The National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) donated the recently published diary of Japanese author Nishikawa Mitsuru (西川滿) to the writer‘s hometown of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in addition to having held a series of four donation ceremonies through video conferencing with the aim of foster connection between Taiwan and Japan from July 4 to 6.
At a time when Taiwan was suffering from the impact of the pandemic, Japan twice donated more than two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines. In continuing the friendship between the two countries, the NMTL carefully compiled and published the copy of Nishikawa Mitsuru’s diary and presented it to the Fukushima Museum, the Aizu Wakamatsu City Library, and the Nishiaizu International Art Village.
Nishikawa Mitsuru was born in Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 1908. When he was three, his father's assignment led his family to Taiwan, thus, beginning his experience in Taiwan. The customs, landscape, myths and legends became the sources of inspiration in his writings. After the Pacific War ended in 1945, Japan's defeat resulted in the repatriation of Japanese in Taiwan to Japan. As a unique representative figure of Japanese author living in Taiwan during Japanese rule, he was almost forgotten by history, yet the diary attests to the emotional attachment he had for Taiwan.
The book launch for Nishikawa Mitsuru’s published diary early this year has attracted a large number of readers who are passionate for the author, the book’s aesthetics, and book collecting.
Director of NMTL Su Shuo-bin (蘇碩斌) noted that the two countries experienced a colonizer-colonized relationship, which also meant sharing a common life together.
Since this period of history tends to be distorted in our memories, the NTML hopes that the diary it publishes will correct and fill in the blanks, Su said.
Director of the Fukushima Museum Suzuki Akira expressed her gratitude to the NTML for its contribution, and hopes for more exchanges in the future. The Deputy director Yasunao Kawanobe pointed out that this diary will help them more deeply understand the writer’s life and interactions, and thanked Taiwan for its continuous assistance to Japan.