Online Exhibition
Scars on the Land: The Historic Sites Related to the February 28 Incident in Northern Taiwan

 Update:2021-06-19

Date:Feb 20, 2021 –May 16, 2021
Opening Hours:10:00 to 17:00, from Tuesday to Sunday
Closed Day: Every Monday
Advised by the Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan
Organized by the Memorial Foundation of 228, National 228 Memorial Museum


Foreword

The February 28 Incident of 1947 left an indelible scar on Taiwanese society. Even today, the locations and buildings that witnessed the events of the incident carry with them memories of the past crisis, becoming "February 28 Incident historic sites" where people can learn about and commemorate the incident.

Among these sites, there are government office buildings, spaces that were once closely connected to the daily lives of ordinary citizens, and places where people were victimized and killed. Taking space as the main theme, this exhibition makes use of descriptions of places, buildings, and routes sourced from archives and oral histories in order to substantively and meticulously connect the dots and illustrate a full picture of this complicated historical event.

Drawing upon two dimensions, the chronology of the February 28 Incident and the spatiality of the incident's development in local counties and cities, this exhibition is arranged into three parts. The first part covers the early post-war years in Taiwan, the killing associated with a contraband tobacco confiscation that took place on February 27, 1947 near Taipei's Tianma Tea House, the epicenter of the incident, and subsequent developments until the temporary introduction of martial law was declared on March 1 of the same year. The second part portrays how Taiwanese people who lived in the counties and cities to the west of Taipei and to the south of Tamsui River gathered together in meetings and discussed how to react to the ongoing situation after receiving news of the conflict in Taipei, as well as how the Nationalist government's army clamped down and conducted "village cleansing" after arriving on the island on March 8. The last part focuses on interactions between civilians and the government that occurred in the northeastern area of Taiwan to the east of Taipei as well as in Yilan and Hualien counties in eastern Taiwan, and particularly on the indiscriminate shootings and public executions perpetrated by the 21st Division of the Nationalist government's army soon after it landed at the Port of Keelung, causing significant casualties among civilians. The locations of historic sites that are included in this exhibition span several cities and counties, namely the Greater Taipei area, Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, as well as Yilan and Hualien in eastern Taiwan.


First part: Midnight Commotion
Exhibition period: February 21, 2021 – May 16, 2021

On October 25, 1945, the rule of Taiwan, which had been a colony of the defeated Empire of Japan, was transferred from the hands of the Japanese to the Chinese Nationalist government. Many Taiwanese people originally expected that the post-war regime from their "ancestral land," which was very culturally different to Japan and largely unfamiliar to the majority of the population, would bring fresh hope. However, having experienced the colonial rule of a modernized Japan, they soon became increasingly alarmed and appalled by the bad governance, corruption and abuse of power associated with the new Chinese Nationalist government regime, which led to a groundswell of discontent on the island.

On February 27, 1947, a mishandled investigation of smuggled tobacco that resulted in the accidental death of a bystander lifted the lid on many pent-up grievances. The next day, the conflict in Twatutia soon escalated into mass shootings of demonstrators by the soldiers guarding the Chief Executive's Office. The people hurriedly fled to Taiwan Radio Station to deliver island-wide broadcasts and spread the news of a bloody crackdown in front of the Chief Executive's Office building to the rest of the island's population, prompting a massive outpouring of anger from Taiwanese people against the Chinese Nationalist government.


Second part: In the Wake of Gunshots
Exhibition period: May 20, 2021 – August 15, 2021

On March 1, some Taiwanese legislative representatives convened a committee dedicated to dealing with the contraband tobacco investigation that had resulted in bloodshed. Hoping to bring about a satisfactory resolution to the incident, the committee was reorganized into the February 28 Incident Settlement Committee on March 2, and its members held an assembly at Zhongshan Hall, to which people from various fields were invited. On March 4, the committee notified local councilors in a total of 17 Taiwanese cities and counties of the need to establish settlement committees in their own municipalities. For a while, it seemed that everyone was becoming optimistic about how the impact of the crisis was to be handled. However, just as many settlement committees at the municipal level were being set up, Chen Yi, Taiwan's chief executive, sent a telegram to Chiang Kai-shek asking if he could dispatch troops from China to his aid. On the one hand, Chen Yi asked for military reinforcements to be sent by the central government while he mobilized the existing armed forces on the island. On the other hand, he publicly declared that he would not carry out a military crackdown. His double-faced approach let the incident escalate to a point where it could not end peacefully.


Third part: An Elegy for the Island
Exhibition period: August 19, 2021 - November 14, 2021

On March 8, 1947, the 21st Division of the Chinese Nationalist government's army arrived in Taiwan at the Port of Keelung and the Port of Kaohsiung. On the same day, the Chief Executive's Office ordered the February 28 Incident Settlement Committee to be dissolved. People who had joined its local branches or criticized the government, be they official members or ordinary citizens, were soon arrested and subjected to political persecution. With the implementation of martial law, a military crackdown, and massive arrests in the name of "village cleansing," many people could not escape the indiscriminate slaughter and pillage by the military and police. The hope for peaceful negotiations to end the conflict associated with the February 28 Incident was completely shattered, leading to a complete military suppression of the anti-government movement and leaving behind on the island many locations of massacres and public executions where agonizing memories linger.


  • Taihoku Public Hall|Zhongshan Hall
  • The Taiwan Provincial Assembly building|The National 228 Memorial Museum
  • Tianma Tea House|Nanjing Gemini Apartment
  • Minatochō Police Station|The Archive Building of the Criminal Investigation Division, Taipei City Police Department
  • Taihoku Police Station|Taipei City Police Department
  • The Military Police Corps, Taihoku branch|The Taipei Military Police Corps, the Military Police Command
  • Taiwan Province Political Reconstruction Association|Tung Yi Ming Hsia Department
  • Taiheichō 2 Chome Police Branch|Yanping Police Station, Datong Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department
  • The Taipei branch of the Monopoly Bureau|The Taipei branch of Chang Hwa Commercial Bank, Ltd.
  • The Monopoly Bureau headquarters|The Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation headquarters
  • Taiwan Provincial Chief Executive's Office|Executive Yuan
  • General Post Office|Chunghwa Post's Taipei Beimen Post Office
  • The Taiwan Railways Commission|National Taiwan Museum - Railway Department Park
  • The People's Herald newspaper office|Taipei Futai Street Mansion
  • Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News office building|Shin Sheng Daily News Plaza Building
  • Taiwan Radio Station|Taipei 228 Memorial Museum
  • Taiwan Garrison Command|The Armed Forces Reserve Command of the Ministry of National Defense
  • The Residence of Lin Ting-li, director of the Secrets Bureau (Taiwan branch)|Hotel Riverview
  • Keelung Military Fortress Command|Keelung Military Fortress Command
  • The Motomachi Police Branch|Keelung E-Square

The post-war takeover of Formosa by the Chinese Nationalist government

After the Second World War ended in 1945, the Chinese Nationalist government took control of Formosa in what was supposed to be a temporary military occupation. However, it not only established the Taiwan Provincial Chief Executive's Office and the Taiwan Garrison Command, which respectively managed civil and military affairs, but simultaneously extended across the island the influence of intelligence agencies, such as the government-run Bureau of Investigation and Statistics and the party-run Central Bureau of Investigation and Statistics. On October 25 of the same year, the surrender ceremony of Taiwan Province in the China Theater was held at the Taihoku Public Hall (today's Zhongshan Hall), marking the transfer of the control of Taiwan and heralding the beginning of the tragic history of the February 28 Incident.

