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Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
The Taiwanese legend of Wu Feng who supposedly died in the mid-18th century has passed down since the late Qing dynasty. Wu Feng was considered a righteous martyr-like figure who ultimately sacrificed himself in order to dissuade the Ali Mountain aborigines from their tradition of headhunting. This tale has evolved through different periods in Taiwanese history. The legend starting in the late Qing dynasty through Japanese Colonization, the early R.O.C. in Taiwan, and modern day Taiwan has been manipulated in a number of different ways and has been included as an example for moral education in Taiwan school textbooks until 1987. It seems that these changes or manipulations of the legend are indicative of broader changes occurring in Taiwanese society with a major transformation in race relations manifested in 1988. I will attempt to gain insight into the evolving school textbook version of the Wu Feng myth by studying its representation from the early 1950’s until the final version in 1987.
Alvin P. Cohen