Turning Wheels: Bicycle and Daily Life in Taiwan


Turning Wheels: Bicycle and Daily Life in Taiwan
The bicycle was introduced to Taiwan during the Japanese Colonial Period, whichgradually became an
integral part of daily life. Taiwan’s bicycle industry has existedfor over 70 years, going through the
phases from inception, crisis, transformation,to global prosperity. A bicycle can be used for
transportation, making a living, sports and recreation. It witnesses the historical stories of politics,
economy, society, culture, industrial development and environment, conveying emotions and memories in
our lives.
This special exhibition, following a historical context, covers 5 parts: “A Significant Invention of the 19th
Century,”“Jitensha and Daily Life in Taiwan under Japanese Rule,” “The Stories of Bicycle in Postwar
Taiwan,”“Transformation and Breakthrough of the Bicycle Industry in Contemporary Taiwan,”and“Ride
to the Future, from Now.” Based on the two major themes of life impressions and industrial development,
it represents the historical memories of daily life and bicycle in Taiwan through bicycle-related objects
and images from ordinary lives.
A Significant Invention of the 19th Century
It's been over 200 years since the birth of bicycle. The bicycle has evolved from conception, invention,
improvement, to innovative types. In the early 19th century, it was composed of a wood body, steering
handlebars, and some metal parts, and could only be slid by two feet. Later, its body parts gradually
included pedals, chains, brakes, and pneumatic tires, so that people could ride it on the road. In every
era, the bicycle, as a tool for transportation, work, sports, recreation, and medical aid, enriches the
human life with innovative technology.
The bicycle was officially called jitensha in Japanese when it was brought to Taiwan during the Japanese
Colonial Period. And then in the postwar period, there were different common names in various regions,
such as kongming bike, iron horse, etc. Yet the regional difference in terminology gradually disappeared
owing to population movement.


Venue:National Taiwan Museum