Summer 2018 Language Fellow – Video Blog: A Trip to Jiufen

Greetings again from Taipei! For my first video blog post, I did a very short video in Jiufen (九份), a town just on the outskirts of Taipei. Please forgive me for the shaky camera work! The town was formerly the site of a gold mine operated by the Japanese during the era of Japanese occupation. Though the Japanese were not the first colonizers of Taiwan (occupiers of the island also include the Dutch and Portuguese), they left the most notable imprints on the island.

As my Mandarin teacher pointed out, the Taiwanese have a mixed view of the Japanese occupation. On one hand, the Japanese built up much of the infrastructure that the island uses to this day (from the post office and bureaucratic system to the roads and the hot spring bathhouses spread throughout the northern part of Taiwan), but on the other hand, the Japanese occupiers did very much exploit the natural resources of the island (including the aforementioned gold and wood).  Today, there is no shortage of admiration for Japanese products, department stores, and food (the Japanese even claim that the best Japanese food outside of Japan is in Taiwan). Additionally, there is a definite mutual admiration for each island nation’s tourist destinations.

Later, I hope to write a post on my daily routine. Until then, 再見!


Lexi Wong M.A. International Affairs 2019
Sigur Center 2018 Asian Language Fellow
National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei

Lexi Wong is a Sigur Center 2018 Asian Language Fellow studying Mandarin in Taipei, Taiwan at National Taiwan Normal University’s Mandarin Training Center. Lexi is currently a first-year graduate student at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she is studying International Affairs with a regional concentration on Asia. 

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