Tapani incident

The Tapani incident[4] or Tapani uprising[3] in 1915 was one of the biggest armed uprisings[5] by Taiwanese Han and Aboriginals, including Taivoan, against Japanese rule in Taiwan. Alternative names used to refer to the incident include the Xilai Temple Incident after the Xilai Temple in Tainan, where the revolt began, and the Yu Qingfang Incident after the leader Yu Qingfang.[6]

Tapani Incident

Taiwanese captured after the Tapani Incident being taken from the Tainan jail to court
Result Japanese victory
Da Ming Cibeiguo
Han Taiwanese
Taiwanese aborigines
 Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
Yu Qingfang Unknown
1,413[1][2] Unknown
Casualties and losses
"thousands"[3] Unknown
Tapani incident
Chinese name
Alternative name
Traditional Chinese西來庵事件
Simplified Chinese西来庵事件
Literal meaningXilai Temple Incident
Alternative name
Literal meaningYujing Incident
Japanese name


Multiple Japanese police stations were stormed by Aboriginal and Han Chinese fighters under Chiang Ting (Jiang Ding) and Yü Ch'ing-fang (Yu Qingfang).[7] The rebels declared a Da Ming Cibeiguo (大明慈悲國, Great Ming Compassionate Kingdom), the existence of which only lasted 12 days before the revolt was suppressed.[3]


Modern Taiwanese historiography attempts to portray the Tapani Incident as a nationalist uprising either from a Chinese (unification) or Taiwanese (independence) perspective. Japanese colonial historiography attempted to portray the incident as a large scale instance of banditry led by criminal elements. However, the Tapani Incident differs from other uprisings in Taiwan's history because of its elements of millenarianism and folk religion, which enabled Yu Qingfang to raise a significant armed force whose members believed themselves to be invulnerable to modern weaponry.[8]

The similarities between the rhetoric of the leaders of the Tapani uprising and the Righteous Harmony Society of the recent Boxer Rebellion in China were not lost on Japanese colonial authorities, and the colonial government subsequently paid more attention to popular religion and took steps to improve colonial administration in southern Taiwan.

The aboriginals carried on with violent armed struggle against the Japanese while Han Chinese violent opposition stopped after Tapani.[9]

See also


  1. Maritime Taiwan: Historical Encounters with the East and the West. M.E. Sharpe. 2009. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-0-7656-4189-2.
  2. Shih-Shan Henry Tsai (18 December 2014). Maritime Taiwan: Historical Encounters with the East and the West: Historical Encounters with the East and the West. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-46516-4.
  3. Cohen, Sande (2006). History Out of Joint: Essays on the Use and Abuse of History. JHU Press. pp. 58. ISBN 9780801882142.
  4. Heé, Nadin (2014). "Taiwan under Japanese Rule. Showpiece of a Model Colony? Historiographical Tendencies in Narrating Colonialism". History Compass. 12 (8): 632–641. doi:10.1111/hic3.12180.
  5. International Business Publications, USA (3 March 2012). Taiwan Country Study Guide: Strategic Information and Developments. Int'l Business Publications. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-1-4387-7570-8. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  6. Shih-shan Henry Tsai (2 September 2005). Lee Teng-Hui and Taiwan's Quest for Identity. Springer. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-1-4039-7717-5.
  7. Governmentality and Its Consequences in Colonial Taiwan: A Case Study of the Ta-pa-ni Incident
  8. Katz, Paul R. (2005). When Valleys Turned Blood Red: The Tapani Incident in Colonial Taiwan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 110. ISBN 9780824829155.
  9. Steven Crook (5 June 2014). Taiwan. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-1-84162-497-6.


  • Katz, Paul R. (2 March 2007). "Governmentality and Its Consequences in Colonial Taiwan: A Case Study of the Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915". The Journal of Asian Studies. 64 (2): 387–424. doi:10.1017/s0021911805000823. S2CID 161518102.
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