Chieh-Fu Cheng

Ph.D. Candidate

Areas of Interest

Historical archaeology

Research Interests & Fieldwork

I am currently working on a field project on the archaeology of the Pattonkan Historic Trail八通關古道 in central Taiwan. The trail was first constructed by China’sQing government in 1875 and re-constructed by the Empire of Japan in 1921 to serve as an implement of colonial control over this area occupied by the indigenous Bunun people. Today, the trail is the most popular hiking route in Yushan 玉山 National Park. One objective of my research is to analyze how the trail was altered and used by the Qing government, the Empire of Japan, and by Taiwan’s National Park service, and to see if the alterations reflect different practices of colonial administration. The other objective is to study the systems of police stations built by the Japanese along the trail. These stations were built in 1921 and abandoned during WWII. I aim to reconstruct the lifeway of Japanese officers who staffed the trail and their dependents by analyzing multiple resources, such as material remains found in the site, oral traditions, and textual evidence, and to discuss broader issues of Japanese colonization in the Pattonkan area.

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