Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History


In this module I present a historical narrative that revolves around the activities of Taiwanese and Japanese elite members of society. These figures both derived their status from their alignment with the interests and policies of the state, and used that status to limit the penetration of the state into society. They played the role of gatekeepers in Jilong, and across Taiwan, standing at the threshold of the colonial state and their respective demographic groups, and between the Taiwanese and Japanese communities. These elites funded the construction and renovation of the temples where the deities lived; in most cases, they selected the deities enshrined within each temple; they organized the festivals during which the deities walked through their earth-bound territory; they dealt with the colonial state in the process of carrying out these acts; and they interacted across ethnic lines with a much greater degree of frequency and intensity than did non-elites.

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