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Taiwan Pineapple Museum

  • Publish Date:2023-03-14

Chinese Name: 臺灣鳳梨工場

Location: Kaohsiung City (Southern Taiwan)

Established: 1925

Official Website:

Did You Know?

The Taiwan Pineapple Museum is the only remaining canned pineapple industrial building from the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. Taiwan is a kingdom of fruits, and pineapple is one of its representatives. For a period of time after World War II, Taiwan was the world champion of canned pineapple production, and the foundation was laid during the Japanese occupation.

In 1895, Japanese businessman Shotaro Okamura (岡村庄太郎) left his hometown of Osaka and came to a military camp in Tainan to do business. The Japanese who came to Taiwan at that time were all amazed by the deliciousness of the local tropical fruits, especially the pineapples. Due to the geographical environment and climatic conditions, pineapple is mainly produced in the Fengshan (鳳山) and Dashu (大樹) areas of Kaohsiung, and the Yuanlin (員林) area of Changhua. Okamura, who had been involved with canning through the army for a long time, saw the potential of Taiwanese pineapples for export. In 1902, he established Taiwan’s first canning factory in Fengshan, Kaohsiung, and began to invest in canned pineapple processing, gradually building up to an industrial scale.

Driven by Okamura, Fengshan, Changhua, and Yuanlin became the production and distribution hubs for canned pineapple at that time, and the export of canned pineapple boomed. Businessmen in Dadaocheng in northern Taiwan were also eager to give it a try and began moving to central and southern Taiwan to open factories. Canned pineapple factories sprung up like mushrooms, and the Taifang Chamber of Commerce Pineapple Canning Factory (泰芳商會鳳梨罐詰工場), located in Dashu, Kaohsiung was established by Yeh Chin-tu (葉金塗), a businessman from Dadaocheng, Taipei. It is now also the only remaining pineapple canned factory in Taiwan from the era.

The Taifang Chamber of Commerce was founded by Yeh Chin-tu in 1918. Yeh was one of the early Taiwanese businessmen to get involved in the pineapple canning industry after Okamura started it up. After getting rich in the industry, he became known as the Pineapple King. Legend has it that at Yeh's funeral in 1946, his family members stacked canned pineapple towers as sacrifices, which has become the origin of the can towers that are common in traditional funerals in Taiwan today.

The production of canned pineapple during the Japanese colonial period reached its peak in the late 1930s. There were a total of 81 pineapple canneries in Taiwan, making Taiwan the third largest pineapple processing center in the world. However, after Taiwan was devastated by World War II, only four canning factories were left. The original pineapple factory building of the Taifang Chamber of Commerce became the dorms for the ROC Army Vehicular Maintenance Plant after the war. All the residents and their families had moved out by 2003, and it was registered as a historical building in 2004. After restoration work was completed in 2017, it was revitalized and reopened in August 2018.

When visitors walk into the entrance, they are first met by the Dashu Literature and History Exhibition Hall, focused on introducing and displaying the local history, industries, and important attractions of the Dashu area. The adjacent Pineapple Industry Exhibition Hall fully captures the context of the pineapple industry. In addition to offering an in-depth understanding of the history of the industry, there is also a novel DIY experience to be had here, using patterns you draw to make your own pineapple can labels. The more than 50 historical canned pineapple labels lined up in rows are a highlight of this exhibition area. The space showcases a comprehensive overview of the history and development of the pineapple industry in Taiwan, giving audiences a chance to see for themselves the glory days of canned pineapple on the island.

In addition, this place also allows visitors to sample the outstanding flavor of Taiwanese pineapples, including special pineapple iced tea, dried pineapple, jam, and more to choose from, along with unique frozen pineapple products to enjoy. Outside the venue, there is a row of pineapple trees planted by the museum, showing off various varieties of pineapples, enabling this emerging cultural building to also serve as a place for agricultural product promotion.

(Photo courtesy of Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Kaohsiung City Government)