Modern Taiwanese historiography attempts to portray the Tapani Incident as a nationalist uprising, either from a Chinese (unification) or Taiwanese (independence) perspective, whereas Japanese colonial historiography attempted to portray the incident as a large scale instance of banditry led by criminal elements. However, the Tapani Incident differs from other uprisings in Taiwan's history due to the elements of millenarianism and folk religion, which enabled Yu Qingfang to raise a significant armed force whose members believed themselves to be invulnerable to modern weaponry.
The similarities between the rhetoric of the leaders of the Tapani uprising and the Righteous Harmony Society of the recent Boxer Rebellion in China were not lost on Japanese colonial authorities, and subsequently, the colonial government paid more attention to popular religion, and took steps to improve on colonial administration in southern Taiwan.
Katz, Paul R. (2 March 2007). "Governmentality and Its Consequences in Colonial Taiwan: A Case Study of the Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915". The Journal of Asian Studies64 (02): 387–424. doi:10.1017/s0021911805000823.