When Valleys Turned Blood Red tells the story of colonial policies and their tragic impact on local communities. The Ta-pa-ni Incident of 1915 was the largest single act of Han Chinese armed resistance during the fifty years of Taiwan's colonial era. More than a thousand villagers and Japanese were killed during the fierce fighting and thousands more were later arrested and made to stand trial.
Based on detailed archival research, interviews with survivors, painstaking demographic analysis, and a thorough reading of secondary scholarship in all of the relevant languages, Paul Katz examines the significance of the Ta-pa-ni Incident by focusing on what Paul Cohen terms history's "three keys": event, experience, and myth. Katz provides a vivid description of events surrounding the uprising as well as the ways in which it has been mythologized over time. His primary emphasis, however, is on the experiences of the men and women who were caught up in the flow of history.
"Paul Katz tells a gripping story, successfully rendering the human drama behind the tragic Incident. Anyone interested in Japan's colonial past, Taiwanese history, or Chinese rural society and religion would greatly benefit from his meticulous study." - Meir Shahar, Tel Aviv University"