The end of the war and the change of regime gave Taiwanese people hope of liberation from being treated as colonial subjects, as well as hope of new opportunities for political, economic and social development. This excitement was evident in Taiwanese people's enthusiastic participation in self-governance. On April 15, 1946, 30 members of the municipal assemblies of all cities and counties were elected to form the Taiwan Provincial Assembly, which was seated by a majority of Taiwanese people who lived permanently on the island and some poà-soa, Taiwanese people who lived in China during the Japanese colonial period and returned to the island following the end of the war. The Taiwan Provincial Assembly was one of the few political institutions run predominantly by the Taiwanese.


Taihoku Public Hall


  • Current name of site|Zhongshan Hall
  • Type of historic site|Position/employment・Arrests・Significant locations・Conflict・Meetings and negotiations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/w2dVGvZqeeDkrf2e6

Brief introduction to the site

In 1928, the Taiwan Governor-General's Office demolished the Taiwan Provincial Administration Hall previously built by the Qing Empire, and moved some parts of the building to the Taihoku Botanical Garden for display purposes before it started the planning and construction of the Taihoku Public Hall on the original site. Construction was completed in 1936. After the Second World War ended in 1945, the surrender ceremony for the 15th surrender area (which included Formosa and the Pescadores Islands) of the Second World War China Theater was held at this building, where the control of Formosa and the Pescadores Islands was transferred to the Chinese Nationalist government. After the ceremony, the Taihoku Public Hall was renamed Zhongshan Hall, and became a venue for official ceremonies, public gatherings, art exhibitions, and performances, as well as a meeting place for legislative representatives. Its renovation was completed in 2001 and it was designated as a national historic site in 2019.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On October 25, 1945, the surrender ceremony of Taiwan Province in the China Theater was held in the grand ballroom of the Taihoku Public Hall. The Japanese representative Andō Rikichi signed the instrument of surrender and the surrender ceremony was finalized as stipulated in the Order No. 1 from the Office of the Chief Executive of Taiwan Province of China and the Commander-in-Chief of the Taiwan Garrison Command. Although the ceremony did not constitute a transfer of sovereignty as it was not in accordance with an official international treaty, the Republic of China regime started subjecting Taiwan to its domestic laws and has ruled the island since.


The Taiwan Provincial Assembly building



Brief introduction to the site

During the Japanese colonial period, in order to facilitate the implementation of modern education, the Taiwan Governor-General's Office established the Taiwan Education Association in 1901 and started the planning and construction of the Taiwan Education Association building in 1928. The architecture was designed by Kaoru Ide, then chief architect of the Governor-General's Office. Construction was completed in May 1931 and the building served as a venue for organizing a variety of public lectures, displaying educational achievements, screening films, and hosting the Taiwan Fine Arts Exhibition.

Following the end of the Second World War, the Taiwan Provincial Assembly held its inaugural meeting here in May 1946. The following year, the Provisional Taiwan Provincial Council was reconvened here until it moved to Wufeng, Taichung in 1958. In 1959, the United States Information Agency moved into the building, where it continued to operate under the new name of the American Cultural Center after the termination of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Republic of China in 1979. The American Cultural Center moved out of the building in 2002. In 1993, the building was designated as a municipal historic site. On February 28, 2007, the National 228 Memorial Museum was officially created at the building. However, it only commenced full operation and was opened to the public on February 28, 2011 after the renovation and revitalization of the historic building.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On May 1, 1946, the Taiwan Provincial Assembly held its inaugural conference, which lasted for 15 days. Members of the Provincial Assembly heavily criticized the problems related to the Chinese Nationalist government's takeover of Taiwan. Wang Tien-teng and Lin Jih-kao exposed corrupt relationships between government officials and businesspeople. Kuo Kuo-chi and Li Wan-chu advocated for the hiring of Taiwanese people by the government. Lin Lien-chung questioned the lack of judicial independence and criticized the courts for having to obtain approval before making a judgement. The media paid a great deal of attention to the conference's democratic significance, with People's Herald and Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News both publishing full-page reports on what happened in the assembly during every day of its first conference.


The precursor of the incident: conflict caused by a contraband tobacco investigation

The Chief Executive's Office continued the monopoly system adopted by the Japanese colonial regime and set up the headquarters of the Monopoly Bureau and its local branches in counties and cities. However, the bureau's bad management and poor product quality resulted in the prevalence of contraband tobacco and alcohol. The conflict that had been sparked by a contraband tobacco investigation was continuously reported by newspapers, which fueled the Taiwanese population's discontent with a state-run monopoly that harmed the interests of private enterprises.

On the morning of February 27, 1947, the Monopoly Bureau received intelligence from Chin Chao-bin that 50 boxes of matches and cigarettes had been smuggled in at the Tamsui Port. Six investigators from the Monopoly Bureau (Fu Hsueh-tung, Yeh Te-ken, Sheng Tie-fu, Chung Yen-chou, Chao Tzu-chien and Liu Chao-siang) and four officers from the Police Corps (Chang Kuo-chieh, Ho Hui-min, Tsai Hou-hsun and Chang Chi-tzu) rushed to Tamsui to investigate. After learning that the smuggled goods had been transported to Tianma Tea House, one of the largest distribution centers for contraband in Taipei, some of the investigators and policemen went to dine at the nearby Sio-chhun-hn̂g Café before arriving at Tianma Teahouse at around 7:30 p.m. The conflict that broke out during the contraband tobacco investigation became the precursor of the February 28 Incident.


Tianma Tea House



Brief introduction to the site

In 1941, the then well-known silent film narrator Chan Tianma opened a Kissaten called Tianma Tea House, which was located next to Bān-lí-âng Restaurant, Hông-lâi-koh (a Taiwanese restaurant) and Bolero Western Restaurant. This block was where many artists and intellectuals enjoyed social gatherings at the time. On the evening of February 27, 1947, a violent conflict was triggered by a contraband tobacco investigation which escalated into the outbreak of the February 28 Incident the next day. In 1998, a monument at the location of the catalyst to the February 28 Incident was installed at No. 185, Nanjing West Road by the Taipei City Government. The original building of Tianma Tea House was demolished in 2005. In 2011, local cultural and historical workers opened a new Tianma Tea House on the third floor of the original site, but this unfortunately no longer exists.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On the evening of February 27, 1947, investigators from the Taipei branch of the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau arrived at Tianma Tea House. Most of the tobacco vendors had already fled, except Lin Chiang-mai who was kneeling on the ground and begging the investigators not to confiscate all her money and tobacco. The sight attracted a group of vocal onlookers, many of whom pleaded with the investigators on her behalf. Amid the quarrel and altercation which ensued, investigator Yeh Te-ken wounded Lin Chiang-mai's head with a gun barrel, thus infuriating the nearby crowd of onlookers who surrounded and chased after the investigators. While attempting to escape the chase, investigator Fu Hsueh-tung fired a shot and accidentally killed a citizen called Chen Wen-si, whose death further intensified the situation. The enraged masses chased closely after the investigators and policemen who were trying to escape.


