A great island off the coast of China, Taiwan has had an eventful history:  as a Dutch entrepôt, a Chinese frontier, a Japanese colony, and as a Cold War redoubt for the Chinese Nationalist Party.  Today, Taiwan is a prosperous democracy with a thriving civil society.  How did it come about?  This exhibit tells the epic story.

Twenty-three million people call themselves Taiwanese. An island nation located a hundred miles off of China’s southeastern coast, Taiwan has been a crossroads of East Asian commerce and politics for centuries. As a trading hub, it has attracted migrants from China and across the region and has been a target of colonization. With its complex history and hybrid roots, Taiwan has become a society unlike any other in Asia.


Taiwan’s relationship to China is a matter of dispute. The Chinese Communist Party, which rules the People’s Republic of China, insists that Taiwan is part of China. Taiwanese people are divided on the issue, but increasingly see themselves as a distinct people. The U.S. maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, and officially takes no position on the question of Taiwan’s sovereignty.


In recent decades Taiwan has become a prosperous democracy with a thriving civil society. This is a remarkable feat, given its history of colonial and authoritarian rule.

Introduction: Who are the Taiwanese?

Display Area 1: Taiwan Prior to 1895

Display Area 2: Japanese Colonial Rule and Resistance (1895-1945)

Display Area 3: Repression During the Cold War (1945-1975)

Display Area 4: Democratization (1975-1996)

Display Area 5: Taiwanese Identity and Two-party Rule (1996-2017)






Allen Library Lobby, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


Sinclair Library, 

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 

Honolulu, USA.


Hawaii State Public Library

Honolulu, USA.


Hebrew University Mount Scopus, 
Jerusalem, Israel.




Feb. 5 – Mar. 14 2018

Allen Library Lobby, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.


Oct. 18 – Nov. 19 2018

Sinclair Library, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA.


Jan. 11 – Feb. 14 2019

Hawaii State Public Library, 

Honolulu, USA.


December 2019​

Hebrew University Mount ScopusJerusalem, Israel.