A bridge, by definition, is a conduit from one side to the other. The sides could be a place, a time or a space having physical and/or temporal components to embark on a metaphorical journey telling stories about a nation, a people or a city. This article examines the changing roles of a Japanese built aqueduct over a river, which is vulnerable to floods in Meinong, Taiwan, from an irrigation structure to a nostalgic attachment. It focuses on the process of change and transformation whereby the bridge was first used as an irrigation ditch, then became a children’s playground, and then transformed to a space shuttle carrying the players from one side to the other, from agony to ecstasy, and from reality to the imagined. Through historical and political enquiry, the article aims to demonstrate that the euphoric assertion of the Meinong bridge was a process flourished within popular culture and human imagination, a process that has gone through for over a century.
Min-Chia Young, Shu-Te University, Taiwan