Minatochō Police Station


  • Current name of site|The Archive Building of the Criminal Investigation Division, Taipei City Police Department
  • Type of historic site|Conflict
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/z6pSUQngpKeBSKRU8

Brief introduction to the site

In 1937, the Minatochō Police Branch of the Taihoku Prefecture's North Taihoku Police Station was established. Its name was changed to Gangting Police Station following the end of the war.

In 1988, the original building was demolished and rebuilt in 1988. It is currently used as the Archives of the Criminal Investigation Division and managed by the Taipei City Police Department.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On February 27, 1947, following the conflict caused by the violent investigation of a contraband tobacco vendor in front of Tianma Tea House, the investigators and policemen who were involved were chased by furious crowds of onlookers. Policeman Tsai Hou-hsun and investigator Sheng Tie-fu escaped into Xiakuifuting (Shimokeifuchō) Police Station where they phoned the Police Corps for help. After the policemen who were sent to help arrived at the station, Tsai Hou-hsun started to get ready to leave on a pulled rickshaw. However, the rickshaw puller did not want to transport him and the crowds of protesters started to shout "hit those men!" Tsai Hou-hsun had no choice but to hide at Gangting Police Station where he again sought help. Soon the Police Corps sent a car to take him back to the Police Corps headquarters. On the other hand, after Sheng Tie-fu learned that the policemen who were sent to help them out had already arrived, he went back to the conflict scene in an attempt to find his colleagues at the Monopoly Bureau. To his surprise, the police were not there and what he saw was protesters taking apart the truck that belonged to the Monopoly Bureau. He quickly hid in Gangting Police Station. It was only when a vehicle came to his rescue that Sheng Tie-fu successfully left the place for the Taipei Military Police Corps.


Taihoku Police Station



Brief introduction to the site

In 1920, the Governor-General's Office set up the South Taihoku Police Station located at the corner of the Taihoku Public Hall square. It was in charge of about 20 police branches located to the south of the North Gate. The office of the South Taihoku Police Station was a two-story concrete building whose rows of vertically long windows were similar to that of the North Taihoku Police Station (today's Taiwan New Cultural Movement Memorial Museum). Following the end of the war, the building continued to be employed as a police station which effectively controlled mass gatherings in the Zhongshan Hall square.

After two reconstruction projects in 1968 and 1988, the original structure of the building was completely removed. The current site houses the Taipei City Police Department building.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On the evening of February 27, 1947, following the conflict that took place in front of Tianma Tea House between civilians and a group of investigators and policemen, the latter group was able to escape to nearby police stations before eventually returning to headquarters at Taipei City Police Department. Upon learning their whereabouts, the crowds of enraged civilians surrounded Taipei City Police Department and demanded the culpable be handed over. However, the director of the department, Chen Sung-chien, refused the request and relocated the six investigators to the Taipei Military Police Corps, where the protesters moved en masse.

In March, the Taipei City Police Department headquarters became a place where police detained and tortured the arrested.


The Military Police Corps, Taihoku branch


  • Current name of site|The Taipei Military Police Corps, the Military Police Command
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/kgAuWM526zGm9Cs67

Brief introduction to the site

During the Japanese colonial period, the headquarters of the Taiwan Military Police Corps, located on what was then known as Seimon Street inside the city's original walls, was responsible for the management of the military police as well as police administration and judicial officers in Taiwan, and had military police branches in major municipalities on the island. The Taihoku branch was located inside the headquarters building, which was inscribed with Japan's imperial chrysanthemum emblem on the façade. The original building has been demolished and rebuilt.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

After the conflict over a contraband tobacco investigation broke out in front of Tianma Tea House, crowds of agitated people surrounded the Taipei Military Police Corps where the six investigators were rumored to have been escorted. Protesting all night, the crowds demanded the handover and strict prosecution of the culpable. After Chang Mu-tao, the head of the Fourth Military Police Regiment, failed to either persuade or threaten the crowds into leaving, the protesters continued blockading Taipei's military police branch, with some of them traveling back and forth from the office of the Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News to update the newspaper until they were forcibly dispersed by police at dawn the next day on February 28.


Route map of the February 28, 1947 demonstration against the violent investigation of contraband tobacco

Due to the refusal of the military and police departments to hand over the culpable investigators who had caused the violent conflict on the evening of the previous day, the furious crowds of people turned to seek justice from the Monopoly Bureau's headquarters and Chief Executive Chen Yi. On the morning of February 28, the Taiwan Province Political Reconstruction Association, a civil organization, called on people from the Twatutia area to gather in the square of Daqiaotou where the demonstration would be guided by Chang Ching-chuan. The demonstrators walked past Dihua Street, Yanping North Road and North Gate roundabout before they arrived at the Monopoly Bureau's Taipei branch on Chongqing South Road. Protesters also gathered at Bangka Lungshan Temple before marching to the Monopoly Bureau's headquarters on Nanchang Street. In addition, Liao Te-hsiong, the then head of the Student Self-governance Association of Taipei Business School, called on students from Taiwan Commercial and Industrial School (today's Kainan Vocational High School), Taipei Industrial School, the Taiwan Provincial College of Law and Business (today's Xuzhou Road Campus of the College of Law, National Taiwan University), Cheng Kung High School and Yanping College to join the demonstration of the non-student protesters. By midday, the demonstrators from Twatutia and Bangka, as well as the student protesters, had arrived at the square in front of the Chief Executive's Office building.


The route taken by the Twatutia demonstrators: the Daqiaotou square→Kang San Lau and Puyuan Temple→Tianma Tea House→the former Taiheichō 2 Chome Police Branch→the Railways Administration building→the North Gate Roundabout→Taipei Post Office→the Monopoly Bureau's Taipei branch→Taipei First Girls High School→the Monopoly Bureau's headquarters→the Taipei South Gate roundabout→Taipei New Park→National Taiwan University Hospital→the Chief Executive's Office


Protest and strike actions by laborers and shopkeepers

The blood-stained conflict, which broke out in front of Tianma Tea House following a contraband tobacco investigation the previous evening, infuriated the local people, many of whom gathered at Taipei City Police Department and the Taipei Military Police Corps to demand the culpable officials be handed over for severe legal prosecution. However, seeing that their demands were being completely ignored, the protesters escalated their actions into a demonstration on a larger scale. On the morning of February 28, 1947, the masses of protesters who gathered in Twatutia walked along Yanping North Road with their drums to ask their fellow citizens to join the shopkeepers' strike. Around 10 a.m., the protesters arrived at the Monopoly Bureau's Taipei branch, where the culpable investigators worked, and took out matches, tobacco, alcohol, a car and roughly eight bicycles from the office building to the street before setting them on fire. As many as 3000 onlookers witnessed the protest. Later, the crowds of demonstrators continued to march to various places, including the Monopoly Bureau's headquarters and the Chief Executive's Office.

