Written by Ya-Chign Huang. Pigeon racing is a historically national sport in Belgium and the Netherlands, the main export countries of racing pigeons for Taiwanese fanciers. While pigeon racing is usually described as the working-class horserace in the United Kingdom, Taiwanese pigeon racing draws participants from all walks of life, including farmers, vendors, civil servants, blue and white-collar workers, and business owners. Pigeons were a common playmate for older participants’ childhood in the 1950s to 1970s when the races were institutionalized.
Written by Yu-Ling Chen and Ren-Shiang Jiang. Although the term “physical activity” has been recently introduced to Taiwan in the last decade, the policies of exercise and sports promotion have existed for a long time. While competitive youth sports remain relatively stable in Taiwan, the message from the government is clear: sport and exercise cannot just be an activity for elite athletes, but everyone living in Taiwan.
Written by Gerald R. Gems. Given the politics of state-building in Asia over the last half-century, and the continuing contentious debate over Taiwanese sovereignty, sport has played (and continues to play) a significant role in the creation and perpetuation of a national identity. Japan occupied Taiwan from 1895 to 1945 as compensation after its victory over China in the war of 1895. Baseball, an American sport, had taken hold in Japan by that time, and the Japanese introduced the game to Taiwan. In time, it became the most popular spectator sport in Taiwan.