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The National Museum of Taiwan Literature has organized an exhibition on hundreds of items donated by post-war female poet Tu Pan Fang-ko (杜潘芳格), including her manuscripts, journals, and books published during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.
Tu Pan, born in 1927 in today's Hsinchu County, began writing poems, essays, and fiction in Japanese in her adolescence years. She joined the "Straw Hat Poetry Society” and started to write in Chinese in 1965, and published her first Chinese-Japanese poetry collection in 1977.
Later in the 1980s she became a fervent advocate of Hakka-language literature and literature written in other indigenous languages of Taiwan. For her pioneering role in the history of Taiwanese literature, Tu Pan was awarded the Taiwan New Literary Contribution Award.
The writer donated her first memorabilia collection related to literature in 2005, and continued to do so until 2013. Among the 667 items she donated, journals dating from May 1944 to February 2003 are considered a prized source of literary and historical materials.
In her best-known poems, the poet evokes imagery of the Formosa Acacia tree, a perennial tree known for its canary-yellow blossoms. She also compares herself to the tree — the titular "Woman Tree” of the exhibition — whose Chinese name can be translated as "love sick” or "unrequited.”
Visitors to the four-month exhibition will witness a female poet's literary ideology and unique life experiences as a woman who underwent radical changes inpolitical regimes and linguistic values.