Episodes

S1-E12 - The "Made in Taiwan" Miracle

Nov. 4, 2021

U.S. economic aid to Taiwan ceased in 1965. Mostly agrarian Taiwan needed to come up with new ways to make money... and it did! From manufacturing Barbie dolls to computers, here’s the story of what many call the island’s “e…

S1-E11 - All Hail the Duck King 朱一貴!

Oct. 27, 2021

Uprisings were exceptionally common over the 212 years of Qing Dynasty rule on Taiwan... but only one rebellion actually took the capital (Tainan) and led to officials fleeing for Penghu. Here's the story of Zhu Yi-gui 朱一貴, …

S1-E10 - The Qing Empire Doesn't Really Want Taiwan

Oct. 22, 2021

After the heirs of Koxinga surrender to the Qing, the imperial court isn't sure what to do with the island -- but a wily admiral convinces Emperor Kangxi to keep it. Plus: the story of the person who arguably wrote the very …

S1-E9 - The Empire's Last Soldier 李光輝

Oct. 14, 2021

He was the last Pacific WWII holdout and a native Taiwanese from the Amis tribe... here's the remarkable story of a Japanese colonial soldier who didn't get home until the mid-1970s!

S1-E8 - POWs, Bombing Raids, and Kamikazes

Oct. 8, 2021

Initially relatively spared, as WWII in the Pacific reaches a climax, Taiwan is hit hard by advancing Allied forces. POWs in camps across the island await liberation and in modern-day Tainan, a Japanese commander assembles t…

S1-E7 - Luzon or Formosa? - Taiwan Dodges WWII Invasion

Sept. 30, 2021

World War II in the Pacific is coming to a close... American military top brass meets with the President to pick the island from which to launch the final attack on Japan. Taiwan -- in particular, southern Taiwan -- is a str…

S1-E6 - Big Crises on Tiny Islands

Sept. 30, 2021

The Korean War is over, and Mao turns again to the mission of invading Taiwan. To do that, his forces will need to first take some tiny islands just off the coast of China... which is easier said than done. Here's the story …

S1-E5 - Rioters Ransack the Taipei U.S. Embassy (1957)

Sept. 25, 2021

A U.S. officer shoots dead a 'Peeping Tom' allegedly spying on the officer's wife as she took a shower. The subsequent trial and verdict lead to the incredible -- yet little-known -- story of riots that ransacked the US emba…

S1-E4 - Mao Really Wants Taiwan - and a Taiwanese Spy Almost Gave it to Him!

Sept. 16, 2021

Only one Taiwanese person is known to have survived the famed Long March of Chinese communists led by "Chairman" Mao. Hear the story of Cai Xiaoqian (蔡孝乾) from modern-day Changhua County, who became Mao's spymaster in Taiwan…

S1-E3 - The Fall of Fort Zeelandia

Sept. 11, 2021

The Dutch put up a good fight... but a traitor seals their fate. Here's the end of the story of how the Dutch lost Taiwan.

S1-E2 - Koxinga VS. The Dutch - Round One

Sept. 11, 2021

Pirate Warlord Koxinga's successful invasion of Taiwan changed everything. Here's part one of the tale of an epic, nine-month struggle with the Dutch in Anping, modern-day Tainan.

S1-E1 - The White Formosan

Sept. 6, 2021

How could a 'very white' European man get away with showing up in London in 1703 and claiming to be from Formosa? In this first episode of FORMOSA FILES, we look at this fascinating story of a French con-man, and the bigger …