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Taiwan-Japan museums collaborate to promote Taiwanese indigenous research development

  • Date:2022-09-13
Taiwan-Japan museums collaborate to promote Taiwanese indigenous research development

The National Museum of Prehistory (NMP) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Japan's Tokushima Prefectural Torii Ryuzo Memorial Museum via video conference on Sep. 13. To deepen bilateral collaboration in research and academic resource sharing, the collaboration aims to jointly promote the development of Taiwan's indigenous studies, ethnology, archeology, museology, and other fields.

At the signing ceremony overseen by Lee Tuey-chih (李退之), the chairman of the Taiwan-Japan Friendship of Culture Exchange Foundation of Tainan City, the MOU was signed by NMP Director Wang Chang-hua (王長華) and Hasegawa Kenji (長谷川賢二), the director of the Tokushima Prefectural Torii Ryuzo Memorial Museum.

In its press release, NMP thanked Fukuoka University Professor Maoko Miyaoka (宮岡真央子) for making this collaboration possible. In May and June this year, online research project exchanges were held by the two museums.

To promote future in-person exchanges, NPM has formed a team to enrich the research materials of Taiwanese indigenous peoples while strengthening international exchanges and promotion, facilitating bilateral diverse development.

According to NMP, Torii Ryuzo was a Japanese scholar who came to Taiwan for indigenous studies during the period of Japanese rule. He was also the first scholar who used the glass dry-plate camera for research. He not only completed the ethnic survey covering the whole island at the fastest speed, but was also the only scholar who completed the ethnographic record of the Yami (Tao) people in Lanyu. On account of his efforts, many first-hand precious image materials of Taiwanese indigenous people at that time were preserved.

The Tokushima Prefectural Torii Ryuzo Memorial Museum has collected tens of thousands of Torii Ryuzo's manuscripts, diaries, field journals, sketches, paintings, and specimens, including related materials of glass dry-plate negatives found in the University of Tokyo. Among 2,545 dry-plate negatives that were successfully restored, 824 images related to Taiwanese indigenous peoples accounted for the largest proportion.