own camp suggests that the headmen of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai feared for their safety and would go no further. Indigenes from Tuilasok and Shamali, the two politically dominant villages in the south, and Mantsui, a village allied with Tuilasok, attended the meeting as an escort, and the headman from Koalut also attended because people from his village had fired on a Japanese survey boat in May. Sakuma Samata, a staff officer under Saigō’s command, spoke for the Japanese. The meeting began with an apology from the leader of Butan for the murder of the Ryūkyūans back in 1871. He blamed the massacre on a simple misunderstanding: they had mistaken the Ryūkyūans for Chinese. The apology and explanation were not plausible but no one raised any objections. The Butan leader also attempted to explain away the first attack on Japanese soldiers that had happened on May 18, saying it occurred when the old Butan leader Alok and his son, both killed in the battle at Sekimon, came down to meet the great Japanese general, Saigō.

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That effort at conciliation failed when they unexpectedly encountered Japanese soldiers who opened fire on them and they returned fire. After that there had been no choice but to fight the Japanese. Sakuma challenged the Butan leader’s explanation, reminding him that the indigenous fighters had fired first at the Japanese on May 18 and that they had taken the head of one of the Japanese soldiers. The Butan leader replied that Alok had been responsible for taking the head and he knew nothing more about it. When Sakuma pressed him about the battle at Sekimon, he replied that Butan village had over 100 people, and there were many more in allied villages. He could not account for everything those people did and he did not know what had happened during the battle because he had been on a hunting trip at the time. When Sakuma asked him which villages had fought at Sekimon, he answered that it had been only Butan and Niinai. Sakuma then turned his attention to the headmen of Kusakut and Niinai, and both of them expressed their wish to surrender. They said they fought against the Japanese only because Alok told them to do so, and they regretted their choice because they had lost countless houses and 20 dead in the attacks. Sakuma did not believe their expressions of contrition and he undoubtedly wanted to intimidate them. He demanded that the leader of Tuilasok investigate who had killed the Ryūkyūans, where the Ryūkyūans were buried, who had fired at the Japanese, who had taken the head of the Japanese soldier, and who had incited the indigenous fighters to fire upon the Japanese. No records survive to show that the headman of Tuilasok took any action in response to Sakuma’s demands. Sakuma’s interview with the headmen of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai ended inconclusively but it seems to have brought a kind of closure to the campaign against the indigenes of southern Taiwan. The only unresolved matter that remained was the fate of the heads of the murdered Ryūkyūans, or more precisely their skulls. That the skulls of the dead Ryūkyūans should provoke so much controversy is surprising. Clearly, they came to hold great symbolic importance for the Japanese, and their recovery could, in a sense, bring the punitive phase of the expedition to a close. To recover the skulls would also legitimize the expedition by showing that the Japanese government had acted to protect the interests of Ryūkyūans as Japanese subjects. Still, the fact that it took more than two months after the surrender of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai for the Japanese to obtain the skulls suggests that recovering them was no easy matter. According to

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E. H. House the Japanese force that attacked Butan in June discovered the graves of the Ryūkyūans somewhere beyond Sekimon, and later their remains were re-interred near Tanlianpo, where they remain to this day, marked by a memorial gravestone bearing an inscription written by Fukushima Kyūsei.60 Mizuno mentioned the need to recover the remains of the Ryūkyūans in his account of the surrender at Poliak, but this refers just to the skulls since the other remains had already been recovered by then. In a macabre turn of events, the skulls became an object of political competition between China and Japan when a resourceful local Chinese official named Zhou Youji tried to obtain them so he could secretly send them to Fuzhou, where they would be handed over to the resident official at the Ryūkyū House. If Zhou’s plan had succeeded the Chinese government could have taken credit for recovering the heads thereby undermining the legitimacy of the Japanese expedition by claiming that China had protected the interests of Ryūkyū as its vassal kingdom. According to Mizuno, Zhou came from Taiwan-fu to Chasiang around the end of May so he could report back to his superiors about the activities of the Japanese. Mizuno recounts that Zhou often spoke to the indigenes and mixed-race people in the Liangkiau area and through his inquiries he learned that Sakuma wanted to recover the skulls of the Ryūkyūans. Hearing this, Zhou hatched a plot to obtain the skulls. He told the headman—either of Butan or Kachilai, depending on who told the story—that he would pay 200 taels for the skulls. Sometime around the middle of September villagers from Butan loaded the skulls of the Ryūkyūans into wicker baskets and took them to Kachilai, intending to take them to Zhou in Chasiang the next day. Lin Aqiu, the headman of Tanlianpo, heard about the skulls and passed on word of what was happening to the Japanese. The Japanese sent Lin to investigate with the help of Lai Shengwen. They went to the village of Shitenkei where they met Tsurui, the headman of Kachilai, and convinced him to hand the skulls over to them, and they brought the skulls to the Japanese administrative office the next day. Saigō rewarded Lin and Lai with a considerable sum in silver for their help in recovering the skulls, and he subsequently arranged to return the skulls to Japan.61 The account of the incident, at least as it was told by Mizuno Jun, is incomplete. To begin with, the Japanese did not recover all of the skulls. Mizuno mentions 53 skulls in his account, probably meaning 54 since that many Ryūkyūans were murdered, but the official correspondence

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mentions that only 44 skulls were recovered.62 One can only imagine who actually counted them and under what conditions, and none of the sources mentions what effort was made to verify that the skulls actually came from the Ryūkyūans. In a letter to the branch office of the Savage Affairs Bureau in Nagasaki in October, Saigō explained that the other 10 skulls could not be recovered because the headman of Butan, his son, and several other indigenes had been killed at Sekimon on May 22 and no one knew where they put the heads they had taken. The account also does not explain the long delay between Sakuma’s demand on July 1 that the skulls be returned and when the Japanese finally obtained them in the middle of September. It is unlikely that the Japanese simply waited patiently for the skulls to find their way to the Japanese camp. Saigō’s explanation of the missing skulls suggests that someone, most likely the mixed-race allies of the Japanese such as Lin and Lai, went into the indigenous territory to persuade the villagers to hand over the skulls. Zhou, the industrious Chinese official in Chasiang, deployed his own allies to obtain the skulls and one can only imagine the competition between the two sets of allies as they tried to persuade the indigenes, foul-humored at the intrusion into their lives, to hand over skulls they saw as fairly won symbols of status and accomplishment. The process of recovering the skulls could not have been easy, but the sources remain silent about what happened behind the scenes. The fate of the skulls is clearer after they found their way to the Japanese camp. They were transported from Liangkiau to Nagasaki on the Takasago, where they arrived on October 16. The branch office of the Savage Affairs Bureau in Nagasaki immediately sent an urgent telegram to Tokyo informing Ōkuma Shigenobu that they had received 44 skulls of the dead Ryūkyūans and asked whether they should send them to Tokyo; in the meantime, they buried them temporarily since they threw off a foul stench. The main office of the Savage Affairs Bureau in Tokyo sent a reply instructing them to keep the skulls in Nagasaki and the next day Ōkuma sent a letter to the Home Minister, Itō Hirobumi, asking for a response about what to do with them. Itō answered a few days later that he had referred the matter to the Cabinet, and a few days after that Sanjō Sanetomi reported the Cabinet’s decision to have the skulls sent to Kagoshima where they could be handed over to officials from Ryūkyū domain and returned to Naha. Ryūkyū officials took possession of the skulls in November and early in 1875 they arrived in Naha where they were interred.63

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The Limits of Projecting Japanese Military Force Although the expeditionary force succeeded in pacifying southern Taiwan by early June, it suffered from many problems that limited its effectiveness. In particular, the difficulty of maintaining the army in southern Taiwan exposed a serious weakness in the Japanese plans for the expedition—the army could not be sustained without substantial ongoing support from the home islands—and Japanese colonies, had they been established, would have been highly vulnerable to disease and military attack. The greatest challenge the army faced in southern Taiwan, and the one that most clearly exposed the unreliability of the former samurai volunteers, was the problem of maintaining the health of the soldiers. Malaria and other tropical diseases killed many of them and incapacitated the army as a fighting force. At the same time, the purpose of the expedition shifted as the political confrontation between China and Japan evolved. By the summer of 1874 it was unlikely that the army would be needed to establish colonies, although that still remained a slim possibility, and instead, the Japanese government needed the army as a source of leverage in its negotiations with the Chinese government. The Japanese soldiers in Liangkiau thus became a blunt instrument in Japan’s diplomatic conflict with China over territorial authority in Taiwan. The soldiers who served as that blunt instrument were conscripts. Morale among the former samurai volunteers collapsed and after they demanded to be released from service the government had no other viable option but to replace them with conscripts. When the government first formulated plans in 1872 to send an expedition to Taiwan, the only practical military option was former samurai drawn from domainbased armies. Between that time and the dispatch of the expedition in the spring of 1874, the government eliminated the domains and implemented a conscript Army to supplant the old domain-based armies. The domestic political context in Japan changed so rapidly in those years that the only imaginable option in 1872 for projecting Japanese military force overseas became a secondary option that had to be implemented in tandem with the dispatch of conscripts in April 1874. By August 1874 that hybrid option had ceased to be viable. There is no documentary evidence to support the conclusion, but the actions of the government show clearly that by the summer of 1874 it had abandoned the practice of forming combat units based on recruitment from the old domain-based

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armies, and in future overseas conflicts it would never again rely on former samurai volunteers. The shift to a conscript Army did not happen easily, however, and the government struggled to meet its military needs. Gotō Arata has shown that in May 1874 the government ordered the various garrisons of the Army to increase the number of conscripts in anticipation of a possible war with China. The Army, under the leadership of Yamagata Aritomo, calculated it would need to add 4 divisions, or more than 40,000 soldiers, for a war with China. In 1873 the size of the Army was just over 10,000 soldiers, meaning that it would have to increase to five times its size. The recruitment of that many conscripts proved impossible, however, as the various garrisons already had difficulty simply replacing soldiers who had fallen ill or deserted. The cost of expanding the Army would also be huge, and Yamagata proposed a massive increase in the Army budget to pay for the recruitment of conscripts. In the end, the Army managed to recruit over 10,000 new soldiers in 1874, doubling its size, but the garrisons were simply too disorganized to recruit the 40,000 soldiers Yamagata had called for. They had no experience in recruiting soldiers, no plan for how to do so, and they had not even defined what the recruiting standards should be. More seriously, the number of young men who were granted exemptions from service as conscripts vastly outnumbered the potential recruits. The number of potential recruits in 1874 was estimated at 51,665 compared to 221,628 people with exemptions, meaning that to increase the Army to the size Yamagata recommended nearly all of the potential recruits would actually have to be recruited, an impossible task. The biggest constraint on the government’s ability to increase the size of the Army, and the reason it granted so many exemptions from service, was the unpopularity of conscription. The government knew that if it pushed the populace too hard it would provoke a rebellion. The large number of protests against conscription (the “blood tax” protests) in 1873 showed the popular distaste for conscription, and the populace was no more supportive in 1874.64 The quality of the new recruits was also a problem. In the early autumn of 1874, the government managed to send two battalions of replacement soldiers from the Kumamoto garrison to Taiwan, but both of the battalions had as many raw recruits, who received no training, as they had privates, who received at least a minimal level of training.65 The army occupying southern Taiwan in the autumn of 1874 was

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simply not prepared to fight an overseas war. Former samurai volunteers proved unreliable and the new conscript Army was not yet ready.

Conclusion During the two and a half years between the massacre of the Ryūkyūans in the winter of 1871 and the arrival of the expeditionary force in southern Taiwan in the spring of 1874 several individuals and agencies of the Japanese government prepared plans and wrote proposals about how an expedition ought to be conducted. The plan written in the spring of 1874, although broadly similar to earlier plans, differed in that it explicitly envisioned the expedition unfolding in two phases, starting with the pacification of southern Taiwan and ending with the establishment of Japanese colonies along the east coast of the island. By early June 1874, Saigō and his army had pacified southern Taiwan, setting the stage for the next planned phase of the expedition. That phase never happened because of political opposition from the Chinese government. The Chinese never attacked the Japanese militarily but they raised strong diplomatic objections to the expedition and made a threat of war that deterred the Japanese from proceeding with colonization. Descriptions of the fighting suggest that the Japanese Army fought bravely when the occasion arose, but the heterogeneous nature of the force and its poor command structure limited its effectiveness. It had little difficulty defeating the indigenes because it enjoyed advantages of numerical strength, weaponry, and strategy, but against a more numerous, better organized, or more determined adversary, such as the Chinese Army or the indigenes of Takubien, the expeditionary force would not have fared as well. Even in the comparatively unchallenging military context of southern Taiwan, the Japanese victory rested on the cooperation of most of the indigenous villages in the south. If the Japanese had not narrowly limited their attacks to a small number of villages, or if they had somehow provoked widespread fighting against multiple villages as might have happened had Akamatsu Noriyoshi followed through with his impulsive plan to attack the village of Koalut in May, then the job of pacifying the south would have been vastly more difficult. If the army in Taiwan had made a serious attempt to extend the geographical reach of Japanese authority permanently, as the second phase of the plan proposed, it likely would have encountered pitched and intractable resistance unlike anything it faced in the first phase. The experience

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of the Chinese provides an instructive comparison. When the Chinese sought to establish civil control over southern Taiwan in 1875, after the Japanese had withdrawn, they encountered fierce resistance from the Takubien and their allies just north of the Liangkiau valley, and they suffered a level of casualties that dwarfed what the Japanese experienced.66 The experience of the Japanese in later decades is also instructive. As Paul Barclay’s research shows the process of establishing control over the indigenous territory after the Japanese annexed Taiwan in 1895 required decades of violence.67 By comparison pacifying southern Taiwan was a far easier task. In the end, the Japanese government did not give Saigō permission to proceed with the colonization of the indigenous territory, but if he had received permission the result would surely have been a disaster. The success of the Japanese in pacifying southern Taiwan did nothing to resolve the diplomatic conflict between China and Japan. The efforts of Zhou Youji to obtain the skulls of the deceased Ryūkyūans shows that Chinese officials could also mobilize local networks in Taiwan to resist the Japanese, and that Chinese claims to territorial authority over southern Taiwan and Ryūkyū still mattered. Chinese officials at the highest levels of the government maintained a steadfast opposition to the expedition, and their opposition fueled the drawn-out political conflict over sovereignty in Taiwan that gripped the Chinese and Japanese governments through the end of autumn. The Japanese may have been able to appropriate a Western justification for colonizing territory in Taiwan, and they may have been able to apply that justification to an aggressive plan to colonize the entire indigenous territory, but those abstract ideas could not solve the practical limits on Japan’s power. The limits included the opposition of the Chinese government in Beijing, the opposition of the indigenes on the ground in Taiwan, and the weakness of the Japanese military as a tool for projecting Japanese force overseas.

Notes

1. “Shikyoku yori Kanagawa-maru hoka ni kan Taiwan shuppan narabi ni Takasago-maru kōkai unnun denshin,” September 24, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 9 gatsu no 11•dai 51 satsu (JACAR A03030262500); “Hayashi kaigun taisa hoka ichimei Ōkuma chōkan e banchi byōsha Kanagawa-maru nite unsō unnun raishin,” October

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13, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan (JACAR A03030789100); “Shikyoku yori Miyazaki ken boshūhei todokazu Keiho-maru bankō unnun denshin,” November 5, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 11 gatsu no 4•dai 74 satsu (JACAR A03030331100). 2. Robert Eskildsen, “An Army as Good and Efficient as Any in the World: James Wasson and Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan,” Asian Cultural Studies 36 (2010): 45–62. 3. Saigō Tsugumichi to Sanjō Sanetomi, June 7, 1874, Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 93–101 (hereafter STKS). See Appendices A and B for an explanation of the statistical analysis. 4. Robert Eskildsen, “An Analysis of the Japanese Army Sent to Taiwan in 1874,” Dejitaru ākaibu no sentan o mezashite—Ajia rekishi shiryō sentā no 10 nen (Tokyo: Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan Ajia Rekishi Shiryō Sentā, 2012), 70–85. 5.  Edward Howard House, The Japanese Expedition to Formosa (Tokio [Tokyo]: n.p., 1875), 73; “Taiwan shuppei ni kanshi Hita eisho no hei o Kumamoto hondai ni ijin seshimu,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, kōbun betsuroku, kōbun betsuroku, kōbun betsuroku•rikugunshō shūki enkan bassui•Meiji 1 nen-Meiji 8 nen•dai 13 kan•Meiji 4 nen-Meiji 8 nen (JACAR A03023208700). 6. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku (Tokyo: Kunii Gorō, 1920), 45. 7. Gotō Arata, “Taiwan shuppei ni okeru chōhei mondai,” Musashino Daigaku Seiji-Keizai Kenkyūjo Nenpō 5 (2012): 139; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 45. 8. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi (Tokyo: n.p., 1887), 16. 9. Eskildsen, “An Army as Good and Efficient,” 49. 10. “Saigō totoku yori byōin hōkoku jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe-inu kugatsu no jūni•dai gojūni satsu (JACAR A03030265200). 11. “Saigō totoku yori chōshūhei kaitai negai ni tsuki ōfuku,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe-inu kugatsu no go•dai yonjūgo satsu (JACAR A03030243100). 12. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 16–18. 13. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 19, 21. 14. Report from James R. Wasson to Ōkuma Shigenobu, 1875, in Robert Eskildsen, ed., Foreign Adventurers and the Aborigines of Southern

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Taiwan, 1867–1874: Western Sources Related to Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan (Taibei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2005), 219 (hereafter “Wasson Report”); House, 22. 15.  The problems of neutrality and extraterritoriality for Americans and Britons at the time of the expedition will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 8. In particular see the discussion of the American Consul in Amoy J. J. Henderson. 16. Telegram from Charles LeGendre to N. C. Stevens, March 24, 1874; Telegram from Patrick Manson to Charles LeGendre, March 26, 1874; Telegram from Charles LeGendre to Patrick Manson, April 7, 1874; Patrick Manson to Charles LeGendre, April 19, 1874, Papers of Charles William LeGendre, Library of Congress (hereafter LeGendre Papers). Formal orders to hire Manson were issued by the Japanese government on April 13, 1874; “Seifu yori Rizentoku e meireisho,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai nana kan (JACAR A03031006800). 17. Telegram from Patrick Manson to Charles LeGendre, April 22, 1874; Telegram from Douglas Cassel to Charles LeGendre, May 3, 1874; Telegram from Charles LeGendre to Douglas Cassel, May 4, 1874; Telegram from Douglas Cassel to Charles LeGendre, May 5, 1874, LeGendre Papers. The nameless Malay that Cassel mentions appears to be the same person mentioned by B. W. Bax, captain of the British warship Dwarf that visited southern Taiwan in June, 1874. According to Bax his ship picked up a British subject from Penang who was hired as an interpreter by foreigners working for the Japanese. The Japanese abandoned him when he became ill, probably from malaria, and he later died in Takao; B. W. [Bonham Ward] Bax, The Eastern Seas: Being a Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. “Dwarf” in China, Japan, and Formosa with a Description of the Coast of Russian Tartary and Eastern Siberia, from the Corea to the River Amur (London: John Murray, 1875), 263. For more on James Johnson, see Mizuno Jun, “Taiwan seibanki,” in Dairōkai, ed., Dairō Mizuno Jun sensei (Taihoku: Dairōkai Jimusho, 1930), 223 (hereafter “Taiwan seibanki”); House, 30–31; Chas. W. LeGendre, Notes of Travel in Formosa, ed. Douglas L. Fix and John Shufelt (Tainan, Taiwan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2012), 311 (hereafter Notes of Travel). 18. Charles LeGendre to Saigō Tsugumichi, May 5, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C450, Waseda University Library (hereafter Ōkuma monjo). 19. Saigō Tsugumichi to Li Henian, April 13, 1874, Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936– 1940), 7: 29–30 (hereafter DNGB). See DNGB, 7: 30 for a note explaining when Saigō’s note was written and delivered.

222  R. ESKILDSEN 20. Li Henian to Saigō Tsugumichi, May 11, 1874, DNGB, 7: 77–82. 21. Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 25, April 4, 1874, “Dai nijūyon [sic] gō Rizentoku oboegaki,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shorui Forumosa rekorudo ōbun•banchi jimukyoku ōbun kiroku sōmokuroku•dai ichi gō kiroku (JACAR A03030001800). LeGendre included a copy of Cassel’s original illustration of Liangkiau Bay in his memoirs about Taiwan, Notes of Travel, 260. 22. Robert Eskildsen, “Foreign Views of Difference and Engagement along Taiwan’s Sino-Aboriginal Boundary in the 1870s,” in Ko-wu Huang, ed., Huazhong youhua: Jindai Zhongguode shijue biaoshu yu wenhua goutu (Taibei: Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, 2003), 263–267. 23. Douglas Cassel to Charles LeGendre, May 24, 1874, in Eskildsen, Foreign Adventurers, 204 (hereafter “Cassel Letter”); “Wasson Report,” 220; Notes of Travel, 311; House, 139. 24.  “Cassel Letter,” 204; “Wasson Report,” 220; Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 23, March 31, 1874, “Dai nijūsan gō Rizentoku oboegaki,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shorui Forumosa rekorudo ōbun•banchi jimukyoku ōbun kiroku sōmokuroku•dai ichi gō kiroku (JACAR A03030001600) (hereafter Memo No. 23). 25. William Gregory to Thomas Wade, May 11, 1874, Ian Nish, ed., Treaty Revision and Sino-Japanese Dispute Over Taiwan, 1868–1876, vol. 21 of British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, Pt. 1, From the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the First World War, Ser. E Asia, 1860–1914, gen. eds. Kenneth Borne and D. Cameron Watt (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1994), 235. 26. “Cassel Letter,” 204; “Wasson Report,” 220–224; House, 50–56. 27. The Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi (National Central Library, Taibei) is the written record of the chihōka. Only two fascicles survive, for May and November of 1874, respectively the first and last months of the Japanese occupation of Liangkiau, but originally there must have been more fascicles. The records of the chihōka ended up in the possession of Mizuno Jun (in 1931 Mizuno Chinzō, Jun’s son, donated them to the Japanese colonial library in Taibei, which later became the National Central Library), and in 1879 Mizuno used the records, including the now-missing fascicles, to write his memoirs about the expedition, “Taiwan seibanki.” 28. Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi; Fukushima Kyūsei to Ōkuma Shigenobu, May 16, 1874, STKS, 71–73; “Cassel Letter,” 209. 29.  Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi. 30. “Cassel Letter,” 206.

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31. Paul Barclay identifies Tsului as Tokitok’s nephew and Pan Bunkiet as his adopted son. Paul D. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border,” 1874–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018), 142. 32. “Cassel Letter,” 206–207; Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi; Memo No. 23. 33.  Notes of Travel, 292. The document and its ceremonial use were described in Chapter 3. 34. Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi; “Cassel Letter,” 206–207. 35. “Cassel Letter,” 209; “Wasson Report,” 241–244, 255. 36. Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi. 37.  Akamatsu Noriyoshi, report on survey by the Nisshin, May 20, 1874, included in Tani Tateki and Akamatsu Noriyoshi to Banchi Jimu Shikyoku, May 22, 1874, “Tani Akamatsu ryō sangun Ryōkyō yori banchi keikyō todokesho,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban teiyō•dai san kan (JACAR A03031125500); “Cassel Letter,” 207; “Wasson Report,” 229–230. 38. “Cassel Letter,” 207–210. 39. “Taiwan seibanki,” 226; “Cassel Letter,” 208; “Wasson Report,” 230– 232; House, 68; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 8. 40. “Wasson Report,” 233. 41. Ochiai Taizō glosses Sekimon (石門) as Chiomui, a close approximation of Chiomeng, the pronunciation of the characters in Taiwan dialect; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 81. In a letter to LeGendre, Cassel attributed the name to the Chinese of Liangkiau, but LeGendre edited the letter to attribute the name to the mixed-race inhabitants of the valley; “Cassel Letter,” 209. Local residents now call it Sekimon, reflecting decades of Japanese influence during the colonial period. There are no indications of what the indigenes called the natural formation before the colonial period. 42.  “Cassel Letter,” 208–209; “Wasson Report,” 232–237; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 8; House, 73; Nakao Yūkyūrō [Kyūjirō] to Ōkuma Shigenobu, June 4, 1874, Ōkuma monjo A151, Waseda University Library. 43. “Cassel Letter,” 209–210; House, 92. 44.  Japan Daily Herald May 7, 1874 (hereafter JDH); House, 91. 45.  “Taiwan seibanki,” 229; Wang Yuanzhi, ed., Jiaxu gongdu chaocun (Taibei: Taiwan Yinhang, 1959), 48–49. 46. “Cassel Letter,” 210; House, 77–78; Li Henian to Saigō Tsugumichi, May 11, 1874, DNGB, 7: 77–82. 47. James Wasson specifically credits Isa for actively soliciting a certificate of protection: “He [Isa] was anxious to have papers given to the different friendly villages, which would protect them in case our soldiers passed

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their way; it was therefore decided that such papers and some flags… should be furnished….”; “Wasson Report,” 239. 48.  Notes of Travel, 281, 291–292, 314–315; see the discussion of LeGendre’s agreement with Tokitok in Chapter 3. For a discussion of the importance of red cloth among the indigenes, see Barclay, Outcasts of Empire. 49. Douglas Cassel to Charles LeGendre, May 26, 1874, in Eskildsen, Foreign Adventurers, 211–216; “Wasson Report,” 238–240; “Taiwan seibanki,” 238–240. 50.  Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi; “Cassel Letter,” 209; “Wasson Report,” 242–244, 249. 51. The narrative of the fighting is taken principally from Saigō Tsugumichi to Sanjō Sanetomi, June 7, 1874, STKS, 93–101. Saigō’s letter to Sanjō covers reports from the commanders and staff officers of each of the three columns that explain what happened to the forces under their command from June 1 to June 4. Additional information is taken from Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 80–93; House, 115–118, 124–136; “Wasson Report,” 244–247; “Taiwan seibanki,” 239–258. 52. “Wasson Report,” 246. 53. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 8–11. 54. Matthew Fraleigh, “Transplanting the Flower of Civilization: The ‘Peony Girl’ and Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan,” International Journal of Asian Studies 9.2 (2012): 177–209. 55. House, 135; “Taiwan seibanki,” 250. 56. Saigō Tsugumichi to Sanjō Sanetomi, June 7, 1874, STKS, 98. 57. “Wasson Report,” 248–249; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 95; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 11–12; House, 145. 58.  Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi. 59. “Taiwan seibanki,” 261–267. 60. House, 125. According to Fujisaki Seinosuke, the graves of Ryūkyūans were found in four different places around Sankeikau; Fujisaki Seinosuke, Taiwan shi to Kabayama taishō (Tokyo: Kokushi Kankōkai, 1926), 545– 546. See also Kabayama Sukenori, “Taiwan kiji,” in STKS, 345, 363; Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi. 61. “Taiwan seibanki,” 273–275; STKS, 48–49. 62. “Saigō totoku yori Hayashi kaigun taisa hoka ichi mei Ryūkyūjin sarekōbe yonjūyon tō soufu raikan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai 21 kan (JACAR A03031056800). 63. “Ryūkyūjin sarekōbe shobun no gi,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 10 gatsu no 8•dai 61 satsu (JACAR A03030291900);

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“Ryūkyūjin sarekōbe dōhan e hikiwatashi zumi todoke,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, kōbunroku, naimushō, kōbunroku•Meiji 8 nen•dai 108 kan• Meiji 8 nen 4 gatsu•naimushō ukagai 1 (JACAR A01100109500); STKS, 49. 64. Gotō, 139–152. 65. “Saigō totoku denpō ni tsuki Kumamoto chindai ichi daitai Tokyo-maru norikomi hakken no gi,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe inu hachi gatsu no go•dai sanjū roku satsu (JACAR A03030216300). 66. Lung-chih Chang, “From Island Frontier to Imperial Colony: Qing and Japanese Sovereignty Debates and Territorial Projects in Taiwan, 1874– 1906” (diss., Harvard University, 2003), 65–67. 67. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire.

CHAPTER 8

The Fading Dream of Colonization

The Japanese expeditionary force sent to southern Taiwan successfully attacked the villages of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai at the beginning of June 1874 and in so doing accomplished the “ostensible purpose” of the expedition to punish the people who had murdered the Ryūkyūans several years earlier.1 At that point, the Japanese government faced a choice: It could declare victory and bring the army home, a position advocated for example by Itō Hirobumi, or it could accept the risk of war and continue to challenge China’s territorial authority, a position favored by most of the other leaders in the government.2 As the discussion below and in Chapter 9 will show, the government chose to shelve the goal of colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan and instead they pressed the Chinese government for an indemnity. The new approach reduced the risk of war but did not eliminate it, and the Japanese Army increased the recruitment of conscript soldiers to address that risk.3 Events on the ground in southern Taiwan, and across the Taiwan Strait in Amoy, tell a similar story of uncertainties about war and confusion about Japan’s challenges to Chinese authority. By the end of June, the officers serving in the army in Taiwan had already come to understand, even before the government back in Tokyo made its decision, that the goal of colonizing eastern Taiwan would be set aside, but not all of them were able to let go of the dream of colonizing Taiwan. The fact that the Japanese government intended to colonize Taiwan in 1874 has often been ignored or explained away in historical studies, despite substantial supporting evidence. Earlier chapters have presented © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_8

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some of that evidence, but the story is incomplete without a close examination of the imperial orders given to Saigō Tsugumichi, the commander of the expeditionary force. His orders assigned him the task of colonizing eastern Taiwan, and they set the terms for the complex and disorderly process that he and others in southern Taiwan followed as they set aside the dream of colonization. It is also possible to see traces of the influence of the Meiji Restoration in the way that Saigō treated his imperial orders. The dispute about his orders at the end of April and the beginning of May, as explained in Chapter 5, showed that the new government still did not have a clear idea what imperial authority meant in the early Meiji period, and the problem recurred in the summer of 1874 when Saigō had to decide whether to step back from establishing colonies in Taiwan. Despite his personal preference, he once again chose to follow his imperial orders and he suspended preparations for colonization. His response was mixed, however, and he left open the door to colonization. Some of his staff officers, former samurai who believed they could still act as if they had a privileged political role because of their hereditary right, continued to press for colonization. He resisted their pressure to create a pretext for going forward with colonization, but on the other hand he permitted them to continue to build networks with local leaders that would support colonization if the possibility was later revived. The Japanese attempt at colonizing Taiwan began to have a complex impact on Western powers and it introduced instability into the functioning of the treaty port system. The staff officers in Taiwan developed an innovative and aggressive modification of LeGendre’s argument about civilization and sovereign authority in order to justify going forward with the colonization of the indigenous territory, and while their ideas clearly derived from LeGendre’s, they used them in a new way that threatened to destabilize not just Japanese government control over the expedition but also diplomatic relations between China and Japan. At the same time, LeGendre’s arrest in Amoy that summer illustrates how the Japanese appropriation of his ideas threatened to destabilize diplomatic relations in the treaty port system. LeGendre believed naively that Western powers would accept the legitimacy of Japanese actions in the treaty port system even when those actions threatened to harm Western interests, and he assumed that he could continue to deal with Chinese and American officials as a representative of Japan in the same way he had in the past as a representative of the USA. What LeGendre and members of the Japanese government failed to appreciate is that

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the Japanese appropriation of Western ideas about civilization and sovereign authority formed a feedback loop that created disruptions in the treaty port system in China. When Japanese people, and LeGendre acting on behalf of the Japanese government, began to apply ideas appropriated from Western imperialism, it made a difference that they were not Western and that they were in a subordinate position in the treaty port system, and that difference changed the context of what they had appropriated. The disruptions in Taiwan and in Amoy illustrate how Japan’s use of ideas and methods appropriated from Western imperialism to challenge the Chinese government’s territorial authority could destabilize diplomatic relations in the region by changing the context of imperialism.

Plans for Pilam The planned second phase of the Japanese expedition to Taiwan envisioned that the colonization of the indigenous territory would begin in Pilam, a location that had attracted Japanese interest repeatedly since 1872. One of the memoranda that Charles LeGendre prepared for Soejima Taneomi in the autumn of 1872 mentioned Pilam as a target of colonization,4 and by chance, a fishing boat from Oda Prefecture (present-day Okayama Prefecture) was wrecked near Pilam in the spring of 1873. The four fishermen aboard were rescued and taken to Chen Ansheng, the headman of Pilam, and a few months later Fukushima Kyūsei, during his explorations of Taiwan, met one of the rescued fishermen in Takao and spoke to Chinese merchants who traded with the indigenes in Pilam. Through them, he arranged to meet Ansheng in Takao to thank him for helping the shipwrecked Japanese.5 In the spring of 1874, Kabayama Sukenori, influenced by Fukushima, expressed a strong desire to go to Pilam during his explorations of Taiwan so he could meet Ansheng and begin preparations for establishing a colony there, but he had to abandon the idea because the Japanese Navy ship he was traveling on was not reliable enough for operations on the dangerous east coast of Taiwan.6 Not surprisingly, given the continued Japanese interest in the place, the plan for the expedition that LeGendre wrote for Ōkuma Shigenobu in March 1874 identified Pilam as the first place where the Japanese would establish a colony and LeGendre proposed that Douglas Cassel should lead the effort to do so.7 At LeGendre’s recommendation, the Japanese government hired Patrick Manson in Amoy to serve as a

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translator and guide for the Japanese when they went to Pilam because Manson, a physician, knew Ansheng and had treated members of his family. As Chapter 7 showed, Manson abruptly quit the expedition when he heard rumors that Japan planned to declare war on China, and to compensate for Manson’s withdrawal, LeGendre prepared a memo for Saigō Tsugumichi explaining how to go to Pilam.8 According to the plan for colonization, Cassel and Manson would go to Pilam to establish a military colony, and more colonies would later be established at other points along the east coast as far north as Suao, the area where Kabayama Sukenori attempted to establish a Japanese base in the autumn of 1873 (see Chapter 6).9 Because Pilam became a central point of interest in the Japanese plan to colonize eastern Taiwan, it also figured prominently in the diplomatic exchanges between China and Japan. Even though the fishermen from Oda were treated reasonably well and they all returned safely to Japan, the Japanese government nevertheless listed Pilam as one of the places that would be “punished” by the expedition, providing a pretext for occupying the area. Saigō telegraphed Japan’s interest in occupying Pilam in the letter he wrote in April 1874 to Li Henian, the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang.10 Japan’s interest in Pilam alarmed Chinese officials and it became a point of contention in their negotiations with Yanagihara Sakimitsu in Shanghai in June 1874 and in their negotiations with Saigō in Liangkiau later that month.11 Once the expeditionary force arrived in Liangkiau, it began to carry out the plan to pacify southern Taiwan. By the end of May, Cassel, expecting that the pacification of southern Taiwan would soon be accomplished, began to anticipate implementing the next phase of the plan. He expressed that expectation in a letter to LeGendre: Now [a] few words about the East Coast and I will close. Every day since I came here the advantages, nay, the necessity, of a suitable vessel for this work has been more and more forcibly brought home to me, and I feel more convinced than ever that the “Tabor” is the only suitable vessel attainable. Do not fail to insist upon her presence here at the earliest moment, and I have told Captain Brown to telegraph you from Nagasaki that she must be gotten down here if possible in the course of the next month. I consider her a necessity to the work upon the East Coast.12

Albert Brown, a highly respected British ship captain, commanded the French paddle steamer Thabor after the Japanese government purchased

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it in 1870.13 In asking for the Thabor, Cassel, himself an accomplished naval officer, asked for the most reliable ship and the best captain available in order to carry out the “work upon the East Coast,” namely to land Japanese troops and supplies at Pilam and beyond. At the end of May, Cassel expected to proceed soon with the planned colonization of eastern Taiwan starting at Pilam.

