Those lucky southerners!

In 1919, families in 大稻城 (Dadaocheng, Tōa-tiū-tiâⁿ), which lay north of the Taipei City wall, sponsored a troupe of actors from China to come perform in Taiwan for a few months. With what seemed like great excitement, the tour was announced on August 2nd in the Taiwan Nichi Nichi Shinpo 台灣日日新聞, the most widely circulated newspaper of the Japanese era.

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However, on August 14th, an article ran in the paper announcing that the troupe had changed its plans. Arriving at the port of Tamsui the day before, but fearing an epidemic raging in Taipei (probably cholera), the troupe disembarked at Tainan instead. Their performances of new and old plays, some never seen before in Taiwan, would reach Taipei in September.

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Picture 2

Sourly, the article ends with:
“北人特意招徠之名伶竟為南人先飽眼福。殆有數存耶。”
“Famous actors that northerners specially invited, unexpectedly southerners will first get to feast their eyes on them. Oh, isn’t it just their luck!”

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