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Hsinchu City Government

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History of Hsinchu

Tek-kham: According to recent research, the name Hsinchu is derived from Tek-kham, the name given to this area by the Taokas indigenous tribe of ancient times. In year 15 of the Yongli Reign of the Ming Dynasty in China (1661), Zuo Xianfeng was dispatched to lead a garrison at Tek-kham. In year 57 of the Kangxi Reign (1718), Wang Shijie directed the first land reclamations off Tongan. This was the beginning of Han Chinese settlements around Tek-kham, present-day Hsinchu.
Tamsui Hall: Because of the gradual development of the northern region of Taiwan, the Tamsui Marine Defense Office was established in year 1 of the Yongzheng Reign (1723) at Banxian (Changhua). This was a branch office charged with marine defense, piracy combating, and illegal fishery prevention north of the Huwei River. As of year 9 of the Yongzheng Reign, all affairs north of the Dajia River were handled by the local Tamsui Liaison Office, which was upgraded to Bureau level. Two years later the liaison office was moved to Tek-kham, which became the seat of administration on Taiwan.
Hsinchu: As Tamsui Port grew, prosperity spread over northern Taiwan. The saying “Six months in Tek-kham, six months in Mong-ga” described the ideal situation. In the first year of the Guangxu Reign (1875), in response to new developments, Shen Baozhen, Viceroy of Liangjiang (whose jurisdiction included Taiwan) established branches of the Tamsui Bureau in Hsinchu County, Tamsui County, and founded Taipei City (which covered the present-day counties of Tamsui, Hsinchu, and Yilan). Hsinchu County stretched from the Touchong River (present-day Shezi River) in the north to the Dajia River in the south. The place name Tek-kham was expanded with xin/hsin (new). The new place name meant ‘new bamboo fortification’, and the town was upgraded to county-level. Since then, Tek-kham became known as Hsinchu City (New Bamboo City), and the Tek-kham District was renamed Hsinchu District.
Hsinchu was the earliest city to develop in northern Taiwan, and its subsequent names of Tek-kham, Tamsui Bureau Fortification, and Hsinchu reflect its different administrative roles through the ages.
Hsinchu’s history as a proper city starts in year 11 of the Yongzheng Reign (1733), when Hsinchu received permission to plant a bamboo grove by way of city wall. Next, Tucheng was founded to combat piracy, and in year 6 of the Guangxu Reign (1826), the Hsinchu notable and Taiwan’s first jinshi degree-holder Zheng Yongxi was granted permission to build a brick wall, which was completed in year 9 of the Daoguang Reign (1829, giving Hsinchu the appearance and stature of a proper city. By the late Meiji Period (1868-1911), the city walls were gradually take down until by the time of the City Renewal of 1905 only the East Gate was left standing.
During the period of Japanese governance, Hsinchu held different administrative roles as Hsinchu Branch Bureau of Taipei County (1895), Hsinchu Affairs Office of Hsinchu County (1897), Hsinchu Department (1901), Hsinchu Town, Hsinchu District, Hsinchu Prefecture (1920). Showa 5 years (1930) will be upgraded for the city of Hsinchu Street, set the city hall, which is located in Hsinchu City beginning. In year 16 of the Showa Reign (1941) of the Japanese emperor, the villages of Xiangshan, Jiugang, and part of Liujia were merged and added to Hsinchu City, which then counted 25 municipal districts.
In 1945 the Japanese army ceded rule of Taiwan to the ROC military, which established a Taiwan administration that included as of November 9 a Hsinchu Prefecture Caretaker Commission. On November 17, the commission was renamed Hsinchu Municipal Hall, which was in turn succeeded by the Hsinchu City Government. The lower-level caretaker commissions were all dissolved into the original district offices. In January 1946 the Caretaker Commission was terminated and the Hsinchu County Government was established and was temporarily housed in the offices of the previous Hsinchu Prefecture Administration. The Hsinchu County Government moved to Taoyuan on February 28, while Hsinchu City became a provincial-level city as part of an islandwide reorganization. As of then, Hsinchu City comprised seven districts: East, West, South, North, Zhudong, Baoshan, and Xiangshan. The Hsinchu City Government relocated to the former prefectural administration offices.  At this point the province of Taiwan comprised five large counties, three small counties, nine provincial-level cities, and 17 county-level cities.
On October 25, 1950, the Implementation Outlines for the Self-Administration of the Cities and Counties of Taiwan Province rearranged the administrative divisions of Taiwan province into 21 counties and cities. Under this reorganization, the former big Hsinchu County was divided into the three counties of Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, while Hsinchu City  consisted of the former provincial-level city of Hsinchu expanded with the seven towns of Guanxi, Xinpu,Hukou, Hongmao, Zhubei, Huangshan, Qionglin, Beipu, and Emei, which were transferred from the former Hsinchu County. The townships of Jianshi and Wufeng were merged into Hsinchu County, with the county capital at Hsinchu City.
On December 1, 1951, the former East, West, South, and North Districts of Hsinchu City were merged into a new county-level city. In the summer of 1955, the Hsinchu City Hall relocated from the former East District Office on Zhongzheng Road to the former high school on Linsen Road (the site of the old Confucius Temple). In June 1982, Presidential Decree No. Tai-Tong (1) Yi-Zi-3441 of June 10, 1982 granted permission to merge Xiangshan Township of the former Hsinchu County into the county-level city of Hsinchu as per July 1, 1982, and to upgrade the expanded city of Hsinchu to a provincial city as per the same date. On November 1, 1990, Hsinchu’s East, North, and Xiangshan District Offices were officially divided into district offices.
View of the old Hsinchu Prefecture Hall
▲View of the old Hsinchu Prefecture Hall
Aerial photograph from the Japanese Occupation(Photo Source: Tek-kham Fenghua)
▲Aerial photograph from the Japanese Occupation(Photo Source: Tek-kham Fenghua)