跨國界的「台」「九」線

兩地牽成的「絆」
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2019 / 12月

文‧鄧慧純 圖‧莊坤儒


不是台灣東岸傍海的台九線,而是連結台灣和九州的「台九線」。

在太平洋西岸,與台灣相距約1,000公里的九州,兩地飛行時間只需兩小時,同樣以中小企業為主的兩個島嶼,因歷史結成緣分。


位在日本西南方的九州,是日本遠古文明的發源地,日本近代改革巨輪的推動者亦多是九州的志士。曾任台北駐福岡經濟文化辦事處(簡稱:駐福岡辦事處)處長的戎義俊,退休後受聘為宮崎大使(似觀光代言人),他說認識九州得先「說文解字」,在日本的認知中,九州地方尚包含隔著關門海峽相望的山口縣,自古以來,九州、山口同屬一個經濟圈,常見九州‧山口地方並稱。

故事開始的地方

從九州最北端的門司港經過關門大橋,即是山口縣的「下關」(舊稱「馬關」)。1895年「馬關條約」在河豚料理店「春帆樓」簽訂,今日春帆樓境內的「日清講和紀念館」重現當時的場景與文件,台灣自此踏上不同的道路。

歷史掀開了新的場景,人的故事接續交織上場,台灣與九州益發緊密的交集。

門司港於1889年開港,1903年即開始進口台灣香蕉,而當初為了處理過熟的香蕉,應運而生的「香蕉叫賣」,這項技藝至今仍被保存著,在週末的街頭上演。

日治時期,台灣19位總督中有七位出身九州‧山口地區。因著地緣之便,來台灣協助日本政府推動諸多政策的,如公務人員、技術人員、教師、警察等也多來自九州。

孫中山先生當年為了籌措革命款項,曾獲九州多位企業家援助。1913年,他重返九州,向舊友報告革命成功,並在當時的九州帝國大學(今九州大學)演講,至今該校還留有他揮毫「學道愛人」的墨寶。

深獲日本人敬愛的西郷隆盛,其長子西郷菊次郎曾任宜蘭廳廳長,他花費諸多心力整治宜蘭川堤防,改善民眾生活條件,現今的「宜蘭設治紀念館」是其故居,宜蘭人至今還記著他的勤政愛民。

不只政治,也關乎民生。被稱為「蓬萊米之母」的末永仁係福岡出身。日治時期,各據台灣南北的「林百貨」和「菊元百貨」創辦人林方一和重田榮治都出身山口縣。

諸多的典故和遺跡,說明台灣與九州特別的緣分,在日治時期,這條跨海的「台九線」就從點到線被牽起。

關心永遠在

日治時期,在台灣出生的日本人被稱為「灣生」,戰後,他們陸續被送回日本,但這一群人,他們成長、工作、戀愛都在台灣,台灣始終是他們的想望。

2015年,講述台灣嘉義農林學校力拼甲子園的故事《KANO》在日本上映。身在熊本,已超過百歲的高木波恵憶起當年任職台中烏日公學校的自己,曾聽著廣播為選手加油。往事浮現,她心繫當年教過的孩子們,於是請孫女寫信到台灣,宛如電影《海角七號》的劇情,熱心的台中郵差竭力幫忙找到當年的學生,讓當時已106歲的高木波恵透過網路視訊與這群學生再次相見,在80年後學生們再喊一聲「先生」。

現任駐福岡辦事處處長陳忠正則分享已故的小菅亥三郎的故事。身為企業老闆,他帶團到台灣員工旅遊,在花東旅行之時,意外得知日治時代,為日本捐軀戰死南洋的原住民高砂義勇隊的故事;又巧遇當年與他父親一同在菲律賓被俘虜的台灣同袍,讓他從此把員工旅遊改為慰靈旅行,每年定期到台灣來祭拜、探視高砂義勇軍的遺族,至今已持續20年之久。

現為山口縣日台親善協會會長的中治宣光,今年已經83歲了,他是台北菊元百貨創辦人重田榮治的外孫,在台灣出生,10歲返回日本。當年他搭著載運甘蔗的小火車到了基隆港,上了貨船,回到日本。他家住在建成小學校(今台北市建成國中)旁,曾經從菊元百貨回家的路上迷路了,遇到好心的台灣人將他送回。還有台北大空襲時,他從天母那頭看到總督府(今總統府)失火的樣態。「關於台灣的事情,至今我都還記得。」與中治宣光一見面,他就這樣告訴我們。