Saigō’s Orders to “Lead the Natives to Civilization” In the end, the Japanese did not colonize Pilam because the government decided the risk of war with China was too great and it withheld permission for Saigō Tsugumichi to proceed with the next phase in the expedition. In stopping the second phase of the expedition, the government relied on a check it had built into Saigō’s orders specifically for that purpose and the correspondence between Saigō and Ōkuma Shigenobu that began early in June 1874 shows how the check worked in practice. In their letters, Saigō and Ōkuma referred to provisions in two sets of orders. The first set was imperial orders that Saigō received soon after the government decided to proceed with the expedition. On March 5, Sanjō Sanetomi presented imperial orders to Saigō that charged him with three responsibilities: (1) to investigate the violence that had been committed in southern Taiwan against “our countrymen” (waga kokujin), (2) to punish the parties responsible for said violence, and (3) to ensure that such violence did not occur again in the future. The imperial orders spelled out the publicly acknowledged purpose of the expedition, namely to find and punish the people in southern Taiwan who had murdered the Ryūkyūans in 1871. The third clause—ensuring that future attacks did not occur—hinted at a longer-term purpose that might involve imposing Japanese authority in the indigenous territory, but the means of accomplishing it were not spelled out in the orders. Saigō mentioned the three goals of his imperial orders, calling them instructions, in the letter he wrote on April 10 to Li Henian, and as will be explained below, the third instruction attracted the most attention from Chinese negotiators. On the same day he received his imperial orders, Saigō also received a set of special instructions from Sanjō that revealed other goals of the expedition and made the meaning of the third clause of his imperial orders clearer.14 The first clause of his special instructions told Saigō to persuade the natives to submit peacefully whenever that was possible, but to use military force to suppress any armed resistance that might occur.

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The expeditionary force, under Saigō’s command and with Cassel’s advice and assistance, accomplished that goal. The second clause of his special instructions explained that the purpose of the expedition was to “lead the natives to civilization” (yūdō kaika seshime) and to establish a profitable enterprise between them and the Japanese government after southern Taiwan had been pacified. This clause corresponded to the “real purpose” of the expedition, to establish colonies along the east coast of Taiwan, that was mentioned in the plans for the expedition.15 The second clause in Saigō’s special instructions used coded language to explain the true purpose of the expedition. The phrase to “lead the natives to civilization” meant that the Japanese would introduce civilization to the indigenes of Taiwan by establishing colonies in the indigenous territory and it alluded to the justification for colonization that Soejima appropriated from LeGendre. According to that justification, the Chinese government did not have a valid claim to sovereignty over the indigenous territory because it had failed to “civilize” the indigenes, and the Japanese could legitimately annex the entire indigenous territory if they accepted the burden of civilizing it. The colonial meaning of the second clause of Saigō’s special instructions is stated more explicitly in a set of imperial orders that the government prepared for LeGendre, probably around the same time it prepared Saigō’s orders. It is possible that the government did not present the instructions to LeGendre, at least not formally, since there is no record of them in LeGendre’s papers, but the orders are instructive in any case because they reveal explicitly several details that are only implicit in Saigō’s orders. LeGendre’s orders instructed him to aid and support the commander of the expedition, meaning Saigō, and in order to “lead the natives to civilization,” he was further instructed to establish government offices and military colonies in strategic locations. The language in this clause of LeGendre’s orders is identical to the language in the second clause of Saigō’s special instructions, except that Saigō’s instructions lack the phrase about establishing government offices and military colonies.16 LeGendre’s orders show that the meaning of the phrase “leading the natives to civilization” included the establishment of civil and military authority in the indigenous territory. The meaning of the third clause of Saigō’s imperial orders (to ensure that violence did not occur again in the future), which Saigō repeated as the third instruction in his letter to Li Henian, was transparent to Chinese officials despite the fact that it was expressed in coded language.

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Chinese officials who spoke to Yanagihara Sakimitsu and Saigō repeatedly pressed them about Japan’s intentions regarding this third instruction because they suspected, correctly, that it referred to establishing colonies, including at Pilam. As will be explained below, in his negotiations with Chinese officials in Taiwan, Saigō backed away from the idea of establishing a permanent presence in Taiwan when, in response to pressure from Chinese officials, he stated openly that he had no intention of sending troops to Pilam. By specifically disavowing that Pilam had any connection to the third instruction mentioned in his letter to Li, Saigō set aside the plan to colonize the indigenous territory. Even before Saigō left Nagasaki for Taiwan, he understood that he might not receive authorization to proceed with colonization. That possibility was clear because the second clause of his special instructions included a limiting clause that specifically denied him the permission to proceed with the plan to “lead the natives to civilization” until he had received further orders from the government, and the government would not issue those orders until it had a chance to gauge the reaction of the Chinese government to the expedition. The reason the government included the limiting clause is not explicitly spelled out in the documents relating to Saigō’s orders, but its practical effect was to preserve the government’s ability to stop the colonization of the indigenous territory if the risk of war with China seemed too great. It can be inferred that at the end of February, during the debate about whether to dispatch the expedition to Taiwan, the government managed to reach an agreement only by including such a limit in Saigō’s orders. Saigō may have evaded the will of the Cabinet at the end of April by sending part of the expeditionary force to Amoy before it could be recalled, but only because he could credibly claim to be acting on orders granted by the emperor, and the will of the Cabinet by itself was not sufficient to countermand an imperial order. By contrast, Saigō’s imperial orders required him to receive explicit instructions from the government before he proceeded with the colonization of the indigenous territory, and to ignore those orders would have been an act of rebellion against the emperor. The limiting clause in his orders proved effective at restraining his actions. A few days after the campaign to pacify the south ended, he wrote to Ōkuma asking whether he would be permitted to proceed with the next phase in the plans for the expedition.17 In his letter, Saigō explained what had happened since he arrived in Liangkiau, including a brief account of the main attack at the beginning of June.18 He revealed

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that Ansheng, the headman of Pilam, still hoped to support the Japanese, implying that it would still be possible to work with him to establish a colony at Pilam. Then, Saigō delicately raised the matter of what would happen next, and he touched on many of the concerns that affected the decision whether to proceed with colonization. He indicated that, since he had accomplished the goal of pacifying the south, he looked forward to getting started on the “matter on the coast” and establishing a “permanent presence” in Taiwan. He was concerned about China’s reaction to the expedition, however, and he decided to send Fukushima Kyūsei and Akamatsu Noriyoshi to Beijing to talk to Yanagihara. Saigō did not explain why he chose Fukushima and Akamatsu for that mission, but since both of them were advocates of colonizing the indigenous territory he probably hoped to sway Yanagihara by sending them. His own desire to proceed with colonization remains carefully hidden between the lines in the letter. On the same day that Saigō wrote his letter to Ōkuma, he also wrote one to Charles LeGendre. In that letter, he again revealed his concern about the reaction of the Chinese government to the expedition. He asked LeGendre to come to Liangkiau to give him advice about what he should do next. He began the letter with a brief explanation of what had happened since his arrival on May 22 and then turned to his concern: The works now against the Boutans are about to finish. The particulars of the result I expect you will hear from the Minister Okuma, as I have written him fully. There is one thing which I think to be troublesome, it is in the discussion with the Chinese government in the matter. Thence I consider it is a good plan that the Japanese government will, if you can accept, appoint you as Consul general from Japan to any of open ports in the China coast such as Amoy, Foochen [Fujian] or Shanghai, and you will, it is hoped, assist the discussion with the Chinese government in the Formosan matters. This I will suggest the minister Okuma, and if you will go as Consul general I sincerely hope that you will please visit our camp at Liangkiang [Liangkiau] shortly in the way to your post and I shall be very happy to see you and hear from you any high consideration in the future business to be taken.19

Saigō had already seen several signs that the Chinese government would object to the Japanese plan to colonize the indigenous territory, most immediately when two representatives of the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang visited him on May 23, the day after he arrived in

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Liangkiau. Fukushima Kyūsei encountered similar signs of resistance during his discussions with Chinese officials in Taiwan-fu at the end of May. Fukushima sent a telegram to Ōkuma explaining what he had heard there and he returned to Liangkiau at the end of May to explain the situation to Saigō.20 Saigō did not explicitly state what he meant by the phrase “the future business to be taken,” but since the pacification of southern Taiwan had been completed, the first phase of the expedition was done and any future business would have involved the planned second phase. Saigō hoped to have LeGendre’s help in overcoming the unexpectedly strong Chinese resistance to the expedition so he could proceed with the plans to establish colonies on the east coast. Ōkuma’s response to Saigō’s letter makes it clear he understood that Saigō had asked for permission to proceed with the plans for colonization. On June 28, Ōkuma wrote to Sanjō Sanetomi to report that Saigō’s letter had just arrived. Now that the pacification of southern Taiwan had been accomplished, he asked whether Saigō would be permitted to proceed with the second clause of his special instructions of March 5, in other words whether he would be permitted to “lead the natives to civilization.” During the next ten days or so, many heated debates must have taken place in the government, but the discussions are not documented. On July 9, however, a day after the Cabinet met to discuss the Taiwan problem, Sanjō asked LeGendre and Gustave Emile Boissonade, a French legal scholar who worked as an advisor to the Japanese government, for their interpretations of international law regarding the question of whether Saigō could proceed with the second clause of his special instructions. The need for the review arose because of the strong claims to the indigenous territory that Chinese officials made in their discussions with Yanagihara Sakimitsu.21 While diplomatic and political records give little indication of what happened during the government’s debate, it can be inferred from later events that the government decided at its meeting on July 8 to shelve its plans for establishing colonies in the indigenous territory of Taiwan. On July 14, the government appointed LeGendre to the post of “Special Commissioner” and instructed him to go to Fujian in order to negotiate with Li Henian, the governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang.22 The appointment may have been made partly in response to Saigō’s suggestion, but, as will be explained below, the Japanese government also hoped to block the Chinese government from hiring LeGendre away from them. According to the government’s orders,

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LeGendre was scheduled to go to Fujian first and then to Taiwan, but the prospect of his visit to Taiwan caused anxiety in the government and Ōkuma again reiterated to Saigō the limits on his authority to proceed with colonization. The reiteration of the government’s intentions is spelled out in a letter that Ōkuma wrote to Saigō on July 15: I present this brief note. I am deeply impressed at the matter of your diligence and fervent loyalty as the heat grows more intense this time of year. The news is that LeGendre has been ordered to go to China, but basically his own desire is to go to the savage territory and to follow his instructions [from the Japanese government] to use every means of nurturing the [native] people, but there was a problem dealing with the American minister and now it will be difficult for him to go directly to the savage territory, so first he will have to go to Fujian and make every effort to use his good offices there. He stated very firmly that he wants to repay your accomplishments [in southern Taiwan] by preparing conditions for the future, but when I asked [the government] about this, the aforementioned orders [for LeGendre to go to China] were issued. However, he was extremely adamant about his original wish to go to the savage territory, and when he reports to your headquarters please take care that no untoward events should occur. However, if you should have any official business that you need his help with, you should let him know that frankly. With this confidential letter I inform you of the matter. Yours in haste.23

Written between the lines of Ōkuma’s response is a recognition that Saigō and LeGendre hoped that the colonization of the indigenous territory would go forward despite the resistance of the Chinese government. The letter also shows that some of the leaders of the government remained ambivalent toward colonization, and Ōkuma warned Saigō not to let anything untoward happen, such as ignoring his imperial orders. The warning made it clear that Saigō did not have authorization to proceed with colonization. LeGendre had argued forcefully with Ōkuma that the government should proceed with colonization, but Ōkuma described their discussion in guarded language in his letter to Saigō. LeGendre wanted to “follow his instructions” and “nurture the people,” referring to the plan to lead the natives to civilization, but because of American resistance to the expedition he would not be able to go to the “savage territory,” meaning that he would not be permitted to help Saigō colonize the indigenous territory. LeGendre wanted to help Saigō by “preparing conditions for

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the future,” meaning that he wanted to help Saigō prepare for establishing colonies on the east coast of Taiwan, but the government would not permit it. Rather, LeGendre was being sent to Fujian to negotiate with Chinese officials there. The letters that Saigō and Ōkuma exchanged, and the various orders their letters allude to, show that even after its meeting on July 8 the government had not completely closed the door on the possibility of colonizing the indigenous territory, but they remained wary of war with China and for that reason they withheld permission to begin the next phase of the expedition. In the end, Saigō followed his imperial orders and did not proceed with the colonization of the indigenous territory.

Gauging the Chinese Reaction Saigō had already seen several indications that the Chinese government would object to the Japanese colonization of the indigenous territory, but his thinking changed decisively after a series of negotiations with Pan Wei, the Provincial Administrator of Fujian, that took place in southern Taiwan at the end of June. Before coming to Taiwan, Pan met Yanagihara Sakimitsu in Shanghai on June 7. During their meeting, Yanagihara reiterated the Japanese government’s position about the status of the indigenous territory and of Ryūkyū, and he explained to Pan the official purposes of the expedition, reiterating the instructions Saigō had explained in his letter to Li Henian. The third instruction, to ensure that violence against Japanese mariners would not occur again in the future, became the main point of contention in their negotiations. Pan argued it was the job of the Chinese government to prevent the indigenes from committing violence in the future and not the business of the Japanese. He said that in order to secure the area the Chinese government would send troops there, it would patrol the area regularly with its warships, and it would build a lighthouse to ensure the safety of commercial navigation.24 Yanagihara, and later Ōkubo in his negotiations in Beijing, had good reason to be skeptical of Pan’s promise. Chinese officials made similar promises to LeGendre for years while he served as the Consul of the USA at Amoy, but did not follow through. Indeed, the Chinese government did not follow through on the promises Pan made to Yanagihara and Chinese inaction became a sticking point in the negotiations that took place that autumn in Beijing.

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Soon after meeting Yanagihara in Shanghai, Pan went to Fujian to consult with the governor-general there, and then he continued on to Taiwan-fu to consult with local officials in Taiwan. From Taiwan-fu, Pan went to Liangkiau for negotiations with Saigō, accompanied by several officials including Prosper Giquel, a French naval officer who directed the Fuzhou Arsenal.25 Pan met Saigō five times between June 22 and 26, and during their negotiations, the two sides made little headway. Saigō and Pan held irreconcilable views about the Chinese government’s claim to authority over the indigenous territory, and neither side yielded on that key point. Pan held that the Chinese government had authority over the area and was responsible for punishing the indigenes for the murder of the Ryūkyūans. Saigō reiterated Japan’s implicit claim to Ryūkyū and asserted that the indigenous territory was unclaimed land. Pan also repeatedly pressed Saigō about the purposes of the expedition. He responded skeptically when Saigō claimed he had come to Taiwan to punish the “savages” who killed his “countrymen,” meaning the Ryūkyūans. He was equally skeptical about Saigō’s claim that he had no intention of taking his army to other parts of Taiwan. In one of the meetings, Pan pointed out that Saigō, in his letter to the governor-general of Fujian, had indicated an intention to deal with the people of Pilam. Giquel followed up by pointedly asking Saigō whether he had any plans to send troops to Pilam, and Saigō answered that he did not. Saigō knew he did not yet have authorization from his government to proceed to Pilam, and by that point, he probably suspected he would never receive it. The real point of contention for Pan, however, was the third instruction that Saigō mentioned in his letter to Li Henian. Pan argued, as he had in his negotiations with Yanagihara in Shanghai, that the Chinese government would secure the area in the future. Saigō refused to engage Pan on this point, arguing that it should be handled by Yanagihara and Chinese officials in Beijing, implicitly maintaining the stance that the Japanese military force should remain in southern Taiwan indefinitely in order to secure the area. In their final discussion, however, Pan returned to the argument that the Chinese government should handle future security in the area, and in response, Saigō suggested that before he and his military force would withdraw from southern Taiwan, the Chinese government would have to pay an indemnity to compensate for the murder of the Ryūkyūans and to cover the expenses that Japan had incurred in punishing the parties responsible for the murders. When pressed,

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Saigō suggested the sum of $2.1 million. Pan and his colleagues feigned surprise at the amount, but Saigō had proposed a bargain. The eventual diplomatic solution achieved in Beijing nearly five months later conformed in large measure to Saigō’s proposal.26 Chinese negotiators had pressured Yanagihara in Shanghai, Fukushima in Taiwan-fu, and Saigō in Liangkiau, and their efforts bore fruit. In particular, they secured an important concession from Saigō that limited the range of future Japanese action in the indigenous territory. Saigō left no record of the decision he made after the negotiations, but he must have understood that the chance of colonizing the indigenous territory had been lost. E. H. House, the American journalist hired by the Japanese government to report on the expedition,27 mentioned that Saigō decided not to establish any new branch camps after his meetings with Pan,28 and in early July, Japanese troops withdrew from some of the branch camps they had already established in southern Taiwan.29

Manufacturing a Pretext Saigō clearly favored proceeding with colonization but he understood from the strong Chinese reaction against the expedition that his government would not permit it and he promptly curtailed activities that supported colonization, but not everyone under his command responded the same way. At the end of June, Yokota Suteru, a captain in the Japanese Army, and Matsuno Atsuyoshi, a member of the general staff of the Japanese expeditionary force, paid a visit to Saigō and proposed that the army in Taiwan should proceed with the colonization of the indigenous territory. They brought to the meeting a resident of Beishiliao, a village only a few miles south of Fangliao, who offered to be a guide for the Japanese should they send forces into the area north of Hongkang. Matsuno had gained firsthand knowledge of northern Taiwan as a member of Kabayama Sukenori’s party of explorers earlier that year, and Yokota clearly favored an aggressive foreign policy for Japan (he submitted a proposal to the Japanese government in 1875 arguing that it should attack Korea in the wake of the Kanghwa Incident), so it is likely that both of them strongly favored the idea of colonizing the indigenous territory.30 In the plan they submitted to Saigō, they noted that the headmen of many of the villages north of Liangkiau had come to the branch camp in Hongkang to submit to Japanese authority, and that the villages along

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the west coast all paid taxes to the “raw savages” rather than to Chinese authorities. They used the issues of submission and taxes to suggest that the Chinese did not have sovereignty over the indigenous territory— taxes being an important indicator of state power—and their argument implied that if the Chinese did not have sovereignty over the territory, then, according to the justification for colonization the Japanese government had appropriated from LeGendre, the expeditionary force could legitimately colonize the area. They argued that Saigō should send troops to Beishiliao to prevent Chinese troops from advancing southward from Fangliao, and that he should also send troops by warship to Pilam. From Pilam, Japanese soldiers would be able to advance north as far as Suao, the boundary of Chinese territory on the northeast coast. Their proposal reiterated a long-standing interest in the indigenous territory along the east coast of Taiwan, but it also expressed a new interest in the southwest coast that had not been mentioned in earlier plans for colonization. They developed an interest in the area north of Hongkang as they learned more about it from their explorations and from interacting with indigenes who visited the branch camp there. The two officers acknowledged, disingenuously, that they did not know why the “emissary from Beijing visited our camp the other day,” referring to Pan Wei’s visit to Liangkiau, but as justification for occupying Pilam they proposed that Saigō could claim that villagers from Butan had fled north and the Japanese simply followed them in order to punish them, the same way that Andrew Jackson followed Indians into Spanish territory before Georgia became part of the USA.31 Their argument relied on a somewhat garbled understanding of the first Seminole War in the 1810s when Andrew Jackson led an American Army into Spanishcontrolled Florida to attack Creeks and Seminoles who fled from US jurisdiction into Spanish jurisdiction. Even if a few of their details were wrong, Yokota and Matsuno had latched onto a new and innovative pretext for colonizing the indigenous territory based on an American precedent, and they had adapted LeGendre’s justification for colonization to fit the evolving conditions in southern Taiwan. Their proposal contained several notable features. Most obviously, they cited an unusual precedent from American history. Their argument undoubtedly drew on proposals that Charles LeGendre had submitted to Soejima Taneomi a year and a half earlier,32 but Yokota and Matsuno used LeGendre’s information to create a new pretext for annexing the indigenous territory. It is also surprising to read in their proposal that

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indigenous villages north of Hongkang, quite some distance away from the Liangkiau area where the fighting had taken place, had come to the branch camp to submit to the Japanese. The symbolic submission of the villages did nothing to help the Japanese accomplish the “ostensible purpose” of the expedition to pacify the south, and they used the submissions as further justification for colonizing an area that had not been mentioned in any of the earlier plans for the expedition. Their proposal is also remarkable because it shows a persistent interest in establishing colonies even after Pan Wei’s visit to Liangkiau. At least some members of the expeditionary force still believed that they could, and should, colonize the indigenous territory, even though that course of action would surely have escalated the conflict between China and Japan and increased the risk of war, something they knew their government would not tolerate. The persistent interest in colonizing the indigenous territory was shared by other officers who served in the army in Taiwan. For example, Fukushima Kyūsei, the newly appointed Japanese Consul at Amoy and a key participant in the expedition, wrote a letter to Ōkuma Shigenobu on June 22 telling him about what had happened during Yanagihara Sakimitsu’s negotiations with Chinese officials in Shanghai and explaining the current situation in Taiwan. Fukushima also pressed hard for the Japanese development of southern Taiwan. He argued that the area had camphor in abundance and other materials suitable for construction, and it had plentiful food—chestnuts and potatoes—that could support many people, and to take advantage of this opportunity, poor people and prisoners from all over Japan should be sent there. The area had much undeveloped land suitable for growing vegetables, and the surrounding waters had plentiful fish, so fishermen from Kyushu could also be sent there.33 Several of his suggestions recall proposals in a planning document for the expedition drawn up the previous March or April,34 but Fukushima extended the argument for colonization to include concrete and practical information he had learned during his explorations of Taiwan. Saigō never acted on the proposal by Yokota and Matsuno, and Ōkuma similarly ignored the suggestions for developing southern Taiwan that Fukushima proposed. Saigō’s decision to stop was clear, although he did not explain it in his letters. Having evaded the will of the Cabinet at the end of April on the basis of his previously issued imperial orders, he could not easily have ignored the limit against proceeding

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with colonization that was spelled out in those same orders. To do so would have invited blistering criticism from the government and he would have been declared a rebel. More seriously, he must have recognized that the expeditionary force could not survive without continued logistical support from the government and any attempt to move forward with colonization would necessarily require the government’s ongoing support. Similarly, the proposals for colonization from officers in the army in Taiwan did not have any realistic chance of being implemented because they did not have the support of the government, but they nevertheless show that Japanese participants in the expedition continued to hope for the colonization of the indigenous territory after the pacification of southern Taiwan was completed. They offered new justifications for colonization, came up with innovative responses to changing conditions in Taiwan, and envisioned different outcomes than LeGendre had imagined. Their proposals show that Japanese participants had begun to push the idea of colonization in new and unexpected directions, even to the point of advocating insubordination and contemplating action that would have exacerbated the conflict between China and Japan.

The Symbolism of Surrender Although Saigō stepped back from plans to colonize the indigenous territory, and ignored the suggestions of staff officers to manufacture a pretext for pushing forward with it, he did permit those officers to cultivate local networks of cooperative villages in a broad area across southern Taiwan. The villagers were recruited through ceremonies of surrender that, from the Japanese perspective, asserted Japanese authority, and if plans for colonization had by some chance gone forward, the networks would have helped the Japanese establish colonial control throughout southern Taiwan. As Chapter 7 explained, the only true surrender to Japanese forces took place when the leaders of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai came to Poliak on July 1 to surrender and “apologize” to the Japanese for their actions. Weeks before this happened, however, the headmen of indigenous and mixed-race villages throughout the Liangkiau area began to come to the Japanese camp in order to participate in symbolic exchanges that Japanese sources represented as surrender or submission. The first of these ceremonial surrenders took place on June 9 when representatives of about ten villages came to the Japanese

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camp in Shaliao and received Japanese flags and certificates of protection. Headmen from a few other villages came to the camp over the next few days, and then, on June 17, headmen from about ten more villages came to the camp.35 By the time the villages of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai surrendered on July 1, nearly all of the villages in the Liangkiau area had already sent representatives to the Japanese camp in order to participate in the ceremonies. The first proposal for the symbolic exchanges that later evolved into the ceremonies of surrender occurred during a meeting between Japanese and indigenes on May 15, 1874, when Isa, the headman of Shamali village, asked for a written agreement that would guarantee the protection of indigenous villages from attack by the Japanese. Isa and the other indigenous leaders seem to have understood their political support for the Japanese as an exchange for a guarantee that their villages would not be attacked, and that the flags and certificates symbolized the agreement. The view of the flags and certificates as symbols of a political exchange is supported by an anecdote by B. W. Bax, captain of the British warship Dwarf that went to Taiwan to keep an eye on the Japanese expedition. Bax describes the way members of one village explained the meaning of the flag they received: At one of the villages that was inhabited by Peppo-whans, they showed me a little Japanese flag, which they said had been given to them by people belonging to a Japanese gunboat, that had visited the place. On receiving it, they had been told that it was merely to prevent any small body of Japanese troops from molesting them, and to show that they were “good men,” and did not belong to the savages. They appeared rather proud at having been called good men.36

Bax calls the villagers Peppo-whans (pingpufan, or plains aborigines), but they were probably members of a mixed-race village near Tosupong on the southwest peninsula of the island. Bax visited the area around the middle of June, and while Japanese sources do not mention any flags or certificates being distributed by personnel from warships, the villagers may have received the flag from members of the Nisshin when it passed through the area on June 11 as it headed to the southeast coast where the Japanese established a branch camp. As Bax’s description makes clear, the villagers saw the flags as a guarantee of protection, and they did not mention the matter of political subordination to the Japanese.

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The Japanese understood the flags and certificates differently. For the Japanese, the presentation of the flags and certificates involved a “surrender” that indicated the submission of the indigenous village to Japanese authority. The political meaning can be seen in the language that was used on the certificates of protection themselves (Fig. 8.1). The front of the certificate bore the seal of the Japanese government-general (totoku-fu) as well as the name of the headman receiving the certificate and Fig. 8.1  Illustration of a certificate of protection (Source Mizuno Jun, “Taiwan seibanki,” manuscript version. National Central Library, Taibei)

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the name of his village. On the back, according to one template, the certificates read: The person who bears this certificate has submitted to the empire, thus he should not be treated with violence. Meiji 7, sixth month. Headquarters of the army of Great Japan.37

In practical terms, the Japanese did not impose effective political authority over the villages, although they did intervene to restore order in at least one violent local conflict north of Hongkang, and military officials assumed a limited judicial function in a few civil disputes between Japanese soldiers and villagers.38 The language of the certificates suggests an assertion of authority much broader than anything the Japanese actually exercised. The Japanese understanding of what the certificates meant is explained in more detail in an account by Mizuno Jun, who explored northern Taiwan and visited the Liangkiau area with Kabayama Sukenori before the arrival of the expedition, and who participated in the attack on Niinai village at the beginning of June. He spent much of August and September at the branch camp at Hongkang, and in his memoirs about the expedition, he described the way that headmen from villages to the north and east of Hongkang came to the camp and asked to become “good people under the jurisdiction of the Japanese government” (Nihon seifu chika no ryōmin). He explained that the Japanese gave the headmen food and liquor to ease the fatigue from their journey, and when the headmen returned to their villages, they each received gifts of red cloth and earlobe ornaments, and an inscribed Japanese flag (Fig. 8.2) so that “if on a later date there was a Japanese inspection of the savage territory they could raise it in their village, or if they came to the Japanese camp they could bring it with them as proof of their allegiance to the Japanese government [Nihon seifu no reizokutaru shōhyō].”39 The term “good people,” also mentioned by Bax, often appeared in Chinese sources and the indigenes used it rhetorically to distinguish themselves from troublemakers who deserved to be punished. Mizuno added to this conventional Chinese locution the ideas of jurisdiction and political allegiance. His description suggests that the Japanese, in performing the ceremonies of “surrender,” hoped to assert political jurisdiction over the villages in the indigenous territory and political authority over the indigenes.

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Fig. 8.2  Flag number 53, distributed to the headman Pashashim of South Teonshinron village on September 20, 1874 (the flag bears the date of September 10) (Source National Taiwan Museum, Taibei)

The wide geographical range of the villages that participated in the ceremonies is also quite surprising. It is not surprising that villages in the Liangkiau area chose to participate in ceremonies of “surrender” in order to demonstrate their cooperation since that is where the military pacification happened. It is more difficult to explain why so many villages to the north and east of Liangkiau participated, especially since most of them “surrendered” between July and September, quite some time after hostilities in the south had ceased. Many villages did choose to cooperate with the Japanese, however, and the geographical distribution of the villages that received flags and certificates suggests that, in addition to the villages in the Liangkiau area, two other networks of villages established relations with the Japanese.40 It is not clear why these two other networks chose to cooperate, but it is likely they had multiple motivations. The presence of a large military force in southern Taiwan may have prompted some of them to cooperate, but the Japanese also actively sought to co-opt the leaders of influential villages in the networks.

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Once the most influential villages in each of the networks began to cooperate with the Japanese, other villages in the network began to cooperate too, in order to maintain the balance of power within their respective networks. An inset on Map 8.1 shows the approximate areas of the three networks. The villages of the Liangkiau area, most of which were allies of Tuilasok or Shamali, comprised the first network. Cassel worked to gain the support of Tuilasok and Shamali first. The rivalry between them made it easier for the Japanese to court the two villages as they vied for prestige in the area, and once the leading villages pledged their support, the respective allies of those villages followed suit. The villages north of Hongkang comprised the second network. In this area, the Japanese apparently used a similar strategy of targeting the most powerful village, named Takubien, in order to gain the support of the entire network. The Japanese may also have used threats of violence against villages in this network to gain their support. A Chinese source reports rumors that the Japanese planned to attack Takubien, and that Japanese soldiers went to Chalatong, a village many miles up the coast from Hongkang, for that purpose. The rumors were exaggerated, but the indigenes north of Hongkang would have heard similar rumors and may have been unsettled by them.41 It is also likely, however, that villages began to cooperate of their own accord in order to mitigate the threat posed by the ongoing Japanese presence in Hongkang. The villages in this network had undoubtedly heard about the devastating campaign against Butan, and Japanese explorations in the area probably heightened the sense of threat. For example, Yokota Suteru, the ranking officer at the branch camp, conducted investigations of indigenous villages between Hongkang and Fangliao, and soon after his investigations, headmen from that area began to come to Hongkang in order to surrender. Whatever the mix of motivations, one of the earliest villages to surrender in Hongkang was Takubien. Once the headman of Takubien indicated his willingness to cooperate with the Japanese, other villages, allies and rivals alike, began to follow suit, and within a few months, headmen from many of the villages in the area came to the Japanese camp to receive flags and certificates. The third network of villages that surrendered to the Japanese lay farther to the northeast, along the coast just south of Pilam. Considering the distances involved, it is remarkable that headmen from villages in

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Map 8.1  Taiwan, 1874, with insets showing East Asia, the range of three networks of villages in southern Taiwan that received Japanese flags and certificates of protection, and towns along the southwest coast

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this network came to Hongkang to pledge their cooperation with the Japanese. The area lay far enough away from the Japanese camps that the villages probably felt little immediate threat from the Japanese and something other than fear of attack must have motivated them. The villages were near Pilam and it is likely they comprised only the southern part of its network. They may have been allies or rivals of Pilam that chose to pledge their cooperation with the Japanese in response to the support that Chen Ansheng, the headman of Pilam, gave the Japanese. According to Mizuno, the people of Hongkang were amazed to see indigenes from so many villages that had never cooperated with the Chinese government come down out of the mountains to the Japanese camp.42 Whatever the motivations of the indigenes, the Japanese presence in southern Taiwan had clearly altered the political status quo in the region. The Japanese gained the support of many villages in these three networks by using offers of cooperation and threats of force and by taking advantage of political rivalries within the networks. Through their efforts, the Japanese gained at least some measure of cooperation from many of the villages in a large area that stretched from the Liangkiau valley to Pilam.

Japanese Impact, Western Response The generally positive reaction to the expedition in the Liangkiau valley surprised visitors from Amoy who had heard constant rumors of impending war.43 Perceptions of the expedition obviously varied widely, but the Western response to the Japanese expedition to Taiwan was remarkable for its confusion, which was due in part to uncertainty about how to evaluate it: When Western interests aligned with Japanese interests, Western powers were supportive, and when their interests diverged, they were antagonistic. One reason for the ambivalent reaction was a shift in Western perceptions of the alignment of their interests with Japan between April and December 1874. The confusing reaction was exacerbated by the failure of Charles LeGendre, who served as a foreign advisor to the Japanese government, to anticipate Western opposition to the expedition, but the problem was more complicated than a personal failure on his part. Rather, he failed to grasp that Japan’s appropriation of the methods of Western imperialism would create a partially antagonistic relationship between Japan and Western powers, and that his role

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in diplomacy would be fundamentally different than it had been in the past because he was fully aligned with Japan. The unexpected strength of British and American opposition to the expedition caused him to fall from grace with the Japanese government in May of that year, and while he regained some of that influence because of Japanese competition with China, he lost it again because of confusion among Western diplomats about the nature of Japan’s challenge to Chinese territorial authority in Taiwan. There were multiple reasons behind Western support for and opposition to the expedition, and those reasons provide insights into how the Japanese replication of Western imperialism in 1874 threatened the stability of the treaty port system. One threat the Japanese expedition posed to the treaty port system was the question of how war between China and Japan would affect the Western powers. To be sure, Western powers did not have an intrinsic opposition to war, having used it themselves in East Asia, but they opposed it in this case because it would harm their commercial interests in China. War was also a threat because it might undermine the economic and political advantages Western powers enjoyed in the unequal treaty system. LeGendre and other foreigners who worked for the Japanese and Chinese governments found themselves involved in a potentially belligerent confrontation between China and Japan, and as foreign employees, they posed a specific legal problem. Both China and Japan had granted concessions to Western powers under the unequal treaties, including tariff benefits and extraterritorial protections, and both countries employed large numbers of Western advisors to help them navigate the political and economic complexities of the international system. If war broke out between China and Japan, many of the foreign employees would have to leave their positions immediately in order to maintain the neutrality of their home countries. If they failed to do so, their home countries might be declared belligerent by China or Japan and that would invalidate their treaties and end their economic and political privileges. In order to avoid this problem, a Western country might strip subjects or citizens of their extraterritorial protections or arrest them for violating the neutrality laws of their home countries. Doing so would protect the general treaty privileges of the Western country either by freeing China or Japan to arrest and punish foreigners who were participating in belligerent acts or by preemptively stopping them from participating in belligerent acts by confining them.

