Staging the Police: Visual Presentation and Everyday Coloniality

  • Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai
Part of the Mass Dictatorship in the Twentieth Century book series (MASSD)


This chapter examines the police and colonial hygiene in interwar Taiwan under Japanese rule from the perspective of colonial modernity in everyday life or everyday coloniality. I examine in general terms how a special type of police and hygiene exhibition came to be organised by the Taipei Police in 1925.1 Japan’s participation in world exhibitions can be traced to the end of the Tokugawa period, as early as 1862 and 1867. In 1903, a Taiwanese exhibit called the Hall of Taiwan (Taiwankan) appeared for the first time in the fifth Japan Domestic Exposition (naikoku kangyo hakurankai in Osaka. Five years later, in 1908, the first trade exposition took place in Taiwan (Taihoku bussan kyoshinkai By 1925, the practice of organising exhibitions in Taiwan had been well established, following the bureaucratic pattern developed in Japan but shaped by scientific knowledge applied to the colonial setting.2 Thus the Taipei police found it expedient to follow suit. The Taipei police hoped that the masses (shomin) could be aroused by a variety of propaganda techniques to the idea of self-policing (jikei) and mutual protection (kyoei), no doubt influenced by the popularity of expositions.3


Crime Prevention Colonial Government Photo Album Miniature Model Colonial Setting 
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  1. 2.
    Fan Yanqiu, ‘Weisheng” kandejian: 1910 niandai Taiwan de weisheng zhanlanhui’ [Visualising Hygiene: Hygiene Exhibitions in Colonial Taiwan during the 1920s], Keji, yiliao yu shehui [A Taiwanese Journal for the Studies of Science, Technology, and Medicine] 7 (2008), 65–124.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Taihokushū keimubu [hereafter, Kiroku; Department of Police Affairs], Taihokushū keisatsu eisei tenrankai kiroku [A Record of the Exhibition on the Police and Sanitation of the Taipei Prefecture] (Taihoku: Taiwan nichinichi shinposha, 1926), pp. 1, 11.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Taihokushū keimubu, Kiroku (1926).Google Scholar
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    Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai, ‘The “Eyes” of the Police’, 2011.Google Scholar
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    Miyoshi Tokusaburo was a prominent Japanese tea merchant who had close official ties to the colonial government of Taiwan. See Namikata Shoichi, Minkan sotoku: Miyoshi Tokusaburo to Tsujiri chaho [A Private-Citizen Governor General: Miyoshi Tokusaburo and the Tsujiri Tea House] (Tokyo: Nihon Senta, 2002).Google Scholar
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    For a comprehensive study of sightseeing activities in colonial Taiwan, see Soyama Takeshi, Shokuminchi Taiwan to kindai tsu-rizumu [Colonial Taiwan and Sightseeing Activities in Modern Times] (Tokyo: Seikyūsha, 2003).Google Scholar
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    Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai, ‘One Kind of Control: The Hoko System in Taiwan under Japanese Rule, 1895–1945’ (New York: Columbia University, PhD diss., 1990); see also my book, Taiwan in Japan’s Empire Building: An Institutional Approach to Colonial Engineering (Oxford: Routledge, 2009).Google Scholar
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    See Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai, ‘Engineering the Social or Engaging “Everyday Modernity”? Interwar Taiwan Reconsidered’, in Ann Helen and Scott Sommers (eds), Becoming Taiwan: From Colonialism to Democracy (Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag, 2006; Studia Formosiana series, vol. 6), pp. 83–100, esp. the section on ‘religious regulation’.Google Scholar
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    Sheldon Garon translated this term, shakai kyoka, as ‘moral suasion’; see Sheldon Garon, Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).Google Scholar

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© Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai 2013

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  • Hui-yu Caroline Ts’ai

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