Early Taiwan – Aboriginal History of Taiwan

During the Pleistocene Ice Age, which is 3 million to 10,000 years ago, Taiwan was connected to mainland Asia several times. When the two places are connected, creatures from the mainland and ancient humans may come to settle in Taiwan. The earliest known humans in Taiwan are primitive human skeletons excavated in the Zuozhen district of Tainan City, and they are called Zuozhen people. However, no corresponding culture has been found in Zuozhen area. However, according to the research on the blood components of Taiwanese by Professor Lin Mali, the “Mother of Blood in Taiwan”, the ancestors of Taiwan’s aboriginal people migrated to Taiwan from Southeast Asian islands and other places before the end of the ice age 15,000 years ago. In addition, in the legends of the aborigines of Taiwan, such as the dwarf spirit offerings of the Saixia or the Paiwan tribe, some stories may be about dwarf blacks (Negritos), but so far there is no Relevant archaeological evidence.

After excavating several archaeological sites, it was learned that Taiwan was already inhabited by humans in the late Paleolithic period (50,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago). Based on the available evidence, the earliest culture in Taiwan is the Changbin Culture (the Baxiandong site in Changbin Township, Taitung County is the most representative), and a large number of rough stone tools and bone horns have been excavated. Although the Changbin culture has a certain degree of similarity with the culture of southern China today, based on current archaeological evidence, it is still uncertain which ethnic group of humans left Taiwan’s Paleolithic culture.

Taiwan’s Neolithic and Metal Age cultures are not highly related to Paleolithic cultures. The more famous ones include the Dazukeng Culture and Shisanxing Culture in Bali District, New Taipei City, Yuanshan Culture and Botanical Garden Culture in Taipei Basin, Taiwan Beinan Culture and other sites in East County. Coins and other objects from China have been unearthed in some of these sites, indicating that some cultures may have contact with regions outside Taiwan. It has been confirmed that the prehistoric culture since the Neolithic Age (beginning 5,000 BC) is the legacy of Taiwan’s Austronesian people.

The Japanese scholar Igawa Kozura once stated: “Today, among the various ethnic groups regarded as aboriginals in Taiwan, there is no shortage of oral inheritances that prove the existence of earlier inhabitants. Since prehistoric times, there have been nearly 20 kinds of inhabited ethnic groups on the island. ” In addition, some cultures may be the ancestors of today’s aboriginals. For example, the Shisanxing cultural people may be the ancestors of the Ketagalan tribe. However, the current archaeological evidence cannot completely determine the aborigines of Taiwan and the Neolithic Age Correspondence between cultures.

Taiwan’s aborigines are diverse and complex. The groups officially recognized by the Republic of China’s research classification during the Japanese rule are: Atayal, Saixia, Puyuma, Ami, Paiwan, Bunun, Tsou, 9 tribes including Rukai and Dawu. After the 21st century, the newly recognized ethnic groups include: Thao, Kavalan, Taroko, Sakilaya, Saidiq, Laalwa, Kanakanafu, etc. Most of these 7 ethnic groups live in the mountains and the Rift Valley of the East Coast today, and their cultural characteristics are still clearly identifiable.

In addition to the officially recognized ethnic groups, there are 8 ethnic groups: Ketagalan, Daukas, Bazai, Babura, Maowuzu, Hongya, Silaya and Monkey Etc., mainly from the traditional so-called Pingpu ethnic group. Taiwan’s aborigines had no written language in the past, so they can only infer the early history of the aborigines from ancient records and archaeological evidence written by outsiders. Important historical documents include Xingang Documents, Dongfan Ji, and Xiao The Story of Long City” etc.

Foreign Relations – China Mainland

Scholars have different interpretations of the political relationship between Taiwan and ancient China, but it is uncontroversial that it was included in the Qing Empire after the 23rd year of Kangxi (1684). Before Kangxi, there were dozens to hundreds of indigenous peoples and tribes on this island, which was later called Taiwan. After the 17th century, there were areas under Dutch and Spanish colonial rule. Ancient China first included Taiwan in its territory and actually ruled. It was the Ming Zheng Dongning regime in the Southern Ming Dynasty, and before Kangxi included Taiwan in the territory of the Qing Dynasty, Taiwan was never regarded as a Chinese territory. Taiwan mentioned here does not include the Penghu Islands.

Ancient Chinese history books, including “Three Kingdoms·Wu Zhi”, “Sui Shu·Liu Qiu Zhuan” and “Chen Tong Kao”, are believed to have records that appear to be suspected of Taiwan. For example, “Sui Shu·Liu Qiu Zhuan” records: “Liu Qiu country is in the sea, when Jian’an County is east, the water travels five days to reach.” The People’s Republic of China and some scholars claim that this is evidence of early connections between Taiwan and China. However, some opinions claim that there is no evidence that these documents describe Taiwan among the many islands in the Western Pacific. Some scholars believe that the historical records are the Ryukyu Islands.

Japan

Since the Muromachi period, the Japanese began to call Taiwan as Takasago, Takasago, and Takayama. In the second year of Bunroku in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1593), Toyotomi Hideyoshi sent an emissary Harada Sunchiro to order the Takayama country to pay tribute, but the emissary failed to return because he could not find anyone who could pass the document to the Takayama country. In the 14th year of Keicho in the Edo period (1609), Tokugawa Ieyasu appointed Harunobu Arima to pay tribute to the land. In the 2nd year of Yuanhe (1616), Tokugawa Ieyasu appointed Nagasaki’s Daikan Murayama to conquer Taiwan, waiting for An’s second son, Murayama Qiu’an to lead two or three thousand people to conquer Taiwan, which was the largest one. It won. In the 18th year of Huan Yong (1641), the national lock-up system was completed, and communication gradually decreased. However, during the Ming and Zheng period, Taiwan and Japan during the lock-up period still maintained considerable trade and political exchanges. The trade volume between Taiwan and Japan reached a peak from 1665 to 1672. See Japanese beggars.

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