What better way to adjust to the proper time zone than to stay up all night and head to the 228 Memorial Park and take a lot of pictures the next day? I needed an activity to keep my mind occupied during my last day off this holiday vacation. Originally called Taipei New Park, this park was primarily built by the Japanese in 1908. The park was the center of the incident leading to a widespread uprising against the KMT government and the KMT’s heavy-handed suppression resulting in between 10-20 thousand civilians killed during the 228 Massacre (February 28, 1947) and subsequent era of martial law (1947-1987). Today marked the 60th anniversary of the event.
Today was my first time in the museum, as David noted, the museum lacks English signs, however, does have an audio guide in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, English, and Japanese. It would be nice to have a written guide to supplement the audio tour, as there is a lot of information in the displays that are inaccessible if you cannot read Chinese. Some of the exhibits are very powerful and emotions inside the museum were running high on the event’s 60th anniversary.
The 228 Memorial:
Taipei was once a walled-city, the Japanese bulldozed the walls and roads were added in their place… now only the gates remain:
I met a professor from National Taiwan University who talked at great length with me about Taiwan, 228, and current political factions. We both went our separate ways after the opening aboriginal dance.
This man’s sign asks the KMT to return his mother. He was escorted out of the viewing area where he was silent and causing no trouble and taken outside the taped-off perimeter where TV crews pounced on him. This happened right before I left:
A gentleman gave me this DVD-set, I put it in my laptop to see what it was: the video is on two DVDs and Part 1 is bizarrely clips of a man’s home videos from 1993-2000 of his trips to Japan, various places in the United States (mostly parades at Disneyland, visiting Amish Country, the Hoover Dam, and an air show), and a few clips in Taiwan. Part 2 takes us to a 2004 air show filmed in Taoyuan. I really don’t know what to make of all this… Maybe after he gave me the DVD he forgot to give me the decoder ring?