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Two Countries is a collection of Japanese tanka poetry and has two main themes: one is the author's distress over the world situation, and the other is her state of mind facing old age.


May Yen Ting’s ancestors emigrated from Fukien, China to Taiwan in the mid-1700’s to seek a better life. She was born after Taiwan became a Japanese territory in 1895 and was educated in Japan.  Upon graduation from Ochanomizu University, she returned to Taiwan to teach in a Japanese high school. Her nationality was changed from Japanese to Chinese. Concerned about her children’s education because of the uncertain status of Taiwan, she sent her children to the U.S. for their college educations. She lived under complicated situations between Japan and Taiwan, between Taiwan and the United States, and between Taiwan and Mainland China.


She expresses the second theme frankly, as a human being, her love of life, the loneliness of old age and her approach in encouraging herself. She was most grateful to her forward-looking father and uncle for sending her to Japan for her education. She was fortunate to reconnect with her Japanese high school teacher/mentor after 50 years, through World War II and the lack of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Japan. Under her teacher’s guidance, she started writing tanka in her sixties.


Destiny is a collection of Japanese tanka poetry written between 1971 and 1975. This English translation was made for the benefit of May Yen Ting's non-Japanese-speaking descendants and for those who are interested in bilingual tanka. May Yen Ting was born in Taiwan during the Japanese Occupation. She was educated in Japan and studied Japanese literature at Ochanomizu University. Upon graduation, she returned to Taiwan and taught in a Japanese high school. In her fifties, she wrote several textbooks for Taiwanese to learn Japanese language while teaching in universities.


At the end of World War II, her nationality changed from Japanese to Chinese. Many tanka in this collection were composed while the future of Taiwan was unpredictable, caused by an unsettled international situation.  The agony and sorrow of the Taiwanese people can be felt through her words.


My feelings

As I await judgement

These days

I read the news

With bated breath


(Written while awaiting the UN decision to replace Taiwan, Republic of China, by the People’s Republic of China in the Security Council in 1971.)


Wu San-Lien was one of Taiwan’s most respected senior statesmen in the country's formative years in the post-World War II era. Wu grew up in poverty and, despite all odds, found a way to study journalism in Japan. His belief in the rights of the people of Taiwan soon led him to seek a life in politics. He strongly opposed Japanese policies in Taiwan when it was under Japanese rule, and after Taiwan became part of the Republic of China, Wu was elected to the National Assembly. He was mayor of Taipei, the first to be chosen for the office in a popular election, and was later elected to Taiwan's Provincial Assembly. Wu also started several business ventures, including the Universal Cement Corporation and Tainan Textile Company. Wu eventually returned to his roots as a journalist when he became the executive director and publisher (and later, president) of the Independence Evening Post, which was the most influential and respected newspaper in the country in  its day.

Memoirs of Wu San-Lien is a collection of Wu’s reflections on his childhood, family, and career.  It describes the personal and public challenges he faced, the people who helped him along the way, and the events that shaped his life. It also is about a leader who valued integrity, democracy, and public service, and a man who cherished his country and the people of Taiwan.

Ting Yen May was born in Taiwan during the Japanese Occupation. At age eleven, she was sent to Tokyo for schooling. She overcame her language deficiencies and successfully completed Japanese high school and became the first Taiwanese to graduate from Ochanomizu University. She learned Mandarin Chinese after the end of WWII and the end of the Japanese Occupation. In her late fifties, she taught Japanese at Tatung College of Technology, and wrote several Japanese language textbooks. She began writing Japanese poetry (tanka) in her sixties after reconnecting with her high school mentor/teacher who guided and encouraged her in publishing two books of tanka. Ting Yen May's creative ability and perseverance in overcoming any obstacles led to her success in life. This book contains her auto-biography, a selection of previously unpublished tanka, commentary from mentors and friends on her books of tanka as well as recollections and condolences of her husband's life.

Ruey-Iang Ting was born in Fujian, China towards the end of the Qing Dynasty, and grew up in Taiwan under Japanese Occupation. This is the story of his ordinary life showing how he achieved his goals through diligence, perseverance and the help of friends during the extraordinary period of Taiwanese history from Japanese Colonial Rule to Chinese Nationalist Party Rule. 

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