|c. 23.5 million|
|Taiwanese Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien and Taiwanese Hakka|
|Han folk religions, Taoism, Shintoism, Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity, Non-religious|
|Related ethnic groups|
Bai • Hui
Han Taiwanese or Taiwanese Han (Chinese: 臺灣漢人) are a Taiwanese ethnic group, most of whom are of full or partial Han descent. According to the Executive Yuan Taiwan, they comprise 95 to 97 percent of the Taiwanese population, which also includes Austronesians and other non-Han people. Major waves of Han immigration occurred since the 17th century to the end of Chinese Civil War in 1949, with the exception of the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Han Taiwanese mainly speak three Chinese languages: Mandarin, Hokkien and Hakka.
There is no simple uniform definition of Han Taiwanese, which are estimated to comprise 95 to 98 percent of the Taiwanese population. To determine if a Taiwanese is Han, common criteria include immigration background (from continental East Asia), using a Han language as the mother tongue, and observance of traditional Han festivals. Sometimes a negative definition is employed, where Han people are those who are not certain non-Han people.
Taiwanese Han people can be classified according to the times of migration or places of origin. They include the Taiwanese Minnan and Hakka people that arrived in Taiwan before World War II and the post-World War II Han immigrants. From the view that Taiwan is one of the former, along with the Austronesians, are sometimes called benshengren (Chinese: 本省人; lit. 'people of this province'), while the latter,[nb 1] along with the contemporaneous non-Han immigrants, are called waishengren (Chinese: 外省人; lit. 'people from other provinces'). These two terms and distinctions are now less important due to intermarriages between different sub-populations of Taiwan and the rise of the Taiwanese identity. In addition, there are Han Taiwanese that do not fall into the above categories, including the Puxian-speaking Han people in Wuqiu Township, Kinmen County, the Mindong-speaking in Matzu, and various recent Han immigrants from mainland China (forming part of the so-called "New Immigrants" (Chinese: 新住民).
Immigration history and demographics
There were two major waves of Han immigration: 1) from the Ching (Qing) Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, and 2) from what was then the Republic of China's continental territory, which is now ruled by the People's Republic of China, after World War II in the final years of the Chinese Civil War (1945-1949).
Before the Japanese Empire rule
Taiwan's southwest was home to a Chinese population numbering close to 1,500 before 1623 when the Dutch first came.
From 1683 to around 1760, the Qing government limited immigration to Taiwan. Such restriction was relaxed following the 1760s and by 1811 there were more than two million Chinese immigrants on Taiwan.
The 1926 census counted 3,116,400 and 586,300 Han people originating from the Hok-kien and Kwang-tung provinces of Ching Empire or Ming Empire (roughly now Fujian and Guangdong of China, respectively).
|Language (dialect)||Minnan (Quanzhou)||Minnan (Zhangzhou, including eastern Zhao'an) / Hakka (western Zhaoan)||Hakka (Yongding, Changting)||Minnan (urban Longyan city) / Hakka (rural Yongding)||Mindong (Foochow)||Hinghwa||Minnan (Chin-chew)||Minnan (Teo-chew)/Hakka (Raoping, Dapu)||Hakka (Sixian, Wuhua)||Hakka (Hailu)||various languages|
After the Second World War
Around 800,000 people, the vast majority being Han, immigrated to Taiwan after the end of the Second World War, when Republic of China took over Taiwan, with the biggest wave taking place around the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
Since the mid-1990s, there has been a small amount of Chinese Han immigration into Taiwan. These mainly consist of two categories: brides of businessmen who work in China; and women who have married rural Taiwanese, mostly through a marriage broker.
Interactions among Han immigrants
There were violent ethnic conflicts (termed "分類械鬥" in government documents of the Qing Dynasty), which played a major role in determining the distribution of different groups of Han peoples in Taiwan. Most conflicts were between people of Chang-chow and Chin-chew origins which includes acts where Quanzhounese fought against Hakka peasants from the southwestern hills of Fujian (Tingzhou and western Zhangzhou) throughout the period. ("漳泉械鬥", Chang-Chin conflicts) and between people of Hokkien and Hakkas origins ("閩粵械鬥" [Min-Yue conflicts]) where Hoklo people united to fight against the Hakkas who largely came from Guangdong and a minority from Fujian, is called ("閩客械鬥" [Min-Hakka conflicts]).
Trying to be a mediator, Ten Iong-sek (鄭用錫, 10 June 1788 – 21 March 1858), the first Taiwanese to achieve the highest degree, jinshi or “Doctor” (Mandarin: 進士), in the imperial examination of the Qing Dynasty, wrote an article On Reconciliation (勸和論). Similar literary works on conflicts between different ethnic subgroups include Hái-Im Poems (海音詩) by Lâu Ka-Bôo (劉家謀, 1814-1853) and To the Min and Yue people (諭閩粵民人) by Nâ Tíng-Guân (藍鼎元, 19 September 1680 - 1 August 1733).
In some regions. where the majority of the population spoked another language, the minority group sometimes adopted the more dominant language and lost their original language. They are called "minnanized" Hakka people (福佬客).
