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A Taiwanese Teikoku Kunjin

Director :
Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
32 min
  • 16mm
  • Politics
  • History
  • Investigative
  • Author's Point of View


In the 1940s, Japan’s new power clique strengthened the country’s ties with then-victorious Axis powers and instigated the Pacific War, an aggression upon European colonies in Southeast Asia. Under Japanese colonial rule, Taiwan was a staging area for Japanese offensives into Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, young Taiwanese men were conscripted into the Japanese army, which would become the most traumatic experiences in their lives.

In service of the Japanese Emperor, they endured the brutalities of war in far-away lands. Yet after the defeat of Japan, they were deserted troops claimed by no countries. Some of them survived the war and managed to return home, only to be greeted by another relentless regime and a broken family.

Japan’s move toward expansionism caused millions of deaths and left a scar on the heart of those alive. As these veterans recalled the deaths of their friends, they stumbled over their words, with tears filling their eyes. Implicated in their personal stories is an unforgettable historical tragedy.


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Director Statement

"Before I made A Taiwanese Teikoku Kunjin, my understanding of this subject matter was quite superficial. Occasionally, the newspapers would have a story of old Taiwanese people demanding compensation for their military service for the Imperial Japan the colonial days; of a story about some Taiwanese soldier hiding in the jungles in Southeast Asia for the last four decades, totally ignorant of Taiwan’s political power shift. I was both amazed and appalled by such stories. One day filmmaker Wang Shaudi asked me if I was interested in making a film on this. I was excited, yet more by the chance to make a 16mm film than by the subject per se.

After one and a half month of shooting, however, I got totally drawn into their memory of the Pacific War. The veteran’s accounts of the war overwhelmed me so much that I could hardly put them in a half-hour film. My loss of control is therefore evident throughout the whole film. Yet my life has absorbed their experience, fortunately without paying the high price as they did." -- Pei-Ying Hung


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Festivals & Awards

1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - About the Island: Taiwan Documentary Retrospective
1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival


  • Director
  • Cinematographer
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