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This became a real concern when China increased its pressure on American diplomats to stop the Japanese expedition. In June 1874, Albert Kautz, commander of the American warship Monocacy, sent a telegram from Amoy to Yokohama to ask how he should deal with a request from the American Consul there to “assist him in compelling Americans to leave the Japanese forces in Formosa,” something the GovernorGeneral Li Henian had asked the consul to do. Alexander Pennock, his commanding officer, ordered him to “Notify and command all American citizens to abstain and withdraw from all enterprises unfriendly to the Chinese government, and to avoid all acts which are inconsistent with treaty obligations, on pain of forfeiting all claim of American protection.”44 Americans had to respect their obligations under the unequal treaties, and the penalty for failing to do so could include the loss of extraterritorial protections. The difficult problem, though, was judging whether the Japanese expedition actually constituted an enterprise “unfriendly to the Chinese government,” in other words whether it actually was an act of war. Pennock’s response assumed that the answer was yes, and while such assumptions fed rumors of war, the peaceful conditions in southern Taiwan suggested that the answer was actually no. The treaty port system operated as a complex multilateral enterprise where Western powers cooperated in maintaining the system even as they competed economically and politically within it. The system had no need to prevent cooperation or competition between two powers who were in subordinate diplomatic positions in the system, as China and Japan were, and it did not have any institutions for regulating war between them. The problem arose in this case for a couple of reasons. In the first instance, the Japanese expedition used the institutions of the treaty port system parasitically, employing foreign advisors and using Chinese treaty ports to gain access to supplies and information, and in the second instance, its challenge to Chinese territorial authority posed the threat of war with China. The combination of these two factors exposed an unexpected weakness of the unequal treaty system: Foreign employees were an integral part of the political and economic ecosystem created by the unequal treaties, and by participating in the Japanese expedition, they pulled the threat of war between China and Japan into the middle of that ecosystem. It was precisely this dimension of the problem that caused problems for LeGendre. As Chapter 5 showed, the mere possibility that the expedition might lead to war between China and Japan

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provided the American Minister Bingham in Tokyo enough leverage to force LeGendre’s withdrawal from the expedition in May and to discourage other Americans from helping the Japanese government. The Japanese expedition posed a threat to the treaty port system in another way by causing confusion about what China’s claim to territorial authority over Taiwan really meant. The confusion was not entirely an accident, and the Chinese government took advantage of Western understandings of sovereign authority to increase Western opposition to the expedition. At heart, the diplomatic dispute between China and Japan over Taiwan centered on the nature of China’s claim to territorial authority. The Japanese government asserted that China did not exercise civil authority in the indigenous territory, and for that reason, China did not have a legitimate claim to sovereignty there. The Japanese government assumed that Western powers would accept this assertion in solidarity with Japan and would not recognize the legitimacy of China’s claim to the indigenous territory. The Western response was ambiguous, however, and Western diplomats could, either tactically or through ignorance, recognize China’s claim to the indigenous territory as a valid claim to sovereign authority. Westerners who anticipated war between China and Japan usually assumed that China did have a valid claim. The Chinese government clearly did not see its claim to territorial authority in the same terms as Western observers, however, and it explicitly rejected a host of obligations, such as the need to exercise effective civil authority in the indigenous territory of Taiwan, that were implied by a Western claim of sovereignty. In the spring of 1874, however, the Chinese government was happy to countenance confusion among Western diplomats, especially in Beijing and Amoy, about the nature of its claim to the indigenous territory. The result was instability in the Western response to the expedition. When Western diplomats interpreted China’s claim to territorial authority in all of Taiwan as a valid claim of sovereignty, they saw the expedition as a de facto act of war against the Chinese. That suited China’s purposes because it increased foreign opposition to the expedition. It mattered, however, that the Chinese government never declared war against Japan, nor took concrete military action to drive the Japanese out of Taiwan. When the Chinese government refused to defend its claim to the indigenous territory of Taiwan, Western diplomats entertained doubts about the validity of China’s claim and Western opinion began to shift in favor of the Japanese action in Taiwan. LeGendre’s arrest in Amoy, and its later repudiation, illustrates this dynamic.

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LeGendre’s influence in the Japanese government declined rapidly after John Bingham, the American Minister in Tokyo, openly opposed the expedition in April, and to appease Bingham, the Japanese government recalled LeGendre to Tokyo. He kept busy, however, spending most of May and June preparing a defense of his actions against Bingham’s objections and helping Ōkuma Shigenobu file lawsuits against American and British individuals and companies who, under threats from their diplomatic representatives, abruptly cancelled contracts to supply goods or services to the expedition. LeGendre’s efforts to challenge the objections of Bingham and other Western diplomats were generally successful for the simple reason that China never declared war against Japan and never treated Japan as a belligerent. Over the long run, the lack of a de jure or de facto state of war validated the position of the Japanese government, at least according to the norms of Western diplomacy, and that led to victories in the lawsuits the Japanese government filed. In the middle of this hectic period, LeGendre received word from a friend in Amoy that the Chinese government wanted to hire him as the head of the Imperial Maritime Customs Service for South China. The powerful position would be for a term of ten years and bring him a salary of $20,000 per year, significantly more than the already large salary of $12,000 that the Japanese government was paying him.45 The Chinese obviously intended to hire him away from the Japanese government as a way of weakening their adversary and the offer seems to have been serious. LeGendre, exhausted by the difficult work he had been doing and undoubtedly disappointed at his declining influence in the Japanese government, must have been tempted to accept it. In a letter he wrote to Daniel Ammen, his friend in the US Navy Department, LeGendre explained that he had received an offer from the Chinese government and he intended to tell the Chinese officials in Fuzhou that he might accept it after the present difficulty between China and Japan was resolved. The evidence is fragmentary but LeGendre apparently never seriously considered accepting the offer, and instead, he promptly informed Ōkuma about it.46 The interest of the Chinese government in hiring LeGendre seems to have boosted his influence once again in Japan, and it probably explains why the Japanese government appointed him as a “Special Commissioner” and instructed him to go to Fujian to negotiate with Li Henian. LeGendre departed for South China in the middle of July intending to negotiate with Li Henian and to visit the Japanese military

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camp in southern Taiwan. Instead, as soon as he arrived in Amoy, he was arrested on the orders of J. J. Henderson, the American Consul there. Official notices published by the American consulate in Amoy in June explain Henderson’s grounds for arresting him. In one of the notices, Henderson announced that Chinese authorities in Fujian had told him a Japanese military force had invaded Chinese territory in Taiwan and the authorities demanded that the Japanese leave Taiwan immediately. Americans in China were under American legal jurisdiction because of extraterritorial rights granted by the unequal treaties, and on that basis, Henderson ordered “all citizens of the United States to at once withdraw and hereafter abstain from all enterprises unfriendly to the Chinese Government, and to avoid all acts which are inconsistent with the said laws [of the United States] and treaty obligations [with China].” In a subsequent notice, he informed citizens of the USA they would be arrested if they participated in the Japanese expedition.47 Henderson interpreted China’s claim to territorial authority in Taiwan as a valid claim to sovereignty and he ignored the ambiguities of the Chinese claim. He ordered LeGendre’s arrest because, according to a Western definition of sovereignty, LeGendre was participating in an expedition that violated China’s sovereignty and as such was a de facto act of war (an unfriendly enterprise, as Henderson put it). Chinese authorities did not interpret their claim to sovereignty in Taiwan according to Western diplomatic norms, however, and they never declared war on Japan or treated the Japanese, or the foreign employees of Japan, as belligerents. Indeed, if China had treated Japan’s foreign employees as belligerents, then their own foreign employees, such as Prosper Giquel, would have been required to withdraw from service. The American State Department later repudiated Henderson’s actions and concluded that LeGendre’s arrest was illegal because no state of war existed between China and Japan.48 By implication, they did not recognize China’s claim to territorial authority over the indigenous territory as a valid claim of sovereign authority. By then, the damage was done, however, and LeGendre had to set aside his plans to negotiate with Li Henian and to visit southern Taiwan. Instead, he went to Beijing where he joined the diplomatic party led by Ōkubo Toshimichi. For the Japanese, one of the purposes of the expedition was to challenge China’s claim to sovereignty in Taiwan precisely because it did not conform to Western norms, and the Japanese government justified its challenge in part by using an argument it appropriated from LeGendre.

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Henderson’s treatment of LeGendre, and the State Department’s later repudiation of that treatment, is an example of the confused response to the expedition among Western diplomats. The Japanese appropriation of LeGendre’s justification for colonization provoked confusion about China’s claims to sovereignty among Western diplomats, and it pulled the USA, and to a lesser extent Britain, into Japan’s effort to challenge Chinese territorial authority. The initial response of British and American diplomats in East Asia to the expedition was strongly negative because they feared it would start a war, but because the Japanese challenge to Chinese territorial authority conformed to the norms of Western diplomacy, the response in their respective home governments was generally supportive. When it became clear that the Chinese government would not take action to conform to Western norms, Western diplomatic opinion in East Asia shifted in Japan’s favor, and by the end of the diplomatic conflict, most of the foreign diplomats in Beijing came around to supporting the Japanese.

Conclusion At the end of June 1874, Saigō Tsugumichi placed his plans for colonizing the indigenous territory on hold because of strong Chinese opposition to the Japanese occupation of southern Taiwan, but the dream of colonization still remained alive among some members of the expeditionary force. Participants on the ground in Taiwan adapted the government’s justification for colonizing the indigenous territory and pushed it in new directions, and they targeted a different geographical area for colonization than had been considered in the government’s plans. Their adaptations were driven by their growing familiarity with parts of the indigenous territory that they had personally visited and by their persistent interest in colonization. Officers in the expeditionary force suggested through ceremonies of surrender held with indigenous leaders that they had begun to establish authority in the indigenous territory, but that remained a hope more than a reality. They succeeded, however, in co-opting local networks that helped them lay the groundwork for future colonization should the government ever give Saigō permission to proceed with the second phase of the expedition. The wide range of activities of the participants in Taiwan demonstrated the depth and persistence of Japanese interest in colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan.

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The events in southern Taiwan unfolded remotely from the political center of Japan, but the context of the Meiji Restoration still influenced them. One recurring issue was how to understand the authority of the emperor that was restored in 1868. The Japanese government had not yet clarified what imperial sanction of specific policies meant, but the lesson of the conflict over Korea policy in 1873 and the rebellion it provoked in Saga was that the political importance of imperial sanction could not be ignored, and that lesson influenced events in Taiwan. The question of the lingering influence of the samurai, as a class, also influenced events in southern Taiwan. Viewed from a longer trajectory, the Restoration eliminated the early modern political system based on the special privileges of the samurai and replaced it with a merit-based bureaucratic system. As part of that transformation, the domains were abolished and replaced with prefectures in 1871, and domain armies were replaced by a conscript Army in 1873. Together, these two policies dismantled the institutional basis of early modern power by splitting apart the administrative authority and military authority that were conjoint in domain administration and placing them in separate political institutions. These dramatic institutional changes were far from complete at the time of the expedition, and some of the former samurai participants could still imagine for themselves a special political role based on their hereditary authority. That sense of entitlement seems to have been behind the efforts of Matsuno and Yokota to push forward with the colonization of the indigenous territory, but even over the short span of the Japanese occupation of southern Taiwan the residual claim of samurai authority grew weaker. As the conflict between China and Japan over Taiwan grew more heated and many observers expected war to erupt, Western diplomats, mainly from Britain and the USA, were drawn into the debate between China and Japan over sovereignty in Taiwan. If the diplomatic contest between China and Japan is viewed as a bilateral problem, it can be difficult to see the problems that the Japanese expedition to Taiwan posed to Western powers. From the outset, the Japanese expedition intended not only to challenge China’s claim to territorial authority in Taiwan, but also to use the methods of Western imperialism to neutralize a threat of encroachment posed by Western powers. If Japan could pursue a policy that was simultaneously in solidarity with and in opposition to Western imperialist dominance in East Asia, then Western powers in East Asia could similarly respond with a dynamic position that shifted

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from opposition to solidarity. In its early phase, the diplomatic confrontation between China and Japan looked likely to hurt Western commercial interests and to disrupt the treaty port system by embroiling foreign advisers to both countries in a potential war that might threaten Western neutrality. The disruption invited strong Western opposition to the expedition that caught the Japanese government off guard. In its later phase, when the risk of war was being managed more transparently in diplomatic negotiations in Beijing, Western powers supported the Japanese diplomatic position even though the position itself had not substantively changed. The instability in the Western response to the Japanese expedition illustrates the dynamic nature of the relationship between Western imperialism and Japanese imperialism.

Notes







1.  Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 22, March 13, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C426, Waseda University Library (hereafter Memo 22). 2. Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983), 101–105. 3. Gotō Arata, “Taiwan shuppei ni okeru chōhei mondai,” Musashino Daigaku Seiji-Keizai Kenkyūjo Nenpō 5 (2012): 141–145. 4. Memo No. 3, Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, ed., Ōkuma monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, 1958), 1: 31–33. 5. Fukushima Kyūsei, Untitled Report to Foreign Ministry, December 5, 1873, “Gaimusho yori Shinkoku shisatsu Fukushima Kyūsei Taiwan kenbunroku jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•mizunototori [1873] ge•daisan satsu (JACAR A03030099400). 6. Kabayama Sukenori, “Taiwan kiji,” in Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 288. 7. Memo 22; Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 23, March 31, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C427, Waseda University Library. 8. Charles LeGendre to Saigō Tsugumichi, May 5, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C450, Waseda University Library. 9. Memo 22. 10. Saigō Tsugumichi to Li Henian, April 13, 1874, Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936– 1940), 7: 29–30 (hereafter DNGB).

258  R. ESKILDSEN 11.  Yanagihara Sakimitsu to Pan Wei, June 7, 1874; Pan to Yanagihara, 1874/6/7, DNGB, 7: 104–107, 112–113. 12. Douglas Cassel to Charles LeGendre, May 26, 1874, in Robert Eskildsen, ed., Foreign Adventurers and the Aborigines of Southern Taiwan, 1867– 1874: Western Sources Related to Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan (Taipei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2005), 216. 13. Lewis Bush, The Life and Times of the Illustrious Captain Brown: A Chronicle of the Sea and of Japan’s Emergence as a World Power (Tokyo and Rutland: Voyager’s Press Ltd. and Charles E. Tuttle, 1969), 26–27, 61. 14. DNGB, 7: 18–20. The imperial instructions are on page 18, and the special instructions are on pages 19–20. 15. Memo 22. 16.  Draft imperial orders to Charles LeGendre, undated, Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Iwakura Tomomi kankei monjo, 8 vols., vols. 18–25 of Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai sōsho (1928; Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1968), 7: 513–514. 17. Saigō Tsugumichi to Ōkuma Shigenobu, June 7, 1874, Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, 1932–1935), 2: 349–364 (hereafter Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo). 18. Saigō Tsugumichi to Sanjō Sanetomi, June 7, 1874, Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 93–101 (hereafter STKS). 19. Saigō Tsugumichi to Charles LeGendre, June 7, 1874, Papers of Charles William LeGendre, Library of Congress (hereafter LeGendre Papers). 20. Go Seki [Wu Shi] to Yanagihara Sakimitsu, May 30, 1874, DNGB, 7: 96–99; Go Seki [Wu Shi] to Gaimu Tai-shōjō, May 30, 1874, DNGB, 7: 95–96. 21.  Ōkuma Shigenobu to Sanjō Sanetomi, June 28, 1874, Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 2: 396–399. 22. “Rizentoku e tokurei benmushi goininjō narabi ni yakubun,” July 1874 (no day), Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai jū kan (JACAR A03031010100). 23. Ōkuma Shigenobu to Saigō Tsugumichi, July 15, 1874, Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 2: 405–406. 24. Yanagihara Sakimitsu to Pan Wei, June 7, 1874, DNGB, 7: 104–107; Pan Wei to Yanagihara Sakimitsu, June 7, 1874, DNGB, 7: 112–113. 25.  Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, CT: The Shoe String Press, 1965), 224–225; Harold M. Otness, One Thousand Westerners in Taiwan, to 1945: A Biographical

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and Bibliographical Dictionary (Taipei: Institute of Taiwan History, Preparatory Office, Academia Sinica, 1999), 61. 26. DNGB, 7: 128–134, 136–140. 27. James L. Huffman, A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Edward H. House (Lanham, MD and Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). 28.  Edward Howard House, The Japanese Expedition to Formosa (Tokio [Tokyo]: n.p., 1875), 174. 29.  Wang Yuanzhi, ed., Jiaxu gongdu chaocun (Taipei: Taiwan Yinhang, 1959), 89, 94. 30. Wang Xuexin, trans. and comp., Fenggang ying suo za ji (Nantou Shi: Guo shi guan Taiwan wen xian guan, 2003), 122–136; Report from Narutomi to Ōkuma, December 22, 1874, “Narutomi Seifū yori tōhoku banchi zakki narabi ni Tansui kenchi kō jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] jūni gatsu no hachi•daikyūjū satsu (JACAR A03030385300); “Rikugun taii Yokota Suteru kenpaku seikan no gi,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, kōbunroku, genrōin, kōbunroku•Meiji 8 nen•dai 20 kan•Meiji hachi nen jū gatsu•genrōin furoku (JACAR A01100095900). 31. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku (Tokyo: Kunii Gorō, 1920), 100. Wang Xuexin, 128–132. 32. Yen, 180; Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 1: 20, 37. 33. Fukushima Kyūsei to Ōkuma Shigenobu, June 22, 1874, “Fukushima sanbō yori Ōkuma chōkan e banchi shōrai shobun iken narabi ni Shinkan Riku [Liu] bō e fukusho unnun raikan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•dai jūnana kan (JACAR A03031041900). 34. “Seiban shintō ni tsuki chikuji shobun subeki jōken,” undated, STKS, 63–69. 35. House, 139; Wang Yuanzhi, 59–60, 62; and Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi (Tokyo: n.p., 1887), 12–13. 36.  B. W. [Bonham Ward] Bax, The Eastern Seas: Being a Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. “Dwarf” in China, Japan, and Formosa with a Description of the Coast of Russian Tartary and Eastern Siberia, from the Corea to the River Amur (London: John Murray, 1875), 262–263. 37. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 104. 38. Wang Xuexin, 544–564, 602–640, 674–690. 39. Mizuno Jun, “Taiwan seibanki,” in Dairōkai, ed., Dairō Mizuno Jun sensei (Taihoku: Dairōkai Jimusho, 1930), 287–288 (hereafter “Taiwan seibanki”).

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40. The main source used here for the list of villages that received flags from the Japanese is Mizuno Jun’s “Taiwan seibanki,” but Chinese sources mention some of the same visits, e.g., Wang Yuanzhi, 130. 41. Wang Yuanzhi, 100, 117. 42. “Taiwan seibanki,” 287–288. 43. William Gregory to Thomas Wade, May 11, 1874, Ian Nish, ed., Treaty Revision and Sino-Japanese Dispute Over Taiwan, 1868–1876, Vol. 21 of British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, Pt. 1, From the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the First World War, Ser. E. Asia, 1860–1914, gen. eds. Kenneth Borne and D. Cameron Watt (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1994), 235. 44.  Kautz to Colhoun, June 4, 1874, Pennock to Kautz, June 4, 1874, United States Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1874 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1874), 691 (hereafter Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1874). 45.  Emily Howard Atkins, “Charles W. LeGendre and the Japanese Expedition to Formosa, 1874” (diss., University of Florida, 1953), 193–197. 46. There is no record of when LeGendre told Ōkuma about the offer from the Chinese government, but he mentioned it openly in a letter of August 8, 1874, to Ōkuma, so Ōkuma must have known about it before LeGendre left Tokyo in the middle of July. LeGendre to Ōkuma, No. 2, August 8, 1874, “Rishi shokan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•Rishi shokan mokuroku•ōbun (JACAR A03030060500). 47.  Notification, June 6, 1874, United States Consulate, Amoy, and Notification, June 16, 1874, United States Consulate, Amoy, Encls. 10 and 11, LeGendre to Ōkuma, No. 5, August 28, 1874, “Rishi shokan,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•Rishi shokan mokuroku•ōbun (JACAR A03030060500). 48. Fish to Seward, No. 409, August 26, 1874, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1874, 332–334.

PART III

Defending the Expedition

CHAPTER 9

Negotiating a Settlement

The Japanese expedition to Taiwan formally ended after Ōkubo Toshimichi and Chinese officials at the Zongli Yamen, the Board of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, negotiated a settlement where the Chinese government paid the Japanese a small indemnity and the Japanese withdrew their forces from southern Taiwan. The modest, anticlimactic resolution belies the high stakes of the conflict and the difficulty of the negotiations. Throughout the conflict, the possibility remained that Japan might establish colonies in Taiwan and the negotiations brought China and Japan to the brink of war more than once. Some of the principals on both sides favored war but most favored maintaining peaceful relations. In spite of the shared desire to avoid war, the inflexible and irreconcilable diplomatic positions of both governments nearly drove them to an outcome they hoped to avoid. The negotiations became difficult and protracted because the struggle between the governments involved three interrelated elements that were larger and more intractable than the particular conflict over Taiwan. First, the conflict over Taiwan was part of a larger confrontation over whether China or Japan would be the predominant diplomatic power in East Asia, and the stakes in that confrontation were high enough that both governments approached the negotiations inflexibly. Second, the conflict became a focal point in the confrontation over whether China

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and Japan should adhere to the practices of Western diplomacy, with the two governments adopting fundamentally incompatible stances. Because of Japan’s alignment with Western diplomatic norms support from the Western powers began to shift away from China and toward Japan as the negotiations wore on, but this support did nothing to make the negotiations easier. Third, the struggle was partly the result of a political need in Japan to clarify the nature and extent of Japanese imperial authority. The “Taiwan problem,” as members of the Japanese government called it, was a border dispute that escalated to a point just short of war because the Meiji Restoration had altered the meaning of political authority in Japan and introduced a hybrid understanding of sovereignty into Japanese politics. The new Meiji government sought to realign its diplomatic relationships in East Asia to fit that new meaning of sovereignty, and in its negotiations with China over the Taiwan problem that meant trying to gain recognition from the Chinese government of the central importance of sovereignty in defining territorial authority. The three elements of the larger struggle between China and Japan found expression in a specific issue at the center of the deadlock in the negotiations. Chinese and Japanese negotiators repeatedly returned to the question of whether the indigenous territory of Taiwan was “unclaimed” land, describing it either as beyond the transformative power of civilization (Chse: huawai; Jse: kegai) or as unclaimed (Chse: wuzhu; Jse: musu). As Chapters 3 and 4 showed, the specific Japanese argument about unclaimed land had its roots in the idea, articulated by Charles LeGendre and appropriated by Soejima Taneomi, that the Chinese government’s claim to authority over the indigenous territory required it to ensure the effective enforcement of civil authority there. The assertion of a logical connection between sovereignty and civil authority remained a stable feature of Japanese thinking from the early planning for the expedition to Taiwan to the very end of the diplomatic conflict and it provided both Japan’s justification for colonizing the indigenous territory and its basis for demanding an indemnity. That logical connection proved useful to the Japanese precisely because it permitted them to undermine China’s diplomatic and territorial authority, to align Japan with Western powers in applying Western diplomatic principles to its diplomacy with China, and to assert a new role for Japan in East Asia in the wake of the Restoration. For the same reasons, it proved unacceptable to the Chinese and it prolonged the diplomatic conflict.

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Shelving Plans for Colonization In the summer of 1874, with the occupation of southern Taiwan fully underway, the Japanese government decided to shelve plans for colonization of the indigenous territory and to pursue an indemnity from the Chinese government instead. In doing so, the government set aside the assumption from Soejima’s time as foreign minister that negotiations with the Chinese would fail and they chose instead to assume that negotiations would succeed. The change involved a shift in policy priorities rather than a change in the fundamental reasoning of the government, however, since the options of pursuing colonization versus pursuing an indemnity both rested on the same assertion that the indigenous territory of Taiwan was unclaimed land. If the Chinese government accepted that assertion, and the assumption hidden within it that Ryūkyū was part of Japanese territory, then the Chinese would validate Japanese claims to Ryūkyū and they would be obligated either to pay an indemnity to Japan or to permit Japan to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan. The idea of unclaimed land thus crystallized the theoretical connection between the options of establishing colonies and pursuing an indemnity, either of which would strengthen Japan’s claim to Ryūkyū and both of which threatened China’s claim to territorial authority. At the same time, if the effort to pursue an indemnity failed then colonization still remained a policy option for the Japanese. Chapter 3 explained the origins of the connection between the options of indemnification and colonization. Charles LeGendre, in seeking redress for the 1867 Rover Incident, argued that under the Treaty of Tianjin the Chinese government bore ultimate responsibility for the murder of the captain and crew of the American bark Rover and that it had a responsibility both to punish the indigenes who had committed the murders and to pay the USA an indemnity. For years LeGendre pursued his argument with little success and in 1872, just before he left his post as the American Consul at Amoy, he made a final unsuccessful attempt to persuade Chinese officials in Taiwan to take action by offering to forgo the indemnity if Chinese authorities would at least establish a fort or build a lighthouse in southern Taiwan in order to make the area safe for foreigners who sailed there.1 According to LeGendre, the Chinese had a responsibility to exercise effective jurisdiction over the indigenes of southern Taiwan, which meant either they should find and punish the parties guilty of the Rover massacre or at least take concrete

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steps to make the area safe for foreign mariners. If Chinese officials failed to take one or the other of these actions, it would demonstrate that China had failed to exercise effective jurisdiction over the area and it would invalidate China’s claim to sovereignty. In that case, the territory in southern Taiwan, as unclaimed land, would be a legitimate target for foreign colonization. LeGendre developed this line of thinking as a political tool for pressuring the Chinese to establish civil authority over southern Taiwan, but he had no leverage over the Chinese and the tool had no effect. Next, he introduced a similar line of thinking to the Japanese government in the autumn of 1872 when Soejima Taneomi solicited his opinion about how the government might deal with the massacre of the Ryūkyūans in southern Taiwan in 1871. LeGendre did not mention the possibility of an indemnity in the memos he wrote for Soejima, probably because Soejima had little interest in pursuing that policy option. Indeed, the approach for negotiating with Chinese officials that LeGendre outlined for Soejima assumed the Chinese would disavow any responsibility for dealing with the indigenes, making the issue of an indemnity moot. Soejima also vastly expanded the area under consideration to include the entire indigenous territory, not just the small area in southern Taiwan where repeated massacres had happened, and LeGendre’s memos argued that if the Chinese reacted as he expected them to then Japan would be justified in colonizing the entire indigenous territory because the Chinese government had failed to extend civil administration there.2 Chapter 5 showed that some members of the Japanese government opposed Soejima’s aggressive stance regarding the Taiwan problem, objecting to the idea that the Japanese colonization of the indigenous territory would be justified by negotiations that were intended to fail from the start. The option of pursuing an indemnity did not come up in those discussions but it remained a logical option and Soejima mentioned it as a possible outcome to the American minister in China during his visit to Beijing in 1873.3 The option of an indemnity was generally ignored during the planning and implementation of the Japanese expedition but it had been a possibility all along and in the summer of 1874 the Japanese government activated it. The decision to shelve plans for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan and to pursue an indemnity instead did not come easily to the Japanese government. The debate did not produce a crisis as the debate over Korea had the previous autumn, but once again the possibility of

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war with China divided the government. Earlier in the year, the government decided to proceed with the expedition but in its orders to Saigō Tsugumichi it withheld authorization to establish colonies to give the government the chance to reassess the risk of war with China before it committed to colonization. At the beginning of June, after southern Taiwan was pacified, Saigō wrote to Ōkuma Shigenobu asking for authorization to proceed with colonization.4 The decision whether to colonize eastern Taiwan had been deferred in February but after Saigō’s letter it could no longer be avoided. Several matters complicated the Japanese government’s decision. First, in talks with Yanagihara Sakimitsu, Fukushima Kyūsei, and Saigō Tsugumichi, Chinese negotiators had forcefully asserted China’s claim to all of Taiwan, including the indigenous territory. It is hard to say whether China would actually have gone to war with Japan in order to defend its claim but the forceful response made it clear that war was a real possibility. Second, the British and American ministers to Japan raised objections to the expedition in April and May out of fear that it would provoke war between China and Japan. Later events showed that their reaction was exaggerated since the Chinese government never took military action to stop the Japanese expedition, but to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan would pose a serious risk of provoking war with China, and war with China might invite an unwelcome intervention by Britain or the USA. Third, the leaders of the Japanese government still found themselves divided over the general question of how aggressive Japan’s foreign policy ought to be. Some advocates argued that Japan should not back down if China threatened war, nor should it avoid a policy that might provoke war. Others, such as Itō Hirobumi, argued that since Japan had successfully punished the indigenes in southern Taiwan the expeditionary force should come home. Fourth, Yamagata Aritomo and other generals in the Japanese Army made it clear, with some dissenting views, that the Army could barely suppress a domestic rebellion and it would be hard pressed to fight an overseas war. Yamagata further warned that the training of the conscript Army was inadequate and it would be difficult to obtain necessary supplies from foreign sources in the case of war. Finally, memories of the bitter dispute over Korea and the Saga Rebellion hung like a pall over the government, and they could not ignore the threat that another samurai rebellion might break out at any time. To withdraw from Taiwan and avoid engaging China, as Itō Hirobumi advocated, might provoke protests from

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hardliners who favored an aggressive foreign policy. At the same time, the threat of domestic rebellion restrained the government from adopting an aggressive stance toward China. Some leaders, including Iwakura Tomomi, worried that it would be unwise to commit Japanese troops to a war in China because the Army might be needed on short notice to suppress another samurai rebellion.5 Finally, on July 8, the government decided on a middle course between an aggressive stance toward China and withdrawal from Taiwan. Under the new policy, the government would press China for an indemnity, at the risk of provoking war if necessary, but Japanese negotiators would have to exhaust all diplomatic options before resorting to war. Having made its decision, the government sent new instructions to Yanagihara Sakimitsu, who was already in China, and it appointed Charles LeGendre as Special Commissioner and dispatched him to conduct talks with Chinese officials in Fujian to gain their support for an indemnity.6

Yanagihara Sakimitsu’s Instructions The government’s instructions to Yanagihara, issued on July 15, reveal that its policy toward Taiwan still included a fundamental link between demands for an indemnity and the possibility of colonizing the indigenous territory. The Japanese negotiating position assumed that the threat of colonization could be used as leverage to push the Chinese government to agree to an indemnity, and that war—and colonization—would ensue if it refused. Yanagihara’s instructions included an introduction giving a general explanation of important points to be considered in the negotiations (hereafter General Explanation) that was followed by a list of eleven specific instructions.7 The General Explanation took as a given that the Ryūkyūans who died in southern Taiwan in 1871 were unambiguously Japanese and it asserted that the Japanese government sent the expedition to southern Taiwan in order to punish the parties guilty of murdering them and to make the area safe for foreign shipping. It continued with the polemical argument that since China treated the indigenous territory as unclaimed land and since Japan had pacified the area the right to “civilize” the territory belonged to Japan. It then spelled out the specific civilizing actions that the Japanese intended to take in the area: constructing administrative offices, stationing soldiers, and establishing laws. While it did not state the matter explicitly, the General Explanation clearly referred to a program of colonization.

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The connection between the proposed civilizing actions and the intention to colonize the indigenous territory can be seen more clearly if we compare the General Explanation to two other documents. The General Explanation was one of several documents issued on July 15 that were later included in the Foreign Ministry records of the correspondence between Yanagihara and government leaders. Another of those documents, a “List of important points for the negotiations in China” (zaiShin danpan yōken, hereafter List of Important Points), spells out more explicitly the colonial intent that informed the government’s instructions to Yanagihara.8 The List of Important Points consists of four articles that may have been an earlier draft of the General Explanation. The second article of the List of Important Points resembles the list of civilizing actions given in the General Explanation, but it spells out the actions more clearly. It argued that Japan needed to begin governing and civilizing the “unclaimed savage land” as soon as possible and it listed actions that the Japanese government would take in the indigenous territory: establishing administrative offices and staffing them with officials, stationing guards, opening ports to foreign trade, establishing new laws and reforming public administration, reforming the people’s customs by cultivating knowledge through education, and promoting industry. It further stated that the border of the indigenous territory would be clarified and the land would be renamed Takasago, an old Japanese word for Taiwan. In the actions it listed, the second article used the Chinese administrative boundary between the indigenous territory and the area of Taiwan under Chinese control to indicate the limits of the unclaimed land where it asserted Japan had the right to carry out its civilizing activities. As Chapter 3 showed, this use of the boundary originated in Western interpretations that it marked the limit of China’s sovereign authority rather than the limit of Chinese administrative authority, as the Chinese saw it. The civilizing actions enumerated in the List of Important Points also recall the second clause of Saigō’s special instructions—to “lead the natives to civilization” and to establish a profitable enterprise between the natives and the Japanese government—as well as orders the government prepared for LeGendre instructing him to establish government offices in strategic locations and to establish military colonies in the indigenous territory.9 The List of Important Points thus extended the idea of using the Chinese administrative boundary in Taiwan as a marker of the limits of Chinese sovereign control, and it used the idea to justify the potential colonization of the indigenous territory.

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Yanagihara’s orders referred to colonization in yet another way. After having asserted that Japan had the right to civilize the area, the General Explanation conceded that if the Chinese government objected to Japan’s occupation of the indigenous territory Japan would cede the territory to the Chinese government on two conditions. First, the Chinese government must carry out the promises Pan Wei had made to Yanagihara during their negotiations in Shanghai on June 7, 1874. Pan objected to the Japanese intention to keep its army in southern Taiwan to ensure that violence against Japanese mariners would not occur again in the future, and he argued that the Chinese government had the sole responsibility for maintaining peace in the area. In that context, he stated that the Chinese government intended to secure the area by sending troops, by sending warships on patrols, and by building a lighthouse.10 As the second condition, the General Explanation insisted that the Chinese government must pay an indemnity to cover the expenses that Japan incurred in pacifying the south, a duty the Japanese government had undertaken because the Chinese government had neglected to do so. Yanagihara’s orders thus indicate a clear connection between the options of colonization and pursuing an indemnity. If the Japanese government could not reach an agreement with the Chinese government then it would colonize the indigenous territory. Japan would, however, cede the territory to the Chinese government if it fulfilled its obligation to pacify the area by establishing administrative control there—in effect colonizing the area itself—and if it paid an indemnity to Japan. The Japanese negotiating strategy posed a serious problem for the Chinese government. If it refused to pay an indemnity, the Japanese would interpret it, first, as a refusal to meet its obligation to exercise civil authority over southern Taiwan, and second, as an acknowledgment that the entire indigenous territory was in fact unclaimed land that could be legitimately colonized by Japan. If it agreed to pay an indemnity then it would have to take on the burden of establishing civil authority over southern Taiwan or risk losing the territory in the future. Both policy options—colonization by Japan or indemnification followed by colonization by China—would require the Chinese government to accept the proposition that it really did have an obligation to establish civil authority in the indigenous territory and that it had failed to meet its obligation. Part of the reason the Japanese argument was unacceptable to the Chinese government is because it relied on an incompatible understanding of what constituted territorial authority. The sovereignty

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revolution in Japan had transformed Japanese understandings of territorial authority, increasing the importance of the connection between claims of territory and the exercise of political authority: the failure of a state to exercise effective authority in a territory would put the territory at risk of exploitation by Western powers, and the Japanese government intended to prevent that from happening in areas at Japan’s periphery. Soejima’s idea of the preemptive annexation of the indigenous territory, discussed in Chapter 4, was one expression of that intention, and the elimination of dual allegiance in Ryūkyū and Tsushima was another. But translating the new understanding of territorial authority into diplomatic practice in East Asia threatened to undermine Chinese claims to authority. The Japanese government’s plan threatened either that Japan would exploit the indigenous territory preemptively or that Japan would force the Chinese government to adhere to a new definition of territorial authority and to establish civil authority there to preclude the possibility of foreign exploitation. Both options were unacceptable to the Chinese government. Two other matters concerning Yanagihara’s instructions deserve mention: the importance of the indemnity to the Japanese government, and the way that Japan’s leaders continued to understand the Taiwan problem in a larger regional context. The first four out of eleven instructions in Yanagihara’s orders dealt directly or indirectly with the question of an indemnity, and while colonization remained an option the government clearly hoped to win an indemnity from China. The government seems to have expected to do so without much difficulty but subsequent events showed that it seriously underestimated Chinese resistance. To begin with, the government had an optimistic expectation concerning the size of the indemnity that the Chinese would be willing to pay. Yanagihara’s orders instructed him to let Chinese negotiators suggest an amount for the indemnity so he would not appear eager, but separate instructions told him to settle for no less than 6 million dollars.11 By comparison, Saigō Tsugumichi had suggested the sum of 1.2 million dollars in his negotiations with Pan Wei at the end of June and in the agreement finally reached at the end of October the Chinese government agreed to pay an indemnity of only 500,000 taels, significantly less than even the amount Saigō had suggested.12 The Japanese government also overestimated the Chinese government’s willingness to pay an indemnity of any kind. Saigō proposed to Pan at the end of June that Japan might accept an indemnity, and Pan did not reject the possibility. A few

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weeks later Yanagihara relayed back to the government in Tokyo a subsequent Chinese proposal to pay an indemnity to resolve the dispute. Yanagihara’s optimistic report raised undue expectations of an easy resolution and as a consequence the Japanese government seriously underestimated Chinese resistance to paying an indemnity.13 Yanagihara’s orders also show that the Japanese government continued to see the conflict over Taiwan not as an isolated issue but rather as part of a larger strategic conflict with China over how territorial authority should be defined and how diplomacy should be employed to secure Japan’s territorial authority. Specifically, the tenth point in Yanagihara’s instructions read, As the opportunity presents itself cut off the source of the dual allegiance of Ryūkyū and open the door to the self-renewal of Korea. This is the ulterior aim of the government.