Han people with different surnames
There were also conflicts between people with different surnames, such as those between different clans in Yilan. While Han people in some other places were prohibited from marrying others with the same surname, Han people in Yilan were discouraged from marrying others with a different surname.
Republic of China
Unlike pre-World War II, when Han immigrants were predominantly of Hok-kien and Hakka origins, post-World War II Han people came from all over mainland China. Their different languages, habits, ideologies and relationships with the Republic of China government sometimes led to conflicts between these two groups.
Interactions with non-Han inhabitants
In Taiwan, the Han people came into contact with the Austronesians, Dutch, Spanish and Japanese.
Han people and Austronesians
The Amis term for Han people is payrag.
According to the historian Melissa J. Brown, within the Taiwanese Minnan (Hoklo) community itself, differences in culture indicate the degree to which mixture with Austronesians took place, with most pure Hoklo Han in Northern Taiwan having almost no Austronesian admixture, which is limited to Hoklo Han in Southern Taiwan. Plains aborigines who were mixed and assimilated into the Hoklo Han population at different stages were differentiated between "short-route" and "long-route". The ethnic identity of assimilated Plains aboriginals in the immediate vicinity of Tainan was still known since a Taiwanese girl from an old elite Hoklo family was warned by her mother to stay away from them. The insulting name "fan" was used against plains aborigines by the Taiwanese, and the Hoklo Taiwanese speech was forced upon Aborigines like the Pazeh people. Hoklo Taiwanese has replaced Pazeh and driven it to near extinction. Aboriginal status has been requested by plains aboriginals.
Biological traits and relationships with other Taiwanese/Asian people
In Taiwan, the prevalence of alcohol dependence among the Han is 10 times lower than that of Austronesians, which is related to genetic, physical, psychological, social, environmental, and cultural factors. An association study by researchers at the Academia Sinica found that genes in alcohol metabolism pathway, especially ADH1B and ALDH2, conferred the major genetic risk for alcohol dependence in Taiwanese Han men.
The languages used by Han Taiwanese include Mandarin (entire country), Hokkien (Taiwan proper and Kinmen), Hakka (Taiwan proper), Mindong (Matzu), Puxian (Wuqiu Island, Kinmen), and other Han languages spoken by some post-World War II immigrants or immigrants from mainland China since the 1990s. The writing systems used include Han characters, Han phonetic notations such as Mandarin Phonetic Symbols for Mandarin and Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols for Minnan and Hakka, and the Latin alphabet for various romanization systems, including Tongyong Pinyin, Wade–Giles, Gwoyeu Romatzyh and Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II for Mandarin, POJ and Taiwanese Minnan Romanization System for Minnan, and Hakka Romanization System for Hakka.
|Region||Languages included||Administrative regions included|
|Hakka||major: Hakka (Sixian, Hailu, Dapu); minor: Minnan (Chang-chow)||Taoyuan, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Taichung, Nantou County, Kaohsiung, Pingtung County|
|North Min||Minnan (Chin-chew, Chang-chow)||New Taipei, Taipei, Ilan County, Keelung, Taoyuan|
|Middle Min||major: Minnan (Chin-chew (coastal), Chang-chow(inland); minor: Hakka (Zhaoan, Hailu), Tsou||Hsinchu County (coastal), Miaoli County (coastal), Taichung, Changhua County, Yunlin County, Nantou|
|South Min||major: Minnan (mixed, Chin-chew, Chang-chow); minor: Hakka (Sixian, Hailu)||Chiayi County, Chiayi City, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung County|
|Penghu||Minnan (Chin-chew, Chang-chow, mixed)||Penghu|
Influence of Non-Han Languages
Ever since the arrival of Han immigrants in Taiwan, their languages have undergone changes through interactions with other Han or non-Han languages. For example, one unit of land area used in Taiwanese Minnan is Kah (甲; 0.9699 acre), which comes from the Dutch word for "field", akker (akker > 阿甲 > 甲).
|Source languages||Han characters||Romanization||Meaning|
|Austronesian languages||馬不老||ma pu lao||drunk|
|Minnan (Hokkien)||米粉炒||bi hun tsha||fried rice vermicelli|
|Source languages||Place||Han characters||Notes|
|Dutch||Cape Hoek||富貴角||Dutch: hoek ('cape')|
|Castilian||Cape San Diego||三貂角||Castilian: Santiago; Dutch: St. Jago|
|Castilian||Yehliu||野柳||[Punto] Diablos (Castilian) > 野柳 (Hokkien)|
|Basay||Jinshan||金山||Kimpauri/Kimauri > 金包里 (Minnan) > 金山 (Japanese)|
|Japanese||Kaohsiung||高雄||Takau (Makatto) > 打狗 (Hokkien) > 高雄/たかお/Taka-O (Japanese)|
|Japanese||Guansi||關西||鹹菜 (Ham-Coi) 甕 (Hakka) > 鹹菜/かんさい/Kan-Sai (Japanese) > 關西/かんさい/Kan-Sai (Japanese)|
|Hoklo||滷肉飯 (minced pork rice), 割包 (Gua-bao), 蚵仔煎 (oyster omelet), 豬血糕 (rice blood cake)|
|Hakka||客家小炒 (fried pork, dried tofu and squid), 薑絲大腸 (Large intestine with ginger slices), 粄條 (flat rice noodles)|
|post-World War II immigrants||牛肉麵 (Beef noodle soup), 燒餅 (clay oven rolls), 油條 (deep fried stick), 臭豆腐 (stinky tofu)|
Minced pork rice, a rice dish of Han Taiwanese.
