2017 Nov Taiwan History Of Taroko Gorge

From LonelyPlanet:

The original inhabitants of the park area were the Atayal people, known for their fine weaving skills, facial tattoos and headhunting. Most of the Atayal have now moved out of the park but a few families remain, supporting themselves by selling woven products to tourists. Many of the trails in the gorge now used by tourists were once Atayal hunting and trading routes. For example, the old Hohuan Trail (Héhuān Yuèlǐng Gǔdào), the precursor of the Central Cross-Island Hwy, was once used for crossing the island.

In 1914 the Japanese entered the gorge hoping to gain access to the forestry and mineral resources. The Atayal resisted but the Japanese crushed all opposition with brutal military force. They then began to cut roads and widen existing trails. A road was built as far as Tienhsiang, and Taroko became a popular hiking spot for Japanese tourists in the 1930s. Later, in the 1950s, the KMT extended the road as part of the first Cross-Central Hwy; not surprisingly, much of it followed the old Hohuan Trail.
Taroko National Park was officially established on 28 November 1986.

Taroko Gorge 1914
From "Axis History Forum"

A pacification campaign on Formosa,May-August 1914:

"In May 1914, Japanese troops attacked the people of the Taroko Gorge by coming in simultaneously from Hualien City in the South and Wushe through mountain passes from the West. The Taroko resisted fiercely for 74 days, but were ultimately forced to surrender control of their lands to the Japanese."

It appears that extensive engineering,road building work was done by the Japanese in this wilderness area.

On 23 May 1914, to gain access to the rich forestry and mineral resources of eastern Taiwan, the Japanese launched a military expedition into Taroko to subdue the local aborigines. A force of over 10,000 Japanese police and soldiers, aboriginal soldiers and Han Chinese coolies entered the mountains. This marked the beginning of the Hohuan Trail's life as a military road. As well as having to fight, the Japanese army and police were also assigned the task of cutting roads to transport cannon, and they widened many trails to at least a meter broad. During this period they built the first Shanyue suspension bridge, cut a road between Patakang and Mt. Haishu, and also completed a route to Mt. Sanchiaochui.

The action against the aborigines finished on 6 August 1914, but the Japanese army left behind three companies of troops to continue widening the roads in Inner Taroko. An article published in 1932 by the Association for Promoting Taiwan's Scenic Beauty describes the rigors of the road building task. In places the rock was very hard and highly fragmented, making it unsuitable for blasting with gunpowder. "Police squad leader Shibata tied a thick rope around his body and had himself lowered down the mountainside like a bottle on a string. First he cut a foothold wide enough to stand on with one foot, and then gradually enlarged it."

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From http://np.cpami.gov.tw/

Taroko during the war
In 1914 (Taisho year 3) during the Taroko war, the Japanese army attacked downward from the west road of the Hehuan Mountain. The army joined with the police team who entered the Liwu Creek by stream trekking from the creek entrance. They attached from both sides and invaded Taroko.

At the end of June, the leader troop of the Japanese army entered the midstream area of the Liwu Creek and climbed up the main ledge of the Pyramid Mountain. In the midst of afternoon mist, the army scout discovered the tent used by the stationed police troops down the mountain. After both troops contacted each other by using trumpets and flags, the scouting troops passed through Badagang in the evening, went down offshore the Liwu Creek and obtained contact with the police troop. They were the first ones to geographically cross the Taroko. A few days later, parts of the army from the mountain top came down from the mountain. At Buluowan, the first meeting between the army and police troops then took place, which declared the outcome of the Taroko War.

This military emergency road that passed through Lao Xi, Zhuilu Mountain, Badagang to Buluowan not only opened up a passage into the Mt. Sanjiaozhui that acted as a natural barrier, but also established the basic prototype of the future road. At the end of the following month, the police troops who climbed up the Badagang terrace began to renovate this road that passed through the Mt. Sanjiaozhui so that it could become a formal road. Because the road starting from Badagang and ending at Mt. Sanjiaozhui was directly saddled on the west side of Mt. Sanjiaozhui, therefore, this road is called the Mt. Sanjiaozhui Large Mountain Saddle Road.

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