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Hoanya Bookstore
Hoanya Bookstore

 

  • Chinese Name: 洪雅書房
  • Located At: Chiayi City (Southern Taiwan)
  • Year of Establishment: 1999
  • Did You Know That … ?
  • Before running the bookstore became a steady venture, founder Yu Kuo-hsin (余國信) took various part-time jobs to support the bookstore. Yu’s persistence of advocating social movements through his bookstore eventually won the support of the local community. 
  • English Address:
  • No. 116, Zhangrong St,, East District, Chiayi City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
  • Opening Hours:
  • Mondays through Sundays, 2pm  9:30pm
  • Contact Number: +886-5-277-6540
  • Website: http://blog.yam.com/hungya

 

Since founder Yu Kuo-hsin is a supporter of cultural assets and environmental preservation, unlike other bookstores, Hoanya mainly sells books on culture, history, and environmental issues. Yu’s intentions are to raise public awareness of those issues in Taiwan and advocate social participation.

For over a decade, Hoanya bookstore has brought together many who share the same interests in social activism. Spearheaded by Yu, they have jointly saved several local historical monuments, such as the Chiayi Old Prison. Also, they assist protests against political or economic policies perceived as adverse to the common good. 

Hoanya has brought numerous writers and artists to host forums, including director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and renowned singer Ara Kimno (胡德夫). Moreover, it hosts exhibitions on local artists for free. With the community’s support, Hoanya has become a spot for people to engage in cultural and educational activities, and for artists and writers to promote their works.

In recent years, Yu has been carrying out a “no fertilizer farming” campaign in Chaiyi. By organizing many forums on organic farming methods at the bookstore, Yu hopes to advocate a genetically-modified-free life and sustainable agriculture in Taiwan.

Though it is not easy running an independent bookstore, Hoanya has made its way to its 16th year in 2015, celebrating its anniversary with a series of exhibitions featuring photographs, paintings, and installation arts with the theme “The Hoanya in Your Eyes.” Yu believes that all reading materials shape a person’s mind, and he will insist on advocating non-mainstream books and activities that are beneficial to the motherland.

In addition, Yu also saved a Japanese-era wooden building from demolition, and transformed it into Yushan Inn (玉山旅社), which offers accommodation, food, and coffee. Hoanya and Yushan have become two of the local attractions in Chiayi today.

 

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