Formosan Odyssey: Taiwan, Past and Present

Formosan Odyssey: Taiwan, Past and Present

by John Grant Ross

Paperback(Second with New Afterword ed.)

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Until the early twentieth century, Taiwan was one of the wildest places in Asia. Its coastline was known as a mariners’ graveyard, the mountainous interior was the domain of headhunting tribes, while the lowlands were a frontier area where banditry, feuding, and revolts were a way of life. Formosan Odyssey captures the rich sweep of history through the eyes of Westerners who visited and lived on the island — from missionaries, adventurers, lighthouse keepers, and Second World War PoWs, to students coming to study martial arts. It finishes with the story of Taiwan’s economic miracle, the political transition from police state to vibrant democracy, and its continuing stand-off with China.

The author’s travels, made around the island in the wake of the devastating 921 earthquake, and his experiences from five years of living in a small town, provide an intimate picture of modern Taiwan.

The island is a storehouse of Chinese and indigenous cultures, a fascinating mix of the new and the traditional, and likewise Formosan Odyssey is a smorgasbord of delights that both the general reader and any “old Asia hand” will find informative and amusing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910736227
Publisher: Camphor Press Ltd
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Edition description: Second with New Afterword ed.
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

John Ross was born in New Zealand in 1968. He has spent most of the past quarter century living in and writing about Asia. His extensive travels - undertaken alone and far off the beaten track - include exploration in Papua New Guinea, dispatches from the Karen insurgency in Burma, and searches in the Gobi Desert and Altai Mountains on the trail of an ancient Mongolian myth. Ross lives in a small town in Taiwan, the subject of his recently reissued "Formosan Odyssey." His latest book is "You Don't Know China." When not writing, reading, or lusting over maps, he can be found working on the family farm.

Table of Contents

  1. The 9-21 Earthquake
  2. The Tooth-Pulling Preacher
  3. To the Mountains
  4. Taipei
  5. The Shoe Man
  6. The Dutch
  7. Amazons and Trojan Horses
  8. The Mariner's Graveyard
  9. Days of High Adventure
  10. Culture Shock
  11. Gods and Ghosts
  12. Tracking Matsu
  13. Peach Town
  14. Cannibals
  15. Japan's Showcase Colony
  16. The Hell Camp of Kinkaseki
  17. The White Terror
  18. Island Fortress
  19. Liquid Gold
  20. Snakes and Lagers
  21. Searching For Paradise
  22. Harnessing Qi
  23. The Miracle Afterword: The Retirement Home

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