今年4月,山口縣錦帶橋廣場舉辦祭典,山口縣日台親善協會自發地租借攤位,採購台灣的水果、小零食義賣,藉機響應駐福岡辦事處轄區僑社發起的支持台灣加入世界衛生大會(WHA)的連署活動。駐福岡辦事處祕書李杰宏表示,當次募得的連署書中有3/4來自山口縣,看著這群年已七、八十歲的老人不畏辛苦,在街頭吆喝,一邊邀請日本友人為台灣簽名,他覺得「足甘心」,但中治宣光只淡淡的說:「我只是想做一些可以幫助台灣的事情。」

隨著年紀增長,中治宣光對台灣的思念越來越濃,「我覺得自己的根在台灣,我一輩子不會忘記台灣。」他也為文提及,希望「台灣永遠是台灣」,台日在主權在民的制度下,務必要永遠交好,才能協力為太平洋地域的和平與繁榮做出貢獻。

互惠互利創新機

九州的面積約是日本的十分之一,經濟規模也是全國的十分之一,故九州經濟圈又有「十分之一經濟圈」之稱,主要產業包含汽車、鋼鐵、生技及半導體等。福岡台灣貿易中心所長駱慧娟表示,台灣是九州經濟圈第四大出口市場,而九州是台灣第八大進口市場,根據2017年統計資料,台灣出口九州地區的產品65%以上都與半導體相關。半導體產業尤與台灣關係密切,彼此互補。台灣從九州進口相關設備及原料,再加工成半成品出口到日本,因為不是最終產品一般民眾不易感受得到,但其實兩地進出口的往來熱絡,從數字即可看出。

另一方面,跨國的創業交流也在進行中。2017年甫在福岡成立的Golface是台灣的新創業者。創辦人廖聰哲從高爾夫球興趣中找到事業的藍海。傳統高爾夫球場科技化程度低,極度耗費人力成本,廖聰哲運用科技輔助球場管理,並利用收集的大數據進行分析,協助球場行銷與獲利,可謂是高爾夫球市場完整的解決方案。

看好日本是亞洲最大的高爾夫球市場,要進軍國際,一定得先到日本投石問路。然而在日本創業並不容易,他先透過創業競賽,在日本取得能見度,並吸引九州民營鐵路巨頭西鐵集團的興趣來洽談合作。

選擇福岡,廖聰哲直言主因是福岡與台灣的步調相近,再者在福岡創業的成本較東京、大阪低;雖然也不免會遭遇文化差異,「比如日本人重視程序,循序漸進,客戶拜訪一定要透過引薦等等。」但福岡市府釋出善意,提供「創業簽證」(STARTUP VISA)制度及一站式的諮詢服務,專業到位,幫助很大,廖聰哲這樣表示。

展望新世代

抵達福岡當晚,剛好趕上參加駐福岡辦事處處長官邸音樂會。

見到九州台日文化交流會會長本郷啟成(吳啟成),才知曉當晚的音樂表演全由他一手籌備,邀約剛接任基隆礦工醫院院長兼聲樂家的劉立仁、旅日的聲樂家吉川千巧(林千巧)及福岡歡喜合唱團表演。當晚還有大島組株式會社大島英二會長一家及報社記者共襄盛舉。一整夜的音樂饗宴,日文、中文、閩南語、義大利文等多語種,最後一起大合唱台灣的鄧麗君、日本的美空雲雀都演唱過的名曲「時の流れに身をまかせ」(中文版歌名:我只在乎你)。

本郷啟成出身台中,家族多是牙科醫師。30多年前移民日本,落腳福岡,夫人本郷綠也是牙醫師,兩人一起在早良區開業。早年在日本接觸「預防齒科」的專業,讓他重視預防勝於治療的概念,從女性懷孕開始,本郷啟成就開始宣導患者牙齒的衛教。「懷孕4~8周時,乳牙開始發展,4個月恆齒的根基生成,把母體調適到最佳狀態,孩子的牙齒一生受用。」作為街坊的家庭牙醫師,許多日本家庭一戶四代的牙齒都是他在守護,用自己的專業,在日本敦親睦鄰,本郷啟成可說是典範。

