"A Study of the Establishment of Modern Postal System in Taiwan: Focusing on the Case of Kee-Lung"
last update: 20151224
A Study of the Establishment of Modern Postal System in Taiwan: Focusing on the Case of Kee-Lung
The purpose of this essay is to analyze how postal systems in outlying regions were formed in the early
modern period and what kind of role they played in the formation of the nation state, especially an imperialistic
state. The essay examines the process and concepts behind the establishment of a national postal system, in
particular that of Taiwan, using the example of Kee-Lung, a port city in northern Taiwan which was the first
place where the Japanese Imperial Army established a field post station on the island. This article will focus on
the Kee-Lung post station as a case study for reviewing and tracing the historical development of the postal
service in Taiwan.
The paper addresses two primary questions. First, how did the postal system of the outlying region of Taiwan
change in the process of the modernization of China as a sovereign state during the Ching Dynasty? Second,
how did Taiwan's postal system later develop under Japanese occupation in the process of Japan, a sovereign
state, becoming an imperialistic state? Between the administrations in Taiwan of the Ching Dynasty and the
Japanese Imperial Government, there are some differences in practical achievements, experimental functions,
and Imperial symbology, but there are also similarities regarding governance outside the homeland, foreign
influences, and national interests.
The essay concludes that judging from Taiwan's postal system in the periods of the Ching Dynasty and the
Japanese colonial government, whether or not people had the need for a post service, it seems that a statemonopoly
postal system not only provided people with convenience, but also provided the state with the ability
to maintain social order and integrate the nation.
Keywords: Field post and field post station, Liu Ming-Chuan postal system, Japanese colonial postal system, History of Kee-Lung Post, National sovereignty and postal sovereignty