Dr. W S Chiang 蔣渭水 醫師
- An Almost Forgotten Chapter of the History of Taiwan
- A Symbol of the Anti-Japanese Occupation in Taiwan
Dr. W S Chiang was born at Yee-Lan (宜蘭) where many Taiwanese pioneers in democracy came from. He learned the traditional Chinese literature quite early. When he grew up, he constantly refused to be associated with Japanese way of life even though all his life was under the shade of Japan. He dressed up much more often as Chinese than as Japanese.
After medical school, Chiang opened up Da-An medical center (大安醫院) in Taipei and began his practice. Soon he found out that there were invisible patients in the society of Taiwan. After merely five years as a physician, Chiang made a dramatic turn: he dedicated his life for Taiwanese against Japanese occupation in Taiwan. One of his primary concerns was to have the local representatives in the decision making process. Understandably, Japanese authority could not stand that idea.
Nevertheless Chiang founded:
1. Taiwan Cultural Society (臺灣文化協會) – Where lectures were delivered periodically and intellectuals were gathered often
2. Taiwan People’s Party (臺灣民眾黨) – Probably the very first political party looking after the over all Taiwanese benefits and human rights
3. Taiwanese Labors Union (臺灣工友聯盟) – Established the union power of the labors against the rich and the powerful
And his reward: being thrown in jail by the Japanese government in 1924. Chiang did not waste anytime in jail. He wrote articles and used creative writings to reflect his idea of the future pictures of Taiwan.
Due to illiness, Dr. Chiang died at the age of 40. There were more friends surrounded by his deathbed than his family members and relatives. Simply put: His life was by Taiwan and for Taiwan. And his extended family was Taiwan.
Chiang’s political struggles against Japan earned him a nick name of Dr. Sun Yet-sen of Taiwan. But it was his strong cultural identity and social justice concerns that made him come up with the famous clinical report of “A Diagnosis of a Patient Named Taiwan” in 1921.
His summary of diagnosis:
· Moral corruptions
· Absolute materialism
· Narrow minded and short sighted
· Lack of essential knowledge
· No long time planning
Looking at the Taiwan today, culturally, politically or socially, it makes one wonder exactly how much has been improved since Dr. Chiang passed away 76 years ago.
Dr. Chiang’s related websites: