Through ethnohistorical studies, this paper explores social and political perspectives during the Japanese colonization of Taiwan which led to the forced resettlement of an entire indigenous society. Ethnographic life histories and translations of official Japanese police announcements are used to explore the 1941 Neibenlu (Laipunuk) Incident (內本鹿事件), a critical event in the oral history of the Bunun, a Taiwanese (Formosan) indigenous people of the southern mountains of Taiwan. We examine the reopening of Neibenlu’s Japanese mountain trail and its police stations offering new access to Bunun heritage to inform present and future generations. The study offers an innovative account of a neglected topic of indigenous resistance to imperialism, combining oral ethnography, and historical textual analysis.
Keywords: Bunun; forced migration; Japanese colonization of Taiwan; Laipunuk; Neibenlu (內本鹿); Taiwanese (Formosan) indigenous peoples