As Chapter 2 explained, the dual allegiance of Ryūkyū referred to the intentionally ambiguous practice, dating from the early modern period, where Satsuma domain exercised authority over Ryūkyū but Ryūkyū simultaneously recognized the suzerain authority of the Chinese government and sent tribute missions to the Qing court. The meaning of “self-renewal of Korea” in Yanagihara’s orders is not transparent but at a minimum it referred to the ability of the Korean kingdom to conduct its foreign affairs independently of the Chinese government. It probably also indicated an expectation that if Korea could free itself from Chinese suzerainty it would be able to initiate a process of political transformation similar to the Meiji Restoration. As Chapter 4 showed, Soejima Taneomi conceived of a consolidated diplomatic approach toward China that involved challenging China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, asserting Japan’s claim to sovereignty over Ryūkyū, and weakening China’s claim to suzerainty in Korea. Even though Soejima had long since left the government that consolidated approach still underlay the negotiations that took place in Beijing in 1874. Neither Japan’s claim to sovereignty over Ryūkyū nor its intention to pursue the diplomatic independence of Korea came up directly during the Japanese negotiations with the Chinese government in the autumn of 1874, but every time the Japanese referred to the Ryūkyūans murdered in 1871 as “our subjects” or “our people,” Chinese negotiators understood it as an implicit challenge to their claim to suzerainty over

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Ryūkyū. Indeed, the very idea of paying Japan an indemnity only made sense if Ryūkyū was part of Japan. In the end, the diplomatic resolution of the conflict over Taiwan did not settle the question of Ryūkyū’s status, but it did strengthen Japan’s claim to Ryūkyū in the view of Western diplomats. As for Korean diplomatic independence, within two years after the resolution of the Taiwan conflict Japan used gunboat diplomacy, much as Perry had done in Japan two decades earlier, to pressure Korea into initiating a new diplomatic relationship with the empire of Japan. Between those two events, the Chinese government took decisive action to defend its claim to territorial authority in new ways. It fought a bloody war to pacify southern Taiwan and it introduced clear administrative control over the area. It also responded to Japan’s systematic attack on its suzerain authority over Ryūkyū and Korea by defending its claims to suzerain authority more systematically.14

Ōkubo Toshimichi Goes to China Even after the government sent Yanagihara his new instructions, implicitly confirming his role as lead negotiator in China, Ōkubo still hoped to obtain a prestigious appointment as ambassador plenipotentiary with special powers to resolve the dispute, and he began to lobby hard to go to China and lead the negotiations. On July 13, he visited Sanjō to make a personal plea to be sent to China, but on the following day Sanjō, joined by Iwakura, opposed his request on the grounds that the domestic situation was too unsettled, alluding to the possibility that Ōkubo might have to direct a military response to any fresh domestic unrest that might occur, as he had done during the campaign against the rebels in Saga earlier in the year. Faced with the combined opposition of Sanjō and Iwakura, Ōkubo backed down but he noted that at least Ōkuma had not joined them. He changed tack and began to argue that Japan might have to go to war with China, and for that reason the government should send one of the senior councilors—implying that it should be him—to China on the warship Ryūjō. In addition to advocating gunboat diplomacy, he also argued that the government should begin to prepare for war by procuring armaments from foreign countries and that the various ministries should cut back on expenses to help cover the cost of a potential war. On July 26, Ōkubo once again sent a request to Sanjō and Iwakura asking to be dispatched to China, but they continued to resist the idea. After several more days of lobbying, Ōkubo finally overcame

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their opposition and on July 30 the government agreed to send him to China. On August 1, the government formally appointed him Minister Plenipotentiary, a rank that gave him full rights to represent Japan in negotiations with China, including the right to declare war. His instructions explicitly detailed his right to declare war, but they also exhorted him to preserve peace and to resort to war only if it could not be avoided. His instructions gave him further authority over all Japanese civilian officials in China, a move that subordinated Yanagihara to him, authority over civilian and military personnel should war become necessary, and authority over the foreign advisor LeGendre. In the end, Ōkubo secured for himself the highest and most prestigious diplomatic appointment that the Japanese government could confer and he gained paramount authority over the diplomatic effort to resolve the conflict with China.15 Having secured this authority, Ōkubo departed Tokyo on August 6. He boarded the warship Ryūjō in Nagasaki on the 16th and traveled from there to Shanghai, where he arrived on the 19th. LeGendre, who was thwarted in his attempts to hold talks with Chinese officials in Fujian, met Ōkubo in Shanghai and on the 22nd they departed for Beijing, stopping on their way in Tianjin on September 1. Ōkubo pointedly avoided meeting Li Hongzhang in Tianjin, as Japanese envoys had generally done while passing through that city. Instead, he spent several days conferring with his foreign advisors Gustave Emile Boissonade and LeGendre and familiarizing himself with the negotiations that Yanagihara had already conducted. He left Tianjin on September 6 and arrived in Beijing on the 10th, where he once again conferred with members of the Japanese diplomatic mission and prepared for the negotiations that would soon begin.16 As Ōkubo left Japan for his negotiations in China, the question of the readiness of the Japanese military force occupying southern Taiwan became a matter of pressing concern. On August 11, Saigō Tsugumichi wrote to Ōkuma Shigenobu explaining that many of the soldiers had fallen ill—records from the infirmary show that hundreds of soldiers and laborers sought treatment for malaria during the first week of August, and most of the military force was ill by then—and he asked Ōkuma to send two more battalions of soldiers as soon as possible.17 In midAugust, Saigō reminded the officers under his command to be prepared for hostilities with China. He warned them that hostilities might

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commence soon and he stressed the need to be prepared to fight. The threat of war seemed all the more serious when the Japanese heard rumors in the middle of August that Chinese troops were amassing farther north in Taiwan and that they would soon be dispatched to Fangliao. As the risk of war increased, Saigō paid closer attention to the deteriorating fighting capability of the army.18 Before he began his negotiations in Beijing, Ōkubo needed to know how hard he could lean on the army in Taiwan for leverage and he sent word to Saigō asking how many soldiers were ill. Saigō ordered Ochiai Taizō, a medical officer who served in the expeditionary force, to prepare a tally and the results were not encouraging. By the time Ōkubo arrived in China, as many as 90% of the Japanese soldiers in Taiwan were ill and the number of cases of malaria was still increasing.19 New troops arrived in September to replace those who had fallen ill but the new arrivals soon began to fall ill at such a high rate that they too would have been hard pressed to defend the Japanese position in southern Taiwan. By early October, the malaria epidemic had once again seriously degraded the fighting capacity of the expeditionary force, leading to increasingly urgent requests for more soldiers and laborers to be sent to Taiwan.20 War with China was not an inevitability, but the urgent attention to the readiness of the army in southern Taiwan reveals how seriously the Japanese took the threat.

Yanagihara’s Negotiations The negotiations between the Japanese and Chinese during the autumn of 1874 have been studied extensively,21 so they will be described only briefly here in order to elucidate the nature of the conflict between the two governments rather than to provide a full narrative of what took place. After Ōkubo arrived in China, he continued the negotiations that Yanagihara had started but changed their direction in several ways. The first difference is that Ōkubo did not meet Li Hongzhang as he passed through Tianjin, marking a clear break with the practices of earlier Japanese diplomatic missions to Beijing. He may have wanted to avoid complicating any further a diplomatic situation that had already been muddled by the Chinese strategy of engaging in multiple negotiations with Yanagihara Sakimitsu and Saigō Tsugumichi. It also made sense for Ōkubo to bypass Li in order to underscore the fact that he, as an ambassador plenipotentiary, would negotiate only with officials at the Zongli

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Yamen, an approach that LeGendre had suggested to Soejima before his embassy to Beijing in 1872.22 His decision may also have involved an implicit criticism of the negotiations Yanagihara Sakimitsu had conducted up to that point. Yanagihara, a talented diplomat who gained substantial experience negotiating with the Chinese during the previous three years, bore most of the responsibility for Japan’s muddled negotiating position, and his attempts to deal with Li Hongzhang and the officials of the Zongli Yamen had been ineffective. Back in April 1874, the Japanese government appointed Yanagihara as Japan’s resident minister in Beijing and dispatched him to handle negotiations about Taiwan with the Chinese government. His formal diplomatic title of Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary gave him a rank equal to the other foreign ministers resident in Beijing and it conferred on him full authority to represent the government of Japan.23 When he began the negotiations with Shen Baozhen and Pan Wei in Shanghai on June 6 that were described in Chapter 8, he tried to stake out a position that would permit the Japanese to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan, arguing from the premise that the Chinese had no claim to the territory because they did not exercise civil authority there. Shen and Pan rejected the premise of his argument and the negotiations made no headway. Yanagihara’s early talks accomplished little but they complicated matters for the Japanese in later negotiations and provoked an angry reaction from LeGendre who thought that Yanagihara had begun negotiations prematurely and that his mistakes might disrupt the expedition’s ability to accomplish its military goals.24 Yanagihara also received contemptuous treatment from Li Hongzhang that undermined his authority as Japan’s minister to China and weakened his effectiveness in dealing with the Chinese government. Yanagihara stopped in Tianjin on July 24 on his way to Beijing and met Li. The meeting did not go well as Li rejected Yanagihara’s arguments about Taiwan and claimed that Japan’s punishment of the indigenes in Taiwan violated the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity that Yanagihara had helped to negotiate in 1871.25 When Yanagihara reiterated arguments made by Soejima in 1873 that the indigenous territory did not fall under Chinese administration and that the Japanese could send a military expedition there just as the Americans had in 1867, Li responded that everyone knew Taiwan was part of Chinese territory and that only China had the right to punish the indigenes. According to Yanagihara, during the negotiations Li “delivered a denunciation in an extremely

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arrogant and agitated posture.”26 Li’s account of the meeting is more biting. He dismissed Yanagihara as incoherent and arrogant and belittled him by pointing out that the previous two Japanese ministers who visited Beijing—Date Munenari and Soejima Taneomi—had been demoted as soon as they returned to Japan, implying that the same would soon happen to Yanagihara.27 When the Japanese government issued new orders to Yanagihara on July 15, he was instructed to press for a resolution of the Taiwan matter first before asking for an audience with the Tongzhi emperor to accept his credentials. Yanagihara did not receive his new instructions until after he arrived in Beijing on July 31, however, and as soon as he arrived he asked the Zongli Yamen to schedule an imperial audience. The Yamen stalled, hoping to pressure Yanagihara into negotiating with Shen and Pan, officials who held a much lower diplomatic position than he did. Yanagihara insisted on following Western diplomatic protocol and pushed to be recognized at the highest diplomatic level.28 In his initial communications with the Zongli Yamen, Yanagihara reiterated what he had stated in his meeting there in June 1873 during the Soejima mission, namely that the “subjects of my country,” meaning the Ryūkyūans, were treated badly by the indigenes and Japan sent some officers there to investigate the situation. The purpose of the expedition, he asserted, was to eliminate the bad people in the land and ensure the safety of the good people, and he justified Japan’s intervention on the grounds that Chinese administrative authority did not extend to the indigenous territory.29 The response of Chinese negotiators did not produce any movement. In meetings on August 7, Bao Yun and other Chinese negotiators claimed that all of Taiwan was part of China and under its jurisdiction; Yanagihara countered by claiming that the indigenous territory was unclaimed land. The two sides reiterated their fundamental disagreement about Taiwan’s status in a meeting on August 13, and the same pattern continued for several subsequent meetings with no movement on either side.30 At that point, the disagreement amounted to different interpretations of how sovereignty over the indigenous territory of Taiwan should be determined and which country had authority over the Ryūkyū Kingdom, and the implications of the disagreement were primarily limited to the question of whether or not Japan’s military action in Taiwan was justified. Based on the view that Japan’s intervention was unjustified, Chinese negotiators demanded that Japan withdraw its forces from Taiwan, a

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demand that Yanagihara ignored. Although the negotiations made no headway, the negotiators at the Zongli Yamen adopted a less aggressive stance toward Yanagihara than Li Hongzhang had. The reason, Ishii Takashi suggests, is that they wanted to avoid war because China was not prepared to fight Japan.31

Ōkubo’s Negotiations Ōkubo arrived in Beijing on September 10 and immediately requested a meeting with the Zongli Yamen, and the Yamen scheduled it for September 14. The negotiations between the Japanese and Chinese made no more headway under Ōkubo than they had under Yanagihara. The impasse continued for nearly six weeks and brought the two countries to the brink of war more than once, and since both sides clung inflexibly to irreconcilable and contradictory assumptions it was virtually impossible to make any progress. During this phase in the negotiations, the Japanese continued to rely, as they had in earlier phases, on the argument that legitimate claims to sovereignty required the exercise of effective political jurisdiction over the territory in question. During the meeting on September 14, for example, Ōkubo began with an argument that reiterated this fundamental position. First, he argued that if the Chinese government claimed sovereignty over the indigenous territory of Taiwan then it had an obligation to establish civil and military control there and to ensure the safety of travelers in the region. Second, he argued that since the Chinese government had done nothing since June to establish control over the indigenous territory, referring again to the promises Pan had made during the June 7 negotiations with Yanagihara in Shanghai, their claims to control over the territory were not credible. Finally, he argued that it is necessary under international law to enforce effective control and administration over an area in order to make a claim to sovereign authority that other states will recognize. The Chinese responded much as they had in earlier negotiations. Wenxiang, the Qing Grand Secretary and a specialist in foreign affairs, spoke for the Zongli Yamen. He argued that China was a huge country with different conditions in different areas, and that it would take time to respond to Ōkubo’s requests for information because the Chinese government was complex. Moreover, he stressed, statements in local gazetteers showed that the territory belonged to China. Finally, he argued that China controlled the area in question because the government

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collected taxes there annually. Wenxiang’s answers served several purposes. They stalled for time by suggesting that circumstances in southern Taiwan were difficult to know and would take time to investigate. His answers also referred obliquely to the 1871 Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity where both governments agreed to respect each others’ local government practices, implying that the Japanese had a treaty obligation to accept Chinese practices for dealing with the indigenous territory of Taiwan irrespective of international law. Finally, his answers relied on claims of territorial control based on documentary sources and the exercise of the government power of taxation, rather than on principles derived from Western diplomatic practice.32 This exchange of views satisfied neither side and did nothing to resolve the differences between them, and at the end of the meeting on September 14 Ōkubo pressed the Chinese negotiators further, presenting two questions that he suggested were at the heart of the dispute. First, he asked, if China claimed sovereignty over the indigenous territory then why had China done nothing to civilize the indigenes? How much had China done to govern the indigenous territory and to civilize the indigenes through systems of administration and education? Second, he asserted that China had ignored the murder of foreigners by the indigenes. Why had China ignored its obligation to treat shipwrecked foreigners well? The Zongli Yamen responded two days later, arguing that the Chinese government permitted the indigenes to maintain their local customs, again alluding to the terms of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity, and that “China stresses [a] gradual process of government and has no intention to forcefully or too rapidly subjugate [the indigenes].”33 In response to the second question, the Yamen stressed that the Chinese government did in fact deal with problems of shipwrecked foreigners, and that if the Japanese government had brought up the matter with them they would have investigated it.34 This round of questions and answers also produced no change in the respective positions of the negotiators. The first question highlighted, once again, the fundamentally incompatible understandings of territorial authority held by the two sides, the Japanese view deriving from international law and the Chinese view deriving from Chinese precedents and local practices. Ōkubo’s second question referred obliquely to the Ryūkyūans murdered in 1871, and the Japanese government had in fact brought the matter of their murder to the attention of Chinese authorities several times. The Zongli Yamen’s answer must have struck the

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Japanese negotiators as obdurate or evasive, but it followed quite logically the Chinese position that the Japanese government had no jurisdiction over the Ryūkyū Kingdom and that, therefore, the Japanese government had no basis for demanding Chinese action in response to the murder of the Ryūkyūans. According to the Chinese position, if any government had standing to question how the Chinese government responded to the murder of the Ryūkyūans, it was the Ryūkyū Kingdom. The Chinese negotiators relied on the early modern practice of dual allegiance to thwart the Japanese. From the middle of September until early October, the negotiations between Ōkubo and the Zongli Yamen made no progress, continuing more or less in the same vein. As Ishii Takashi describes the impasse, the two sides proceeded along parallel lines of argument that did not intersect in any meaningful way.35 The tenor of the exchanges gradually became more hostile and by early October the Japanese negotiators began to lose patience with what they saw as evasiveness on the part of the Chinese. Finally, on October 5, Ōkubo gave up trying to argue with the Chinese and he told the negotiators at the Zongli Yamen that he would be leaving Beijing, similar to the threat Soejima had used during his visit to Beijing in the spring of 1873. After this meeting, Ōkubo made a striking admission that revealed the key assumption behind the Japanese negotiating stance. In a letter to Sanjō and the other councilors in the Japanese government, he explained that the negotiations had reached an impasse and he suggested that rather than wasting any more time in fruitless talks Japan should get to work in the indigenous territory of Taiwan and “lead the natives” (domin o yūdō seshimuru).36 In this phrase, Ōkubo used the same coded language found in the special instructions issued to Saigō Tsugumichi in April to bring civilization to the indigenous territory by establishing colonies there.37 In their negotiations, the Japanese aimed to force the Chinese to recognize one or the other of two mutually exclusive propositions: that the Chinese had jurisdiction over the indigenous territory but had failed to exercise it properly, obligating the Chinese to pay an indemnity, or that the indigenous territory lay outside of Chinese jurisdiction and sovereign control, meaning that the Japanese could legitimately colonize the area. As the negotiations reached the point of failure, Ōkubo suggested to his own government that the Japanese should abandon the goal of seeking an indemnity and instead should proceed with colonizing the indigenous territory.

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After threatening to suspend negotiations, Ōkubo had Inoue Kowashi draw up a proposal for the final position that the Japanese would present to the Chinese. Roughly half of the Japanese in Ōkubo’s party, including moderates such as Yanagihara and Inoue as well as long-time hardliners such as Fukushima Kyūsei, advocated a firm stance even if it meant war with China. Tanabe Taichi and Tei Einei, on the other hand, argued in favor of preserving peace, while Fukuhara Kazukatsu and Iwamura Takatoshi argued that Japan did not have sufficient justification for war. The split opinion vexed Ōkubo, but he finally concluded that if the Chinese offered an evasive response to the final Japanese position then he would break off negotiations and return to Japan. He understood that doing so would probably result in war between the countries. Japan’s lack of warships concerned Ōkubo, however, perhaps because the government had already encountered so much trouble sustaining the expeditionary force in Taiwan, and he knew that the war would be difficult. Consequently, he did not think that Japan should automatically declare war if he left Beijing, but rather that he should return to Japan and ask the Japanese government to make the final decision and, if necessary, to seek an imperial proclamation of war.38 By the middle of October, then, negotiations between the Japanese and Chinese had reached an impasse that brought the countries to the brink of war. If Japan had declared war on China, then the Japanese military force occupying southern Taiwan would have had to fight, but by the middle of October the army was once again in terrible condition from widespread illness. The gravity of the problems it faced can be grasped from a letter Yokota Suteru wrote to Saigō Tsugumichi early in November 1874. When Ōkubo decided to break off the negotiations in Beijing in October, he sent an urgent report to the Japanese camp in southern Taiwan warning that a political rupture might happen soon, and Ōkubo’s report fueled the expectation that war with China would begin soon. Since the summer Yokota had been in command at the branch camp in Hongkang, on the coast several miles north of the main camp in Liangkiau. If war broke out Chinese forces would advance southward from Fangliao and the first Japanese position to be attacked would be in Hongkang. In anticipation of an attack from the north Yokota began to recruit local residents in villages along the coast between Fangliao and Hongkang who had cooperated with the Japanese and who might help in fighting the Chinese Army. The brunt of a Chinese attack would fall on the soldiers of the Kumamoto 11th infantry battalion, however, most of whom had been

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sent to the branch camp in Hongkang soon after they arrived in Taiwan.39 By the end of October, the condition of the soldiers was bad. The original strength of the battalion on September 6 was 680 soldiers, and three out of the battalion’s four companies were posted to Hongkang, numbering roughly 510 soldiers (the other company was sent to a different branch camp). By the time, Yokota wrote his report to Saigō around twenty of the 510 soldiers in Hongkang had died from illness and most of the surviving 490 soldiers were ill. About 150 of them were too sick to fight and had to be sent to the infirmary at the main camp. About 175 soldiers were only slightly or moderately ill, and Yokota planned to have them and a handful of laborers who still had some strength take care of each other during their illness and to remain in Hongkang as a reserve force. Only 160 of the soldiers were healthy enough to fight and Yokota formed them into two platoons and dispatched them to a village named Bengshan, a little to the north of Hongkang (see Map 8.1).40 The terrain in Bengshan favored the Japanese, since the Chinese soldiers would have to pass through a narrow gap between the sea and a steep bluff as they headed south, but with such a small force the Japanese soldiers would have been hard pressed to defend against a concerted attack from the Chinese, and they would be exposed to a possible attack by the indigenes of Takubien. The military force in southern Taiwan was weaker and more vulnerable than Ōkubo imagined.

The Resolution In hindsight, we know that the Chinese and Japanese reached a negotiated settlement that ended the conflict over Taiwan. Given the poor condition of the respective military forces in both countries the results would have been disastrous for all if war had erupted, and foreign diplomats, in particular the British and French ministers in Beijing, pressured the Chinese and Japanese negotiators to reach a settlement. A peaceful settlement seemed far from assured at the time, however, and newspapers in the treaty ports of China and Japan had been reporting rumors of war throughout the autumn of 1874.41 Foreign diplomats in Beijing shared the concern about war. Thomas Wade, the British minister in Beijing, warned his government in the middle of September that the Japanese government seemed intent on war, and that war would disrupt foreign trade and put the foreigners who lived in Chinese treaty ports at risk. Because of his concerns about the safety of foreigners, Wade asked

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his government to send naval reinforcements to China, and the French minister F. H. Louis de Geofroy made a similar request to his government.42 Wade had already made offers to both the Chinese and Japanese to mediate, but to no avail. Just as negotiations seemed about to break down, however, Wade tried again and he helped push both sides to reach an agreement.43 On October 10, Ōkubo sent to the Zongli Yamen the “final” statement that the Japanese had drafted. It broke no new ground and simply reiterated the existing Japanese position. It accused the Yamen, for example, of ignoring international law and it asserted that China had no claim to sovereignty over the indigenous territory of Taiwan because it did not exercise jurisdiction there. Ōkubo gave the Yamen five days to respond, but he included an expression of hope that peace could be maintained between the two countries. The Zongli Yamen responded the next day with a statement that similarly broke no new ground. It indicated that the Chinese had no interest in international law and that only the SinoJapanese Treaty of Amity applied, but it also included an expression of hope that Ōkubo would uphold the peace.44 The Japanese then began a concerted effort to lobby the representatives of foreign governments in Beijing. The Zongli Yamen asked Ōkubo to extend his deadline until October 18, to which he agreed, and between the 13th and 16th Ōkubo and other Japanese met representatives of the various foreign legations. After making preliminary inquiries Ōkubo concluded that the Russian and Prussian envoys supported the Japanese position, the British and Americans were concerned about the possible impact of war on their commercial interests and therefore urged mediation to solve the dispute, and the French declared neutrality but implied a willingness to support the Japanese. On the 16th Ōkubo met Wade and, for the first time, gave the British minister an official explanation of the Japanese position, but again he declined Wade’s offer to mediate. Wade had already heard informally about the Japanese position and he knew that some discussion of an indemnity had taken place,45 but in this meeting Wade finally heard directly from Ōkubo that the Japanese would agree to a compromise if the Chinese government recognized that the Japanese action in Taiwan was justified and it offered an indemnity of unspecified amount.46 On October 18, Ōkubo offered his proposal for a compromise directly to negotiators at the Zongli Yamen, and he returned on the 20th to meet Wenxiang, who had been too ill to attend on the 18th. Wenxiang

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continued to assert the Chinese claim to the indigenous territory but he indicated that China would not blame Japan for its actions and the Chinese emperor would compensate the Japanese government for the people who had suffered. Both sides had begun to converge on a settlement but they still could not agree on the details of how China would pay the compensation to Japan, what the compensation should be called, or how the agreement should be reduced to writing. Disagreement over these details once again brought the countries to the point of war. This time the disagreement boiled down to a problem of how to frame the agreement. The two sides disagreed about whether to use Chinese terminology and diplomatic principles in preparing the written agreement or whether to use terminology and principles derived from international law. For example, Chinese negotiators insisted on calling the compensation “consolation” money, a formulation that underscored the Confucian benevolence of the Chinese government toward the families of the shipwrecked Ryūkyūans, whereas the Japanese insisted on calling it an indemnity, a term that suggested China had failed to exercise proper jurisdiction over the indigenous territory. The two sides also disagreed about the amount of compensation, the Japanese demanding an amount to cover the cost of the expedition (three million dollars), and the Chinese offering a much smaller amount only to compensate the families of victims (five hundred thousand dollars). Finally, the two sides disagreed about what should be included in the written agreement. They disagreed about whether the Japanese had the right to ask for compensation for a unilateral military action and whether they could call the indigenous territory unclaimed land. They disagreed about whether the amount of compensation needed to be included in the agreement and even whether a written agreement itself was really necessary.47 The differences over the written agreement arose in part because of different attitudes toward enforcement—an unwritten agreement would be difficult to enforce and an unspecified indemnity impossible to collect—and in part because of concerns about how foreigners would view the agreement. For Western diplomats, payment of an indemnity would validate Japanese claims to sovereignty over the Ryūkyū Kingdom. For both sides, the stakes were too high to finesse the differences, and after a difficult meeting on October 23 failed to produce a solution Ōkubo decided to break off negotiations and leave Beijing. Once again Ōkubo made a striking admission, this time directly to Chinese negotiators. Japanese diplomats and government officials had long insisted,

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at least in public, that the expedition intended only to punish the indigenes who murdered the Ryūkyūans in 1871, but with the two countries once again on the verge of war Ōkubo threatened that if the Chinese did not accede to Japanese demands then the Japanese would proceed with their original plan to annex the indigenous territory.48 Until that point Japanese negotiators had always publicly denied any intention of establishing colonies in Taiwan but when the negotiations reached the point of failure Ōkubo presented the Chinese with a stark choice: take responsibility for the indigenous territory and pay an indemnity, or lose the territory to Japanese colonization. On the 24th, Ōkubo paid a visit to Wade to explain that the negotiations had broken down, and he told Wade that he could not trust the Chinese negotiators because they refused to put their agreement in writing. Wade offered to help and Ōkubo accepted. Over the next week, Wade managed to shepherd the negotiations to completion. Despite reservations on the part of some of the Japanese negotiators that the amount of the indemnity was too small, Wade helped convince them to accept 500,000 taels from the Chinese, and he helped convince the Chinese to accept the final Japanese demands. The Zongli Yamen refused to put the amount of the indemnity in the agreement, but with Wade’s assistance a separate guarantee was included that stated the amount of the indemnity. In the final agreement, the Chinese recognized the validity of the Japanese actions in southern Taiwan and they agreed to pay compensation both to the families of the victims of the atrocity in 1871 and to the Japanese government for the expenses of the occupation of the south. The agreement was signed on October 31, and on November 18 the Chinese government paid 100,000 taels in “consolation money” to the Japanese Consul in Shanghai. After Saigō withdrew his forces from southern Taiwan on December 3, the Chinese paid the remaining 400,000 taels as compensation for the roads and buildings the Japanese had constructed.49 On November 16, Ōkubo Toshimichi visited the Japanese camp in southern Taiwan, on his way back to Japan from Beijing, and he explained to Saigō Tsugumichi how the diplomatic conflict with China had been resolved.50 After that meeting, the Japanese expeditionary force began preparations to leave Taiwan. On November 19, soldiers from the Kumamoto 22nd infantry battalion burned most of the wooden buildings in the Japanese camp and on the next day they burned the barracks that had been built for the soldiers. Many foreigners

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in Tamsui and Takao had helped the Japanese during their explorations of the island in advance of the expedition, and on November 20 Saigō dispatched Kodama Toshikuni to visit them and thank them for their help. The next day a Chinese gunship arrived in Liangkiau carrying the Taiwan Prefect Zhou Maoqi and one hundred Qing troops, and on the next day Zhou paid a visit to Saigō in order to discuss the timing of the Japanese withdrawal. On November 24, the Japanese Grand Chamberlain Higashikuze Michitomi arrived in southern Taiwan to deliver formal instructions from the emperor telling Saigō to withdraw the expeditionary force from Taiwan. Back in late April, the expeditionary force had departed Nagasaki under a cloud when Saigō ignored an attempt by the government to override his imperial orders with a simple Cabinet decision. The government took no chances at the conclusion of the expedition and made sure to deliver a clear imperial order to Saigō. The skulls of the Ryūkyūans who were murdered in 1871, or at least as many of them as could be recovered, had been returned to Japan, and the bodies had been discovered in June and re-interred in a communal grave near the village of Tanlianpo. Fukushima Kyūsei, the Japanese Consul at Amoy, arranged to have a commemorative stele engraved in Amoy and delivered to southern Taiwan, where it stands over their grave to this day. Finally, at 9 a.m. on December 2, Chinese and Japanese troops assembled just outside the Japanese camp, and at 10 a.m. Saigō handed the camp over to the Chinese and the Japanese boarded their ships. As their final act in southern Taiwan, Japanese laborers carried down to the beach all of the personal possessions in the camp that had been abandoned by the Japanese soldiers, doused the discarded items in oil, and set fire to them. The Japanese occupation of southern Taiwan ended as smoke from the bonfire rose into the sky and the last Japanese ship sailed away.51

Reactions to the Japanese Negotiations The conflict between China and Japan over Taiwan unfolded in the context of the unequal treaty system in East Asia, and the Japanese government’s approach toward the negotiations in Beijing influenced Western perceptions of both China and Japan because of Japan’s alignment with Western diplomacy. The responses of Western newspapers to the diplomatic settlement show that Japan’s aggressive approach toward dealing with China surprised Western observers and convinced some of them

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that the Japanese approach might serve as a model for Western powers. For example, an article in the North China Herald argued, From whatever point of view [the diplomatic settlement] is regarded, it is an admission that Japan was not only right in the claims it had advanced, but that it was also right in the mode which it took to enforce them; and this gives it a significance and importance which we trust will not be lost sight of by the Ministers of Foreign Powers, when seeking to enforce claims founded on similar considerations, from the Chinese Government…. Thanks to the Japanese, the way has now been shewn in which such questions should be dealt with. A precedent has been created of which we trust that, in humble imitation of the youngest member of civilised nations, the agents of the older nations will not be slow to avail themselves.52

The article thus claimed not only that Japan’s diplomatic reasoning was valid but also that its aggressive approach was justified. More strikingly, it suggested that foreign powers should emulate the Japanese approach, an admission that Japanese diplomacy had begun to influence Western expectations about diplomatic practice in China. An article in the New York Times offered a similarly positive assessment of the Japanese government’s accomplishments in China. The Japanese approach succeeded, the article suggested, because “For once China was confronted by Oriental cunning and Western bluntness combined.” The article went on to argue that the indemnity Japan gained in the settlement is a triumph of which the youngest member of the family of civilized nations—reckoning by years of formal acknowledgement—may well be proud. The whole affair has been conducted with dignity, shrewdness, and a due regard to that comity of nations which is the closest link binding together the communities of the world.53

The Japanese approach succeeded, according to this view, because it synthesized Western and East Asian diplomatic methods, and the article argued, with naive hyperbole, that Japan’s success had earned it consideration as a member of the family of civilized nations. Japan’s alignment with Western diplomacy made it easier for Japan to gain public support in Western countries for its actions, but at the same time Japan’s participation in the “comity of nations” was perceived as

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fundamentally different—“Oriental”—from that of Western nations. The view of the Japanese relationship with Western nations as one of simultaneous solidarity and opposition mirrored the Japanese view of the relationship. The Japanese approach also changed Chinese policy toward Taiwan. In its dealings with LeGendre several years earlier, the Chinese government had been wary about pacifying the indigenous territory, and for good reason since it would be expensive and difficult. The Japanese intention to establish colonies there demonstrated the vulnerability of Chinese claims to territorial authority, however, leading to a long-term defensiveness in China about Japanese intentions toward Taiwan and provoking decisive action to establish Chinese administrative authority in Taiwan that foreclosed the possibility of future challenges to its territorial authority.54 The Chinese effort to establish civil authority in southern Taiwan began early in 1875, when the Chinese fought a bloody war of pacification against the indigenes. The heaviest fighting took place not against Butan and its surrounding villages but rather against the far more powerful Takubien and its allies just to the north of the area that the Japanese had occupied. The Chinese had to pacify a larger geographical area in order to secure routes for new roads through the mountainous regions that were needed to support and defend a new walled-town and administrative center that they established in Hengchun (formerly the village of Koutang; see Map 7.1). The Chinese also began to take steps to construct a lighthouse on the southernmost peninsula of the island. It would be a decade before the lighthouse was built but in 1875 the Chinese sent the British engineer Michael Beazeley on what he described as a journey “to visit the South Cape, select a site for the lighthouse to be built there, and obtain the necessary piece of land from the savages for the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs.” The party traveled armed and at one point survived a tense encounter with indigenes who were unreceptive to their visit.55 LeGendre’s vague and unspecified threats that the area might be colonized by a foreign power had failed to move the Chinese government but the specific threat posed by the Japanese, both in their invasion of southern Taiwan and in the diplomatic argument about sovereignty they used to justify their actions, could not be ignored. By adding a credible threat of force to a Western argument about sovereignty, the Japanese had changed the impact of Western imperialism and had changed the way the Chinese government defended its territorial authority in southern Taiwan.

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Conclusion In a report to his home government written not long after China and Japan concluded their diplomatic agreement, Thomas Wade admitted that many foreigners, not just Charles LeGendre or the Japanese government, had doubts about China’s claim to the indigenous territory of Taiwan. He also noted that Western sympathies lay more with Japan than China because the Japanese had adopted a “progressist” course as opposed to the “reactionary spirit” of the Chinese and because China had a poor record of honoring its treaty obligations.56 British and American diplomats voiced many objections to Japan’s expedition to Taiwan, principally on the grounds that aggressive action by the Japanese might lead to war, but despite those objections they supported Japan more than they did China because the Japanese shared a commitment to participating in the international system. Japan’s alignment with Western powers helped to build foreign support during its conflict with China over Taiwan. The diplomatic resolution to the conflict maintained the peace but could hardly be seen as a great victory for either China or Japan. The Japanese gained an indemnity far smaller than what they had sought, while the Chinese had to pay an indemnity they bitterly opposed on principle. Despite the limitations, Ōkubo managed to accomplish two important strategic goals for the Japanese government. First, he gained recognition of Japan’s claim of sovereignty over Ryūkyū (the Chinese, on the other hand, gained recognition of their claim to all of Taiwan). The status of Ryūkyū remained uncertain for at least another decade but the settlement in 1874 strengthened Japan’s claim. Second, while the Chinese government hoped to finesse the matter of the indemnity by calling it consolation money, Western diplomats recognized it as an indemnity and saw it as a validation of Japan’s actions in Taiwan. Ōkubo’s success strengthened Japan’s ability in subsequent years to pursue the larger strategic goal of challenging China’s diplomatic authority in East Asia. The negotiations that began in June and continued through November show that the Japanese government’s goal shifted from pursuing colonies in Taiwan to pursuing an indemnity. They also show the close link between those two policy options. Colonization and indemnity were tactical alternatives in a larger strategic challenge to China’s diplomatic dominance in East Asia, and the two policy options could be

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exchanged readily enough because they both rested on the same view of sovereignty that challenged China’s claims to territorial authority. The Japanese negotiating strategy forced the Chinese government to choose between two corollaries of the same fundamental principle: the Chinese must either pay an indemnity for their failure to exercise sovereign authority over the indigenous territory, or they must forfeit their claim to sovereign authority there and open the door to Japanese colonization. The projection of Japanese military power beyond Japan’s borders in 1874 forced the disagreement about sovereignty into the heart of the Sino-Japanese relationship and it fundamentally changed the way the two countries approached the question of diplomatic leadership in East Asia.