When the demonstrators arrived at the Chief Executive's Office, they were met by guards who had already set up machine guns on top of the building. As the crowds drew near the building, they were machine-gunned indiscriminately, and many shot dead on the spot. After that, the conflict continued to escalate, with the incident turning into an island-wide struggle against the regime due to broadcasting by Taiwan Radio Station.


Taiwan Province Political Reconstruction Association


  • Current name of site|Tung Yi Ming Hsia Department
  • Type of historic site|Meetings and negotiations・Injuries and deaths・Locations where news of the incident was transmitted
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/XCcCikbSDSbLfWYn7

Brief introduction to the site

In January 1946, after the end of the Second World War, former members of the Taiwanese People's Party and Taiwan Revolutionary Alliance established the Taiwanese People's Association. In April, the association changed its name to the Taiwan Provincial Political Construction Association after it was instructed to do so by the Chief Executive's Office. The San Min Bookshop opened by Chiang Wei-shui in Twatutia became the meeting place for the association. After the outbreak of the February 28 Incident, the San Min Bookshop was forced to shut down by the government due to political considerations.

The original building has since been demolished and rebuilt.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On the evening of February 27, 1947, members of the Taiwan Provincial Political Construction Association, including Liao Chin-ping, Huang Chao-sheng, Chang Tsing-chuan and Wang Wan-te, were having a meeting on the second floor of the Bān-lí-âng Restaurant, which was located right next to Tianma Tea House. Upon hearing the tumult outside, they rushed down to the street to see what was going on. The contraband tobacco investigators and policemen had already retreated back to the Taipei City Police Department, which was soon surrounded by furious crowds of people asking for the handover of those who were culpable for the violent conflict. Receiving no response from the government, some members of the association who had joined the protest returned to the office of the Taiwan Provincial Political Construction Association and held an urgent meeting discussing their options. They concluded that they would contact like-minded citizens and students in the Twatutia and Bangka areas to take their demands to the street the next day on February 28, 1947.


Taiheichō 2 Chome Police Branch


  • Current name of site|Yanping Police Station, Datong Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/7PubL7th7fSkQRxy8

Brief introduction to the site

During the Japanese colonial period, the Taiheichō 2 Chome Police Branch was managed by North Taihoku Police Station. The construction of the building was completed in January, 1931. The right flank of the building's ground floor was used by the fire service while the left was used by police. The 132-square meter hall on the building's upper floor was used for public assemblies of citizens. Following the end of the war, an additional floor was added to the original structure, making it a three-story building that is still used as a police station today.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

At 9 a.m. on February 28, 1947, the crowds of people who had not received satisfactory responses from the government in relation to the violence perpetrated by contraband tobacco investigators the day before hit gongs as they walked on the streets to encourage workers, shopkeepers and other citizens to join the strike. The households and shops they walked past responded to their cause immediately and shut their doors tight. When the protesters walked past the police branch in the area previously known as 2 Chome of Taiheichō, the director of the police branch attempted to stop the people from continuing their demonstration and was attacked by the protestors. Glass windows and other items at the police branch were smashed.


The Taipei branch of the Monopoly Bureau


  • Current name of site|The Taipei branch of Chang Hwa Commercial Bank, Ltd.
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/FKyDPmC8EUEvZenr8

Brief introduction to the site

In 1929, the director of the Tatsuma Chamber of Commerce, Kawahigashi Tomiji, invested in the construction of a retail building in Honmachi, Taihoku. In September 1934, the Taihoku Branch of the Monopoly Bureau leased it from the Tatsuma Chamber of Commerce and took down the partition wall in the middle. After the end of the Second World War, the name of the Taihoku branch was changed to the Taipei branch. In 1951, the building became state-owned and in 1968 it was transferred to the Taipei branch of Chang Hwa Bank. Although the pedestrian arcade and interior space have been renovated many times, the exterior of the building remains almost the same. In 2012, the site was registered as a historic building.

The Monopoly Bureau was established by Japan's Taiwan Governor-General's Office in 1901 to control the distribution of vital resources of the time, such as opium, salt, camphor, tobacco, alcohol, matches and petroleum, as well as to manage units of measurement. The income of the Monopoly Bureau was the main source of revenue for the Governor-General's Office. In 1945, after Formosa was taken control of by the Chinese Nationalist government, the bureau was reorganized into the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly and continued the state-run monopoly system set up by the Japanese. There were eight branches on the island, in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Taitung, Kaohsiung, Hsinchu, Hualien Port, and Chiayi.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

The violence perpetrated by contraband tobacco investigators on the evening of February 27, 1947 infuriated a great number of people, many of whom took to the streets to demonstrate in protest against the government the next day. Starting out from Twatutia, the rally of protesters arrived at the Monopoly Bureau's Taipei branch at about 10 a.m. to demand justice. However, the Chinese Mainlanders had already sought refuge somewhere else and only a few administrative assistants remained at the branch. Because the crowds of protesters could not find the right officials to petition, they were left with no choice but to remove things from the branch and burn them on the street in protest. The protesters only turned to the headquarters of the Monopoly Bureau and Chief Executive's Office to continue their protest after Teng Chin-yi, the head of the Hankou Street community, stopped the protesters and told them: "There is no point burning this stuff, this is just a branch responsible for selling tobacco in Chengzhong District. If you want to protest, you should all go to the headquarters."


The Monopoly Bureau headquarters


  • Current name of site|The Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation headquarters
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/V9PRNsu3U6Rw6PjN6

Brief introduction to the site

In 1922, the Monopoly Bureau building was designed by Moriyama Matsunosuke, an architect from the Construction and Maintenance Department of the Taiwan Governor-General's Office. Its tall tower in the middle, alternating red and white exterior walls, and arch windows were similar architectural characteristics to those observed in the Governor-General's building, which was built in the same era. The Monopoly Bureau sold important resources for civilians, such as opium, salt, camphor, cigarettes, alcohol, matches, and petroleum, and also managed official units of measurement. After the end of the Second World War, it was taken over by the Chief Executive's Office and was reorganized into the Taiwan Provincial Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau in May 1947. After the state-run monopoly system was changed in 2002, the building became the headquarters of the Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation. In 1998, the building was designated as a national historic site.

