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Imaging National Landscape: Yushan, modern myth and identity in post-war Taiwan

Chang, Bi-yu (2012) 'Imaging National Landscape: Yushan, modern myth and identity in post-war Taiwan.' In: Chang, Bi-yu and Klöter, Henning , (eds.), Imaging and Imagining Taiwan: Identity representation and cultural politics. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag . Wiesbaden, pp. 149-169. (Studia Formosiana, series 8)

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Abstract

The chapter examines the construction of a national landscape and the invention of a mythical origin for the islanders. As part of Taiwan’s nation-building project, a campaign was launched in 2001 to popularise Yushan (the highest mountain in East Asia) as a “sacred mountain” and to construct the Taiwanese as “children of Yushan.” The repositioning of Yushan (and, by extension, Taiwan) serves to remove the island from a China-centric framework and locates it instead within an Asia-pacific context. Metaphorically, the mountain has become a “site of resistance,” and has been transformed from a simple geographical feature into a representation of Taiwanese origins, an ancestral home, and the wellspring of a long-forgotten identity. In doing so, this construction of a “sacred mountain” functions not only to nationalise landscape,but also to naturalise Taiwan independence.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Nationalism, National Landscape, cultural geography, identity politics, Taiwan indepedence, nation-building.
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Centre for Media and Film Studies
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Japan and Korea
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Art and Archaeology
Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Centre of Taiwan Studies
Legacy Departments > Contemporary China Institute [closed]
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
ISBN: 9783447066747
Depositing User: Bi-Yu Chang
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2013 08:21
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/17306

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