Chapter 5

The Taming of the Barbarian and Other Savage Love Stories

Yayutz Bleyh

One of the main protagonists of Lost Histories, Yayutz was one of the highest paid Indigenous Taiwanese who worked for the Japanese colonial government. "In the media coverage of Yayutz’s  presence in the metropolis, her civilized behavior was continually emphasized, from the repeated references to her fluency in Japanese to admiring comments in  newspapers about her signature being proof of her civilized ways" (p. 210). In the book there are 11 photographs of Yayutz and I use these images along with oral histories, material objects and documents to reconstruct her life.

Credit: Nihon, April 30, 1912. (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 210, footnote 34).

Dahu Ali


In 1933 a grand ceremony was held in Kaohsiung to dramatize what the Japanese called “the subjugation of the last barbarian in Taiwan” referring to Dahu Ali's "submission."    Dahu Ali and his brother Aliman Siken   had a complicated relationship with the Japanese colonial government. Initially the government recognized the brothers' influence and tried to get them to enact Japanese policies within their communities.  By 1915, tensions came to a head for numerous reasons explained in Lost Histories, and the brothers fortified their resistance against the government in Tamaho. The ceremony in 1933 was hyped by the media but did not reflect the actual "end" to the "Aborigine Problem" as it was claimed. Dahu Ali's relatives describe the easing of tensions between the Bunun and the Japanese as a mutually agreed upon détente.  Credit: Suzuki Hideo, ed., Taiwan bankai tenbō. (Taipei: Riban no tomo hakkōjo, 1935). (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p.224, footnote 70).

Aliman Siken (阿里曼西肯)

The colonial record shows that Aliman Siken was initially the more powerful of the two brothers and he initially cooperated with the Japanese government, as an acknowledged man of influence. This black and white montage was created by Inō Kanori and was first  published in Banjō  kenyūkaishi  1 (August 16, 1898). Aliman is seen in the center with the white square headband among other influential leaders.  (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 228-230, footnote 79).

For more about Inō  Kanori and this image as well as an analysis of the presentation and circulation of images Taiwan’s  Indigenous Peoples,  see Paul Barclay, “Playing the Race Card in Japanese Governed  Taiwan, or: Anthropometric Photographs as “Shape-Shifting Jokers.”  In The Affect of Difference: Representations  of Race in East Asian Empire. Edited by Christopher Hanscom and Dennis Washburn. (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2015), 38-80.

Aliman Siken and Dahu Ali's hideout in Tamaho

"The construction of the Batongguan Trail and the Guanshan Road coincided with Japan’s determination to solidify its control over Bunun  areas. With Aliman and Dahu residing in Tamaho,  they were no longer under constant surveillance" (237). (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 237 footnote 109). Map showing Tamaho, circled. The above line with the black dots show where the Japanese police stations were located. Credit: Taiwan nichi nichi shinpō, January 22, 1929.

Aliman Siken's move from Tamaho

After tireless efforts on behalf of the Japanese colonial government and its policemen and translators, they finally convinced Aliman to move from Tamaho to the house on Lilong  Mountain in December 1930. This was seen as a major turning point in trying to erode the brothers' strength as rebel leaders.

Aliman and his family in front of their new Japanese built house. Credit: Taiwan nichi nichi shinpō, December 9, 1930. (Corresponds with Lost Histories, p. 241, footnote 133). 

After Aliman and his family moved, he was invited to meet with the head of Taidong prefecture, Kodama, in April 1931. Much was made of “the unsubmitted barbarian” Aliman’s visit to Kodama’s house but as the picture shows, Aliman was actually not a threat, and was in close proximity to Kodama’s wife and children. Another picture of this visit from a different angle can be seen in Lost Histories. (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p. 242, footnote 136).

Caption: “In the center the savage in ceremonial dress is  Aliman Siken the not yet submitted barbarian”

Credit: Fujisaki Seinosuke. Taiwan no banzoku. (Tokyo: Kokushi Kankōkai, 1931).

The tour group taking Dahu's eldest son to Taipei in 1933. The Bunun group from Tamaho was taken to visit the zoo. The girl in the white dress (left of center) was called a moga (modern girl) and it was reported she could speak fluent Japanese.  Credit: Tainichi gurafu  March 15, 1933. (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p.245, footnote 145).

Aliman's death

According to Riban no tomo, on his deathbed Aliman  purportedly "apologized to the police officers for  the debt he owed them, and he advised his people to follow the orders of the officials” (248). (Corresponds to Lost Histories, p.248, footnote 154).

The picture printed of Aliman with his obituary. Credit: Riban no tomo, February 1936.

                                                                                               Chapter 6

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