Notes





1. Chas. W. LeGendre, Notes of Travel in Formosa, ed. Douglas L. Fix and John Shufelt (Tainan, Taiwan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2012), 321–322, 326–328. 2. Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, ed., Ōkuma monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shakai Kagaku Kenkyūjo, 1958), 1: 26–27. 3. Low to Fish, No. 264, June 13, 1873, United States Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1873 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1873), 188. 4. Saigō Tsugumichi to Ōkuma Shigenobu, June 7, 1874, Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, 1932–1935), 2: 349–364 (hereafter Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo); Ōkuma Shigenobu to Sanjō Sanetomi, June 28, 1874, Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 2: 396–399. 5. Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983), 101–105. 6. “Shinkō oboegaki,” in “Yanagihara kōshi to sanshoku ōfuku naikan genpon kaisō no ken 4 / Meiji 7 nen 7 gatsu 8 nichi kara Meiji 7 nen 9 gatsu 11 nichi”, Gaimushō gaikō shiryōkan, Gaimushō kiroku, 1 mon seiji, 1 rui teikoku gaikō, 2 kō Ajia, Yanagihara kōshi to sanshoku ōfuku naikan (JACAR B03030203300) (hereafter “Memorandum for going to China”); LeGendre’s orders are discussed in frames 14–15. 7. Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936–1940), 7: 155–157 (hereafter DNGB). 8. “Memorandum for going to China;” the zai-Shin danpan yōken is on frames 24–25. 9. DNGB, 7: 18–20; Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Iwakura Tomomi kankei monjo, 8 vols., vols. 18–25 of Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai sōsho (1928; Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1968), 7: 513–514.

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10. Pan Wei to Yanagihara Sakimitsu, June 7, 1874, DNGB, 7: 112–113. 11. “Memorandum for going to China.” 12.  DNGB, 7: 138–139; 7: 317–318. There is confusion in the primary sources about the currency of the indemnity payment. Earlier in the negotiations the Japanese and Chinese discussed amounts in dollars, and later in taels (Chinese currency). The final agreement stated the amounts in taels using the same numerical amounts in earlier discussions (e.g., 500,000 dollars became 500,000 taels) and the actual payments were made in taels. 13.  Ishii, 91–92; “Shikyoku yori Shina kan’in shōkin danpan unnun denshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] shichi gatsu no ni•dai nijūgo satsu (JACAR A03030180400). 14. Lung-chih Chang, “From Island Frontier to Imperial Colony: Qing and Japanese Sovereignty Debates and Territorial Projects in Taiwan, 1874– 1906” (diss.; Harvard University, 2003), 62–67; Motegi Toshio, “Nitchū kankeishi no katarikata: jūkyū seiki kōhan,” in Yang Daqing, Mitani Hiroshi, and Liu Jie, eds., Kokkyō o koeru rekishi ninshiki: Nitchū taiwa no kokoromi (Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 2006), 13. 15. Ishii, 104–105. 16. Ishii, 122–126. 17. Saigō Tsugumichi to Ōkuma Shigenobu, August 11, 1874, Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo, 2: 434; Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi (Tokyo: n.p., 1887), 15–16. 18. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku (Tokyo: Kunii Gorō, 1920), 112–113. 19. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 16–17, 32. 20. “Shikyoku yori Kanagawa-maru hoka ni kan Taiwan shuppan narabi ni Takasago-maru kōkai unnun denshin,” September 24, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 9 gatsu no 11•dai 51 satsu (JACAR A03030262500); “Hayashi kaigun taisa hoka ichimei Ōkuma chōkan e banchi byōsha Kanagawa-maru nite unsō unnun raishin (10 gatsu 13 nichi),” October 13, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan (JACAR A03030789100); “Shikyoku yori Miyazaki ken boshūhei todokazu Keiho-maru bankō unnun denshin,” November 5, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 11 gatsu no 4•dai 74 satsu (JACAR A03030331100). 21. Ishii; Sophia Su-fei Yen, Taiwan in China’s Foreign Relations, 1836–1874 (Hamden, Connecticut: The Shoe String Press, 1965); Fujii Shizue, Jindai Zhong Ri guanxi shi yuanqi: 1871–74 nian Taiwan shijian (Taibei: Jinhe Chubanshe, 1992).

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22. Yen, 251. 23. DNGB, 7: 16–17. 24. Yen, 222; LeGendre to Ōkuma, June 30, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C456, Waseda University Library; Yanagihara to Sanjō, June 10, 1874, Ōkuma monjo A155, Waseda University Library. 25. Ishii, 106–107; Yen, 235. 26. Ishii, 107. 27. Yen, 235–236. 28. Yen, 236–238. 29. Yen, 237. 30. Ishii, 107–109. 31. Ishii, 111. 32. Yen, 252–253; Ishii, 127–130; DNGB, 7: 219–223. 33. DNGB, 7: 228–229, quoted in Yen, 254. 34. Yen, 254–255. 35. Ishii, 130. 36.  Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkubo Toshimichi monjo (10 vols., 1927– 1929), vols. 28–37 of Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai sōsho (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1967–1969), 6: 106; Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkubo Toshimichi nikki (2 vols., 1927), vols. 26–27 of Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai sōsho (Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1969), 2: 316 (hereafter Ōkubo Toshimichi nikki). 37. DNGB, 7: 18–20. 38.  Ōkubo Toshimichi nikki, 2: 316–319; Ishii, 131–132; Yen, 263–264. 39. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 18. 40. Wang Xuexin, trans. and comp., Fenggang ying suo za ji (Nantou Shi: Guo shi guan Taiwan wen xian guan, 2003), 582–592. 41.  See, for example, reports from around East Asia in the North China Herald, September 5, September 19, October 8, October 15, November 5 (all from 1874). 42. Yen, 264–265; Ishii, 134–135. 43. Ishii, 132; Yen, 264–267. 44. Yen, 269–271. 45. Thomas Wade to Earl of Derby, January 30, 1875, Ian Nish, ed., Treaty Revision and Sino-Japanese Dispute over Taiwan, 1868–1876, vol. 21 of British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, Pt. 1, From the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the First World War, Ser. E Asia, 1860–1914, gen. eds. Kenneth Borne and D. Cameron Watt (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1994), 249–250. 46. Yen, 272–274. 47. DNGB, 7: 283–310; Ishii, 155, 167; Yen, 276–278.

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48. DNGB, 7: 298, cited in Yen, 278. 49.  Ōkubo Toshimichi nikki, 2: 328–337; Yen, 278–284; Ishii, 162–181. 50. DNGB, 7: 324–326. 51. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 135–141; Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi, 23–24; Meiji shichinen chihō jimu nisshi, National Central Library, Taibei. 52. Uchikawa Yoshimi and Masato Miyachi, eds., Gaikoku shinbun ni miru Nihon: kokusai nyūsu jiten (3 vols.; Tokyo: Mainichi Komyunikēshonzu, 1989–1990), 2: 38. 53. Uchikawa, et al., 2: 43. 54. Chang, 62–67. 55. Michael Beazeley, “Notes of an Overland Journey through the Southern Part of Formosa, from Takow to the South Cape, in 1875, with an Introductory Sketch of the Island,” in Glen Dudbridge, ed., Aborigines of South Taiwan in the 1880s (Taipei: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 1999), 33–52. 56. Wade to Earl of Derby, January 30, 1875, in Nish, ed., Treaty Revision, 247–248.

CHAPTER 10

Justifying the Expedition in the Japanese Media

After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the new government of Japan set about creating a political system that blended ideas from Japan’s political tradition with ideas from modern European political thinking. It took a generation to transform the imperial institution into a constitutional monarchy, and longer to restructure Japan’s social and political hierarchies to support the new political system. That process had only just begun when the government dispatched its expedition to Taiwan, and it is remarkable that at this early stage of reshaping the political system the government’s justification for colonizing Taiwan so closely resembled its justification for transforming Japan’s domestic political and social hierarchies. To be sure, there were many dissimilarities, but the new hierarchies created inside Japan and the hierarchies envisioned for Taiwan nevertheless relied on similar strategies of appropriating Western norms and modifying them to suit Japanese purposes, and the similarities gave the Japanese media a ready basis for explaining the expedition to an audience unfamiliar with the government’s goals and justifications. The new hierarchies envisioned for Taiwan relied on unfamiliar ideas that had been appropriated from the West, but media accounts made them accessible by using analogies that put the ideas into the context of Japan’s existing politics and society. The analogies were sometimes confused or contradictory because they combined multiple discourses of civilization and dominance, but they nevertheless conveyed clearly not only the meaning of the new hierarchical relationships envisioned for Taiwan but also the fact that Japan had begun to spread a new civilization overseas. © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_10

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In using these analogies, media depictions expressed the civilizing ethos of the expedition without engaging the specific justification for colonization used by the Meiji government. In the early modern period, the government forbid public discussions of politics and enforced the prohibition with censorship. Since political power was thought to derive from hereditary right, and since public opinion did not figure into calculations of political legitimacy except insofar as lords had an obligation to treat the people under their authority with benevolence, the early modern government made little effort to shape public opinion through propaganda. As the effects of the sovereignty revolution described in Chapter 2 spread to Japan public opinion began to matter as a source of political legitimacy, but at the time of the expedition to Taiwan, the new Japanese government had not yet begun to seek popular support for its policies. For that reason, it made no systematic effort to shape public opinion about the expedition through propaganda, although it may have pressured newspapers to suppress opinions that might embarrass it, and it took no great pains to explain to the Japanese public its reasons for the expedition or for planning to colonize Taiwan. Accurate explanations of the government’s justifications did leak to the press, but those explanations did not attract much attention or spark debate. In the end, the media generally ignored the specifics of the government’s reasons for the expedition while depicting its basic premise: that spreading civilization to Taiwan justified the establishment of Japanese political dominance there. That premise embodied the potential unleashed by the Meiji Restoration to spread the transformations of empire beyond Japan’s borders. Media reactions to the expedition suggest a nascent awareness among the ­public of that transformative potential, but in the absence of government propaganda, the public awareness of the premise behind the expedition must have come from somewhere else. It seems to have come from the obvious connection between new ideas about civilization that gained popularity in the early 1870s and the creation of new forms of domestic political dominance after the Meiji Restoration. Not everyone in Japan agreed with the government’s vision or its actions, however, and by the end of 1874, something resembling a public discussion of the politics of the expedition began to emerge in the media and in petitions submitted to the government.

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Analogies of Dominance in the Japanese Media When it came to representing the Taiwan Expedition, the Japanese media did not have a large corpus of imagery available from the early modern period that it could use for depicting what it might mean for Japan to conquer and dominate a foreign land, nor did it have any experience covering an overseas conflict. The most recent overseas military campaigns were Hideyoshi’s disastrous invasions of Korea about three centuries earlier and the Yamato kingdom’s unsuccessful defense of Baekje nearly a millennium before that. Satsuma domain’s conquest of the Ryūkyū Kingdom and the Japanese conquest of Ainu lands at the beginning of the early modern period created the “autonomous yet subordinate peripheries” of the early modern period,1 but those campaigns largely failed to inspire the Japanese imagination.2 The media also had little experience covering contemporary political events. A vibrant publishing industry flourished in Japan’s major cities during the early modern period, and by the middle of the nineteenth century, crude broadsheets called kawaraban played a role similar to newspapers, but their impact remained limited because the Tokugawa government actively suppressed commentary on current political affairs. At the time of the expedition, the Japanese media had only just begun to explore how to participate in discussions about current politics. By the 1870s, a commercial publishing industry had existed in Japan for roughly two centuries, but the advent of newspapers and new printing technologies after the Meiji Restoration, as well as a new culture of public discussion and debate, forced publishers to adapt.3 Many publishers and artists in the woodblock print industry went into the newspaper business, the most famous example being the artist Ochiai Yoshiiku, who helped found the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun.4 Foreign language newspapers began to appear in the foreign settlements of Yokohama and Nagasaki soon after the opening of the ports to international trade, and after the Meiji Restoration, Japanese newspapers began to appear in major cities, but it was not until the mid-1870s that Japanese newspapers began to develop into effective organs of mass communication. At the time of the Taiwan Expedition, Japanese newspapers lacked a ready language for describing Japan’s domination of a foreign land, they had little experience explaining the government’s foreign policy, and they had no experience covering a foreign conflict. The combination of these attributes limited the sophistication of media explanations of the expedition.

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In order to explain the unfamiliar purposes and political implications of the expedition to a broad audience, many media accounts used analogy as a mode of expression. Four kinds of analogies appeared most often in their accounts: analogies to (1) the Civilization and Enlightenment movement (bunmei kaika) that reached its peak in the mid-1870s, (2) the arrival of Commodore Perry and his “black ships” in Japan in the mid-1850s, (3) forms of hierarchy that predated the Meiji Restoration, and (4) the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. These heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory analogies helped to contextualize and make comprehensible the government’s effort to project Japanese political authority to Taiwan. Analogies that linked the activities of the expedition to the Civilization and Enlightenment movement usually involved specific, easily identifiable visual or verbal features that could be associated with civilization, in the sense of aspects of Western civilization that had been appropriated in Japan. In some cases, the textual descriptions that accompanied visual images made the association clearer by referring specifically to the Civilization and Enlightenment movement. Visual features associated with civilization included hairstyles, clothing styles, weapons, furniture, and physical postures. Analogies to Commodore Perry and his black ships were often subtle or implicit, but they would have been inescapably obvious to people over the age of thirty at the time of the expedition to Taiwan, and to most younger people as well. The Perry Expedition of 1853–1854 had an immense psychological impact that shaped understandings of Japan’s relationship to the foreign world for generations. At the time, hundreds of woodblock prints about Perry and his ships were published in Edo and news of his expedition spread throughout the country. In later years, Perry and his black ships became one of the foundational myths of modern Japan and many Japanese understood his expedition either as a metaphorical or as an actual opening of Japan. The opening of Japan to Western civilization formed an important part of the context that helped Japanese audiences understand the government’s actions in Taiwan. A third set of analogies referred to forms of hierarchy that predated the Meiji Restoration. These analogies referred to older ideas and practices that derived from the traditions of Confucianism or samurai authority, and unlike analogies to the Civilization and Enlightenment movement or to Perry, they did not involve a self-conscious response to Western influence. The analogies employed representations of physical

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posture and other expressions of superiority and inferiority to suggest the dominant position of the Japanese and the submission, barbarism, or limited educability of the indigenes of southern Taiwan. Similarly, many sources used Chinese terms—especially the Chinese distinction between “cooked savages” and “raw savages”—to describe the indigenes. These expressions of civilization, grounded in Chinese and Japanese cultural understandings, differed from expressions of the civilization of Western nations and the Civilization and Enlightenment movement, but they reinforced the notion of Japanese cultural superiority. Media accounts, by referring simultaneously to different understandings of civilization, provided a flexible way of understanding the new and unfamiliar power relationships that the expedition sought to establish in southern Taiwan. Finally, media representations made analogies between the indigenes of southern Taiwan and the Ainu, despite the fact that the two populations had virtually nothing in common. References to characteristics associated with the Ainu, principally hair and clothing, provided one more way for the media to contextualize and explain the subordination of the indigenes of southern Taiwan to the Japanese.

The Purposes of the Expedition The Japanese media grasped some of the purposes of the expedition to Taiwan but explained them differently from the government, and while explanations of the purposes of the expedition shifted as the situation in Japan, Taiwan, and China evolved, the media generally acknowledged the punitive purpose of the expedition and recognized it as just. The government publicly acknowledged the “ostensible purpose” of the expedition, to punish the indigenous villagers who murdered 54 shipwrecked mariners from Ryūkyū in 1871, and this became the dominant justification in media reports.5 The government did not publicly acknowledge the expedition’s “real purpose” of establishing colonies in the indigenous territory of Taiwan and did not explain the political justifications that supported that purpose. As a result, the media typically did not mention the colonial purpose of the expedition, with a few exceptions that will be explained below. Even without specific knowledge of the expedition’s colonial purpose, however, the media spoke approvingly of the ideas that informed the government’s justification for colonization. As its default position, the media uncritically accepted the projection of Japanese authority to Taiwan as if the virtues of such a

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policy were a given. The media also demonstrated a nearly all-consuming concern with the contrast between civilization and barbarism, usually framing the presumed barbarism or savagery of the indigenous people of Taiwan as an affirmation of the civilization Japan had only recently appropriated from the West. Japanese media coverage of the expedition began in early April 1874 as the government prepared for its dispatch, and the coverage reached a peak in June when newspapers prominently featured stories about the Japanese battles with the indigenes. Although the government took pains to shape foreign opinion about the expedition, going so far as to hire the American journalist E. H. House to serve as a government publicist and to support the pro-government Tokei Journal, it did not make similar propaganda efforts in the Japanese language press.6 The government still saw little need to cultivate popular support to legitimize its domestic political authority, but it understood that it needed foreign support to legitimize its diplomatic authority. Still, even though the government did not engage in domestic propaganda, there can be little doubt that in a few cases members of the government either leaked information about the expedition to newspapers or wrote anonymous articles for them. The nature of the press coverage changed after the British and American ministers to Japan began to raise objections to the expedition in April and May. Newspaper articles began to stress the punishment of the “savages” as the sole purpose of the expedition and generally ignored the government’s longer-term interests in Taiwan, but there is no evidence that the government actively censored press coverage. It is more likely that members of the government modified the story they told to the newspapers in order to avoid British and American criticism and that newspapers engaged in self-censorship to avoid topics that would antagonize the government. Despite the government’s reluctance to acknowledge the e­ xpedition’s real purpose in Taiwan, at least two Japanese newspaper articles openly explained its colonial purpose. An article in the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun by Kishida Ginkō was the first to mention it.7 Although Kishida never attained the prominence of the great political and intellectual leaders of the Meiji period, the trajectory of his life followed a pattern similar to many of them. He left the family business to pursue his studies in Edo, became increasingly xenophobic in the 1850s, and despite his status as a merchant, he briefly entered the service of a domain lord. His attitude toward Westerners changed, however, after he visited the newly

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opened treaty port of Yokohama in the 1860s to receive treatment for an eye ailment from the American missionary James Hepburn. While in Yokohama, he met Joseph Hico (Hamada Hikozō), who he later helped found Japan’s first newspaper, the Kaigai shinbun, as well as the American merchant Eugene van Reed who later helped him found the newspaper Yokohama mōshiogusa. Through his newspaper work and his experiences in Yokohama, Kishida understood earlier than most Japanese just how profoundly the country would be transformed by its encounter with Western civilization. Because of this outlook, he was wellprepared in 1874 to explain to a newspaper audience the true purpose of the Taiwan Expedition. Kishida did not serve as a mouthpiece for the government, however, and he only managed to go to Taiwan by convincing Ōkura Kihachirō, the civilian procurer for the expedition, to let him join the civilian support personnel. In southern Taiwan, his English language ability proved indispensable and Saigō Tsugumichi hired him as an interpreter. Kishida thus found himself in a perfect position to collect information about the expedition, and the reports he sent back to the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun proved enormously popular.8 Kishida wrote his article explaining the government’s plans to annex eastern Taiwan while he was still in Nagasaki. He explained in the first line of the article that “someone” gave him access to a map explaining the plans for the expedition (Fig. 10.1), referring almost certainly to Charles LeGendre, and his article spelled out the expedition’s colonial plans with striking accuracy.9 Kishida added a series of notes to the map, beginning at the upper left and circling counterclockwise to the lower right, that explained the projected actions that Japanese forces would take, starting with the occupation of the south and continuing until the entire east coast had been occupied. According to the last of the notes, the process of annexation would be completed by the autumn or winter of 1874. The accompanying article described the boundary that separated “Chinese territory” from the territory of the “native barbarians,” and the map showed it as a dotted line running roughly north to south (right to left in the illustration) above the central mountain range of Taiwan, in roughly the same location as the boundary shown on LeGendre’s map of the island (see Fig. 3.1). Kishida’s depiction of the boundary followed the interpretation of LeGendre and other Western observers who understood it not as the limit of Chinese administrative authority in Taiwan but rather as the limit of Chinese sovereign authority, and the map depicted simply and accessibly the Japanese

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Fig. 10.1  Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, May 15, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo)

government’s intention to annex eastern Taiwan because it lay outside of Chinese control. The article that accompanied the map explicitly identified the colonial intent of the expedition by explaining the planned conquest of eastern Taiwan: In order to expand the territory of the empire, Japanese government troops would take control of the land not controlled by China and colonize it (shokuminchi to nashi), stationing soldiers there in order to develop the land gradually, felling the trees and burning back the brush, and guiding the native barbarians to civilization by educating them. Kishida’s article explained not simply that Japan would colonize the indigenous territory, but also that colonization meant bringing civilization to the indigenes there. In his article, Kishida explained clearly the real purpose of the expedition and the key elements of the government’s rationale for annexing the indigenous territory, but he did so without echoing the specific rhetoric or justifications of the government.

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Kishida’s article was not the only one that revealed the colonial purpose of the expedition. An article by an anonymous author in the Kōbun tsūshi on June 12 also openly identified the goals of the expedition. It compared Taiwan—the whole island and not just the indigenous territory—to an object that was abandoned along the road and argued that on that basis Japan had a right to claim Taiwan as its own. It identified the two purposes of the expedition, to punish the indigenes who murdered the Ryūkyūans and to establish a permanent presence in Taiwan, and it asserted that both purposes were justified because China had abandoned the island. It further offered a specific explanation of Japan’s justification for colonizing Taiwan in terms that recalled the government’s rationale: Concerning the recent matter of punishing Taiwan, various parties have made confusing and divergent arguments, one side advocating a long-term policy of managing and developing the land and the other advocating the punishment of the guilty, and foreigners sometimes argue that the land in question is under Chinese jurisdiction. From the outset no one has made the [Chinese] government’s true intentions clear, but if we consider the background of the Taiwan matter, when the ambassador plenipotentiary [Soejima] went to the Qing capital last year and asked about the administration of Taiwan, they answered unequivocally that the savage land is unclaimed. There is no way that unclaimed savage land could be under Qing jurisdiction and for that reason alone it cannot be a Qing possession, and since there is no doubt Taiwan is abandoned land that belongs to no foreign country, no one dare refuse us if we colonize it. Furthermore, when our people were murdered or accosted and robbed,10 our soldiers were dispatched to that land in order to punish the guilty parties and in a quick, successful military expedition they attained the surrender of the various villages, but now it will be necessary to establish various means of governing [the land] to prevent savage violence from breaking out once again. We should not stop our efforts at this, however, since we would be within our rights, without any reason for interference from foreigners, to undertake missionary work in order to enlighten the hearts of the people, to increase the wealth of the land by teaching the methods of farming, and so on.11

The article is unusual in the explicit and clear explanation it gives of the official purposes of and justification for the expedition. It starts by identifying the two purposes of the expedition, developing the land and

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punishment, and it openly justifies Japanese colonization of the land based on the same justification that the government used, namely that it is outside of Chinese jurisdiction and is unclaimed savage land. It asserts the need for the Japanese to establish civil authority to prevent a recurrence of savage violence and that Japan has a mission to enlighten the hearts of the people. In a key difference from the official explanations, it provides a broader context for understanding the justifications for the expedition by emphasizing the savagery of the indigenes and speaking positively of a civilizing mission for Japan.

Civilization, National Prestige, and National Authority Most media accounts of the expedition did not mention the government’s plan to establish colonies in Taiwan or a specific relationship of colonial dominance, but they did depict relationships of dominance over the indigenes of Taiwan that were defined by references to civilization, national prestige, and national authority. When they portrayed the projection of Japanese authority overseas, media representations of the expedition extolled Japan’s prestige in the world, usually by extravagantly praising the modest military success of Japanese forces over the indigenes as a source of national pride. They also framed the projection of Japanese authority as an act of transmitting civilization to Taiwan, and they portrayed the submission of the indigenes as part of a civilizing process that justified Japanese authority in a way that affirmed, perhaps unknowingly, the key principle of the government’s justification for colonizing Taiwan. To frame the projection of political authority overseas as a specifically Japanese act—an act that appertained to the nation as a whole—had little precedent in Japan. Notions of Japan as a more-or-less unified polity were nothing new in 1874, a Japanese state having existed for over a millennium, and the idea of Japan as a geographically and politically unified archipelago became stronger and more widely shared during the early modern period, but the strict status divisions of early modern society and strong regional cultures mitigated against expressions of a unified national political identity.12 That began to change in the early Meiji period. One symbol of Japanese national authority, the hinomaru or “Rising Sun” flag, had only come into use after the Perry Expedition, but by 1874, it was a common symbol of Japan as a whole. The authority of the imperial house also served as a symbol of Japanese authority. It too had existed in Japan for over a millennium, and it came to be

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respected by a wider range of society during the early modern period, but the use of imperial authority as a justification for projecting Japanese authority overseas was likewise something new. Media representations of the expedition openly contextualized the projection of Japanese authority to Taiwan by associating it with these symbols and with the ideas of national prestige and imperial prestige, but they also associated it with Japan’s military authority or prestige. In hindsight, it is clear that after the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government derived its legitimacy mostly from imperial authority, but in 1874, before the government’s victory against former samurai in the Satsuma Rebellion decisively foreclosed the possibility of a special political role for former samurai based on hereditary right, it was still an open question just how much of the authority of the Meiji government derived from the hereditary authority of the imperial house and how much from the hereditary authority of the former samurai. Since that issue had not been settled yet in 1874, media accounts of the expedition often represented Japan’s national authority through a combination of both imperial and military authority. In asserting Japanese dominance in Taiwan, media accounts relied heavily on depicting the defeat and submission of the indigenes. In June and July of 1874, Japanese newspapers reported how the leaders of various villages in southern Taiwan had capitulated to Japanese authority, which they described as an act of submission. By refracting their representations of submission through an understanding of civilization and savagery, Japanese media accounts conveyed a view of Japanese authority that differed in its specifics from the government view but that suggested a similar conclusion. Whereas the government saw submission as a step toward establishing Japanese jurisdiction over the indigenous territory, and therefore as a justification for annexation, media accounts generally interpreted submission as the beginning of a process of civilizing the indigenes that would establish Japanese authority over them. Media accounts thus linked submission to the assertion of Japanese authority that was established through a civilizing process that did not rely on the legal principles of jurisdiction or sovereignty. In explaining what submission meant the accounts relied on a combination of symbols of hierarchy from the early modern period and from the Civilization and Enlightenment movement. The woodblock print in Fig. 10.2, for example, shows such a scene of submission and civilizing. The print, by Yoshiiku, depicts a pair of indigenes bowing submissively before a fierce-looking Japanese soldier. Their respective postures

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Fig. 10.2  Ochiai Yoshiiku (October 1874), “Tokyo nichinichi shinbun nanahyaku gojūni gō” (Tokyo Daily Newspaper No. 752) (Source Waseda University Library)

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express dominance and subordination in much the same way that early modern prints expressed social and political hierarchy, but the soldier’s cropped hair and clothing, though not his weapon, allude to the civilizing imperative of the Civilization and Enlightenment movement. The indigenes thus are shown bowing down not to an undifferentiated image of Japanese authority but rather to an image of Japanese authority in the process of being transformed by Japan’s engagement with Western civilization. The text, by Takabatake Ransen,13 describes the process of subjugating the indigenes in somewhat different terms, building an implicit contrast between Japan’s engagement with Western civilization in the Civilization and Enlightenment movement and the enlightenment of the indigenes, which he associates with Japan’s imperial prestige and military prowess: All the savage tribes of Taiwan have surrendered to our forces, but among them the savages of only Botan [Butan] village fled deep into the mountains and did not come out, [so] the entire army attacked in mass from three directions, setting fire to the mountains so that they had no place to hide. The chiefs who had already submitted acted as intermediaries, and on the first day of the seventh month of the year 2534 of imperial rule [1874], [the Butan] came to the headquarters to apologize for [their] transgressions and surrendered in earnest. Thereafter the savage land became completely tranquil. It must be said that this expedition to punish the savages is the first stage in advancing the enlightenment of this island.

The text situates the military victory over the indigenes in the context of imperial authority, indicated here by the number of years since the beginning of imperial rule, a reference to the mythical origins of the imperial house. The combined reference to Japan’s traditions of military authority and imperial prestige valorized the process of civilizing the indigenes and, by extension, valorized the assertion of Japanese dominance over them. The print in Fig. 10.3, an anonymous broadsheet entitled “Taiwan gunki” (A Military Tale of Taiwan), shows how complex the representation of submission could be. To explain the submission of the indigenes, the print relies on a dense web of analogies to Japan’s national prestige, authority from the early modern period, and references to the Civilization and Enlightenment movement. The visual image stresses the

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Fig. 10.3  Anonymous kawaraban (c. 1874), “Taiwan gunki” (A Military Tale of Taiwan) (Source Waseda University Library)

nationality of the soldiers by placing them beneath a banner that reads “Great Japan” and next to a pair of Rising Sun flags, symbols that had long histories in Japan but that became explicit symbols of the nation only in the Meiji period. The text, by contrast, stresses the savagery of the indigenes. The Butan, it says, “burrow into crags to make their dwellings, the spirit of the people is violent and they eat the flesh of people,” exaggerating their savagery by emphasizing their violence and by referring to unfounded claims of cannibalism and cave-dwelling. The image of the indigenes on the left of the print shows them as largeheaded, hirsute, and wearing rough clothing, making a visual analogy to the Ainu in order to show their subordination to the civilized Japanese. The image of the Japanese soldiers on the right is an odd conflation of early modern tropes of military authority and tropes of Western civilization. The general, for example, sits with his legs apart, an early modern

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trope of military dominance, and he wears a samurai’s coat of arms and breastplate, attire abandoned during the modernization of the military after the Meiji Restoration. In early modern prints, military leaders would be shown sitting on folding stools with their legs spread apart, a sign of their authority over the lower-ranking samurai around them, but in this case, the general is seated on a chair, a Western implement that was appropriated during the Meiji period, to convey the message that Japan’s status as a civilized nation derives from the appropriation of Western civilization. The same theme appeared in illustrations of civil ordinances promulgated in Japan only a year or two before the expedition as part of the effort to “civilize” Japan. Illustrations of the ordinances regularly depicted government officials seated in chairs, clad in trousers, and sporting close-cropped haircuts, all symbols of Western culture, as they dispensed justice to the Japanese transgressors who knelt before them in clothing and hairstyles characteristic of the early modern period (see Fig. 10.4).14 The chair in “Taiwan gunki” is thus not

Fig. 10.4  Shōchō Ikkei (1873), “Etoki gojūyokajō” (Pictorial Explanation of the Fifty-or-so Clauses), clauses 1 and 2 (Source National Diet Library)

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an isolated reference to Western civilization, but rather, it refers to the appropriation of Western civilization that helped to redefine domestic political authority in Japan after the Meiji Restoration, and it asserts that the Japanese are establishing an analogous authority over the indigenes of Taiwan. The print also makes a striking visual allusion to the Perry Expedition. The composition of the visual image in “Taiwan gunki” follows the composition of popular prints that depicted the fictive submission of Commodore Perry and the American “barbarians” to the Japanese in 1853–1854 (see Fig. 10.5).15 Despite the fact that the government at the time utterly failed to expel or defeat the Perry Expedition, dozens of the most popular prints from those years inverted the foreign threat and showed Perry or American “barbarians” as a defeated enemy.16 In “Taiwan gunki,” as in prints of a “defeated” Perry in the 1850s, the dominant Japanese forces sit beneath military banners and their leader looks down upon the submissive enemy who bows down in obeisance to the Japanese. Through this visual analogy to a “defeated” Perry, “Taiwan

Fig. 10.5  Anonymous and untitled kawaraban (c. 1854), showing Commodore Perry capitulating to the Japanese (Source Kurofunekan, a General Incorporated Foundation)

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gunki” inscribed the power to dominate onto Japan and showed that Japan now had the ability to establish dominance over other Asians through an appropriation of Western civilization, and at the same time, it displaced the earlier subordination of the American “barbarians” onto the “barbarous” indigenes of Taiwan. Displacing the 1850s “barbarism” of the Americans onto the 1870s indigenes of Taiwan entailed transforming what subordination meant. For one thing, it straightened out the inverted view of submission in prints from the 1850s; Perry never capitulated in 1853–1854 whereas the indigenes actually did in 1874. For another, the text marked the subordinate status of the indigenes through the Western dichotomy of civilization and savagery rather than through the early modern categories of barbarism that were used to describe Perry and the Americans in the 1850s. The print’s displacement of subordination onto the indigenes required a dense and complex set of inversions and analogies, but its meaning was readily apparent: The threat of Japan’s subordination to the West in the 1850s had been displaced by enacting Japanese dominance over the indigenes. The print suggested a similarity between Western and Japanese dominance, and simultaneously the rejection of any similarity between the subordination of the Japanese and the indigenes of Taiwan. By appropriating the methods of Western dominance over Asian peoples, Japan could assert a simultaneous affinity with and opposition to Western dominance and likewise could assert a position of Japanese leadership over other Asians justified by Japan’s appropriation of Western civilization. The inversions and analogies of the print thus asserted a recursive relationship between Western and Japanese dominance. Other analogies to the Perry Expedition proved useful in media depictions of the expedition, for example, analogies to the black ships made it easier to visualize similarities and differences between American dominance and Japanese dominance. One example can be seen in the newspaper illustration in Fig. 10.6, which shows several ships in Shaliao Bay near the expedition’s headquarters, most likely representing a scene at the end of May. The flags on three of the black ships at the left show they are Japanese, while the second ship from the right is British, and the ships to the left and right of it are Chinese (the half-hidden ship in the background is a fourth Japanese ship). The British, fearing that war with China might erupt if Japan pressed forward with its expedition, sent warships to Taiwan to keep an eye on the Japanese.17 The Chinese, on the other hand, sent two warships of their own to deliver a message from the

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Fig. 10.6  Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, June 10, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo)

governor-general of Fujian and Zhejiang to Saigō Tsugumichi to protest the Japanese expedition.18 The visual analogy in the illustration between Perry’s black ships and the Japanese ships sent to Taiwan would have been difficult to miss in the 1870s. The illustration situates the ships geographically in a manner reminiscent of black ship prints from the 1850s, but with a key transposition. Prints of Perry’s black ships invariably placed the viewer on shore and identified the geographical landmarks of Edo Bay that lay around and behind the viewer. This illustration places the viewer at sea (the hand at the lower right points west, across the Taiwan Strait toward Amoy), and it identifies geographical landmarks in front of the viewer, such as the Japanese camp just right of center and the three large Chinese and mixed-race villages to the left and right of the Japanese camp. Locating the viewer’s perspective in this way conveys a message about movement: In prints showing the Perry Expedition, the black ships arrived by moving toward the viewer, suggesting an invasive movement toward the Japanese, whereas in this illustration Japan’s black ships arrived by moving away from the viewer and toward land, suggesting an invasive movement by the Japanese toward the people of southern Taiwan. The difference highlights an important change in Japan’s role, from being

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opened to the West by Perry’s arrival to Japan’s opening of southern Taiwan through an analogous arrival that reversed Japan’s relationship to the act of opening. Many of the readers who saw the newspaper illustration of the black ships shown in Fig. 10.6 would have understood the scene as a Japanese appropriation of Western dominance and power because the analogies to what the Americans had done in Japan in 1853–1854 were too obvious and too powerful to overlook. In 1874, black ships not only provided a literal means of projecting Japanese military power overseas, they also inevitably evoked symbolic meanings of Western imperialist power, and in that sense, the newspaper illustration suggests that Japan, in projecting its force to Taiwan, had appropriated the power of Western imperialism. Media accounts also depicted Japan’s dominance over the indigenes as a sign of Japan’s national prestige. The text in the print “Taiwan gunki,” for example, included two fictive speeches by Japanese leaders who warned against bringing shame upon Great Japan, and it claimed in its conclusion that the military campaign that forced the last of the indigenes to submit “is Japan’s glory and is truly a courageous feat.” A triptych by Yoshiiku from October 1874 conveys much the same message, depicting the fighting as a glorious victory for Japan (Fig. 10.7). The journalist Okada Ryūgin, one of Yoshiiku’s associates at the Tokyo

Fig. 10.7  Ochiai Yoshiiku (October 1874), “Tokyo nichinichi shinbun nanahyaku jūni gō” (Tokyo Daily Newspaper No. 712) (Source Waseda University Library)

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nichinichi shinbun, wrote the text in the cartouche in the upper left of the triptych.19 Okada’s text, based only loosely on a report in the June 10 edition of the newspaper, described the May 22 battle at Sekimon in the following way: It was in the seventh year of Meiji [1874] when Japanese soldiers came to this island to punish the violence of the Taiwan raw savages. But the untutored savages do not know ethics and they attacked without warning, so at last the hideout of the Botan [Butan] race was attacked in May in order to suppress them with the military power of the empire….[For their defense, the Butan] relied on cliffs so steep that a single person defending could impede the advance of ten thousand, and using large stones they made battlements that blocked any movement. From there they let loose a hail of gunfire. At this point our troops contrived a plan. They managed with great effort to circle around a mountain that had no footpaths, and aiming down at the stronghold of the Botan from the side of the mountain they fired like hail pelting down in the onslaught of a strong mountain storm. The savages lost heart and they surrendered and apologized, and at dawn on May 22 Japan’s imperial prestige shone before the world in this battle at Sekimon.

