- 一般社団法人 人文地理学会
- 人文地理 (ISSN:00187216)
- vol.56, no.3, pp.223-242, 2004-06-28 (Released:2009-04-28)
The urban system is always changing. The importance of studying the changing process of the urban system has been emphasised in Japan and also in Western countries from the 1990s. However, studies about the urban system of non-Western countries are still insufficient. In this article, we investigate the changing process of the urban system in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule mainly through the location of central managerial functions and the railway network. We compare its urban system with that of Korea which was also under Japanese colonial rule for almost the same period.At the end of the 19th century, the urban system of Taiwan was a mixture of elements of both Japanese colonial rule and that of the Qing Dynasty. In the 1920s, the economy of Taiwan was stabilized due to an increase in agricultural production, especially sugar, and the number of companies significantly increased. T'aipei strengthened its position as the capital under Japanese colonial rule, and other cities, such as T'ainan, T'aichung, and Chiai also accumulated central managerial functions. Chilung strengthened its function dramatically while Danshui and An-ping declined under the influence of the colonial policy to strengthen the economic link with Japan.After the latter half of the 1930s, Taiwan was incorporated into the wartime system as a base for South-East Asia. In this period, T'aipei consolidated its absolute superiority. On the other hand, most of the local cities, except Kaohsiung and Hualiengang, declined. We can also view these changing processes from an analysis of railway passenger revenue. This process resembles that of Korea in the same period. We can say that the latter half of the 1930s was one of the most important periods for the urban system of East Asian countries because the same trends were also evident in Japan.However, judging from the structure of the main railway network, there was a clear difference between Taiwan and Korea. In the case of Korea, short railway lines, which link traditional large cities in the inner area and new port cities, had largely developed. Further, before the 1930s, these lines had a more important role than the main trunk lines which crossed over the peninsula. In Taiwan, however, the railway network mainly consisted of trunk lines which linked large cities along the coast, and short lines had not sufficiently developed. In the case of Korea, there was also a great difference between the locational pattern of economic and administrative central managerial functions. It was difficult to distinguish such a difference in Taiwan, however.There were some important reasons to explain these differences. In Korea, the commercial economy had not developed well under the Lee Dynasty because of the policy of national isolation and the influence of Confucianism. Therefore, most of the traditional cities were located in the inner area as administrative centers, and did not possess sufficient economic functions except for Hansong (Seoul). On the other hand, most of the cities in Taiwan developed on the basis of cultivation or trade with mainland China. As a result, they originally had a balance of both economic and administrative central managerial functions. After that, new port cities were formed in both Korea and Taiwan. In Korea, most of them maintained their relative position during colonial rule. However, in Taiwan, trade was gradually limited to Chilung and Kaohsiung, both of which were much extended by the colonial government, because they were afraid that Taiwan would experience a significant economic impact from Western countries by trade through Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, it is also true that there were many cities which had almost the same position in each urban system of Taiwan and Korea under the same Japanese colonial rule.