In 1945, the Chinese Nationalist government took over Japan's Monopoly Bureau and reorganized it into the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau. At that time, Taiwan was impacted by multiple issues, such as a scarcity of rice and other staples, hyperinflation and high unemployment. Many officials from the new regime were involved in fraud and embezzlement. Due to mismanagement by the new Monopoly Bureau, bootleg tobacco and alcohol were rampant and clashes between the bureau's officials and contraband tobacco vendors were often reported in newspapers. In short, the state-run monopoly not only harmed the interests of private enterprises, but was also perceived very badly by the Taiwanese people.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

The conflict that broke out in front of Tianma Tea House during a contraband tobacco investigation on the evening of February 27, 1947 resulted in a massive demonstration of enraged people protesting at the Taipei branch of the Monopoly Bureau the next day. Later, protesters moved to the headquarters of the bureau to continue their appeal. As the bureau officials had already received intelligence that protesters were coming, they had military police and police guarding the headquarters with machine guns. The bureau's director Ren Wei-chun had already sought refuge elsewhere, leaving behind a couple of Taiwanese administrative assistants at the office. Furious crowds smashed the Monopoly Bureau's factory and staff dormitory near the South Gate before they turned to the Chief Executive's Office.

After the February 28 Incident, the Monopoly Bureau changed its Monopoly Regulations into State-managed Distribution Regulations to avoid becoming the target of public anger. It also started using the character 菸 (meaning "tobacco" with a neutral connotation) instead of 煙 (meaning "smoke" with a negative connotation), and reorganized itself into the Taiwan Provincial Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau in May 1947.


Taiwan Provincial Chief Executive's Office



Brief introduction to the site

In 1920, when Taihoku officially became a city, its government officials temporarily worked at a leased building inside Kabayama Elementary School. The construction of the city government building was started in 1937 and finished in 1940 and its architecture was designed by Kaoru Ide, the director of the Construction and Maintenance Department at the Taiwan Governor-General's Office. On September 20, 1945, the Taiwan Provincial Chief Executive's Office was established. After the Chief Executive's Office was abolished on May 16, 1947, it became the main building for the Taiwan Provincial Government until it moved to Zhongxing New Village, Nantou in 1957. Since then, the building has been used as the headquarters of the Executive Yuan. In 1998, the building was designated as a national historic site.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On February 28, 1947, the day after the violence perpetrated by the contraband investigators in front of Tianma Tea House, crowds of protesters marched from Twatutia to the Monopoly Bureau's Taipei branch and headquarters before they turned to the Chief Executive's Office to make their voices heard in demanding severe prosecution of the culpable and the abolishment of the state-run monopoly. At about 1 p.m., hundreds of protesters followed the sounds of gongs and drums while walking from the railway station to the Chief Executive's Office.

When the protesters arrived at the intersection between Zhongshan North Road and Zhongshan South Road, they were intercepted by well-equipped soldiers waving rifles before they had even entered the square in front of the Chief Executive's Office building. Soon, gunshots were heard, as the heavy machine guns mounted on the roof of the building opened fire on the protesters. Many were shot dead on the spot and fell to the ground, while others ran for their lives trying to escape. At 3 p.m. at the Chief Executive's Office building, then Chief Executive Chen Yi, who was also the commander-in-chief of the Taiwan Garrison Command at the time, declared a temporary implementation of martial law and curfew in the Taipei area. Subsequently, armed military police were dispatched to patrol the city center and gunshots were fired indiscriminately on the streets. Troops were also deployed to guard important areas.


General Post Office


  • Current name of site|Chunghwa Post's Taipei Beimen Post Office
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Injuries and deaths・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/U8YtCbMCNW4fuGEx7

Brief introduction to the site

In the late 1920s, the Taiwan Governor-General's Office decided to rebuild the Taihoku Post Office building, which was originally made of wood, and commissioned Kuriyama Syunichi for its design. The construction started in 1928 and was completed in two years. The building had three floors and the main hall on the second floor was built with a high ceiling. After the Second World War, the building was taken over by the General Post Office of the Republic of China. In the 1960s, the entrance porch was removed and a fourth floor was added. The building is currently used by Chunghwa Post's Taipei Beimen Post Office for handling postal operations and holding public exhibitions. The building was designated as a third-class national historic site in 1992. The repair of the exterior wall was completed in 2013, and a project to rebuild the entrance porch was commenced in 2020.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On February 28, 1947, crowds of protesters marched from Twatutia to the Monopoly Bureau's Taipei branch and headquarters before arriving at the Chief Executive's Office to express their demands. The conflict was escalating. At 3 p.m., the Taiwan Garrison Command declared the temporary implementation of martial law in the Taipei city center and dispatched soldiers and policemen to patrol the streets and shoot indiscriminately. However, the crowds of protesters continued to demonstrate near the North Gate and more than a thousand protesters who gathered in front of the General Post Office refused disperse, clashing with the military and police. Dozens of people were either killed or injured. In the following days, there continued to be casualties in front of the General Post Office.


The Taiwan Railways Commission


  • Current name of site|National Taiwan Museum - Railway Department Park
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Injuries and deaths・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/KkGCWUpFsrqTP1Fa8

Brief introduction to the site

The original site of the Machinery Bureau building, which was built in 1884 by then Governor of Taiwan Liu Ming-chuan, was changed to the Taihoku Weapon Maintenance Station after being taken over by the Japanese military in 1895. In 1900, after the ownership of the building was transferred to the Railway Department, its name was changed to Taihoku Workshop. In 1918, the office building of the Railway Department was built. In 1945, the site was taken over by the Railways Commission of the Department of Transportation, Chief Executive's Office. After the restructuring of the government organization, the management of the site was assigned to the Taiwan Railways Administration, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

In 2006, the government agreed that this site would be restored and reused with the goal of creating the Railway Department Park. In 2007, it was designated as a national historic site. There were originally nearly 40 buildings in the block but only ten buildings have been retained after some were demolished. Eight of the remaining buildings have been listed as cultural heritage sites. In July 2020, the Railway Department Park was officially opened to the public.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

At about 3 p.m. on February 28, 1947, the Taiwan Garrison Command declared the temporary implementation of martial law in Taipei's city center. At the time, crowds of protesters were continuing to demonstrate and had moved to the North Gate area, where thousands of people gathered and surrounded the General Post Office, the Railways Committee, the Railway Police Bureau and other government buildings. The protesters refused to be dispersed and clashed with the military and police, resulting in more than ten casualties. On the evening of February 28, some Taiwan Railways Commission staff members and their families sought refuge at the nearby United States Consulate in Taiwan (located at today's No. 2, Section 1, Zhonghua Road, Taipei City). Seeing the escalation of the conflict, the Railway Police Bureau immediately deployed policemen from police stations in Taipei, Keelung and Songshan to the Taiwan Railways Commission's building and its staff dormitory.

On March 1, there were still conflicts near the Taiwan Railways Commission building. Written by George Henry Kerr, then deputy consul of the United States Consulate in Taiwan, and translated by Ron Chen, Formosa Betrayed describes:

"As one of Chen Yi's armed trucks came past the Consulate gates riflemen aboard, shooting at random, killed two pedestrians and drove on. A crowd gathered, and just as the bodies were about to be carried away several students from the countryside entered the Railway Administration Building a few yards distant, to ask when train services would be resumed; they had been marooned in the city on the previous day and they wanted to get home.