Okada’s text credited the victory over the indigenes to Japan’s military power, evoking the prestige of the samurai class, but the victory also raised Japan’s status throughout the world by increasing the prestige of the empire. While Okada’s rhetoric left open the question of whether imperial prestige or samurai valor constituted the source of Japanese dominance over the indigenes, his text claimed directly that the projection of Japanese authority overseas improved Japan’s status in the world. The visual image of Yoshiiku’s print used a different set of codes to convey Japanese dominance over the indigenes, and it suggested a different ambiguity about the source of Japanese dominance: It may derive either from Japan’s martial tradition or from its engagement with Western civilization. Read from upper right to lower left, the images in the print convey Japanese dominance in multiple ways. The Japanese figures are placed in an elevated position in the print, they appear either composed and confident (such as the officers on the right) or fierce and threatening (such as the soldiers in the middle), and they stand over the dead bodies of several indigenes (the second Japanese figure from the right, for example, holds up the head of a dead indigene by his queue). The portrayal of the indigenes, on the other hand, evinces an utter lack

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of valor. They are either dead (foreground) or running away from the Japanese in fear (background). The depiction of Japan’s military victory draws on the enormously popular theme of samurai valor from early modern woodblock prints, but at the same time, the tradition of samurai valor has been clothed quite literally in Western symbols of power characteristic of the Civilization and Enlightenment movement: The soldiers sport close-cropped hair, trousers, and jackets. Something about Yoshiiku’s portrayal of the indigenes is peculiar, however. Okada’s text leaves no doubt that the scene is the battle against the indigenes at Sekimon on May 22, but in Yoshiiku’s illustration, the indigenes look Chinese. This choice could not have been innocent. Yoshiiku knew quite well the artistic conventions for representing Chinese people that were used in woodblock prints about Yokohama in the 1860s, and earlier in 1874, he did several illustrations of indigenes—visually different from the people in this print—that were based on sketches by Japanese observers in Taiwan such as Kishida Ginkō. The timing of the print suggests his reason for depicting the indigenes as Chinese. Some of the best-known woodblock prints showing the fighting in southern Taiwan, including this one, were published in the autumn of 1874, months after the fighting had ended in Taiwan but at the peak of concern that war with China might break out. Yoshiiku probably decided to show the indigenes as Chinese in order to take advantage of interest in a possible war with China. By making this visual analogy, however, the illustration suggests that the Chinese were no more civilized than the indigenes and that the Japanese Army would defeat them just as easily should war break out. The implication of the visual analogy is that by 1874, it had become possible, on the basis of Japan’s appropriation of Western civilization, to see Japan as superior not just to the indigenes of Taiwan but also to the Chinese. In this way, the attitude expressed in Yoshiiku’s print anticipated the better-known Japanese attitude toward China in the 1880s and 1890s.20

Savagery, Barbarism, and Race Savagery and barbarism served as the flip side of civilization in media depictions of the indigenes of southern Taiwan, and by exaggerating their savagery and barbarism, the media strengthened the impression that Japan needed to lead them to civilization. The government’s justification for colonizing Taiwan relied on a similar argument that Japan

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had an obligation to bring civilization to the indigenes there, but government sources did not stress their savagery. The stress in the media on savagery may have been due to a choice by the Japanese writers and artists to offer lurid and sensationalistic stories that would appeal to their audience—the media often served up exaggerated and grotesque stories of violence—but no matter what the motivation the result was that media accounts conveyed a strong impression that the indigenes of Taiwan were not simply barbarians but also were violent savages who needed to be tamed by civilization. Frequent references to race, a concept virtually unheard of before the Meiji period, helped to contextualize their savagery and the conceptual linkages between civilization, savagery, and race pushed the understandings of barbarism found in early modern discourse into entirely new territory. The exaggerated depictions of the savagery of the indigenes, and especially the many unfounded references to cannibalism, worked in tandem with categorizations of race and civilization to justify Japanese dominance. This use of the idea of savagery, even beyond its meaning as the antithesis of Western civilization, had virtually no precedent in Japan, and media accounts used concepts of race and savagery to assert and contextualize a new Japanese dominance over the indigenes of Taiwan. The precise origins of the Japanese discourse on race have yet to be elucidated by historians. Fukuzawa Yukichi is often credited with popularizing the term race in his work Seiyō jijō (Conditions in the West, 1868),21 but the term was used decades earlier in Konyo zushiki (1845), a translation by Mitsukuri Shōgo of a Dutch geography. The idea of race gained further currency after the opening of Yokohama as a treaty port in 1859 when the famous woodblock print artist Hashimoto Sadahide used the term in his guidebook Yokohama kaikō kenmonshi (1862–1865).22 The term race truly broke into widespread use, however, in news reports about the Taiwan Expedition in 1874. Indeed, it is surprising to see how widespread and commonplace it became in the Japanese media at that time. It appeared in articles prepared by professional journalists, in letters to the editor, and in correspondence from Taiwan—often written by Japanese naval officers or civilian suppliers—that was later published by newspapers.23 Although the idea of race was rare before the Meiji Restoration, by 1874 it had become commonplace and strongly associated with the projection of Japanese authority overseas. Japanese writers used the term quite flexibly, similar to the usage of Westerners at the time, and it often did not have the same meaning that

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it has today. For example, in explaining the Taiwan Expedition various Japanese writers used the word race to describe groups of vastly different size, including very small groups such as the villagers of Butan in southern Taiwan and much larger groups such as the Malay race or the Chinese race; precisely the same usages can be seen in the writings of Westerners at the time.24 Also similar to Western usage, the concept of race often connoted inferiority when it was contrasted to nations, and while the characteristics associated with race varied widely, they usually included features, such as dark skin color and a lack of civilization, that derived from European discourse. In some cases, however, Japanese mentions of race were associated with characteristics of barbarism that dated from the early modern period and that had been colored by Chinese understandings of civilization.25 In addition to their frequent references to race, newspaper accounts often exaggerated the violent nature of the indigenes, characterizing them as cruel, inhuman, and ignorant of civilization (sometimes expressed by the older Japanese term kyōka) or as lacking ethics (the Confucian jinri), and many articles accused them—unjustly—of cannibalism. The distinction made here between Meiji-era understandings of savagery and early modern notions of barbarism is subtle but important. Both refer indirectly to civilization by suggesting its absence, but they do not necessarily refer to the same idea of civilization. Savagery, typically the antithesis of Western civilization, implied cruelty and violence, whereas early modern references to barbarism almost never implied cruelty or violence. In this sense, references to race were closely related to connotations of savagery and to the imperative under Western imperialism to bring civilization to the uncivilized regions and races of the world. Media accounts of the expedition, by participating in a discourse of savagery and race, thus affirmed the basic premise of the government’s justification for colonizing Taiwan—that Japan needed to bring civilization to the savages there—even as the media remained generally ignorant of the specific justification of the government. To be sure, references in the Japanese media to savagery and race were not a simple replication of ideas relating to Western civilization, rather they were often complicated by references to Chinese understandings of civilization. One common sign of Chinese influence is the many descriptions of the indigenes as cooked savages or raw savages. For example, the Yūbin hōchi shinbun of April 16, 1874 described the indigenes in the following terms:

318  R. ESKILDSEN The eastern part [of Taiwan] is inhabited entirely by natives. Those among them who have attained a measure of civilization are called cooked savages. They regularly engage in trade with the Chinese and they can understand each others’ languages. They are not violent by nature. The next group are called raw savages. There are about 200,000 of them. This kind trades with the cooked savages, but knows little of ethics. Known as native barbarians they comprise the eighteen savage races. They are wild and rapacious, have large bodies and are very strong.

According to this view, civilization, violence, trade, and language served as a matrix that organized the indigenes hierarchically. Among the natives (dojin) of Taiwan, the cooked savages commanded more respect than the raw savages because they had Chinese trading partners and were not violent. The cooked savages had also attained a degree of civilization, from China rather than Europe, and the report described their partial civilization as kyōka, a term used during the first half of the nineteenth century either to describe the Japanese effort to “civilize” the Ainu, an indigenous people living at the northern periphery of Japan,26 or to elevate other presumably inferior peoples, such as peasants.27 The article thus credited the partial civilization of the cooked savages to Chinese civilization and explained it by analogy to kyōka, an early modern Japanese term for enculturation. Violence remained the most pronounced characteristic of the raw savages, however, and it gave fuller meaning to their lack of ethics, understood by the Confucian term jinri. Unlike the partial civilization of the cooked savages, however, the violence of the raw savages had no obvious antecedents in early modern descriptions of subordinate or inferior peoples.28 In this way, media accounts such as this newspaper article used familiar concepts of hierarchy and cultural difference from the early modern period, as well as Chinese concepts of civilization, to give fuller meaning to the newly important characteristics of savagery and violence that were attributed to the indigenes of Taiwan. Media accounts of the expedition also exaggerated reports of cannibalism to stress the savage nature of the indigenes. The indigenes practiced headhunting, to be sure,29 but not cannibalism, and the earliest reports of cannibalism were inspired by the Western expectation that they engaged in that quintessentially uncivilized act. Even after credible first-hand reports appeared in Japanese newspapers explaining that the indigenes did not practice cannibalism, media accounts—including books—continued to accentuate their savagery by describing them

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as cannibals.30 Figure 10.8 shows an illustration from Meiji taiheiki, a popular history of the Meiji period published two years after the expedition, that shows the persistence of the view of the indigenes as cannibals. Reports of cannibalism persisted because they confirmed assertions of Japan’s status as a civilized nation and fulfilled Western expectations of savagery, but also because they conformed to older associations from the early modern period. Expressions of foreign cannibalism dated back to the beginning of the early modern period, including one influential account that was inspired by sixteenth-century European reports of cannibalism in Brazil. Mention of foreign cannibals that derived from this account remained confined for hundreds of years, however, to rare and conventionalized references to Brazilians who ate the flesh of men and lived in burrows in the ground,31 before being redeployed in the 1870s to describe the indigenes of Taiwan. The way that media accounts of the expedition accentuated the savagery of the indigenes is quite striking, but what gave full meaning to their savagery were the many implicit and explicit comparisons between

Fig. 10.8  Sensai Eitaku, book illustration, Meiji taiheiki vol. 8 (1876) (Source Waseda University Library)

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the violent, savage races of Taiwan, and the civilized nation of Japan. For example, a personal letter published in the Yūbin hōchi shinbun in June contrasted the “Butan race” and other “cruel races” in Taiwan to “our countrymen,” meaning the slaughtered Ryūkyūans who were uncritically subsumed into Japanese nationality.32 A long letter to the editor published in the Kōbun tsūshi in April similarly contrasted the barbarous and evil races of indigenes to Japanese nationals.33 This letter did not assume that the Ryūkyūans were Japanese, rather it described how the people of Ryūkyū, hearing that Japan had become the leader of Asia (Nipponkoku no kyodai Ajiashū ni kantaru yoshi), came to Tokyo to ask for the protection of the empire, and as a result, their kingdom was absorbed into Japan. The letter anticipated pan-Asianist arguments from decades later by describing Japan as a civilized nation that was the leader of Asia, and it suggested that Japan, as a nation, would protect Ryūkyū from the savage races in Taiwan. While it is difficult to draw hard and fast conclusions why media representations of the expedition exaggerated references to race and savagery, one effect is that it asserted an elevated status for Japan as a civilized society and as a nation. The exaggeration thus raised a subtle, implicit challenge to the way that Europeans and Americans categorized Japan as subordinate. Simply by asserting the contrast between Japan as a civilized nation and people from elsewhere in Asia as races, Japanese writers could assert a higher status for Japan in Asia and challenge Western assertions of Japanese subordination.

Evolving Attitudes Toward the Expedition Early media coverage of the expedition to Taiwan displayed a wide range of attitudes, but in general, the coverage affirmed the government’s actions and extolled the exploits of the Japanese military in southern Taiwan. Due to the time lag in receiving news from Taiwan, many of the stories described events that had happened weeks earlier, and the number of stories about Taiwan declined in July after the news of Japan’s victory over the indigenes at the beginning of June had been reported. A few stories about Taiwan continued to appear in Japanese newspapers, notably a series of articles by Kishida Ginkō,34 but not surprisingly the long and generally uneventful occupation of southern Taiwan after hostilities ended drew less attention in the media.

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As Japan’s involvement in Taiwan dragged on attitudes toward the expedition began to shift and something resembling a public discussion about it began to develop. Three issues dominated the shifting discussion: (1) geopolitical concerns about Taiwan, especially whether Britain might intervene in a potential conflict between China and Japan, (2) questions about the readiness of the Japanese Army, and (3) concerns about the fiscal burden that the expedition placed on the government and the nation. Public support for the expedition remained strong, but it was by no means unanimous, and some critics voiced reservations about its fiscal impact and the risk of Western intervention. As the diplomatic conflict with China dragged on the public seemed ready to accept that war might break out if the negotiations in Beijing failed to produce an accord, and in the autumn of 1874, the focus in the media shifted from expressions of Japan’s dominance over the indigenes of Taiwan to the possibility of armed conflict with China. Concern about the geopolitical consequences of the expedition appeared in newspaper articles as early as April, even before the expedition had departed for Taiwan, but the concerns rose to a new level in August. The diplomatic course pursued by Soejima Taneomi in 1873, informed by the opinions and experience of Charles LeGendre, assumed that since the indigenous territory of Taiwan was “unclaimed land” neither the Western powers nor China would object if Japan invaded the south and annexed the eastern portion of the island. The strength of British and American objections to the expedition in April and May of 1874 caught the Japanese government by surprise, as did the increasingly bellicose response of the Chinese government and, as Chapter 9 showed, the strength of the Chinese reaction prompted the Japanese government to shelve its plans for establishing colonies in Taiwan in early July. On August 10, a political cartoon appeared in the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun that depicted Japan’s surprise at the strength of China’s reaction (Fig. 10.9). The cartoon shows a Japanese soldier probing the brush with a bamboo pole and reacting in surprise when a snake—in the shape of the head of a Chinese man with a long queue—suddenly appears. The caption reads: “I didn’t think such a big snake would come out.” Earlier media accounts had downplayed China’s claim to Taiwan, but by August, China’s strong opposition to the expedition could not be ignored. The strength of the Chinese reaction also provoked the concern that Western powers, especially Britain, might intervene on China’s behalf.

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Fig. 10.9  Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, August 10, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo)

On August 15, another political cartoon appeared in the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun that alluded to that threat (Fig. 10.10). The caption reads, “Getting anxious about the fight in Asia,” and the illustration shows an agitated Britain, in the guise of John Bull, protecting an old China as both of them watch Japanese and Chinese soldiers engage in a sword fight (a Taiwanese man standing on the beach across the water also looks on). The cartoon suggests that the “fight in Asia” ought to be settled by Japan and China, but that Britain, the largest and most forceful figure in the cartoon and the preeminent foreign power in Asia, might intervene on behalf of China. It is hard to judge how widespread the concern was

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Fig. 10.10  Anonymous newspaper illustration, Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, August 15, 1874 (Source Meiji Shinbun Zasshi Bunko, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo)

in Japan, but these political cartoons suggest a sophisticated understanding among literate Japanese about the potential risks of British intervention and concern about the larger geopolitical consequences of a possible war with China over Taiwan. A second attitude that grew stronger as the possibility of war with China increased was concern about the readiness of the Japanese Army and who should serve in it. Evidence of the increasing interest in the army can be seen in government statistics and petitions submitted to the government. Rumors about a potential war between China and Japan had been circulating in newspapers throughout the treaty ports of East Asia for months, but concern suddenly increased during the late summer and autumn of 1874 prompting thousands of Japanese to volunteer to join the Army, nearly all of them former samurai. Statistics compiled by the Savage Affairs Bureau, the government office in charge of the expedition, show that more than fourteen thousand people volunteered to join the Army and fight in Taiwan or China, but in spite of the strong show of support, there is no evidence that any of them actually joined the Army.35

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As Chapter 7 showed, former samurai volunteers proved unreliable and by the summer of 1874 the Army stopped recruiting soldiers from the former vassal bands, but former samurai across the country, not knowing of the Army’s new attitude, responded enthusiastically to the prospect of war with China by volunteering to fight. The number of former samurai volunteering to fight was surprisingly large, but the broad geographical distribution of their support was equally surprising. Petitions came from twenty different prefectures in all regions of Japan, with the largest number coming from the Chūgoku region. The top five prefectures, accounting for 64% of the total, included Shikama Prefecture (Hyōgo) in the Kinki region, Okayama and Hiroshima Prefectures in the Chūgoku region, Iwate Prefecture in the Tōhoku region, and Tochigi Prefecture in the Kantō region. The statistics from the Savage Affairs Bureau do not break down the number of volunteers by month, but it is likely that most of them submitted their petitions between September and December 1874, although some volunteered as early as April. Many of them volunteered as members of medium- to large-sized groups, suggesting that they were former vassals in disbanded domain armies who volunteered en masse. One such group, that is not included among the statistics of the Savage Affairs Bureau, consisted of fifty-four former samurai from Ishikawa Prefecture who submitted a request to join the expedition on April 5. Their petition explained that after the domains were abolished in 1871, they had all wished to serve their nation as a group. The conflict over Korea policy in 1873 had dashed their hopes of participating in an expedition to Korea, but now they hoped to go to Taiwan.36 Another group of thirty-one former samurai from the Hokkaido Colonization Office (Kaitakushi), also not included in the statistics from the Savage Affairs Bureau, offered to join the military force in Taiwan in September and then offered again in early November to go to China to fight.37 Most of the former samurai volunteers seem to have made their requests to join the army between September and December specifically so they could fight in China, but they sometimes mentioned other motives such as enhancing Japan’s prestige. To give one example, at the beginning of September a group of more than 200 former samurai from a particular town in Tochigi Prefecture submitted a petition to volunteer to fight in China, including among their reasons the hope to enhance the imperial prestige of Japan abroad and to make China into a vassal state of Japan.38

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Almost all of the volunteers who offered to fight in Taiwan or China were former samurai but as the occupation of southern Taiwan dragged on and the possibility of war with China increased, there seemed to be a growing public recognition, at least among advocates of war, that people of all social backgrounds needed to be involved in the military effort. A few advocates, such as one former samurai from Ibaragi Prefecture who submitted a petition to the government on October 13, suggested the need for social diversity in the Japanese Army while affirming the early modern social order of the “four classes” (samurai, peasant, artisan, and merchant). He argued that if war broke out with China then strong, tall people from farm and merchant families should be conscripted to serve in the Army, and many former samurai would also want to join up. Many people would not be able to serve in the Army, he continued, but they could still contribute to the war effort, farmers by farming, artisans by making machinery and various devices, and merchants by engaging in commerce and production.39 Most advocates of broader social participation in the Army, some of them commoners themselves, did not affirm the restraints of the early modern status system and instead suggested the need to move beyond it. For them, the Taiwan Expedition and a possible war with China were an opportunity to involve a wide spectrum of the population in a matter of crucial importance to Japan. For example, early in November a former samurai from Watarai Prefecture (present-day Mie Prefecture) argued in a petition that in case of war with China soldiers should be recruited from among the farmers, artisans, and merchants, and not just from the former samurai, and a commoner studying at the Army Academy stressed in another petition the importance of calling on everyone, in all of the four classes, to support the war effort.40 Petitions such as these stressed the need to recruit soldiers from all the status groups of the old social order, and they suggest a measure of acceptance of the practical and social benefits offered by the conscription system, as well as a recognition of the need to move beyond relying solely on former samurai for Japan’s military power. The actual composition of the military force in Taiwan shifted during the occupation of southern Taiwan from a hybrid army of former samurai volunteers and conscripts to a military force composed almost entirely of conscripts, and in a similar way, the focus of petitions to the government that discussed who should serve in the Japanese Army also shifted. Early petitions tended to argue in favor of former samurai volunteers, and later petitions more often argued that conscripts from all walks of life should serve in the Army.

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A third issue in public discussions that gained importance over time was the fiscal burden that the expedition placed on Japan. One matter of debate concerned who should pay for the expedition. In what was undoubtedly an unwelcome suggestion to the government, one former samurai from Tottori Prefecture petitioned to propose that the salaries of government officials should be reduced to cover the expenses of the Taiwan campaign. Another former samurai, from Kyoto, argued that the “divine land” of Japan would lose face to China if war broke out and the government had to abandon the enterprise because it ran out of money. He proposed placing the burden on the wealthy families of Japan who should be taxed in order to solve the fiscal problem.41 The government did not act on either suggestion. In a more surprising show of support, a large number of people from all over Japan donated money to the government to help pay for the expedition. According to records compiled by the Savage Affairs Bureau, between February 1874 and January 1875 some 1620 people donated cash in amounts ranging from less than one yen to over one thousand yen, and 175 former samurai made donations from their hereditary stipends in amounts ranging from one koku to over one hundred koku (a koku being a measure of rice used, among other things, for calculating samurai stipends during the early modern period). Many former samurai continued to receive their stipends until 1876, but the government began to phase them out in 1873 when it started to tax them. The donations in koku amounted to a voluntary extra tax payment on their stipends. On the whole, the donors came from at least twenty different prefectures, from all regions of Japan, and from all status groups. A large number of cash donations (721, or 38%) came from members of the Hokkaido Colonization Office, perhaps as part of an organized effort there to raise funds, and while a few of the donations were large most amounted to only a fraction of a yen. A surprisingly large number of donations (452, or 24%) came from commoners, mostly in small amounts of one yen or less. The total amount of the donations added up to only a small fraction of the cost of the expedition, but a geographically and socially diverse portion of the Japanese populace put their money on the line to show support for the government.42 Not everyone in Japan supported the expedition, but when opposition did occur it remained muted. Some former samurai objected to the government’s supposedly weak-willed response to China or Western powers, and they advocated a more resolute foreign policy.

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For commoners, the objection usually boiled down to the unnecessary expense of the expedition. The well-known intellectual Fukuzawa Yukichi raised objections to the expedition for this and other reasons. On November 16, 1874, soon after the terms of the diplomatic resolution between China and Japan were announced in the press, the Meiroku zasshi published a speech by Fukuzawa in which he decried the cost of the expedition and implicitly criticized the government for embroiling Japan in a conflict with China. Fukuzawa raised no objections about the possible colonization of Taiwan or about the effort to establish Japanese dominance over the indigenes of Taiwan, rather he focused his attack on the high cost of the expedition. By his reckoning, the commissions that foreign merchants charged for all of the ships and armaments that Japan and China bought during the conflict exceeded the amount of the indemnity that China had agreed to pay Japan. Neither country could afford such an extravagance, and only Western countries stood to benefit. Indeed, he argued, Westerners looked on at the conflict with glee. “Ultimately,” he concluded: our present difficulties are in foreign relations. Currently our strongest enemy are the various countries of the West hidden in the shadows. But this enemy is not an enemy of cavalry, it is an enemy of commerce. It is not an enemy of military force, it is an enemy of intellectual power. Victory or defeat in this intellectual battle will be determined only by the way our people learn.43

The political cartoon in Fig. 10.10 discussed above voiced a concern that Britain might intervene in the conflict between China and Japan. Fukuzawa saw a different threat, not that Western countries would intervene diplomatically or militarily but rather that they might take advantage of Japan economically as it distracted itself in an unnecessary and extravagant conflict with China. For Fukuzawa, learning from Western civilization promised to make Japan stronger, but the real danger was not posed by China. Rather, it was posed by the possibility of economic domination by Western powers if Japan did not learn the lessons of civilization well, and Japan still had much to learn.

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Conclusion Despite the Japanese government’s reluctance to acknowledge in public the real reason for the expedition to Taiwan, explanations in the Japanese media showed a clear understanding of the basic premise of the government’s justification for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan: The act of spreading civilization to Taiwan, in the sense of spreading cultural forms that were appropriated from the West, justified the establishment of Japanese political dominance there. But while the government viewed the submission of the indigenes as a step in establishing Japanese jurisdiction over the indigenous territory, establishing jurisdiction being a justification for annexation, media accounts by contrast portrayed submission as a step in establishing Japanese authority over the indigenes by introducing civilization to them. The key difference is that in media accounts, the process of bringing civilization to the indigenes was understood by analogy to the introduction of civilization to Japanese society in the Civilization and Enlightenment movement that helped to strengthen the domestic political authority of the Meiji government. The view of the expedition expressed in the media reveals that the transformation of Japan’s political system after the Meiji Restoration and the planned annexation of Taiwan relied on a shared principle: Introducing civilization to a society justified the establishment of political authority over that society. Because of the shared principle, the effort to establish Japanese dominance over the indigenes was easy to understand, at least for literate Japanese, because it relied on a process that resembled the establishment of the domestic political authority of the new Meiji government. The shared principle also made the foreign implications of the expedition clearer: The transmission of civilization to other lands in Asia had the potential to spread the political transformations of the Meiji Restoration beyond Japan’s borders. The free use in the media of analogies between the Civilization and Enlightenment movement and the need to spread civilization to the indigenes of Taiwan shows that it was easy to recognize that the transformations then taking place in domestic Japanese society could be extended beyond Japan’s borders. If anything, the potential to spread the transformations of the Meiji Restoration beyond Japan was an obvious consequence of Japan’s engagement with Western civilization in the early Meiji period.

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Notes









1. David L. Howell, Geographies of Identity in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 8. 2.  Brett L. Walker, The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001); Mitsugu Matsuda, The Government of the Kingdom of Ryukyu, 1609–1872 (1967; Naha: Matsuda Tomeo, 2001). 3. James L. Huffman, Creating a Public: People and Press in Meiji Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997); Kyu Hyun Kim, The Age of Visions and Arguments: Parliamentarianism and the National Public Sphere in Early Meiji Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, Harvard University Press, 2007). 4. Hara Hideshige, “Shinbun nishikie to nishikie shinbun,” Kindai Nihon to jōhō, ed. Kindai Nihon Kenkyūkai (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 1990), 68–92; Ono Hideo, Nishikie shinbun (Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbunsha, 1972); Tsuchiya Reiko, Osaka no nishikie shinbun (Tokyo: Sangensha, 1995), 19; and Ōnishi Hayashigorō, Nihon shinbun hatten shi—Meiji Taishō hen (Tokyo: Taru Shobō, 1995), 45. 5.  The terms “ostensible purpose” and “real purpose” are taken from Charles LeGendre, Memo No. 22, March 13, 1874, Ōkuma monjo C426, Waseda University Library. 6. James L. Huffman, A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Edward H. House (Lanham, MD and Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003). In addition to hiring House, the Japanese government supported the publication of the Tokei Journal, a short-lived Tokyo-based English language weekly (Tokei being an alternate pronunciation of Tokyo) that, among other things, published articles about the expedition favorable to the Japanese government. Many of those articles relied on information that came, directly or indirectly, from Charles LeGendre. F. Bevill to Ōkuma Shigenobu, December 29, 1874, “Tōkei Jūrunaru shinbunkyoku goshōshi reijō,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shorui Forumosa rekorudo ōbun (JACAR A03030033600). 7. Matthew Fraleigh, “Japan’s First War Reporter: Kishida Ginkō and the Taiwan Expedition,” Japanese Studies 30.1 (2010), 54–57. 8. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku (Tokyo: Kunii Gorō, 1920), 56–57; Haruhara Akihiko, Nihon shinbun tsūshi: shimen kuronikuru (Tokyo: Gendai Jānarizumu Shuppankai, 1969), 30–31. 9.  Fraleigh, 55. Kishida’s map closely resembles government maps. Government maps for the expedition derived from an official Japanese map prepared in 1872 for Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi, which was

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based on a map and survey results that LeGendre prepared for presentation to the USA government in 1870. 10. The article refers here both to the 54 Ryūkyūans who were murdered in 1871 and to several fishermen from Oda Prefecture (part of present-day Okayama Prefecture) who were robbed and held captive near Pilam in 1873. 11. Kōbun tsūshi, June 12, 1874. 12. Marcia Yonemoto, Mapping Early Modern Japan: Space, Place, and Culture in the Tokugawa Period, 1603–1868 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003). 13. The author of the text is Dendendō Dondon, penname for Takabatake Ransen, another of Yoshiiku’s associates at the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun. Okitsu Kaname, Meiji shinbun kotohajime: “bunmei kaika” no jānarizumu (Tokyo: Taishūkan Shoten, 1997), 56–57. 14. Tokyo-to, ed., “Ishiki kaii jōrei o shikōsu,” Tokyo shi shikō (shigai hen) part 3, vol. 53 (Tokyo: Tokyo-to, 1962), 691–709; Kumakura Isao, “Bunmei kaika to fūzoku,” in Hayashiya Tatsusaburō, ed., Bunmei kaika no kenkyū (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1979), 576–578; and Robert Eskildsen, “Telling Differences: The Imagery of Civilization and Nationality in Nineteenth Century Japan” (diss., Stanford University, 1998), 366–374. 15. Eskildsen, “Telling Differences,” 166–171, 178–201. 16. Prints from 1853 to 1854 showed the “defeat” of the Americans by analogy to the defeat of the Mongol invasions in the thirteenth century, as well as by representing Americans who were (fictively) captured in battle, overpowered by Japanese military might, overpowered by Japanese gods or, as in Fig. 10.5, cowering before Japan’s great leader. At least two other compositions from 1853 to 1854 use the same image of Perry cowering before the Japanese that is shown in Fig. 10.5. For a discussion of inverted views of the foreign threat in 1853–1854, see Eskildsen, “Telling Differences,” 178–201. 17. Ichinose Norie, “Meiji shoki ni okeru Taiwan shuppei seisaku to kokusaihō no tekiyō,” Hokudai shigaku 35.11 (1995): 32–33; Mōri Toshihiko, Taiwan shuppei: dai Nihon teikoku no kaimaku geki (Tokyo: Chūō Kōronsha, 1996), 133–136; and Japan Daily Herald, May 27, 1874. 18. Douglas Cassel to Charles LeGendre, May 24, 1874, in Robert Eskildsen, ed., Foreign Adventurers and the Aborigines of Southern Taiwan, 1867– 1874: Western Sources Related to Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan (Taibei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2005), 210; Edward Howard House, The Japanese Expedition to Formosa (Tokio [Tokyo]: n.p., 1875), 77–78; Li Haonian to Saigō Tsugumichi, May 11, 1874, Gaimushō Chōsabu, ed., Dai Nihon gaikō bunsho (12 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Kyōkai, 1936–1940), 7: 77–82.

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19.  The signature in the cartouche at the far left identifies the author as Onkoku Ryūgin “Okada,” a penname of Okada Ryūgin (also known as Okada Jisuke). Miyatake Gaikotsu and Nishida Taketoshi, Meiji shinbun zasshi kankeisha ryakuden, vol. 20 of Meiji Taishō genron shiryō (Tokyo: Misuzu Shobō, 1985), 34. I would like to thank Henry Smith for bringing this fact to my attention. 20.  Donald Keene, “The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and Its Cultural Effects in Japan,” Tradition and Modernization in Japanese Culture, ed. Donald H. Shively (1971; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), 121–175; Fukuzawa Yukichi, “Datsu-A ron,” Jiji shinpō, 16 March 1885, in Ishida Takeshi, ed., Kindai Nihon shisō taikei 2: Fukuzawa Yukichi shū (Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1975), 510–512. 21. Seiyō jijō was published in multiple volumes between 1866 and 1870; the volume mentioning race was published in 1868. 22.  Hashimoto Gyokuransai [Sadahide], Yokohama kaikō kenmonshi, in Bijutsu, ed. Aoki Shigeru and Sakai Tadayasu, vol. 17 of Nihon kindai shisō taikei (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1988–1991), 324. Sadahide used the modern Japanese word for race, jinshu, but he glossed it with an alternate pronunciation hitodane. 23. For examples, see Yūbin hōchi shinbun, April 16, June 6 (hereafter YHS); Kōbun tsūshi, April 20, May 26, June 9 (hereafter KT); Tokyo nichinichi shinbun, August 16 (hereafter TNS). For citations from newspapers, the year is 1874 unless otherwise indicated. 24. See for example the writings of Charles LeGendre and Douglas Cassel in Eskildsen, ed., Foreign Adventurers. Many examples can also be seen in the Shanghai-based North China Herald, and other expatriate newspapers published in East Asia. 25. YHS, April 16, June 6; KT, April 20, May 26, June 9; TNS, August 16. 26. Richard Siddle, Race, Resistance and the Ainu of Japan (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), 40. 27.  In the Edo period, Confucian scholars distinguished samurai learning from peasant learning. Ogyū Sorai, for example, distinguished between the self-cultivation of the samurai (expressed as manabu, to learn, or utsuru, to change) and the transformation of the general population that was imposed by a higher authority (kassuru, to change). Samuel Hideo Yamashita, trans., Master Sorai’s Responsals: An Annotated Translation of Sorai sensei tōmonsho (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994), 93 n. 107. In the 1870s, the term kyōka conveyed a similar hierarchical understanding of the cultural transformation of an inferior brought about by a superior. According to Sheldon Garon, the leaders of modern Japan inherited the idea of kyōka, which he translates as “moral suasion,” and used it systematically on a nationwide scale as a tool for paternalistic

332  R. ESKILDSEN social management. Sheldon Garon, Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997). 28. The two most important Edo period sources that taxonomize foreigners are Nakamura Tekisai’s Kinmō zui (1666) and Terajima Ryōan’s Wakan sansai zue (1713). Neither of them stress savagery or violence as an important characteristic of barbarian peoples. After their subjugation by Japanese forces in the seventeenth century, the Ainu were not particularly prone to violence or uprisings. Richard Siddle, “Ainu History: An Overview,” in William W. Fitzhugh and Chisato O. Dubreuil, eds., Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 68–71; David L. Howell, Capitalism from Within: Economy, Society, and the State in a Japanese Fishery (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 27–35. 29.  George Taylor, “Formosa: Characteristic Traits of the Island and its Aboriginal Inhabitants,” in Glen Dudbridge, ed., Aborigines of South Taiwan in the 1880s (Taipei: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 1999), 154–155; Frank M. LeBar, Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia (2 vols.; New Haven: Human Relations Area Files Press, 1972–1975), 2: 133; and Miyamoto Nobuto, Taiwan no genjūminzoku: kaisō–watashi no minzokugaku chōsa (Tokyo: Rokkō Shuppan, 1985), 169–188. 30. YHS, June 27; Tashiro Mikio, Taiwan Gunki (1874). 31.  L. Carrington Goodrich, “China’s First Knowledge of the Americas,” Geographical Review 28.3 (1938), 406; Eskildsen, “Telling Differences,” 82–98. 32. YHS, June 6. 33. KT, April 20. 34. Fraleigh, 60–62. 35. “Jūgun negai jin’in hyō,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, banchi shori, tankōsho•shoban shorui Banchi Jimukyoku shohyō ruisan (JACAR A03031150300). The table shows that 14,546 out of 14,552 people who volunteered, or 99.96%, were former samurai. It understates the total number of people who volunteered, although to what degree is not certain. For example, it does not include the people who volunteered from Ishikawa Prefecture or the Hokkaido Colonization office who are mentioned in sources from Irokawa Daikichi and Gabe Masao, eds., Meiji kenpakusho shūsei (9 vols.; Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō, 1986–2000), 4: 161– 163, 385–387 (hereafter MKS). 36. MKS, 4: 385–387. 37. MKS, 4: 161–163. 38. “Rikugunshō yori Tōkyō-fu narabi ni Tochigi-ken kanzoku jūgun negai jōshin,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui,

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tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] ku gatsu no kyū•dai yonjūkyū satsu (JACAR A03030254700). 39. MKS, 4: 51–52. 40. MKS, 4: 164, 177–178. 41. MKS, 4: 40–41, 165. 42. “Gunshi kennō negai jinmei hyō,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shorui Banchi Jimukyoku shohyō ruisan (JACAR A03031149800). 43.  Fukuzawa Yukichi, “Seitai wagi no enzetsu,” Meiroku zasshi, 16 November 1874, in Keio Gijuku, ed., Fukuzawa Yukichi zenshū, vol. 19 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1962): 539–542 (quotation on 542).