Minced pork rice in Taichung.
Oyster omelet in Lugang, Changhua.
The most popular religions of Han Taiwanese are Taoism and Buddhism. With 11,796 temples (78.4% Taoist; 19.6% Buddhist), Taiwan is the country with the highest density of temples in the world.
Lungshan Temple, a Taoist-Buddhist temple in Taipei.
Iun-Fug Giung (永福宮), Longtan District, Taoyuan, is a traditional Han temple built in 1791 in the Hakka village Sam-Hang-Zii
Han surnames in Taiwan
In traditional Han society, children inherit the surname of the father. Population analyses of Han Taiwanese based on the short tandem repeat sequences on the Y chromosome, which is specific to males, shows high haplotype diversity in most surname groups. Except for rare ones, the origins of Han surnames in Taiwan are pretty heterogeneous.
Han surnames used by Austronesian Taiwanese
The naming customs of the Austronesian people in Taiwan have been greatly endangered by the dominant Han culture under the rule of Ching and Republic of China or Japanese culture during the Japanization period. Austronesians were often forced to have surnames in Han characters that, depending on the policies then, may or may not be related to their original surnames.
One of the earliest written records of Taiwanese Hakka is A Tragic Ballad about Hakka Sailing to Taiwan (渡台悲歌), a work written in the Raoping dialect about the life and struggle of Hakka immigrants to Taiwan under the Ching rule.
Folk literature: Tales and Legends
One of the best known Han folktales in Taiwan is the Grandaunt Tiger.
Taiwanese architecture refers to a style of buildings constructed by the Han people, and is a branch of Chinese architecture. The style is generally afforded to buildings constructed before the modernization under Japanese occupation, in the 1930s. Different groups of Han immigrants differ in their styles of architecture. Being far away from the center of political power of Beijing, buildings were constructed free of construction standards. This, coupled with inferior level of expertise of artisans and craftsmen, and the Japanese colonization, the architectural style diverged from the ones on the mainland. Many traditional houses have been designated national monuments by the Taiwanese government, such as the Lin Family Mansion and Garden and the House of Ten Long-Sek
The Yilan International Children's Folklore and Folkgame Festival exhibits collections of traditional Han Taiwanese toys.
Arts and Music
|Subgroup||Category||Notable examples||Notable artists/groups|
|Minnan(Hoklo)||布袋戲 (glove puppetry)||Pili (TV series), Legend of the Sacred Stone||黃俊雄 (Toshio Huang)|
|歌仔戲 (koa-á-hì)||楊麗花 (Yang Li-hua), 明華園 (Ming Hwa Yuan)|
|陣頭 (Tīn-thâu)||Electric-Techno Neon Gods||Chio-Tian Folk Drums & Arts Troupe|
|Music||南管 Lâm-im, 北管 (Pak-kóan)|
|Hakka||客家戲 (Hakka opera)||三腳採茶戲 (three-character tea-picking drama)|
|post-World War II immigrants||相聲 (xiangsheng)||那一夜我們說相聲 (The Night We Became Hsiang-Sheng Comedians)||吳兆南 (Zhao-Nan Wu)|
|Subgroup||Notable examples||Notable places||Notable singers/composers|
|Minnan(Hoklo)||丟丟銅仔 (Due Due Dong)||Yilan|
|思想起 (Su Siang Ki)||Hengchun||Chen Da|
|望春風 (Bāng Chhun-hong)||Teng Yu-hsien|
|Hakka||十八摸 (Eighteen Touches)|
|Blue Brave: The Legend of Formosa in 1895||Hakka, Minnan||Hakka, Minnan, Japanese, Austronesian||Conflicts between Han Taiwanese and Japanese during the Japanese invasion of Taiwan (1895)||Hung Chih-yu|
|A City of Sadness||Hakka, Minnan, post-World War II Han immigrants||Minnan, Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese, Wu||Early KMT rule of Taiwan, February 28 Incident, conflicts between different subgroups of Han Taiwanese||Hou Hsiao-hsien|
|A Brighter Summer Day||post-World War II Han immigrants, Minnan||Mandarin, Minnan, Cantonese, Wu||Life and struggles of postwar immigrants and their descendants||Edward Yang|
Other Taiwanese ethnic groups
Languages of Han Taiwanese
History of Han Taiwanese
Culture of Han Taiwanese
- They also include some Minnan and Hakka people.
- This number was inferred from the Han population size of 3,751,600 and their proportion of ~90% in the total population.
- Numbers including all nationals who have a Han name, including many Austronesians, who were until 1990s forbidden to possess their traditional names. See Taiwanese aborigines.
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