"The Railway Director's private guards were nervous; gunfire was heard, and the boys were not seen again. Then the special Railway Police, hidden within the walled compound, turned their guns to the street outside and two more pedestrians were killed.

"By this time a very large crowd had gathered at the North Gate intersection, and would probably have stormed the Railway Offices, but just then a military truck approached, summoned, perhaps, by the Railway Offices. Its way was blocked, but a sudden burst of machine-gun and rifle fire sent the crowd scattering. At least twenty-five persons were killed at once, and more than a hundred were seriously injured. No one knows how many others were struck, but able to walk away.

"This bloody diversion gave twenty-five Railway Office employees a chance to make a dash for safety across the street into the American Consulate. Raising a cry, Formosans gave chase.

"Among the mainland Chinese it was each man for himself, and devil take the hindmost. The hindmost here were the women, clerks from the office; some of the first men to burst in through the Consulate gates promptly tried to close them in the faces of their fleeing colleagues. The last ones came in over the fence as best they could, and as they did someone in the street crowd threw one stone after them. It struck the Consulate wall with a thud."


Broadcasting to the whole island

In the afternoon of February 28, 1947, having been machine-gunned in front of the Chief Executive's Office building, crowds of protesters moved to Taipei New Park and surrounded Taiwan Radio Station, where they broadcast incidents of state violence to the whole of the island. In their broadcasts, they also accused the new regime of bad governance, corruption and stealing key resources by means of forced exportation of rice and grains to aid in the Chinese Civil War. The protesters asked Taiwanese people to join the protest, which escalated the regional conflict in Taipei's city center into an island-wide resistance movement.

In addition to broadcasting, newspapers also played an important role in the February 28 Incident. Newspapers that had long criticized the government's bad governance, such as People's Herald run by Sung Fei-ju and People's News by Chen Wang-cheng, reported on the incident to some extent. Other newspapers, such as Ta Ming Pao, Reconstruction Daily, Peace Daily and China Daily News, all covered the incident in depth and helped spread the news to different areas in Taiwan.


The People's Herald newspaper office


  • Current name of site|Taipei Futai Street Mansion
  • Type of historic site|Position/employment・Locations where news of the incident was transmitted
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/qrCHGwm5Sc5GZHxZ6

Brief introduction to the site

Built in 1910 by Takaishi Chuzo, the director of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Okura Group, with his younger brother Kanahara Kazekura, the headquarters of the Takaishi Group were called "Stone House," as the structure included stacked stones on the first floor and timber on the second floor. Following the end of the Second World War, it served as the office of the newspaper People's Herald, which was forced to shut down by the government after the outbreak of the February 28 Incident. Between 1950 and 1997, the building was used as a dormitory for military officers working at the Department of Military Law of the Taiwan Garrison Command. In 1997, it was designated as a municipal historic site. In 2000, the architectural structure was damaged by a fire. In 2007, the renovations were completed by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government. In April 2014, the building was officially opened to the public.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

In 1946, the People's Herald was launched with the purpose of "promoting the Three Principles of the People, elucidating government policies, and creating the correct form of speech for the people." Due to its reporting and criticism of the political and economic chaos in the early years of post-war Taiwan, the newspaper was targeted by intelligence agencies even before the outbreak of the February 28 Incident. Facing enormous pressure from the government, Sung Fei-ju resigned from his position at the newspaper and was succeeded by Wang Tien-teng.

After the February 28 Incident broke out, People's Herald followed the incident, reporting on it in detail. In March, the Taiwan Garrison Command seized the newspaper, alleging that it had become the "main force of reactionary remarks, ridiculous anti-government defamations, and incitement of riots." After being arrested on the charge of "conspiring a rebellion as a major culprit", Song Fei-ju went missing. Wang Tian-teng, a member of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly who served as a member of the February 28 Incident Settlement Committee, was later accused of "conspiring a rebellion as a major culprit" and many other crimes. On March 11, 1947, he went missing after being arrested by someone who claimed to be a special agent working for the Fourth Military Police Regiment. Editor-in-chief Su Sin, chief writer Chen Wen-bin and journalist Wu Ko-tai fled to China. Another of the newspaper's journalists, Lu Ho-jo, joined the underground organization activities of the Chinese Communist Party.


Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News office building


  • Current name of site|Shin Sheng Daily News Plaza Building
  • Type of historic site|Position/employment・Locations where news of the incident was transmitted
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/mhgGkpUZBkimhFQA9

Brief introduction to the site

Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News was originally known as Taiwan Daily News (Taiwan Nichinichi Shinpo) during the Japanese colonial period. As well as being the largest newspaper at the time, it was also the longest running newspaper in Taiwan's history. The original building where it was housed was designed by Kondo Juro, a technician from the Construction and Maintenance Department of the Civil Engineering Bureau under the Taiwan Governor-General's Office, and was completed in red brick in 1908. In 1944, the Governor-General's Office merged the six major daily newspapers in Taiwan into Taiwan Shinpō in order to facilitate its control over the news and deal with the war situation. After the war ended, the Chief Executive's Office took over the newspaper's Taipei headquarters and branch buildings throughout Taiwan along with its comprehensive printing and publishing equipment to establish the government-run newspaper Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News.

The original building has since been demolished and rebuilt and is now a commercial building.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On February 27, 1947, after the conflict caused by the violent investigation of the contraband tobacco vendor in front of Tianma Tea House, crowds went to the Taipei City Police Department to demand punishment of the murderer. When Chang Mu-tao, head of the Fourth Military Police Regiment, ordered the police to get into position to shoot, the crowd hid in the arcade of the Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News building. Some people went to the newspaper to ask that what had happened in the incident be published in Chinese and Japanese. The editor-in-chief Wu Chin-lien refused as the Chief Executive's Office had ordered that reports of the incident should not be published. The public could not accept this and threatened to burn down the newspaper's office building. It was not until the head of the newspaper Li Wan-chu emerged and agreed to report on the incident that the people dispersed.

From February 28 to March 9, Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News continued to report on the violent investigation of smuggled tobacco, the development of the February 28 Incident Settlement Committee, and the government response. One day after the newspaper's publication was suspended on March 10, its reporting began to lean towards the official line of the government, reiterating that the declaration of martial law was in place to eliminate traitors and protect compatriots. Many newspaper employees of Taiwanese heritage were killed in the February 28 Incident, including the general manager Ng Tiau-jit and the Japanese editor-in-chief Wu Chin-lien (both of whom did not participate in the operations of the Settlement Committee), as well as the printing plant director Lin Jie, Kaohsiung branch director Chiu Chin-shan, and Chiayi branch director Su Hsien-chang.


