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'An Impression of Taiwan: Travel Souvenirs'
2016-09-13 ~ 2017-04-30

“An Impression of Taiwan: Travel Souvenirs,” a special exhibition featuring Taiwan-made souvenirs and gifts favored by Japanese visitors eight decades ago, will be held at the National Museum of Taiwan History from Sept. 13, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

The exhibition will offer glimpses of the tourism industry in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial era. Taiwan became a major travel destination following the Japanese government’s publicity campaign over its achievements in Taiwan, including the completion of transportation infrastructure that improved mobility on the island.

Most of the travel souvenirs and gifts produced during colonial rule embodied elements from aboriginal culture and southern island ambience, reflecting the average Japanese traveler’s imagination, impression, and preference of vacationing in Taiwan.

Product designs including Taiwan’s natural scenery, landscapes, and cultural symbols were the most popular among Japanese travelers at that time.

Local specialties, food, and handicrafts integrating traditional culture and contemporary techniques also became signature travel souvenirs to bring back from Taiwan.

The exhibition will also display nature sketches and caricatures, postcards, and commemorative stamps, as well as hotel business cards, a collection of historic stickers and labels amassed by visiting tourists, and travel notebooks.

The museum hopes that exhibitiongoers will be able to identify the different selection of souvenirs and gifts preferred then in comparison to now.


‘An Impression of Taiwan: Travel Souvenirs’

  • Date: Sept. 13, 2016 – April 30, 2017
  • Venue: National Museum of Taiwan History
  • Address: No. 250 Changhe Rd. Section 1, Annan District, Tainan City, Taiwan (ROC)
  • Site: www.nmth.gov.tw 
  • Facebook: NMTH100



Japanese artists sought inspiration in Taiwan as the island offered a warmer climate, more vibrant colors, and a fresh scenery.
Japanese archeologists also made frequent research expeditions to collect Austronesian artifacts and study the indigenous tribes of Taiwan.
In response to the influx of visitors, Taiwanese craftsmen used locally sourced materials such as bamboo and lacquer to produce refined souvenirs and gifts.
Shops, street stalls, and hotels also vied for Japanese business by creating stunning posters showcasing their respective wares and services.
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