Clenched in the Jaws of War and Massacre: Lee Teng-hui’s Sorrowful Years, 1944–47

  • Shih-shan Henry Tsai


By October 1944, General Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) had kept his vow and had returned to the Philippines. On November 13, 1944, more than 1,000 American planes, primarily carrier based airplanes joined by some B-29 ( Japanese called them B-san), bombed major Taiwanese cities. Japanese headquarters in Tokyo and Taipei were paying close attention to Washington’s next move. Because Manila was only about 900 kilometers from Kaohsiung, and because the Japanese fleet was now in tatters, no longer able to control the Bashi Channel that separated the southern tip of Taiwan from Northern Luzon, it was assumed that Kaohsiung was a prime American invasion target. Accordingly, General Ando Rikichi (1884–1946), who was appointed the nineteenth and the last governor-general of Taiwan at the end of 1944, called up approximately 180,000 troops and began to prepare for a long siege.1 It was against the backdrop of this strategic maneuvering that Lee Teng-hui and 35 other Taiwanese student volunteers from the Kansai (western) region of Japan were slated to be quickly dispatched to Kaohsiung. They were to first assemble at Moji in Kyushu, and from there they would take the first available ship across the East China Sea en route southward to Taiwan. Among these volunteers was a young man named Yang Ke-chih, a student from the Osaka Foreign Languages Institute, who was unable to bestir himself from a coffee shop at Moji port.


Chinese Communist Party Chinese Mainlander Strategic Maneuvering Chinese Authority Taiwanese Student 
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© Shih-shan Henry Tsai 2005

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  • Shih-shan Henry Tsai

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