The Japanese Education of a Taiwanese Economist

  • Shih-shan Henry Tsai


Tamsui, a cultural and historical site where mountains, plains, and waters meet was Lee Teng-hui’s spiritual homeland. It was also the adopted home of a Canadian Presbyterian missionary named Dr. George Leslie Mackay. Mackay arrived in Tamsui on March 9, 1872, married a Taiwanese woman, and reared two daughters and one son. In 1880, during a visit to his native home in Oxford, Ontario, on his first furlough, Mackay raised enough money to establish a seminary called Oxford College right beside Tamsui’s former Fort Santo Domingo. The seminary was founded on Scottish Free Church ideals and designed for educating Taiwanese male students to become preachers, who would in turn spread the gospel among the assimilated lowland aborigines called Pepohuan. In 1914, Mackay’s Taiwanese son transformed Oxford College into a middle school and opened it to the native population. In 1925, Canadian Christians raised enough money to rebuild the school with red bricks according to a design by Kenneth W. Dowie. Because there were only a handful of public middle schools in Taiwan at this time, and because the colonial government still adhered to a double-standard admission system in favor of Japanese pupils, it was extremely difficult for Taiwanese natives to gain admission to governmentrun middle schools.


Middle School Colonial Government Japanese Student Taiwanese Woman Preparatory School 
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© Shih-shan Henry Tsai 2005

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  • Shih-shan Henry Tsai

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