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Salizan Takisvilainan, translated by C. J. Anderson-Wu

Bashful Tahun Mountain

Always longing to unveil your face
You severed the Baitonguan cross-mountain trail
blocking adventurers’ path

So what could be the reason
for your introversion?
It takes me three days and three nights
to journey into your heart

You once greeted Japanese naturalist Mori Heiushi
received the cheers of schoolchildren
erected the Martial Arts Hall
embraced visitors from all directions
established a hub on the road to Baitonguan
But suddenly, a blast
sealed you off

Who wounded your heart?
Was it the pain caused by the Tahun Battle?
the bombardment from the canons at Huabano Fort?
Let me step into Mori Heiushi’s journal bit by bit
amidst schoolchildren’s cheers
treading into the ruins of the Martial Arts Hall
Let me carry the heavy backpack
and walk into your heart
to uncover
your history


1: Tahun Battle refers to indigenous Bunun tribe’s resistance against the Japanese colonial
troops in 1915.


2: Huabano Fort was built by the Japanese Military to fortify the territory it annexed from
the Bunun people.



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