A Hero Emerged from Reformation: Imaginations of Civilization and National Literature in Shueh-Yu Shieh’s Novel “San Si Ying Xiong Chuan” during the Japanese Colonial Period
Shueh-Yu Shieh’s (謝雪漁) “San Shi Ying Xiong Chuan” (三世英雄傳) is a popular novel set against a background of the end of the Bakufu (Shogunate) to the Meiji Reform period. Shieh expressed his imagination and affirmation of the Meiji Reform in Japan through his novels and references, integrating all relevant historical events into them. Simultaneously, his novels were published in the Taiwan Jih Jih Hsin Pao (a newspaper), such as Hiragana. Although they were ignored by the Western world, the novels conveyed the advantages of Japanese civilization to Taiwanese readers. The motivation for doing so was the hope that Taiwan would follow Japan or move to a new course under the Japanese rule. Because Shieh’s novels advocated reformation in Japan, they occasionally discussed the problems of nationalism and cultural opposition and reconciliation; however, this discussion also enriched colonialism. Most importantly, his novels enabled readers in Taiwan to understand the content and context of reformation in Japan; however, they also drew them into the trap of a colonial identity. This is a crucial problem that cannot be ignored when it comes to understanding the impact of reformation in colonial Taiwan through popular novels.