Taiwan Radio Station


  • Current name of site|Taipei 228 Memorial Museum
  • Type of historic site|Conflict・Protests and demonstrations・Locations where news of the incident was transmitted
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/9QKnZ8TpotdZ56Sr8

Brief introduction to the site

In 1930, in order to develop the broadcasting industry, the Communications Department in the Transportation Bureau of the Taiwan Governor-General's Office established the Taipei Broadcasting Bureau at this site. In 1931, the Taiwan Broadcasting Association was established and acquired responsibility for broadcasting affairs. After the war in 1945, the Nationalist government took over the association and changed its name to the Taiwan Broadcasting Corporation. Following the February 28 Incident in 1947, radio was an important medium for disseminating official decrees by the Chinese Nationalist party, government, and military and for reporting on developments related to the incident. In 1949, the Taiwan Broadcasting Corporation was renamed the Broadcast Corporation of China. In 1972, after the new office building for the Broadcast Corporation of China was completed, the original Taiwan Radio Station building was handed over to the Taipei City Government to be used as an office building for the Parks and Street Lights Office. Given the building's important role in the February 28 Incident, the Taipei City Government designated it as the site of the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum in 1996.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

At noon on February 28, 1947, machine guns were used to suppress protesters in front of the Chief Executive's Office, causing them to scatter and flee. The Taiwan Garrison Command declared temporary martial law, and armed policemen and soldiers opened fire as they patrolled the city center. Some people rushed to Taiwan Radio Station, which broadcast what was happening to people all over the island.

On the evening of February 28, Garrison Command Chief of Staff Ko Yuan-fen announced on Taiwan Radio Station the measures taken by the Chief Executive's Office and the Garrison Command in their handling of the incident: 1. Severe punishment for the perpetrators of violence during the contraband tobacco investigation; 2. The implementation of "temporary martial law" by the Garrison Command in response to the deviant actions of a small number of rioters.

At 5 p.m. on March 1, Chen Yi spoke in a radio broadcast on the subject of the February 28 Incident for the first time. The main points he made were: 1. The investigators who had accidentally wounded people had been handed over to a court for trial, and the civilian who had died and the civilian who had been injured had received generous compensation; 2. Martial law was to be lifted from midnight that night but assemblies and processions were to be temporarily stopped, and worker strikes, student strikes, shopkeepers' strikes, and beatings were not allowed; 3. Those arrested in the riots could be released on bail; 4. Members of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly were permitted to send representatives to form committees with the government for handling the riots.

Chen Yi and Ko Yuan-fen went on the radio to announce relevant measures to reassure the people, but they conspired to use violent means to both suppress speech related to the incident and increase the number of arrests.

During the February 28 Incident, radio became an important source of information for the Taiwanese. After the establishment of the February 28 Incident Settlement Committee on March 2, the committee used radio broadcasts to mobilize students and Taiwanese people who had formerly served as Japanese soldiers to organize a service team. On March 7, the director of the committee's publicity team Wang Tien-teng broadcast the content of the "32 Demands" as well as an update on meetings and negotiations with Chen Yi. Towards the end of the incident, information about the official investigation and public announcements were also broadcast on the radio. For example, Yang Liang-kung (the Control Yuan investigator responsible for the Fujian and Taiwan area), Pai Tsung-hsi (Minister of National Defense) and other officials spoke on Taiwan Radio Station. After the end of the February 28 Incident, the director of the radio station Lin Chung was removed. Staff members Tseng Chung-ying, Sung Hsien-chang, Chen Ting-ching and Chen Chia-pin were sentenced or detained for "obstructing order."


Temporary martial law

It should be noted that when the Chinese Nationalist party took over Taiwan after the war, apart from establishing a civil administration system, it also set up the Taiwan Garrison Command and introduced an intelligence network (which consisted of the government-run Bureau of Investigation and Statistics and the party-run Central Bureau of Investigation and Statistics). In February 1946, the Bureau of Investigation and Statistics combined multiple intelligence agencies operating in Taiwan and placed them all under the command of the Investigation Office of the Second Department of the Taiwan Garrison Command. Therefore, the director of the Investigation Office of the Taiwan Garrison Command Chen Ta-yuan was both a military officer and the head of the Bureau of Investigation and Statistics, Taiwan Branch. In August of the same year, the Bureau of Investigation and Statistics was reorganized into the Secrets Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense. On the eve of the February 28 Incident, Chen Ta-yuan was transferred to the Chief Executive's Office as an adviser, and Lin Ting-li was appointed as the head of the Secrets Bureau's Taiwan branch. The Secrets Bureau's Taiwan branch was an intelligence investigation unit, and the Second Department of the Taiwan Garrison Command was responsible for making arrests. The director of the department, Lin Hsiu-luan, and his deputy, Yao Hu-chen, were intelligence agents who were very feared by the Taiwanese at the time.

After two consecutive days of conflict, with unrest spreading to the neighboring areas of Taipei City, the Chief Executive's Office and the Taiwan Garrison Command announced that martial law would be declared starting at 3 p.m. on February 28. Chang Mu-tao, head of the Fourth Military Police Regiment, was appointed as the temporary martial law commander of Taipei City. After the martial law order was issued, assemblies and processions were banned, curfews were imposed, armed policemen and soldiers patrolled the streets, intermittent gunfire could be heard, and news of civilian casualties was reported.

At the request of many members of the Taiwanese gentry, Chen Yi agreed to lift martial law in Taipei at 5 p.m. on March 1. However, demonstrations and strikes were still strictly prohibited, and gunshots continued to be heard in the streets. The Chief Executive's Office and the Garrison Command divided Taiwan into different military zones. Chen Yi ordered Shih Hung-hsi to serve as the temporary martial law commander in Keelung, and continued to direct him to crack down on those he described as "traitorous rioters" in Keelung.

The official stance from the government had a semblance of kindness, but in reality it adopted an attitude of distrust toward the people. The March 1 entry by Ko Yuan-fen in his Ten Diary Entries Written During the Incident foretells the occurrence of subsequent tragedies.


Taiwan Garrison Command


  • Current name of site|The Armed Forces Reserve Command of the Ministry of National Defense
  • Type of historic site|Intelligence network
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/dU44SZpHcmJfvQgEA

Brief introduction to the site

In 1919, the Taiwan Governor-General's Office created the position of the Taiwan Army Commander, who was responsible for assisting with military affairs. The Taiwan Army Command headquarters were initially set up in Shoin Street, and soon afterwards a new building was constructed on the site of the Second Infantry Brigade on Shonanmon Street. On August 3, 1920, the Taiwan Army Command headquarters were completed, and included military personnel management, weaponry, logistics and administration, combat medics, veterinarians, and legal affairs and other departments. On May 31, 1945, the U.S. military bombed Taihoku City, and the Taiwan Army Command was partially damaged. After the war, the Chinese Nationalist government took over the building and used it as the Taiwan Garrison Command, which was the highest military law enforcement agency during the martial law period. It was abolished following the nullification of the National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellions in 1992. After several organizational restructures, the Armed Forces Reserve Command was moved to the site in 2004, for which the main tasks were mobilization planning and execution, community service, management of civil defense, and establishment of reserve forces. In January 2004, this site was designated as a municipal historic site not open to the public.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

