[Savageness of Formasa – 蕃人 banjin “barbarian”]


[Savageness of Formasa – 蕃人 banjin “barbarian”]
Imperial Japan
Unknown photographer
March 28, 1907 to February 28, 1918
Black & white image printed on postcard, text and backing printed in blue. Text in Japanese (“蕃人”), English (Front: “SAVAGENESS OF FORMASA [sic]”. Back: “MADE IN JAPAN”), French (Back: “CARTE POSTALE”), and German (Back: “POSTKARTE”).
Originally produced in Japan. Donated by Paul Barclay to Lafayette College Special Collections.
This photo is supposed to represent the generic “savage” of Taiwan. The clothing and ornaments suggest that these men are from Hualien, and may be Ami, Truku and/or Han emissaries and interpreters. Such wording and titles such as “savage” (“蕃人”) were deliberately employed to normalize degrading traits about indigenous cultures, an imperialist attitude shared by Western powers to establish foreignness between the dominant “civilized” culture and other “uncivilized” peoples. For imperialist powers like Japan, the use of technology in this process and the commercialization of this image of the “savage” produced a tourist-like allure towards these foreign groups.
Copyright undetermined
Lafayette College, Special Collections and College Archives, Imperial Postcard Collection
[ip2013] Savageness of Formasa // Lafayette Digital Repository
Bibliographic Citation
Unknown photographer, [ip2013] Savageness of Formasa, 28 March 1907- 28 February 1918, ip2013, postcard. Special Collections and College Archives, Lafayette College, Easton, PA.

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