音樂是他另一門愛好,本郷啟成在鄉下的別墅,是佔地百坪的日式老屋,陳列他與太太收藏多年的古董,他大方無私地提供空間供台日交流活動使用。音樂無國界,藉由音樂來做台日文化交流,他也編輯刊物《台日草の根》,為活動留下紀錄,讓台灣更了解日本,也讓日本更認識台灣,成為中介台日的橋梁。

「台日有這麼好的互動關係,絕大多數是建立在老一輩的身上。」戎義俊略帶感概地說。他觀察到日本的年輕人對台灣不夠了解,而在國立九州大學成立「台灣研究講座」,透過各個專業學者介紹台灣的故事,讓日本的年輕世代有機會更認識台灣。

陳忠正繼任駐福岡辦事處處長後,也持續戮力加強新世代對台灣的印象與互動。近年,日本高中生海外修學旅行的目的地,台灣已超越美國的序位,居各國之冠。陳忠正指出,2017年,日本全國的統計數字,有325間學校,約54,000名學生到台灣修學旅行。駐福岡辦事處早早發覺攀升的趨勢,積極籌辦赴台灣修學旅行說明會。今年在熊本舉辦的說明會已是第五屆,李杰宏祕書解釋,希望更多日本年輕世代來台灣觀光,在他們青春的日子能有屬於台灣的記憶。

台日是歷史結起的緣分,但在患難中更見真情交流。還記得2016年熊本地震時,台灣伸出援手,陪日本度過難關;2018年418花蓮地震的隔天,駱慧娟就收到同棟辦公室的日本友人詢問地震的狀況,到哪邊捐款?距離311東日本大地震已經八年了,至今台灣還是不停的被日本人感謝,都覺得不好意思了。誠如採訪中,本郷啟成所言:「你伸出一隻手,對方會用雙手回握。」這樣的情誼,希望台日能夠永遠傳遞。

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EN

The Taiwan–Kyushu Connection

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by David Mayer

These days, the phrase “Tai jiu xian”—which usually means “Taiwan Provincial Highway No. 9”—doesn’t necessarily refer to the east coast highway at all, but to a burgeoning connection between Taiwan and Japan’s Kyushu Region.


 

The island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan was the cradle of ancient Japanese civilization. And, taking a time machine forward to the late 19th century, we find that many of the movers and shakers who pushed Japan’s momentous Meiji Restoration were from Kyushu. More recently, the ROC diplomat Rong Yee-jung was stationed in Fuku­oka, Kyu­shu’s northernmost prefecture, where he served as consul general at the Fukuoka Branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Osaka (TECO Fukuoka Branch). After leaving his position at TECO, Rong was hired as a goodwill ambassador for Miyazaki Prefecture in southeastern Kyu­shu. Just across the Kanmon Strait from Fukuoka, on the island of Honshu, lies Yamaguchi Prefecture. The Japanese people, explains Rong, think of Yama­guchi as part of Kyushu even though it is located on Honshu. Since ancient times, Kyushu and Yamaguchi have constituted a single economic sphere, and their names have often been mentioned in the same breath.

Where stories begin

Across the Kanmon Bridge from the Port of Moji, on Fuku­oka’s north coast, is Shimo­no­seki, the largest city in Yama­guchi Prefecture and the westernmost city on Honshu. The Treaty of Shimonoseki, which ended the First Sino-­Japanese War in 1895, was signed there at the Shunpanro Hotel, an establishment known for its fugu cuisine. Today, the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty Memorial Hall stands where the treaty was signed. Under the terms of that treaty, Taiwan was ceded to Japan.

This change ushered in a new era of close links between Taiwan and Kyushu.

The Port of Moji was opened in 1889, and began receiving bananas from Taiwan in 1903. To ensure timely sales of the easily perishable fruit, sellers developed a “banana hawking chant” (banana no tatakiuri) that can still be heard in the markets of Japan today on weekends.

Of the 19 governors-general who administered Taiwan during the period of Japanese rule, seven were from the Kyushu‡Yamaguchi area.

Many business leaders in Kyushu helped to bankroll the revolutionary activities of Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China. Sun gave a lecture at Kyu­shu Imperial University (today’s Kyushu University) in 1913 and produced a piece of calligraphy (“Study the Way, Love People”) to commemorate the occasion. The work remains on display at the university today.

