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

Making Connections

While trades and travels were strictly regulated by the government during the Ryūkyū Kingdom period, there is no record of substantial exchanges between Taiwan and Yaeyama islands.

Yaeyama began to forge a linkage with Taiwan immediately after the inauguration of Japanese rule in Taiwan. The exchanges were initiated by the opening of sea transportation between the two regions. As soon as Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895,  Osaka Merchant Ship Company opened a shipping line between Osaka and Taiwan. Its steamships not only carried visitors to Taiwan, but also carried various commodities between Ishigaki and Keelung port.

It should be highlighted that the Yaeyama's industrial and commercial development were closely associated to the establishment of sea transportation network with colonial Taiwan. In other words, the opening of the imperial seaway attracted Japanese business persons and entrepreneurs, which promoted the commercialization and industrialization of Yaeyama Islands.

Yaeyama's local newspapers suggest how Yaeyama's commercial business developed with the close association to Japanese colonization of Taiwan.

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