Interpreting Zheng Chenggong : the politics of dramatizing a historical figure in Japan, China, and Taiwan (1700-1963)

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Wang, Chong
thesis / dissertation description
Zheng Chenggong (1624 - 1662) was sired by Chinese merchant-pirate in Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. A general at the end of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, he was a prominent leader of the movement opposing the Manchu Qing Dynasty, and in recovering Taiwan from Dutch colonial occupation in 1661. Honored as a hero in Japan, China, and Taiwan, he has been dramatized in many plays in various theatre forms in Japan (since about 1700), China (since 1906), and Taiwan (since the 1920s). Yet his portrayals in these plays are drastically different, depending on the dramatists' intention of writing, view of history, and artistic tools. This research, in order to demonstrate the cultural and political construction of this historical figure, examines the history of the dramatization of Zheng, by comparing selected texts from Japan, China, and Taiwan, written between 1700 and the 1960s, with regard to the historical contexts.