CHAPTER 11

Conclusion

The Taiwan Expedition happened at a key moment in the transformation of Japan’s relationship to the world. In the early modern period, Japanese people interacted with Koreans, Ryūkyūans, the Ainu, Chinese, and the Dutch through qualitatively different, idiosyncratic relationships that remained discrete and that did not comprise a unified system of trade or diplomacy. By the 1870s people in Japan interacted more intensively with a broader range of foreigners, and they had begun to understand their place in the world as part of a consolidated system of trade and diplomacy. That system was defined largely according to European norms and it divided the world into societies that were seen as civilized— the “family of nations”—and those that were not. The Japanese, neither barbarous nor uncivilized, had not yet gained full acceptance into the system and in order to gain acceptance they had to overcome two key differences with Western societies: first, that the Japanese were not of European descent, and second, that their treaties with Western powers subjected them to formal inequality within the system. These differences added a distinctive character to the Japanese replication of Western imperialism in the 1870s. The replication asserted a somewhat ambivalent identity between Japan and the West: that Japan could be equal to the West in its imperialism despite the difference of descent. At the same time, Japanese imperialism differed fundamentally from Western imperialism because the replication took place within an unequal relationship that had been established by Western imperialism. The nested— or r­ecursive—replication of Western imperialism that gave rise to the © The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1_11

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Taiwan Expedition shows that by the early 1870s a recursive relationship with the West had already begun to influence the way Japanese people understood their relationship with other Asian countries. This recursive pattern did not end with the expedition, and instead, it contributed to features of modern Japanese thought that persisted at least until the end of World War II. The history of the Taiwan Expedition also provides insights into the way that the political transformation in Japan after the Meiji Restoration was linked to the Japanese response to Western imperialism, and it provides a way of explaining how Japanese imperialism functioned as one of the vectors that spread the influence of the Meiji Restoration beyond Japan. Japanese imperialism began to emerge not long after the Meiji Restoration and it did so in the context of Western imperialism in East Asia. The colonial purpose of the Japanese expedition to Taiwan raises the question of how Japanese imperialism could have emerged so early in the Meiji period. The explanation given here is that it emerged through a confluence of two processes. One process involved transforming the imperial house of Japan into a symbol of the nation’s political and cultural unity, extending to Japan a sovereignty revolution that began a little less than a century earlier in Europe and the Americas. The second process involved a Japanese appropriation of Western imperialism that took place recursively. The recursion amplified the transformative effects of Western imperialism, and it accelerated the spread of the sovereignty revolution throughout East Asia. In order to explain these conclusions more fully first I will describe specific details of the process of recursion that can be seen in the expedition, then I will discuss the successes and failures of the expedition, and finally, I will end with an assessment of recursive imperialism in Japan after the expedition.

Recursion in the Taiwan Expedition To evaluate the recursive characteristics associated with the Taiwan Expedition, I will return to the set of operations for describing the recursion proposed in Chapter 1. The first operation involved the selective appropriation by Japanese people of various ideas and practices associated with Western imperialism. The clearest example of appropriation is the Japanese government’s use of the justification for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan that Charles LeGendre developed during the time he served as the US Consul in Amoy. As Chapter 3 showed,

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LeGendre argued that the Chinese government had a responsibility under the Treaty of Tianjin to find and punish the parties responsible for the massacre of the captain and crew of an American ship in 1867. The Chinese government refused to accept any responsibility for the actions of the people living in the indigenous territory and in an effort to persuade the Chinese to change their stance LeGendre warned that a foreign power might colonize the territory if the Chinese failed to demonstrate their sovereign control over the area by “civilizing” it and establishing effective political jurisdiction there. The purpose of the justification was to overcome the Chinese refusal to establish civil authority in the indigenous territory, and the justification would cease to have meaning if the Chinese did so. He articulated the justification in the context of China’s obligations under the unequal treaties, and it expressed ideas that were commonly accepted at the time among Western diplomats in China and elsewhere. The Japanese government, initially through the actions of Foreign Minister Soejima Taneomi, appropriated the justification and dramatically expanded its scope and changed its tenor. Other government leaders later embraced it, and its assertions about sovereignty became the guiding principle of the government’s diplomatic stance toward Taiwan until the end of 1874. The Chinese government changed its approach toward defending its claims to Taiwan in 1875, and at that point the justification became moot. Other examples of appropriation include the Japanese use of Western diplomatic protocol, diplomatic precedents, military tactics to subdue a local population, military weapons, and newspaper propaganda to shape foreign opinion. The second operation, part of the process of appropriation, involves the adaptation of Western ideas and practices after they were appropriated. The adaptations are particularly interesting because they suggest how Japanese and Western motives differed. In addition to the expanded scope and more aggressive tenor of the justification for colonization, another clear adaptation can be seen in the way that Japanese justifications for colonizing the indigenous territory largely ignored LeGendre’s concern about making the seas around southern Taiwan safe for foreign shipping. For LeGendre, securing shipping was a fundamental motivation of his diplomacy and a key justification for his normative claims that the Chinese must establish effective political jurisdiction in southern Taiwan. His concern derived from the belief that civilized powers, as members of the family of nations, had a shared responsibility to secure shipping as a fundamental requirement of international trade.

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The Japanese government did not stress this particular justification of colonization and in general did not acknowledge a shared responsibility to advance the interests of the Western imperialist powers. Japanese interests in civilization, including the goal of bringing civilization to the “savages” of Taiwan, remained particular to Japan and did not include strengthening Western dominance. A second cluster of adaptations involved the language and concepts that were used in justifying the Japanese effort to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan. In many cases, the adaptations were a necessary part of translating ideas into the Japanese language, but the adaptations also involved transforming the ideas so they would better suit Japanese purposes. For example, the key concept of sovereignty was translated and used by Japanese in different ways. Kabayama Sukenori, in his diary entries in the fall of 1872, used the modern word for sovereignty in an argument he had appropriated indirectly from LeGendre.1 In negotiations with Chinese officials, however, Japanese diplomats typically used Sino-Japanese terms such as unclaimed (kegai) or masterless (musu) land to indicate the lack of sovereignty. To give another example, Japanese sources sometimes described the presumed savagery of the indigenes of Taiwan with the term yaban, for the English word uncivilized, but they more often used the word seiban (“raw” or completely uncivilized barbarians), a derogatory term that reproduced the negative connotations of the original Chinese term. Differential translations such as these provided a number of advantages. They permitted Japanese people to assert solidarity with Western diplomacy and imperialism while at the same time proposing analogies to Chinese ideas and practices that broadened the context for understanding concepts appropriated from the West. In effect, the translations permitted Japanese people to sound like Westerners while simultaneously sounding different from them. The ability to appear simultaneously similar to and different from Westerners became a defining feature of recursive imperialism and Japanese diplomats skillfully exploited it in their negotiations with Westerners and Chinese alike. The third operation associated with recursive imperialism, selective additions to and exclusions from what had been appropriated, can also be seen as part of the process of appropriation. The differential translations discussed above provide examples of this operation, but other examples also show important differences between Japanese i­mperialism and Western imperialism. One important category of adaptation related

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to the appropriation of the idea of Western civilization, and it provided the strongest justification for Japanese colonial thinking concerning Taiwan. As it applied to the plan for colonizing the indigenous territory, to establish civilization meant, among other things, to establish civil authority, to build schools for the education of the local population, and to improve communication through a system of roads. At the same time, the government remained entirely silent about religion. For many Westerners in East Asia, and not just missionaries, Christianity comprised an indispensible element of civilization, so the absence of any mention of religion is notable.2 A second category of adaptations concerned trade. In 1874, Japanese justifications for the colonization of Taiwan routinely stressed the necessity of bringing civilization to the “savages” there, but they rarely mentioned trade. Spreading free trade around the world was, for many Westerners, the key justification for their foreign interventions, but economic motives for colonizing Taiwan meant nothing to most of the Japanese involved in the expedition, perhaps because the notion of a shared obligation to spread free trade had little meaning for them and perhaps more simply because they were not merchants, unlike the Japanese merchants who later played a prominent role in the colonization of Korea.3 Instead, they concentrated almost exclusively on the political and cultural imperative of spreading civilization. Probably the most important Japanese addition to the ideas and practices of Western imperialism in 1874 was the Japanese government’s willingness to use force in Taiwan. To be sure, Western imperialist powers often used force or the threat of force in their interactions with the governments of East Asia, but the Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895 showed that the Japanese willingness to use force was decisive in changing the balance of power in East Asia. Decades before that the threat of force greatly strengthened the hand of Japanese negotiators in the dispute over Taiwan and it shifted the Chinese government’s approach to dealing with foreign challenges to its territorial authority. Japanese adaptations of Western imperialism also involved an effort to transform Japanese power relations, which is the fourth operation associated with recursive imperialism. Japan’s diplomatic relations changed dramatically during the nineteenth century, and the shift from perceptions of Chinese dominance in East Asia to Japanese dominance after the Sino-Japanese War dramatically altered Japanese understandings of their national identity.4 Long before that, however, the Meiji government began to pursue a foreign policy that intended to challenge China’s

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diplomatic dominance in East Asia, and that included a persistent willingness to use force to challenge Chinese territorial authority. Chapter 5 showed that Soejima’s mission to Beijing challenged Chinese claims to territorial authority in Taiwan, Korea, and Ryūkyū, three key regions that lay between China and Japan, and the Japanese government’s consolidated challenge to China’s territorial authority seems to have emerged out of Soejima’s realization in late 1872 that he needed to use a unified approach to address Japan’s multiple foreign policy goals in East Asia. The challenge drew China into conflict with Japan over transformations of territorial authority that resulted from the Meiji Restoration, and Soejima’s thinking included the strategy of using the ideas and practices of Western imperialism preemptively in Taiwan in order to protect Japan from Western encroachment. While LeGendre helped Soejima formulate his approach toward foreign policy, the key issues of territorial authority Soejima sought to address were already apparent to government leaders before LeGendre arrived in Japan, including problems of dual allegiance in Ryūkyū and Tsushima and the threat that Western powers might exploit areas that had weak state control. Even after Soejima left the government Ōkubo Toshimichi continued his consolidated approach toward China. In the end, Ōkubo resorted to the threat of war in much the same way as Soejima to gain an advantage in his negotiations with Chinese officials. The repeated willingness to threaten war added potency to the Japanese adaptations of Western imperialism in the 1870s, and the results of the Sino-Japanese War two decades later suggest that Japanese challenges to Chinese territorial authority ultimately proved more politically destabilizing than Western challenges because they were backed by a greater threat of force and they pressed China harder than Western challenges to change the diplomatic status quo in East Asia. On the home front, depictions of the Taiwan Expedition in Japanese media show that the way the government adapted Western imperialism also informed the transformation of domestic power relationships, but the transformation was far from simple. Chapter 10 showed that there was an awareness in media depictions of the expedition that the political role of the former samurai class had not yet been settled. In retrospect, we can see that the Meiji Restoration produced a government dominated by a civil bureaucracy but that outcome was not assured until after the Satsuma Rebellion (1877). Until then the possibility remained that the former samurai class might continue to exercise formal power based on hereditary right, and media representations of the expedition reveal a

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persistent uncertainty about the balance that should exist between the authority of the emperor, the political power of the leaders of the government, and the hereditary power of the former samurai class. The images illustrate just how unsettled the domestic political climate was at the time of the expedition. Irrespective of the unsettled climate, media images openly depicted the expedition as a civilizing mission and explained the projection of Japanese power to Taiwan by analogy to the domestic transformation of cultural power then taking place in Japan in the Civilization and Enlightenment movement. The analogies underscore the fact that the new government actively used an idea of civilization that had been appropriated from the West—through processes of change closely associated with Western imperialism—in order to consolidate its power over the Japanese population and at precisely the same time it used the same idea to justify the colonization of Taiwan. Most strikingly, media images depicted political dominance domestically and overseas by means of the same iconography of civilization. More than any other factor, therefore, the idea of civilization provides a conceptual and empirical basis for understanding the context in which Japanese imperialism emerged after the Meiji Restoration. The idea of civilization provides a way of understanding the relationship between Western imperialism and the Japanese replication of Western imperialism, and it reveals a close affinity between the consolidation of domestic political authority after the Restoration and the projection of Japan’s new political authority overseas. The fifth and final operation associated with recursive imperialism was the influence of Japanese adaptations of Western imperialism on the ideas and practices of Western imperialism, what might be seen as the final step in the creation of a feedback loop. Chapter 9 provided a few specific examples of this influence, the clearest being Western media responses that evaluated the Taiwan Expedition highly and suggested that Western powers could emulate the forceful approach of the Japanese in their own dealings with the Chinese. The Japanese appropriation and adaptation of Western imperialism also introduced instability into the treaty port system. Chapter 8 showed that Western diplomatic responses to Japan’s attempted colonization of the indigenous territory shifted from antagonism to affinity, mirroring the dual purposes of Japan’s appropriation of Western imperialism. More importantly, perhaps, the response of the Chinese government after the withdrawal of Japanese forces from Taiwan shows that Japanese appropriations of Western imperialism

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fundamentally changed the Chinese government’s approach toward protecting its interests in East Asia. The Japanese government’s systematic challenge to Chinese territorial authority resulted from the redefinition of territorial authority in Japan after the Restoration and it pushed the Chinese government to respond systematically and to treat what had been until then discrete, unrelated suzerain relationships in Ryūkyū and Korea as a system with interlinking relationships. Japan’s threat of colonization in Taiwan was the key factor that produced these changes. The hypothetical threats Charles LeGendre made during his time as the American Consul in Amoy utterly failed to move the Chinese government but, by contrast, the Japanese government made a concrete threat of colonization backed by military force that moved the Chinese government to establish civil authority over southern Taiwan. By adding a willingness to use force and a specific plan for colonization to LeGendre’s justification for colonization the Japanese government succeeded where he had failed.

Evaluating the Taiwan Expedition In evaluating the Taiwan Expedition, the most obvious observation is that it failed to establish colonies in Taiwan. The Japanese government did gain a modest diplomatic success by projecting its military force to Taiwan, but the failures of the expedition are more instructive because they reveal weaknesses in the Japanese strategy of replicating Western imperialism. To be sure, organizational problems and inadequate resources plagued the expedition, but the primary failure was political. Japan’s leaders appropriated a rationale for colonizing the indigenous territory of Taiwan from Charles LeGendre but they failed to appreciate the level of resistance that the appropriation would provoke. LeGendre assumed, perhaps out of idealism, that Western powers—especially Britain and the USA—would welcome Japan’s participation in the game of power politics in East Asia. They did not, and instead, British and American diplomats surprised the Japanese government by throwing up roadblocks to thwart the expedition, mainly to protect the political and economic advantages their countries enjoyed in China under the unequal treaties. LeGendre and Japan’s leaders also placed too much faith in his personal ability to overcome Chinese opposition to the expedition and they failed to appreciate how vigorous Chinese resistance would be. The political failure arose not because of a weakness in the diplomatic

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arguments that the Japanese government made but rather because LeGendre and Japan’s leaders failed to recognize the extent to which Japan’s challenge to Chinese authority would be perceived as a serious threat both to China’s interests and to the interests of Western powers in the treaty port system. Chinese opposition, more than anything else, prompted the Japanese government to set aside its plans to colonize Taiwan and that decision saved the Japanese from what would almost certainly have been a disaster. Simply put, the Japanese government lacked the material wealth and organizational capability to sustain colonies in Taiwan. Domestically, the Japanese government faced multiple serious organizational and political challenges at the time of the expedition. The Meiji Restoration sought to sweep away the ineffective institutions of the early modern political system but the new Meiji government had not yet finished the task of creating new institutions to replace them. Japan had not yet industrialized, and while it was not a poor country it nevertheless lacked the material wealth to purchase the ships and armaments that would be needed to sustain colonies in Taiwan. The government lacked an efficient system of taxation to extract income from the agricultural sector, and the problem of how to deal with samurai authority exacerbated its fiscal and organizational problems. On the one hand, the government could not survive without the taxes paid by farmers who constituted a large majority of the population, but attempts at modernizing the tax system provoked strong opposition to the government. On the other hand, the government had to demobilize the vassal bands of the old domains that had sustained the early modern political order and eliminate their hereditary authority, but that process also provoked strong opposition in the form of samurai rebellions. The government chose to accommodate the farmers, who posed the greater threat, and to eliminate the privileges of the samurai class who posed the lesser threat.5 Because of that choice, the government had to suppress multiple samurai rebellions, and while the new conscript Army proved more than capable of putting down the Saga Rebellion early in 1874, government leaders could hardly ignore the possibility that other rebellions might break out at any time. The Army simply did not have the capacity to suppress a domestic rebellion and simultaneously defend an overseas colonial possession. The threat of samurai rebellions reveals a critical weakness of the government that nearly derailed the expedition and that placed severe limits on the government’s ability to challenge China militarily.

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Organizationally, both the Army and the Navy had difficulty s­ustaining the fairly small-scale occupation of southern Taiwan in 1874 and more extensive operations would have been beyond their capability. The Navy’s performance during the expedition suggests that it was ill-prepared to fight the naval battles that would have taken place in a war with China, and war would have been unavoidable had the government carried out its plan to colonize the indigenous territory. Morale in the Navy was bad, it did not have enough ships, and the quality of the ships it did have was poor. The lack of trained personnel, especially captains, to operate and command the Navy’s ships was also a problem. In the event of war British and Americans who served on Japanese ships would have been required to withdraw from service, greatly reducing the effectiveness of the Navy. Even at peace, the Navy was barely able to transport supplies and replacement troops to southern Taiwan. War with China would have badly disrupted Japanese transport to Taiwan and that most likely would have imperiled any Japanese colonists there.6 The capability of the Army was better, but it too suffered serious limitations. The expeditionary force in southern Taiwan was a hybrid army of former samurai volunteers and conscripts who proved capable in battle but had a tendency to disregard orders. It took decades for the Army to develop a well-trained officer corps and a clear chain of command to control its forces in the field, and war with China would surely have exposed many serious organizational weaknesses.7 Long before the end of the Japanese occupation of southern Taiwan, it was already clear that conscript forces were a more reliable tool than former samurai volunteers,8 but Yamagata Aritomo was not sanguine about the conscript Army’s prospects in a war with China.9 On the whole, the Japanese military in 1874 left much to be desired and it would have been hard pressed simply to sustain colonies in Taiwan in peace, much less to defend them in war. It would take decades of modernizing efforts to strengthen the military to the point where it could support and defend a Japanese colony in Taiwan. In one other regard, the expedition suggested that the Japanese were ill-prepared to establish viable colonies in Taiwan. The army the Japanese sent to southern Taiwan was highly vulnerable to tropical diseases and during the seven-month occupation of the south the government was compelled to send a large number of troops and laborers to replace those who had fallen ill or died. At one point nearly everyone in the Japanese occupation force was incapacitated by illness, and without the regular

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resupply of food, medicine, and other supplies from the home islands the rate of fatalities undoubtedly would have been much higher. If hundreds of Japanese had remained in Taiwan to populate colonies, as originally planned, many of them would have succumbed to disease, starvation, or attacks by indigenes. As Kabayama Sukenori, Narutomi Seifū, and other Japanese agents discovered during their explorations of eastern Taiwan late in 1873 and early in 1874, the indigenous territory was an inhospitable environment and inherently difficult to colonize, and it would remain so for decades to come.10 The Japanese plans for establishing colonies were not realistic because they relied on an unduly optimistic assessment of conditions on the ground in Taiwan. The multiple reasons for the Japanese failure to colonize the indigenous territory of Taiwan in 1874 point to a general conclusion about the recursive imperialism of the expedition. It was driven to a great extent by domestic political debates, such as how the sovereign authority of the emperor ought to be exercised in the new government and whether the samurai class should retain a special role in politics by virtue of its hereditary right. It was also driven by an eagerness to use the idea of civilization appropriated from the West as a means of justifying the government’s claims to sovereign authority. In 1874, Japan’s recursive imperialism had little to do with conditions on the ground in Taiwan and almost nothing to do with economic concerns such as trade. It was driven by ideas, but the Japanese government lacked the material wealth and the organizational capacity needed to translate the ideas into viable practice. For these reasons, the recursive replication of Western imperialism was not effective in 1874, although it worked better in a more limited engagement with Korea in 1875–1876. It would take a generation before Japan had the wealth and organizational capacity to sustain a formal colonial empire, and by then domestic politics had changed, as had the context of Western imperialism and Chinese diplomacy in East Asia.11 Because of these changes the Japanese colonial empire that took shape after the Sino-Japanese War looked quite different from what had been imagined in the 1870s. Later Japanese efforts to replicate Western imperialism differed in content from the Taiwan Expedition because the ideology, material strength, and organizational capability of the government had changed and because subimperialist actors, such as merchants, had begun to play a key role in creating Japan’s colonial empire.12 The expedition to Taiwan was not a complete failure, however. The Japanese government gained a significant propaganda victory over the

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Chinese that boosted its reputation among Western powers. Japan did not gain equality with Western powers because of the expedition— that would not happen until the revision of the unequal treaties after the Sino-Japanese War—but its diplomatic efforts gained credibility. At the same time, the government bolstered its claim to authority over the Ryūkyū Kingdom, although the Chinese government continued through the 1880s to assert its claim to suzerain authority there, and the issue became moot only after the Sino-Japanese War when the Chinese government abandoned the diplomatic practices associated with the tribute system.13 Japan’s diplomatic gains in the conflict over Taiwan began to shift the balance of power between China and Japan, and with the status of Ryūkyū and Taiwan clarified, at least provisionally, Korea became Japan’s principal ground for contesting Chinese authority in East Asia. In one other regard, the Taiwan Expedition brought benefits to Japan, by providing knowledge and experience that helped the Japanese when they colonized Taiwan in 1895. For example, several members of the expeditionary force later served in the Japanese colonial government. Kabayama Sukenori, who lobbied hard for the dispatch of a punitive expedition and who went to Taiwan in order to explore eastern and southern Taiwan, later served as the first governor-general of the Japanese colony in Taiwan in 1895. Under Kabayama the Japanese in Taiwan sought to gain the support of the indigenes using the same techniques of social interaction that had been used in the 1870s but they soon abandoned them in favor of more effective methods.14 Sakuma Samata served as a staff officer in the expeditionary force in 1874, and among other duties, he led the effort to obtain the return of the skulls of the murdered Ryūkyūans from the indigenous villages of Butan, Kusakut, and Niinai. He served as the fifth governor-general of Taiwan in the early twentieth century and is best remembered for the brutal military campaign he waged in order to bring the indigenes fully under the authority of the colonial government.15 Mizuno Jun, who accompanied Kabayama on his explorations of eastern and northern Taiwan, returned to Taiwan with Kabayama in 1895 and served as the first head of the Bureau of Civil Administration, the third highest position in the colonial government. He resigned his position in 1897 and later helped to establish the Taiwan Kyōkai, an association dedicated to training Japanese youths to serve in Taiwan and southern China and, after the Russo-Japanese War, in Korea and southern Manchuria.16 The Japanese also took advantage of relationships with key indigenous leaders that had

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been forged in 1874 in order to establish control over the indigenous territory in 1895. Bunkiet, the head of Tuilasok village and son of the famous Tokitok, was only a youth when he met the Japanese in 1874 but he cooperated with them when they arrived in southern Taiwan in 1895.17 Chen Ansheng, the leader of Pilam mentioned in Chapters 6 and 8, hoped to serve as an ally of the Japanese in 1874. His daughter, Tata Rara, also cooperated with the Japanese and helped them to establish colonial control in the area around Pilam in 1896.18 As these examples show Japanese experience in southern Taiwan in 1874 contributed in various ways to the establishment of colonial rule after the Sino-Japanese War. Historians have paid little attention to these continuities, however, and they have not explained how Japanese experience in 1874 may have influenced the decision to colonize Taiwan in 1895. In general, the decision to colonize Taiwan in 1895 has not attracted much scrutiny from historians and it has usually been interpreted as little more than an opportunistic move.19 While it is clear that the Japanese did not fight the Sino-Japanese War for the purpose of colonizing Taiwan, it is unlikely that the decision to colonize Taiwan in 1895 was an afterthought. Indeed, two of the strongest advocates of colonization in 1894–1895 were Saigō Tsugumichi and Kabayama Sukenori, and their support suggests the likelihood of important continuities between Japanese policy toward Taiwan in 1874 and 1895.20 As I have argued elsewhere, state power was inherently weak in Taiwan, especially in the indigenous territory, and it is likely that members of the Meiji government saw the colonization of Taiwan as an opportunity to absorb a border region where state power was weak and sovereignty ill-defined.21 The Japanese decision to colonize Taiwan in 1895 deserves more scrutiny, and it may be fruitful to explore how the transformation of sovereignty in East Asia after the Meiji Restoration influenced the decision to annex Taiwan after the Sino-Japanese War.

Recursive Imperialism After the Taiwan Expedition Japan’s recursive engagement with Western imperialism was a defining feature of the Taiwan Expedition. It began in the early Meiji period, while the Japanese government was still integrating itself into the international system, and it not only influenced the way the Japanese government engaged the Chinese government diplomatically, it also spread the effects of the Meiji Restoration beyond Japan’s borders.

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A century earlier Western governments began a shift away from legitimizing sovereign authority based on hereditary right toward legitimizing it based on popular support. That process—the sovereignty revolution—reached Japan in the middle of the nineteenth century, carried there by the agents of Western imperialism. The Japanese appropriation of Western imperialism in the Taiwan Expedition took place in the midst of Japan’s local iteration of the sovereignty revolution, at a time when the new Meiji government had not yet addressed the full range of domestic and foreign challenges that led to the collapse of the old Tokugawa regime. The Meiji government faced pressing questions about how it should give concrete institutional shape to the “restored” political authority of the imperial house, and how it should define the geographical limits of Japan’s new sovereign authority within a diplomatic system dominated by Western powers. The recursive strategy of adapting Western imperialism thus arose in the context of revolutionary political change in Japan and formal Japanese diplomatic inequality to the West. In the beginning, at least, the recursive strategy gave Japanese people more control over how to engage Western civilization and how to contend with rapidly changing political conditions both domestically and internationally. Japan’s recursive imperialism evolved over many decades, accelerating the process of dynastic decline in both Korea and China and transmitting beyond Japan’s borders some of the revolutionary transformations that were set in motion by the Meiji Restoration. At the same time, the pattern of explaining Japan’s relationship to Asia by reference to its recursive relationship with the West became a paradigm that shaped Japanese foreign relations for decades and contributed to political instability in Japan and Asia well into the twentieth century. Over the long term many Japanese people, not just the government, explained their nation’s relationship to Asia by reference to a recursive relationship with the West. These explanations included assertions that Japan had strong shared interests (solidarity) with other Asian countries but that Japan was also the leader of Asia and more advanced than other countries in the region (superiority). At the same time, there were assertions that Japan had joined the countries of the West in their civilizing project (solidarity) but did not accept Western dominance (resistance). Viewed statically, or in structuralist terms, these simultaneous assertions of solidarity/ superiority and solidarity/resistance appear contradictory but they make

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sense as expressions of recursive logic. In a recursive process, Japan could join the West in its civilizing project but do so for the purpose of resisting Western exploitation, and Japan’s resistance to Western exploitation could be seen as the basis of solidarity with Asian countries even as Japan claimed superiority because it was more civilized. It is not necessary to resolve the contradictions or to see them as logical flaws in Japanese imperialism. Rather, the oppositions point to different alignments with Western countries and with Asian countries at different points in a dynamic process of interaction. For Soejima Taneomi and other Japanese leaders in the 1870s, the advantages of the recursive replication of Western imperialism were self-evident: By aligning with the West Japan could push back against Western perceptions of Japan’s inferiority and protect itself from Western exploitation, and at the same time, gain an advantage in competing with China for influence in East Asia. There were also weaknesses to the recursive strategy that were not apparent in the 1870s. The problems were not of logical structure and they did not result from unresolved contradictions. Rather, the problems revealed weaknesses of logical process and practical effect. Japan’s history of wars in the modern period, along with the struggles for and against militarism in the first half of the twentieth century, show that the process of replicating Western imperialism increased instability both in Japan and in Asia. The process also introduced problems of cultural authenticity that it could not resolve, and those problems became painfully apparent in the 1930s and early 1940s. They resulted, for example, in the tortured logic of the Symposium on Overcoming Modernity in 1942 where the participants discussed the “transplantation” of European modernity to Japan but sought to repress the idea because it undermined claims to an authentic Japanese culture and spirit and it revealed Japanese modernity as inauthentic and derivative.22 The recursive strategy of replicating Western civilization could never lead to an authentic Japanese culture independent of Western civilization. At the same time, the effects of Japanese dominance were similar to the effects of Western dominance, even if the motivations differed, and that produced responses to Japanese claims of “liberating” Asia from Western imperialism that ranged from expressions of solidarity to outright military resistance.23 In the decades that followed the Taiwan Expedition, the instability and disruptive practical effects of Japan’s recursive imperialism became increasingly visible and left an indelible mark on the history of Japan and East Asia.

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Notes





1. Kabayama Sukenori, “Taiwan kiji,” in Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 144–145. 2. It did not take long for Japanese religious organizations to begin missionary activities in China and Korea, but the Japanese government had little to do with religion in a colonialist or imperialist context until the early twentieth century. Yoshiko Okamoto, “Buddhism and the Twenty-One Demands,” in Minohara Toshihiro, Tze-Ki Hon, and Evan N. Dawley, eds., The Decade of the Great War (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2014), 394– 414; Hwansoo Ilmee Kim, Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2012); Emily Anderson, Christianity and Imperialism in Modern Japan: Empire for God (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014); Ōta Tetsuo, Shimizu Yasuzō to Chūgoku (Tokyo: Kadensha, 2011). 3. Jun Uchida, Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876–1945 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2011). 4.  Urs Matthias Zachmann, China and Japan in the Late Meiji Period: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895–1904 (London and New York: Routledge, 2009). 5.  Banno Junji, “Dai san setsu: Meiji seiken no kakuritsu,” in Inoue Mitsusada, et al., eds., Nihon rekishi taikei 4: Kindai I (Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 1987), 358–359. 6. Robert Eskildsen, “Suitable Ships and the Hard Work of Imperialism: Evaluating the Japanese Navy in the 1874 Invasion of Taiwan,” Asian Cultural Studies 38 (2012): 47–60. 7. D. Eleanor Westney, “The Military,” in Marius B. Jansen and Gilbert Rozman, eds., Japan in Transition: From Tokugawa to Meiji (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), 168–194. 8. Robert Eskildsen, “An Army as Good and Efficient as Any in the World: James Wasson and Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan,” Asian Cultural Studies 36 (2010): 45–62. 9. Ishii Takashi, Meiji shoki no Nihon to higashi Ajia (Yokohama: Yūrindō, 1983), 101–105. 10. Paul D. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire: Japan’s Rule on Taiwan’s “Savage Border,” 1874–1945 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018); Paul Barclay, “Cultural Brokerage and Interethnic Marriage in Colonial Taiwan: Japanese Subalterns and Their Aborigine Wives, 1895–1930,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (2005): 325–360; Antonio C. Tavares, “The Japanese Colonial State and the Dissolution of the Late Imperial

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Frontier Economy in Taiwan, 1886–1909,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (2005): 361–385; Paul R. Katz, “Governmentality and Its Consequences in Colonial Taiwan: A Case Study of the Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (2005): 387–424. 11.  Leonard H. D. Gordon, “Taiwan and the Powers, 1840–1895,” in Leonard H. D. Gordon, ed., Taiwan: Studies in Chinese Local History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970), 93–116; Leonard H. D. Gordon, Confrontation Over Taiwan: Nineteenth-Century China and the Powers (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007). 12. Peter Duus, The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895–1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Uchida. 13. Key-hiuk Kim, The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order: Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860–1882 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 279–284. 14.  Paul Barclay, “‘Gaining Confidence and Friendship’ in Aborigine Country: Diplomacy, Drinking and Debauchery on Japan’s Southern Frontier,” Social Science Japan Journal 6.1 (2003): 77–96. 15. Barclay, Outcasts of Empire; Paul Barclay, “‘They Have for the Coast Dwellers a Traditional Hatred:’ Governing Igorots in Northern Luzon and Central Taiwan, 1895–1915,” in Julian Go and Anne L. Foster, eds., The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 217–255. 16. Dairōkai, ed., Dairō Mizuno Jun sensei (Taihoku: Dairōkai Jimusho, 1930), 38–113, 116–125; Yamane Yukio, “Taiwan Kyōkai no seiritsu to sono hatten: Nihon shokumin seisaku no ichi sokumen,” Tōkyō Joshi Daigaku Fuzoku Hikaku Bunka Kenkyūjo Kiyō 36 (1975): 49–77. 17.  Gao Jia Xin, “Sinvaudjan kara mita Botansha jiken (jō),” trans. Satoi Yōichi, Ryūkyū Daigaku Kyōiku Gakubu Kiyō 72 (2008): 51. 18.  Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, ed., Ōkuma Shigenobu kankei monjo (6 vols.; Tokyo: Nihon Shiseki Kyōkai, 1932–1935), 2, 351; Barclay, “Cultural Brokerage,” 337. 19.  Mark R. Peattie, “Introduction,” in Ramon H. Myers and Mark R. Peattie, eds., The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895–1945 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), 16. Leonard Gordon argues that Taiwan was left vulnerable to seizure by Japan in 1895 because Britain, the USA, France, and Russia abandoned the Cooperative Policy, but he does not identify an affirmative reason why the Japanese colonized Taiwan; Gordon, “Taiwan and the Powers, 1840–1895,” 107–110. Gordon, in Confrontation over Taiwan, devotes a section in one chapter to explaining the Japanese decision to annex Taiwan (173–176), and he argues that Japanese interest in annexing Taiwan dated from December 1894, just after hostilities had ended in the Sino-Japanese War and that

352  R. ESKILDSEN “Japan seriously began to see the value of Taiwan in February, 1895,” just before the beginning of the peace conference that formally ended the war (176). Edward I-te Chen argues that military victories against the Chinese during the early months of the Sino-Japanese war moved Japan’s leaders to consider annexing Taiwan, and that they were not motivated by economic concerns; their greatest strategic concerns were that a Western power might seize the island or intervene in the settlement between China and Japan;” Edward I-te Chen “Japan’s Decision to Annex Taiwan: A Study of Itō-Mutsu Diplomacy, 1894–95,” The Journal of Asian Studies 37.1 (1977): 71–72. 20. Chen, “Japan’s Decision,” 65 n. 17. Chen argues that in annexing Taiwan Japan’s leaders found “the first realistic opportunity (since the Meiji Restoration) to materialize Japan’s long-standing aspiration for equality with the West” (72). His explanation suggests the decision for annexation was opportunistic. I agree with his implication that long-term strategic interests shaped the decision, but I am suggesting that those interests and the involvement of Saigō and Kabayama were not simply opportunistic and therefore deserve greater attention. 21. Robert Eskildsen, “Taiwan: A Periphery in Search of a Narrative,” The Journal of Asian Studies 64.2 (May 2005): 281–294. 22.  Richard F. Calichman, “Preface,” Overcoming Modernity: Cultural Identity in Wartime Japan (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 24–26. Harry D. Harootunian resists characterizing the symposium as a failure but recognizes the circularity of the problem of modernity that it attempted to address; Harry D. Harootunian, Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture, and Community in Interwar Japan (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), 94. 23. For a thoughtful reflection on the ambiguities of Japanese claims of liberation in Asia, see Ethan Mark, “‘Asia’s’ Transwar Lineage: Nationalism, Marxism, and ‘Greater Asia’ in an Indonesian Inflection,” The Journal of Asian Studies 65.3 (August 2006): 461–493.

Appendices

Appendix A: Sources Used for the Statistical Analysis of the Army in Taiwan in 1874 A statistical analysis of the Japanese expeditionary force sent to Taiwan in 1874 was conducted using data from multiple sources that were compiled into a single database. Two reports prepared by the Savage Affairs Bureau (Banchi Jimukyoku) in 1875 list almost all of the military personnel and laborers who died as a result of their service in Taiwan. The jin’in hyō (JH) lists military personnel and the busotsu hyō (BH) lists laborers (citations are listed below), and since the two lists do not overlap they will be referred to below as a single source (JHBH). A table at the end of Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (STKS) contains most of the same information, but while the lists in STKS and JHBH overlap there are enough differences between them to conclude that they were compiled independently. STKS was prepared by Japanese people in Taiwan in the 1930s, probably under the direction of Fujisaki Seinosuke. STKS does not cite the sources that were used for its table but Fujisaki and anyone else who worked with him used copies of reports from governors to the central government or documents sent from the Nagasaki branch of the Savage Affairs Bureau to the main office in Tokyo. Several of these documents comprise a third set of sources (“others”). The database contains information about 589 people who served in the Taiwan Expedition and died from illness, accidents, or combat © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1

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354  Appendices Table A.1  Number of deaths listed in three groups of sources Source

Number

Number listed in

JHBH STKS Others Length of database

567 537 191 589

1 source only 2 or 3 sources All 3 groups of sources

45 544 162

(Table A.1). The information from the three groups of sources overlaps to a considerable extent, making it possible to confirm most of the data by comparing it to data from other sources. The degree of overlap also created confusion, however, since the information in multiple sources did not always match. Most of the differences were minor, but some were substantive and all of them required adjustments to the data. Most of the adjustments involved using information from one source to fill in information missing in another source or to improve the detail of information. Many of the problems involved obvious clerical errors or differences in the kanji (Chinese characters) used in the names of the dead (the names were not used in the analysis but they helped identify duplicated data), and most of the rest were the result of random errors. The differences were resolved by relying on a hierarchical ranking of the sources. The “others,” being primary sources, were given priority over JHBH, and JHBH was given priority over STKS, except when data were absent (a value provided in one source was always given priority over a blank in another). In cases where two or more sources agreed, the value from the agreeing sources would be used rather than the value from a third disagreeing source, even if the third source had a higher priority. The total number of adjustments was not great, and in general they did not have a big effect on the statistical analysis. Sources Used in Compiling the Database Jin’in hyō (JH): “Taiwan shussei jin’in shibō hyō,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, banchi shori, tankōsho•shoban shorui Banchi Jimukyoku shohyō ruisan (JACAR A03031150000). Busotsu hyō (BH): “Toban shokkō busotsu byōbotsu jinmei hyō,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shorui Banchi Jimukyoku shohyō ruisan (JACAR A03031150100).

Appendices

  355

STKS: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 433–471. “Kagoshima ken e shōshūhei teatekin sagewatasu no ken,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shorui tsuiroku 2 (JACAR A03030072700). “Toban shibotsu busotsu nado sanjūkyūmei kanchō e hōchikata no ukagai,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan (JACAR A03030555000). “Shikyoku yori Takasago-maru nite kisaki no naka byōshi meibo todoke,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 11 gatsu no 2•dai 72 satsu (JACAR A03030326600). “Kaku chihōkan e toban jin no uchi byōshi genseki fuchi mono namaegaki aisoe sōsaku kata no gotatsu,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan (JACAR A03030554900). “Kaku fuken e toban busotsu nado nijūmei shibō no tatsu,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan (JACAR A03030554300). “Banchi nite busotsu shibō no mono genseki chōsa,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, dajō ruiten, (sono ta), dajō ruiten•zatsubu (sōkō)•Meiji 7 nen–Meiji 9 nen•dai 5 kan•Taiwan bu 5 (JACAR A01000087500). Appendix B: Estimates of the Size of the Army Sent to Taiwan The Size of the Military Force A summary of the number of people sent to Taiwan prepared by the Savage Affairs Bureau (Banchi Jimukyoku) is the starting point for estimating the size of the army (Table A.2). The summary understates the number of non-military personnel by a large margin, especially ordinary laborers, and it appears to overstate the number of military personnel. The distinction between military and non-military personnel was somewhat arbitrary and personnel listed in one category in one source might be listed in a different category in a different source. For the purposes of the statistical study of the people who died from illness, personnel listed in the JH were considered military personnel and personnel listed in the BH were considered non-military personnel (see Appendix A for an explanation of the sources).

356  Appendices Table A.2  Number of people sent to Taiwan according to the Savage Affairs Bureau

Type of personnel

Number

Military personnel Officers (high and low rank) Soldiers (heisotsu) Civilian employees Servants

781 2643 172 62

3658

Non-military personnel Taiwan headquarters personnel Low-ranking samurai 261 and above Craftsmen 183 Laborers 519 Infirmary personnel Doctors Attendants Clerks Gravediggers Servants Merchants Total number of personnel

Total

1072

34 37 5 5 4 24 4730

Source “Banchi Jimukyoku ichiran hyō,” Ōkuma monjo A204, Waseda University Library

According to Gotō Arata, the size of the Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion dispatched to Taiwan at the beginning of May was 744 soldiers, including officers.1 Gotō also states that the Kumamoto 3rd artillery company included 150 soldiers and the company of former samurai volunteers numbered 573. According to Ochiai Taizō, a corps of 55 sailors were converted into an artillery company to serve in Taiwan and a Signal Corps of 40–45 low-ranking officers and soldiers also went to Taiwan.2 If members of these two corps died at a similar rate to the other soldiers sent to Taiwan at the same time we should expect to see around 3–5 in each group, but only one member of the Signal Corps appears in the JH, an improbably low number. The most likely explanation is that members of the Signal Corps were included among the officers attached to the headquarters for reporting purposes. The absence of the naval artillery company from the statistics is surprising, however, and other than Ochiai’s reference there is no other identifiable mention of them in primary or secondary sources. Gotō’s number for the soldiers in the Kumamoto 3rd artillery company is, on the other hand, too low based on the number of deaths it experienced. Twenty-three of the soldiers

Appendices

  357

in the company died from disease and if it numbered only 150 then it would have had an implausibly high death rate of over 15%, compared to roughly 9% for the other companies and battalions sent to Taiwan at the same time. It is likely that the naval artillery company that Ochiai mentions was incorporated into the Kumamoto 3rd artillery. In that case it would have had at least 200 members and a more plausible death rate of 11.5%. It is also possible that the government decided to increase the size of the Kumamoto 3rd artillery after the document cited by Gotō was issued. If it included 200 members, plus 55 members of the naval artillery company, then the death rate would have been 9%, in line with the other contingents sent to Taiwan in May. Ochiai puts the number of the former samurai volunteers at around 300, much lower than Gotō’s figure of 573.3 Gotō’s figure probably includes laborers who accompanied the volunteers and Ochiai’s figure is close to the correct number of soldiers. Twenty-seven of the volunteers died from illness and disease, and a company size of 300 as Ochiai suggests would yield a plausible 9% death rate. Twenty-two of the twenty-seven volunteers who died came from Kagoshima, the other five coming from three different prefectures. That ratio would suggest that about 80%, or roughly 245, of the volunteers came from Kagoshima and the remaining 55 came from elsewhere. According to Ochiai, Saigō Takamori recruited the volunteers in Kagoshima,4 but an officer named Yamamoto Masamoto also recruited 39 volunteers from various prefectures.5 In that case Saigō probably recruited about 260 volunteers and Yamamoto 39. Each of the Kagoshima volunteers appears to have had a single laborer who accompanied him to Taiwan as an attendant (in the BH the laborers who worked for the Kagoshima volunteers are usually identified by the name of the person they served). If the number of former samurai volunteers from Kagoshima (260) is added to an equal number of laborers who accompanied them (260) and the 39 volunteers recruited by Yamamoto, the total is 559, close to the number cited by Gotō. According to a report from the Nagasaki branch of the Savage Affairs Bureau, 546 volunteers (chōshū heitai) arrived back in Nagasaki from Taiwan on September 19.6 If we add to that figure the number of volunteers who died from illness in Taiwan or on board the ship (12), the number who died in battle (5), and the number of volunteer attendants who died in Taiwan or on board ship (probably 20) we get a total of 583, also close to the number cited by Gotō. The size of the company of former samurai volunteers was therefore about 300, with roughly 260 of them coming from Kagoshima, and the volunteers from Kagoshima

358  Appendices

were accompanied by at least 260 volunteer laborers who worked as their attendants. A report from the governor of Kagoshima to the Nagasaki branch of the Savage Affairs Bureau states that 294 volunteer laborers went from Kagoshima to Taiwan.7 It is likely that most or all of them were included among the total that Gotō mentions. Two other battalions from the Kumamoto garrison served in Taiwan, the 11th infantry battalion and the 22nd infantry battalion. Ōkuma Shigenobu wrote a letter to Saigō Tsugumichi on August 20 that explained how many replacement soldiers were being sent to Taiwan.8 According to that letter one of the battalions would consist of 687 soldiers and the other 681 soldiers (including officers). The letter does not specify which battalions would be sent, and the government’s plans changed (it originally planned to send the Kumamoto 13th infantry battalion but sent the 11th instead). The sources do not precisely identify how many soldiers were in the 11th and 22nd infantry battalions but each of them included about 680 soldiers. Each of the new infantry battalions included about 120 officers. The government also planned to send 58 officers (45 of them low-ranking) to be attached to the expedition headquarters. According to the Banchi Jimukyoku ichiran hyō cited above a total of 781 officers were sent to Taiwan. Extrapolating from the number of officers in the two new battalions, between 480 and 500 of the 781 officers sent to Taiwan were part of the combat battalions and companies and the rest, between 280 and 300, were attached to the expedition headquarters or the infirmary. Based on this information, it is possible to estimate the number of military personnel sent to Taiwan (Table A.3). With a total number of 205 deaths from illness and disease out of roughly 3200 military personnel the overall death rate would have been about 6.4%. This total number of military personnel is about 450 lower than the total reported by the Savage Affairs Bureau (Table A.2). It is impossible to identify a specific reason for the difference, but there are at least two possible explanations: (a) the data reporting deaths from illness do not include data about another battalion of soldiers or (b) one or more of the documentary sources indicating the sizes of the battalions is wrong by a large margin. Both explanations are plausible and neither can be disproven. The cause of the discrepancy seems to be that the Savage Affairs Bureau included a large number of military personnel in its statistics who belonged to a battalion or other group that did not die in significant numbers, perhaps navy personnel or another infantry

Appendices

Table A.3 Estimated number of military personnel sent to Taiwan

  359

Battalion or company

Number

Kumamoto 19th infantry battalion Kumamoto 3rd artillery company Former samurai volunteers Kumamoto 11th infantry battalion Kumamoto 22nd infantry battalion Officers attached to headquarters Civilian employees Servants and civilian employees Total

744 200–250a 300 680 680 300 172 62 3138–3188

a Kumamoto 3rd artillery company includes 55 from the naval corps converted into an artillery company

battalion such as the Kumamoto 1st infantry battalion that apparently arrived in Taiwan late in November. The Size of the Labor Force Estimating the overall number of the non-military personnel sent to Taiwan is difficult because the government did not keep careful records about the laborers. Ochiai Taizō claimed that the total number of personnel sent to Taiwan, both military and non-military, totaled 5990, and while he does not cite his sources the figure seems plausible.9 According to the “Banchi Jimukyoku ichiran hyō” the number of military personnel sent to Taiwan numbered 3658. This figure may include some of the skilled laborers who came to Taiwan and a more reasonable figure for military personnel is around 3200. Calculating from Ochiai’s total and the estimate of military personnel given above, the total number of laborers would have been around 2790 (5990–3200 = 2790). With 365 deaths for laborers, their overall death rate would have been 13%, roughly double the overall 6.4% death rate for military personnel. It is likely that the number of non-military personnel was higher than this estimate. If we assume a 9% death rate among the non-military personnel then their total number would be an implausibly high 4050. If we assume a one-to-one ratio of military to non-military personnel, then their total number would be 3200 with a death rate of 11.4%. It is most likely that the total number of non-military personnel was between 3000 and 3200 with an overall death rate of around 11.4 to 12.2%.

360  Appendices

Combining the estimates of military and non-military personnel, the total size of the army sent to Taiwan was probably at least 6000 and no more than 6500, although the number of personnel in Taiwan at any one time was about half that total, except for brief periods of overlap when replacements arrived and sick soldiers and laborers went back to Japan.

Notes 1. Gotō Arata, “Taiwan shuppei ni okeru chōhei mondai,” Musashino Daigaku Seiji-Keizai Kenkyūjo Nenpō 5 (2012): 139, 142. 2. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku (Tokyo: Kunii Gorō, 1920), 45. Ochiai puts the number in the Signal Corps at 45 but James Wasson writes that “forty officers and men who were to be instructed in a system of signals” were sent to Taiwan; Report from James R. Wasson to Ōkuma Shigenobu, 1875, in Robert Eskildsen, ed., Foreign Adventurers and the Aborigines of Southern Taiwan, 1867–1874: Western Sources Related to Japan’s 1874 Expedition to Taiwan (Taibei: Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, 2005), 217. 3. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 46. 4. Ochiai, Meiji shichinen seiban tōbatsu kaikoroku, 46. The same claim is made in Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, ed., Saigō totoku to Kabayama sōtoku (Taihoku: Saigō Totoku Kabayama Sōtoku Kinen Jigyō Shuppan Iinkai, 1936), 9. Neither of these sources cites the original source. 5. “Saigō totoku narabini shikyoku e Inoue Zenshirō bohei hennyū no gi ni tsuki ōfuku,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe inu jūni gatsu no ichi•dai hachijū san satsu (JACAR A03030362700). 6. “Shikyoku yori Kanagawa-maru nite heisotsu byōnin narabi ni chōshūtai chakusaki unnun denshin,” November 19, 1874, Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoeinu [1874] 9 gatsu no 9•dai 49 satsu (JACAR A03030255900). 7. “Shikyoku yori Kagoshima ken chōsotsu kazoku teatekin ni tsuki raikanfu Kagoshima ken ōfukusho,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban ruisan•kaikei•shichi gatsu futsuka yori hachi gatsu 31 nichi made (JACAR A03030897800). 8. “Saigō totoku denpō ni tsuki Kumamoto chindai ichi daitai Tokyo-maru norikomi hakken no gi,” Kokuritsu Kōbunshokan, naikaku, tankōsho, shoban shorui, tankōsho•shoban shimatsu•kinoe inu hachi gatsu no go•dai sanjū roku satsu (JACAR A03030216300). 9. Ochiai Taizō, Meiji shichinen seiban ishi (Tokyo: n.p., 1887), 30; “Banchi Jimukyoku ichiran hyō,” Ōkuma monjo A204, Waseda University Library.

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Index

A Adelman, Jeremy, 31 agents sent to Taiwan, 14 Chinese suspicions, 148, 163 debate over strategy, 165–169 lose one thousand dollars, 171 Akamatsu Noriyoshi (赤松則良), 130, 134, 168, 194, 199, 205, 234 Ami (阿美), 192 Ammen, Daniel, 253 Amoy (Xiamen, 廈門), 14, 48, 156, 189 anti-foreignism, 76 Arrow War, 110 Ashuelot, 48 Audience Question, 92, 96, 110, 115 B bakuhan system, 32 Bao Yun (寶鋆), 277 Barclay, Paul, 219 Bax, B. W., 243 Beazeley, Michael, 288 Beishiliao (北勢寮), 239 Bell Expedition, 49, 80 Bengshan (崩山), 282

Bhabha, Homi, 10 black ships as symbol in media, 298, 311 Boissonade, Gustave Emile, 235, 274 border problems, 2, 3, 12 Broad Expedition, 47, 58 Brown, Albert, 230 Bukovansky, Mlada, 31 Butan (Mudan, 牡丹), 66, 91, 161, 164, 198, 204, 206, 211, 308 Butzow, Eugenie K., 77 C camphor, 151 Capron, Horace, 128 Cassel, Douglas, 128, 133, 184, 189, 192, 193, 204, 229, 230 Charter Oath, 32 Chasiang (Checheng, 車城), 52, 164, 192 Chatterjee, Partha, 10 Chen Ansheng (陳安生), 129, 161, 190, 229, 233 Chen Asan (陳阿三), 212 Chen Fuxun (陳福勳), 113

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019 R. Eskildsen, Transforming Empire in Japan and East Asia, New Directions in East Asian History, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3480-1

375

376  Index Chikasowan (七腳川), 170 Chiksha (竹社), 205 Chinese Army, 218 Chinese authority established in southern Taiwan, 38, 288 Japanese challenge to suzerain authority, 272 suzerain authority, 2, 24, 36 tribute system, 28, 110, 346 Chinese civilization, 299 Civilization and Enlightenment, 15, 298, 305, 328 colonization of indigenous territory, 4, 8 China and, 59 Chinese opposition to Japanese, 343 institutions of Japanese authority, 232, 268 Japanese advance bases, 152, 167, 174 Japanese code words for, 161, 232, 235, 269, 280 in Japanese media, 300, 302 Japanese opposition, 95, 109 Japanese plans for, 7, 90, 127–129 versus quarantine, 61 colonization of Taiwan, Western proposals, 46, 57, 81 commercial publishing industry, 297 conscripts, 184, 216 constitutional monarchy, 3, 33 constructivism, 11 cooked savage (shufan/jukuban, 熟 番), 146 Cormorant, 47, 58 Crimean War, 114 D Date Munenari (伊達宗城), 77, 114, 277 de Geofroy, F. H. Louis, 283

DeLong, Charles, 74, 76, 79, 81, 82, 110 Dickson, Matthew, 162 diplomacy competition between China and Japan, 2, 263 public information, 46 diplomatic protocol, 115, 337 diversity in Japanese Army, calls for, 325 dual allegiance, 23, 26, 272, 280 Dwarf, 243 dynastic power, collapse of, 4 E early modern symbols of hierarchy, 298 Eastern Question, 92 Etō Shinpei (江藤新平), 75, 128, 203 expedition to Korea American, 117 French, 117 Japanese, proposed, 120 extraterritorial protection, threat to, 132, 250, 254 F Fangliao (Pongli) (枋寮), 50, 162, 195, 239, 281 first Seminole war, 240 former samurai volunteers, 130, 137, 183, 202, 216 four portals, 25–30 Fukushima Kyūsei (福島九成), 92, 125, 133, 147, 149, 160, 161, 165, 189, 193, 205, 229, 234, 241, 267, 281 Fukuzawa Yukichi (福澤諭吉), 34, 316, 327

Index

G Gatling guns, 206 Giquel, Prosper, 254 Gotō Arata, 185 Governor General of Fujian and Zhejiang, 48, 50, 189, 203, 230, 235 Grant, Ulysses S., 34, 81 Gregory, William, 157, 164, 193 Guo Zhanao (郭占鰲), 163 H Hakka (客家), 192 Hakkotomari, 120, 158 Hardie, James, 162, 164 Harris, Townsend, 57 Hashimoto Sadahide (橋本貞秀), 316 Henderson, J. J., 254 Hengchun (恒春), 288 Higashikuze Michitomi (東久世通禧), 135, 286 Hokkaidō Colonization Office, 128 Hoklo (福佬), 192 Hongkang (楓港), 195, 205, 206, 239 Hong Kong, 149, 159 Hornet, 193 Horn, James, 50, 59 House, E. H., 202, 239, 300 Huang Wenglong (黄分龍), 195 Huang Wenzhen (黄文珍), 203 hypochondria, 186 I Ii Naosuke (井伊直弼), 33 Ijichi Sadaka (伊地知貞馨), 78 imperial authority, 15 Korean recognition of, 36, 121 as source of Japanese dominance, 307, 314, 324 versus samurai authority, 305, 314

  377

imperial democracy, 33 indemnity American demands, 43, 60, 265 Chinese resistance to Japanese demands, 271 as consolation money, 284 Japanese demands, 15, 238, 283 as Japanese policy option, 98, 266 paid to Japan, 263, 285 as validation of Japanese position, 289 versus colonization, 265, 268, 270, 280, 284, 289 indigenes analogies to Native Americans, 49, 57 as savages, 6, 13, 49, 56, 61, 88, 117 indigenous territory boundary, 45, 60–63, 301 Chinese claim to, 2, 74 Chinese denial of jurisdiction, 49, 56, 81, 117, 337 frontier, 162, 173, 174 as unclaimed land, 148, 264, 265 Inoue Kaoru (井上馨), 23, 34, 111 Inoue Kowashi (井上毅), 281 Inoue Yoshika (井上良馨), 161 international law, 13, 235 Isa (伊厝), 53, 91, 196, 243 Ishii Takashi, 5 Itagaki Taisuke (板垣退助), 111, 123, 157 Itō Hirobumi (伊藤博文), 215, 267 Iwakura Mission, 76, 123, 156 Iwakura Tomomi (岩倉具視), 76, 123, 124, 268, 273 J James, 161 Japan

378  Index decentralized government, 32 as leader of Asia, 88, 94, 110, 320 solidarity with China, 89 Japanese appropriations adaptations of free trade ideology, 339 adaptations of language, 338 chairs, 309 clothing, 113, 309, 315 exlusion of religion, 339 hairstyles, 309, 315 methods of imperialism, 153 as part of recursion, 336 as source of opposition to expedition, 342 strengthened by threat of force, 340 Japanese army sent to Taiwan composition, 6, 130, 183–188 disease, 14, 183, 274, 281, 344 disobedience, 184, 200 hybrid force, 183, 344 laborers, 188 problems, 14, 183, 202, 216 taking of heads, 202 unsuitability of volunteers, 186 Japanese diplomacy alignment with West, 1, 85, 289 consolidated approach, 6, 13, 77, 92, 96–99, 159, 272 early Meiji, 9 Japanese expedition battles and fighting, 6, 14, 199– 202, 205–211 as bilateral diplomatic conflict, 4 decision to dispatch, 108, 129 foreign opposition to, 7, 131–135 impact on Western powers, 228, 249–253, 257, 283 lobbying for, 165 local guides, 205 ostensible purpose, 227, 241, 299 plans for second phase, 231, 234, 235, 237

public concerns about, 321 real purpose, 128, 132, 136, 232, 285, 299 second phase stopped, 236, 255 shelving plans for colonization, 235, 265–268 source of experience for later colonization, 346 surrender of indigenes, 211–215 two-phase plan, 14, 181, 211 Western media response, 287 young girl captured, 210 Japanese imperialism, 15 alignment with West, 34, 288 civilization as context of, 341 Leninist interpretations, 10 postcolonial interpretations, 10 Japanese media, 15 Ainu, 299, 308, 318 analogies, 295, 297–299 cannbalism, 317, 318 race, 316–317 savagery of indigenes, 315–320 spreading civilization to Taiwan, 304, 328 submission of indigenes, 305, 307 violence of indigenes, 317 Japanese military weakness, 90, 183, 218, 267, 281, 323, 343 Johnson, James, 190, 192 Jōjima Kenzō (城島謙蔵), 148, 156 justification for colonization, 4, 12, 45, 54–60, 67, 68, 74, 81, 99, 232, 295, 328 expanded by Soejima, 85 K Kabayama Sukenori (樺山資紀), 79, 80, 116, 118, 205, 211, 229 in Beijing, 147–149 Kachilai (加芝來), 204

Index

Kalewan (加禮宛), 170 Kameyama (Guishan, 龜山), 211 Kamolan (Kamalan, 噶瑪蘭), 91, 151, 171 Kasuga (春日), 157, 159 Kautz, Albert, 251 Keelung (Jilong, 基隆), 151, 168 Kido Takayoshi (木戸孝允), 121, 123, 126, 127, 129, 133 Kien, 192 Kilai (奇萊), 165, 168, 169–173, 174 Kishida Ginkō (岸田吟香), 300, 320 Koalut (龜仔角), 47, 52, 65, 91, 164, 199 Kodama Toshikuni (児玉利国), 125, 148, 157, 165, 286 Korea problem, 6, 35, 125 Koutang (Houdong, 猴洞), 212 Kumamoto garrison 1st infantry battalion, 188 11th infantry battalion, 186, 281 19th infantry battalion, 130, 185 22nd infantry battalion, 186, 285 3rd artillery company, 130, 185 Kurooka Yūnosuke (黒岡勇之丞), 147, 149 Kusakut (高士佛), 66, 204, 207, 211 Kwaliang Bay (Nanwan, South Bay, 南 灣), 49, 199 L Lai Shengwen (來勝文), 212 LeGendre, Charles, 48, 74, 113, 130, 133, 181, 197, 234, 265, 274, 301, 336 alignment with Japan, 84, 115 appointed Special Commissioner, 253, 268 arrest in Amoy, 228, 252 decision to remain in Japan, 84

  379

influence on Soejima Taneomi, 80–86 memos for Soejima Taneomi, 86–96, 112, 149 no intention of remaining in Japan, 81 offered job by Chinese, 253 legitimacy contest, 31 Liangkiau (Langqiao, 琅嶠), 162, 165, 174, 191, 195, 202, 234 Li Henian (李鶴年), 189, 235, 251, 253 Li Hongzhang (李鴻章), 78, 113, 274 Lin Aqiu (Lin Ajiu, 林阿九), 212 Lin Teshou (林徳勝), 162, 164 Liu Mingteng (劉明燈), 48, 50 Liu Tianbao (劉天保), 64 Low, Frederick, 115, 119 M Manson, Patrick, 129, 131, 189, 229 Mantsui (蚊卒), 196, 212 Maria Luz, 77, 113 Masumitsu Kunisuke (益満邦介), 158 Matsuno Atsuyoshi (松野篤義), 239 McKenzie, Lt. Commander Alexander, 49 Medhurst, W. H., 78 Meiji Restoration, 1, 3, 12, 15, 29, 74, 228, 256 as response to Western imperialism, 336 spreading change to Taiwan, 296 Mia, 192, 204 Milisch, James, 59 Mitsukuri Shōgo (箕作省吾), 316 Miyakojima (宮古島), 63, 89 Mizuno Jun (水野遵), 147, 148, 205, 212 Mōri Toshihiko, 123

380  Index N Nanao (南澳), 153, 161, 166 Nanfengwan (Nanfangao, 南風灣), 152, 170 Narahara Shigeru (奈良原繁), 78 Narutomi Seifū (成富清風), 125, 147–149, 157, 160, 165 national prestige, 304, 313 national rights diplomacy, 75 national symbols, 304, 308 neighborly relations (gyorin, kōrin), 27 newspapers, foreign language, 297 Niinai (女奶), 205, 209, 211 Nisshin (日進), 168, 194, 199, 211 O occupation of southern Taiwan administrative office, 194, 212 base camps, 193–195, 211 branch camps, 195, 205, 206, 211, 239, 281 ceremonies of surrender, 242–249, 255 certificates of protection and flags, 198, 204, 243 Chinese ships visit, 203 negotiations with indigenes, 196–199, 202–205 purported submission to Japanese, 239, 245 shared leadership, 196 Ochiai Taizō (落合泰蔵), 130, 275 Ochiai Yoshiiku (落合芳幾), 305, 313 Ōhara Shigemi (大原重実), 111 Okada Ryūgin (岡田竜吟), 313 Ōkubo Toshimichi (大久保利通), 123, 124, 126, 134, 165, 263, 273, 285 negotiations in Beijing, 278–280 threatens to break off negotiations, 280

Ōkuma Shigenobu (大隈重信), 75, 111, 122–124, 126, 134, 165, 186, 197, 215, 235, 274 Ōkura Kihachirō (大倉喜八郎), 210, 301 Opium War, 29 Orbach, Danny, 134 Ōyama Tsunayoshi (大山綱良), 78 P Paiwan (排湾), 192 pan-Asianism, 11, 95, 100 Pan Wei (潘霨), 237, 238 Parkes, Harry, 32, 132, 133 Pennock, Alexander, 251 peripheral areas Russians in Tsushima, 33 Western exploitation of, 24, 340 Perry Expedition as symbol in media, 298, 310 Perry, Matthew C., 57 Peter, 149, 151, 165, 170, 171 Peterson, 149 petitions to Japanese government, 15, 323–325 Pickering, William, 50, 53 Pilam (Peinan, 卑南), 91, 129, 161, 174, 189, 240, 247 as target of colonization, 229–231 plains aborigines (pingpufan, 平埔番), 146, 151 Pokpok (薄薄), 170 Poliak (保力), 65, 205, 212 preemptive exploitation, 4, 13, 24, 75, 100, 126, 145, 173, 174 Chinese preemption of Japanese, 156 Western preemption of Japanese, 166 prioritizing foreign policy goals, 109, 121 propaganda

Index

for foreign press, 300, 337 lack of domestic, 296, 300 protests against conscription, 217 R Ragan, 170 raw savage (shengfan/seiban, 生番), 146 recursive imperialism, 8, 10–12, 100, 174, 336–342 antagonism and affinity, 9, 11 feedback loop, 9, 341 weaknesses of strategy, 342 red cloth, 204 red flag, 53 Robinson, Ronald, 34 Rover Incident, 43 demands for a fort, 53, 60 demands for a lighthouse, 60, 83, 265 negotiations with Chinese, 54–60, 66, 82 precedents for Japan, 44, 46 Ryūjō (龍驤), 112, 273 Ryūkyū, 1, 12 Japanese claim to, 5, 23, 37, 289 Ryūkyūans, massacre of, 44, 63–67, 73, 78, 110, 190, 212 Ryūkyūans, skulls recovered, 213–215 S Saga Rebellion, 6, 124, 127, 136, 181, 203, 267 Saigō Takamori (西鄉隆盛), 32, 111, 122, 123, 130, 157 Saigō Tsugumichi (西郷從道), 1, 129, 130, 133, 169, 184, 186, 202, 205, 267, 274, 281

  381

imperial orders, 134, 181, 228, 231, 233, 241, 269 letter to Li Henian, 190, 203, 230–232, 237, 238 Sakhalin, 3, 26, 35, 77, 120, 158 Sakuma Samata (佐久間左馬太), 201, 205, 212 samurai authority, 136 as source of Japanese dominance, 314 samurai discontent, 6, 127, 268 Sanjō Sanetomi (三条実美), 123, 125, 129, 215, 231, 235, 273 Sankeikau (Shuangxikou, 双渓口), 208, 210 Sansentai (Sanxiantai, Peifengwan, 三 仙台), 91, 149 Satsuma, 37, 73, 78 Satsuma Rebellion, 3, 136, 340 Savage Affairs Bureau (Banchi Jimukyoku), 130, 188, 323 Nagasaki branch, 215 Schmid, Andre, 7 Secretary of State, United States, 115, 254 decision not to annex Taiwan, 55, 84 Seikanron, 6, 13, 95, 108, 120–123, 136, 155, 157, 181, 267 Sekimon (Stone Door, 石門), 201, 205, 206, 314 Seward, William, 34 Shafuli (射不力), 195 Shaliao (射寮), 164, 192 Shamali (射麻里), 54, 65, 91, 192, 204, 212, 247 Shanghai, 112, 147, 230, 237 Shen Baozhen (沈葆楨), 276 Shepherd, John, 61 Sheppard, Eli, 113 Shinke (新街), 192, 205

382  Index Shitenkei (Sichongsi, 四重溪), 200, 206 Shoban shushi sho, 5 Shukoran (秀姑巒), 168 Signal Corps, 186 Sino-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, 77, 114, 276, 279 Smith, Erasmus Peshine, 76, 82 Soejima Taneomi (副島種臣), 13, 68, 73, 75–77, 122, 123, 147, 157, 181, 277 influence on LeGendre, 80–86 mission to China, 13, 96, 108, 110–116, 277 South Cape (Oluenpi, 鵝鑾鼻), 199 southern Taiwan local networks, 182, 194, 212, 219, 247 problem of endemic violence, 4, 5, 13, 44, 47 sovereignty, 2, 5 asymmetrical understandings, 264 and civil authority, 15, 264 hybrid in Japan, 30, 31, 264 obligations inherent in, 5 Western ideas about, 45 sovereignty revolution, 7, 30–34, 37, 110, 270, 296, 336, 348 Suao (蘇澳), 86, 128, 149, 167, 170, 174, 230, 240 colony by Milisch and Horn, 59, 151, 152, 170 support for Japanese Army, 324 systematic diplomatic relations, 35 China begins to exercise, 38, 273 T Taiwan-fu (Tainan, 臺灣府), 162 Taiwan problem, 5, 12, 35 Takabatake Ransen (高畠藍泉), 307

Takao (Kaohsiung, 打狗), 157, 161, 162, 229 Takasago (高砂), 169, 215 Takubien (大龜文), 92, 195, 218, 247, 282, 288 Tamsui (Danshui, 淡水), 149, 155, 165 Tanaka Shūzō (田中周藏), 160 Tani Tateki (谷干城), 130, 134, 168, 194, 205, 211 Tanlianpo (統領埔), 212 Tauran (荳蘭), 170 Tei Einei (鄭永寧), 74, 117, 281 Teng, Emma, 61 Terashima Munenori (寺島宗則), 132 Thabor, 230 Tokei Journal, 300 Tokitok (卓杞篤), 52, 91, 162, 197 agreement with LeGendre, 63, 65, 162 document of agreement, 54, 66 first meeting with LeGendre, 53 second meeting with LeGendre, 53 Tokugawa bakufu, 3 Tongzhi Emperor (同治帝), 116 Tosupong (大樹房), 164 transforming empire adaptations of Western imperialism, 9 Japanese imperial house, 9 spreading effects of the Meiji Restoration, 10 Treaty of Tianjin, 48, 55 treaty port system, 171, 228, 297 parasitic use of, 251 Tsukuba (筑波), 112 Tsului (朱雷), 197 Tsushima, 26, 33, 121 Tuilasok (豬朥束), 52, 65, 91, 192, 204, 212, 247 Turkey, 114

Index

U unequal treaties, 3 unsystematic diplomatic relations, 27 V Verbeck, Guido, 76 W Wade, Thomas, 132, 282, 285, 289 Wang Maogong (王懋功), 163 war between China and Japan no declaration by China, 218 risk of, 231 threat of, 14, 251, 281 Wasson, James, 128, 133, 184, 193 Wenxiang (文祥), 278 Western civilization, 15 as source of Japanese dominance, 310, 314 Western imperialism, 3, 7, 9 asymmetrical response, 4 changing context of, 229 Wu Tang (吳棠), 48, 50

  383

Y Yamagata Aritomo (山縣有朋), 217, 267, 344 Yamamoto Masamoto (山本正幹), 130 Yanagihara Sakimitsu (柳原前光), 78, 114, 116, 147, 234, 267 negotiations with Li Hongzhang, 276 negotiations with Pan Wei, 230, 237, 238, 270, 276, 278 Yang Tianbao (楊天寶), 212 Yang Youwang (楊友旺), 65 Yokota Suteru (横田弃), 239, 247, 281 Yūkō (有功), 172, 189 Z Zhou Maoqi (周懋琦), 286 Zhou Youji (周有基), 214, 219 Zongli Yamen (総理衛門), 116, 119, 263, 277, 278