Kikujiro Saigo, the eldest son of the esteemed Takamori Saigo, once served as the magistrate of Yilan Prefecture, and today’s Memorial Hall of the Founding of Yilan Administration occupies the site of the magis­trate’s official residence. To this day, the people of Yilan still fondly recall the hardworking former magistrate.

But of course, ties between Taiwan and Kyushu are not limited to the political sphere. Megumu Suenaga, credited as the creator of the fabulously successful Horai rice (called Penglai rice in Chinese), was from Fukuoka. Meanwhile, two of the best known department stores in all of Taiwan during the Japanese period—Hayashi Depart­ment Store in Tainan and Kikumoto Depart­ment Store in Taipei—were established by Hou­ichi Haya­shi and Eiji Shigeta, both of whom hailed from Yamaguchi Prefecture.

These and countless other snippets of life combine to form a very robust Taiwan‡­Kyushu connection.

Permanently linked

Japanese people who were born in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period and later returned to Japan after World War II came to be known in Japanese as wansei, the “Taiwan-born.” They may have gone back to Japan, but they identified strongly with Taiwan as the land where they had grown up, worked, dated, and married.

In 2015, a long-retired school teacher in Kyushu’s Kumamoto Prefecture named Namie Takagi wrote a letter to a student she had taught in Taiwan before the war. She was prompted to write the letter after Kano—a film about high-school baseball in Taiwan in the prewar period—hit ­theaters in Japan. The movie reminded the 106-year-old Takagi of the students she had once taught at Wuri Public School in Tai­chung Prefecture, so she mailed off a letter to Taiwan. The address no longer existed, but a determined postman tracked down the intended recipient, and the centenarian eventually had a videoconference chat with several of the students that she had taught 80 years before. They cherished the chance to address her as “sensei” again.

Pierre C.C. Chen, consul general at the TECO Fukuoka Branch, shared the story of the late Isaburou Kosuge, a business owner who led employees on a sightseeing trip to Taiwan in 1998. While touring on the east coast, Kosuge learned about the Takasago Volunteers—members of Taiwanese indigen­ous peoples who fought for Japan in Southeast Asia in WWII—and also happened across a Taiwanese man who had fought for Japan and was taken prisoner alongside Kosuge’s own father in the Philippines. Begin­ning from 1999, he redefined his company trips to Taiwan as “veterans’ memor­ial trips,” which he went on to organize annually for 20 years to pay respects to departed soldiers and visit their family members.

Another living link to Taiwan is 83-year-old Hiromitsu Nakaji, chairman of the Yamaguchi Prefecture Japan‡Taiwan Friendship Association and the grandson of Kikumoto Department Store founder Eiji Shigeta. Born in Taiwan, Nakaji returned to Japan at the age of ten. In Taipei, his family lived right next to Jian Cheng Elementary School (today’s Jian Cheng Junior High), and one day when he got lost on his way home from the department store, a kindhearted Taiwanese person made sure he got home okay. Another memory from those days was the sight of US bombing raids: he still vividly recalls walking along a street in Tianmu in northern Taipei and seeing the Governor-General’s Office (now the Presidential Office Building) erupt in flames downtown. “I still remember my time in Taiwan so clearly,” he says.

This past April, a Taiwanese expatriate organization in Fukuoka took advantage of a ceremony being held in an open square near the Kintai Bridge by showing up at the square and seeking signatures for a petition calling for Taiwan’s admission to the World Health Association. The Yamaguchi Prefecture Japan‡Taiwan Friendship Association rented a space there and set up a booth to show its support for the petition drive. Lee Chieh­hung, a section chief at the TECO Fukuoka Branch, noted that three-­quarters of the people who signed the petition that day were from Yamaguchi Prefecture, and added that it was very moving to see a bunch of old-timers in their 70s and 80s spending the day seeking petition signatures for Taiwan’s sake. But Nakaji downplays what he did: “I just wanted to do a little something to help Taiwan.”

Nakaji feels that his roots are in Taiwan, and says he’ll never forget the place. He once wrote to express his hope that “Taiwan will always be Taiwan.” Taiwan must always be Japan’s friend, he said, if it is to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Pacific region.

Working together

Kyushu accounts for about one-tenth of Japan’s land area and a tenth of the national economy, which is why people refer to Kyushu as a “10% economic sphere.” Jenni­fer H.C. Lo, director of the Taiwan Trade Center, Fuku­oka, says that Taiwan is the Kyushu economic sphere’s fourth-largest export market, while Kyushu is Taiwan’s eighth-largest source of imports. Kyushu’s semiconductor industry, in particular, has especially close ties to Taiwan.

Significant cross-border entrepreneurial undertakings are also taking place. Ian Liao, who founded a startup called Golface in Fukuoka in 2017, parlayed his enthusiasm for golf into a successful business model. Conventional golf courses have been slow to adopt technology, which means they spend a lot of money on payroll, so Golface has stepped into the gap by providing tech-based golf club management tools.

Since Japan has the biggest golfing market in Asia, Liao chose to first try his hand in Japan before embarking upon the international market.

Liao says he chose to locate in Fukuoka mainly because life there is a lot like it is in Taiwan. To be sure, one still has to deal with cultural differences. “The Japanese are sticklers for procedure and doing things by the book, for example. You don’t just make unannounced visits to potential clients, but have to be introduced by someone.” However, the Fukuoka City Government offers foreign entrepreneurs a Startup Visa and a one-stop advisory service. The city government is very professional and helpful, he reports.

Looking to the next generation

On the evening when this reporter arrived in Fuku­oka, they were holding a concert at the official residence of the TECO Fukuoka Branch’s consul general.

The arrangements for the concert were handled by Keisei Hongo (Wu Qicheng), the chairman of the ­Kyushu‡Taiwan Cultural Exchange Association. A pair of musicians from Taiwan—Liu Liren (who is also the president of Taiwan Miners Hospital in Keelung) and Chiko Yoshikawa (Lin Qianqiao)—performed classical music before closing out the evening by joining with the guests in singing I Only Care About You, a pop song made famous in both Man­darin and Japanese by superstars Teresa Teng of Taiwan and Hibari Misora of Japan.

Hongo, a native of Taichung and a dentist, emigrated to Japan 30 years ago and settled in Fuku­oka. His wife Midori is also a dentist, so they opened a clinic in Fuku­oka’s Sawara Ward. As the opera­tors of a neighborhood dental practice, they’ve seen to the needs of many families for up to four genera­tions. One would be hard pressed to find better people-­to-people ambassadors for Taiwan.

As a big music aficionado, Hongo often makes an old home he owns in the Japanese countryside available for use in Taiwan‡Japan musical exchange activities. Music knows no borders. By providing the medium for international exchange, it has served as a two-way bridge that has helped the people of Taiwan and Japan to better under­stand each other.

With a bit of a wistful note in his voice, Rong Yee-jung (who also goes by Yoshitoshi Ebisu, the Japanese reading of his name) comments: “The excellent ties we have between Taiwan and Japan depend in large part on the older generations.” To better familiarize students with Taiwan, he established a Taiwan Studies Program. Taking over as consul general at the TECO Fuku­oka Branch, Pierre C.C. Chen has continued Rong’s efforts to strengthen ties among younger people in Taiwan and Japan. On this front, it bears noting that among Japan­ese high-school students taking part in study-abroad programs in recent years, Taiwan has replaced the United States as the most preferred destination. The TECO Fukuoka Branch noted this trend long ago and began holding informational meetings for those thinking of studying in Taiwan. The meeting held this year in Kumamoto was the fifth one to date. Section chief Lee Chiehhung explains that TECO hopes to encourage more young Japanese people to travel in Taiwan so that our country will occupy a place in the memories of their youth.

The ties that bind Taiwan and Japan are very much a product of our shared history, and the strength of the connection shows through when the chips are down. When a major earthquake struck Kumamoto in 2016, the Taiwanese people generously helped those affected get back on their feet. And in April 2018, the day after the big earthquake in Hualien the Taiwan Trade Center’s Jennifer Lo received messages from Japanese friends working in the same office building who wanted to know where to go to donate to the relief effort. As Keisei Hongo told this reporter: “If you reach out with one hand, the other person will take that hand in both of theirs.” Let’s hope that this deep friendship between Taiwan and Japan will remain strong forever.

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