The Taiwan Garrison Command was established in Chongqing, China in September 1945. On October 17 of the same year, Garrison Command Chief of Staff Ko Yuan-fen led personnel to land with the main force of the 70th Corps in Keelung. Stationed in Taipei City, the Garrison Command facilitated Japan's surrender procedures and the takeover of Taiwan, repatriated Japanese nationals in Taiwan, and maintained Taiwan's public order. Chief Executive Chen Yi served as the commander-in-chief. On February 28, 1947, after Chief Executive's Office guards fired on protesters, the Taiwan Garrison Command immediately announced temporary martial law in Taipei City in the afternoon, prohibiting assemblies and processions, and stipulating a special rule of martial law that from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day citizens were not allowed to travel to the city center via trains or buses except in exceptional circumstances. Both Ko Yuan-fen and Deputy Chief of Staff Fan Sung-yao suggested to Chen Yi that the "contraband tobacco case" should be handed over to the Department of Military Law of the Taiwan Garrison Command, but Chen Yi insisted on sending it to an ordinary court for trial and requested Ko Yuan-fen to prepare for the implementation of martial law. That night, the Taiwan Garrison Command marshalled two squadrons from Keelung to Taipei and directed the First Battalion of the Fengshan Independence Regiment to move northward, but it was blocked by members of the public in Hsinchu. Although Ko Yuan-fen promised to severely punish the culpable in the violent investigation of contraband tobacco, he also made military deployments and asked the intelligence agencies to step up monitoring of February 28 Incident participants.


The Residence of Lin Ting-li, director of the Secrets Bureau (Taiwan branch)



Brief introduction to the site

Completed in September 1933 as the private residence of Takahashi Chonosuke, the president of the Kōshin Chamber of Commerce, the exterior of the building features an avant-garde curvilinear form and streamlined design overlooking the Tamsui River. It was one of the most modern residences in Taihoku at the time it was built. After the war, the Taiwan Provincial Office of Public Property Administration took over the land, and Chen Ta-yuan of the Bureau of Investigation and Statistics was stationed there. Before the February 28 Incident, it was the residence of Lin Ting-li, head of the Secrets Bureau's Taiwan branch. From 1949 to 1958, it was the headquarters of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior (which later moved to the second section of Keelung Road). The original building was demolished in 1970 and the site now houses Hotel Riverview.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

The original building was Lin Ting-li's residence during the February 28 Incident. After the Nationalist government's army arrived in Taiwan on March 8, Chen Ta-yuan notified Chen Yi-sung (member of the National Political Council) and Liu Ming (principal of Yanping College), both of whom were active in the incident, that they may be targeted in a massive arrest operation. The two men were assisted to hide in Lin Ting-li's residence and managed to avoid being arrested by the authorities.


Keelung Military Fortress Command



Brief introduction to the site

In 1896, the Japanese army set up a fortress command post in Keelung. In 1903, the Keelung Military Fortress Command was established with a jurisdiction covering Keelung, Jinshan, Tamsui, Hsinchu, and Houlong. It was the highest military command center in northern Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period. In June of the same year, a Keelung Military Fortress Command building was established in the Dashawan Settlement at Keelung Military Fortress. Work on the Taiwan Army Command Headquarters continued after its establishment in 1919, with various facilities of the Keelung Military Fortress Command being added until 1924. Construction of the present Keelung Military Fortress Command building commenced in 1928 and was completed in 1929.

In the latter part of the Second World War, the building was bombed by Allied forces, and part of it was destroyed. The building was rebuilt when it was taken over by the Nationalist government after the war. In 1946, it was made subordinate to the Taiwan Garrison Command under the leadership of Shih Hung-hsi, before it was transfered to the Taiwan Provincial Security Command in 1957 and to the Coast Guard in 1995.

In 2010, the site was designated as a municipal historic site in Keelung City. In 2020, the renovation of the official residence of the Keelung Military Fortress Command was completed.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

On February 28, 1947, after the Chief Executive's Office opened fire on civilians in Taipei, the news quickly reached Keelung. At 8 p.m. that evening, the First Precinct of Keelung Police was attacked by members of the public. There were riots all over the city and assaults on Chinese Mainlanders and soldiers, and more than ten soldiers and civilians were injured. The soldiers and policemen from the Keelung Military Fortress Command, military police corps and police stations opened fire to suppress the uprising before they dispersed the crowds and started making arrests. That night, the officers and soldiers that left the command were assaulted, injured or went missing, and their self-defense pistols were stolen. A military vehicle traveling from Taipei to the command was stopped as it passed through Xizhi, and a captain who served as a deputy company leader was shot. Military officers and soldiers who took the train from Aodi to the Keelung Military Fortress Command were beaten and injured on the train and at the station, and three of their pistols were stolen.

In the middle of the night on March 1, Chen Yi appointed Keelung Military Fortress Commander Shih Hung-Hsi as Keelung's temporary martial law commander. At 9 a.m., the command announced temporary martial law in Keelung. In the afternoon, the Keelung City Council held an extraordinary general meeting. Councilors and people's representatives all actively participated, giving speeches that accused Chen Yi of tyranny, demanded Taiwan's autonomy and the immediate lifting of martial law, and proposed political and economic reforms. At 6 p.m. on March 2, Chen Yi ordered the lifting of martial law, but the Military Fortress remained in charge of public security in the Keelung area. Sentinels were assembled in important locations such as the Port Authority, the Keelung City Government, the First Precinct of the Keelung Police, and Zhongzheng District.


The Motomachi Police Branch


  • Current name of site|Keelung E-Square
  • Type of historic site|Arrests・Conflict・Injuries and deaths・Protests and demonstrations
  • Google Map|https://goo.gl/maps/QMpuWytq1PV6N2fq8

Brief introduction to the site

The exact date that the Motomachi Police Branch was officially established during the Japanese colonial period is not known. The original building has been demolished, and it is now the Keelung E-Square shopping mall and parking lot.

Incident-related events that occurred at the site

When news of the February 28 Incident conflict and riots in Taipei spread to the neighboring Keelung area, a crowd mobilized in response and attacked Yuanting (Motomachi) Police Station. To strengthen its defense, the station was guarded by officers of the Second Company of the Keelung Military Fortress Command. The adjacent Warehouse No.1 was filled with troops, where tents were set up and machine guns were mounted on the roof. In the following days, many people were shot by the troops in front of Yuanting (Motomachi) Police Station, resulting in heavy casualties among the general public. Although Keelung City Councilors Yang Yuan-ding, Yang A-shou, Tsai Bing-huang, Chen Kuei-chuan and others asked the Keelung Military Fortress Command to withdraw troops to avoid even more casualties, the troops continued with their task of defending the police station because they knew Nationalist government army reinforcements were about to arrive.

On March 9, after reinforcements from the 21st Division of the Nationalist government's army landed at the Port of Keelung, they joined together with the Keelung Military Fortress Command troops to launch a large-scale suppression. Lin Mu-chi, a janitor at the Keelung City Police Department, was first arrested and beaten by the soldiers and policemen before being taken to the bay next to Yuanting (Motomachi) Police Station with other citizens. Their hands were tied, iron wires were pierced through their palms, and they were shot one by one before being pushed into the water. Lin Mu-chi survived because he fell into the sea without having been shot first.