Amongst those who led non-violent anti-Japanese movements in Taiwan’s modern history, non-other stood out as influential as CHIANG Wei-shui, who was able to stand against the ruling Japanese authorities and awaken the consciousness of Taiwanese people and society. Given the name “the Savior of Taiwanese People” by the Japanese upon his death in 1931, CHIANG was destined to lead a life fighting the Taiwanese Sotokufu (Japan’s colonial government).
In his brief 41 years, CHIANG Wei-shui was an impassionate activist, staunch revolutionary and brilliant intellectual. Upon graduating from Taiwan Medical College, CHIANG opened the Ta-an Clinic and a restaurant in Tataocheng, which soon became a secret meeting place where political campaigns were formed. The defining deed of his crusade to liberate Taiwan came in 1913. While still a student at the Taiwan Medical College and along with colleagues TU Tsung-ming and WON Jun-ming, CHIANG plotted to infect the water with Cholera in an attempt to assassinate YUAN Shih-kai a Chinese general with ambitions to revive the Chinese monarch.
Inspired by his contemporary LIN Hsien-tang, who petition for the establishment of a Taiwanese Parliament, CHIANG became even more politically active. In 1921, CHIANG Wei-shui joined the campaign to establish the Parliament. In the same year, he founded the Taiwan Culture Association, which further propelled his prolific political life. He went to Tokyo in 1922 in order to petition for an alliance that would campaign for the establishment of the Parliament, which angered the officials. In December 1923, the irate Taiwan Sotokufu finally captured CHIANG Wei-shui and imprisoned him for four months. While the incident was a setback in Taiwanese political history, it did not deter CHIANG. He viewed the imprisonment as a learning opportunity for revolutionary theories. In February 1925, CHIANG would again be arrested.
The increasing arrests inspired CHIANG to be even more fearless in his pursuit of political freedom. In 1927, CHIANG left the Cultural Association in order to found Taiwan People’s Party and soon mobilized an anti-opium monopoly system instituted by the Japanese. Additionally, he filed a complaint with the League of Nations in Geneva against Japan’s opposition party to investigate into the “Wusha Incident”, which received major international media coverage, forcing ISHIZUKA Eizo to resign as governor of Taiwan Sotokufu. But finally, Taiwan Sotokufu used their ace in the deck by prohibiting the Taiwanese to form association and arresting CHIANG Wei-shui immediately in order to carry out the punishment and set an example.
CHIANG Wei-shui was a pioneering revolutionary in Taiwan’s democratic and social movement. He inspired and led over 100 anti-Japan groups, and spread the movements from the intellects to the masses. CHIANG was the most problematic dissident for the Taiwan Sotokufu.Even after he died, CHIANG was able to create movements. On August 23, 1931, the day of his funeral, over five thousand revolutionaries and civilians alike from all over Taiwan packed Tadaochen, Taipei to bid their hero farewell. Despite warnings and the heavy police presence, the masses came out in full force. In death, CHIANG Wei-shui was still able to solicit fear in Taiwan Sotokufu.
About the Director
Jane CHANG is an independent screenwriter, director and producer. Her works often embody the experimental spirit by integrating documentary, fictional and animation genres. Most recently, CHANG produced documentaries for Taiwan’s Public Television Services. From 1996-1998 she was the program director for Sun Movie Channel, spearheading Spring Int’l Entertainment’s Fanciful Film Festival, as well as advertising and promotions for theatrical releases. Prior to that she was Publicity Director and “behind the scenes” director for The Daughter in Law, a narrative feature film that premiered in over 16 international film festivals.
CHANG graduated from Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich and majored in German drama and literature. She also studied screenwriting and directing at the College of Film and TV in Munich, and experimental filmmaking at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin. She acted in several German films, was once a publicist for the Berlin Film Festival, and a film critic for Affect, a Taiwanese film magazine.
2009~2010 bba, script writer ; The Quest, script writer
2004~2007 PTS epic documentary series：Taiwan: A People’s History, script writer (episode 1-4)
2004PTS Docu-drama:Crossing the border of the Mind, director & script writer
1994~1995The Making of The Daughter-in-Law, director & script writer
From the Director
More than a year in the making, Taiwan’s first biographical animated documentary is “mission accomplished!” My Life Against Taiwan Sotokufu– 1891-1931 will have its world premiere in Taiwan with simultaneously releases in China and Hong Kong. To say this was a mission is to put it lightly, considering that, during production, files were lost resulting a complete reedit. But our hurdle was miniscule compared to what CHIANG Wei-shui had to endure, in the name of Taiwan’s liberation during Japan’s imperialism of colonized Taiwan. The making of this film was a test of my willpower to see if I can really finish it, as well as a test of my ability to convey the spirit of CHIANG Wei-Shui, “the godfather of movements.” It was CHIANG’s resilient spirit that carried us through production.
Looking back at this journey, I believe God put me on this mission. Revolutionaries like GANDHI, SUN Yat-sun, or Che GUEVARA inspire me. God knew this so he gave me the will to make this film about the Savior of Taiwanese People– CHIANG Wei-shui, and he also connected me to CNEX, an organization with the same idealistic mission of telling stories about Chinese people, their CEO Ben TSIANG and producers WANG Yae-wei and Vigo FAN. This film would not have been possible had any of these elements been missing. The “228 Incident” and “White Terror” left deep scars in Taiwan’s history while shaped an angry and suspicious people. In order to fill this inner void, Taiwanese people must remain proud. Yet this wounded personality is a destructive force. Taiwan must rid the shackles of hatred, because the savior of Taiwanese People– CHIANG Wei-shui’s call of “compatriots must unite, with unity we gain strength” continues to echo in the corridors of history and beckons to the twenty-first-century Taiwanese to rise up.