Taiwan Pineapple Museum
◎Written by Sie Hong-wei
◎English translation by Hou Ya-ting
◎Photos by Sie Hong-wei
Pineapples are Dashu District's signature agricultural product. It is an industry that has been in the region for decades. During Japanese colonial period, the industry thrived and at its peak there were 81 pineapple canneries throughout the island. Today, situated in Dashu District, Jioucyutang Taifang Company Pineapple Cannery is the only one which still remains.
Considering the factory's longevity, it has become integral to the region's culture and history. Therefore, the city government transformed the once thriving business into a historic museum, where visitors can learn about its unique history and the contributions it has made to the region.
In 2004, the Kaohsiung City Government officially recognized the Jioucyutang Taifang Company Pineapple Cannery as a historical site. The pineapple cannery was then renovated, and the business was relaunched to include the Taiwan Pineapple Museum in August 2018.
In 1694, until Taiwan began to grow pineapples for themselves, they were imported from South America. Taiwan's pineapples have been cultivated over the years and the cannery industry began to grow. Taiwan's original pineapples had been much smaller with deeper indents. These were found to not be ideal for the canning industry. Hence, in 1909-1910 they began importing Smooth Cayenne Pineapples from Hawaii. After that, the industry began to thrive in Taiwan. The Taiwan Pineapple Museum exhibits this history and the glory the pineapple industry, which had previously brought to the region.
In 1902, Japanese businessman Okamura Taro established a pineapple canning factory, where Fongshan District is now situated. Soon after that, two Taiwanese entrepreneurs, Chen Jhen-yin and Ye Jin-tu, also set up a pineapple canning factory. In 1971, Taiwan was honored as the world's number one country for canned pineapples.
Jioucyutang Taifang Company was established in 1925, by Taiwanese entrepreneur Yeh Jin-tu. The Taiwan Pineapple Museum was then set up on the site where he had originally begun operations. After World War II, the site was transformed into a military dependents' village. However, in 2003, the village was relocated. In 2004, Jioucyutang Taifang Pineapple Cannery was brought back to the region and registered by the city government as a historical site.
Taiwan Pineapple Museum depicts Jioucyutang Taifang Company's long history. It also includes exhibits about Dashu's history and provides insight into its regional agrarian culture. Visitors can also learn about the once thriving pineapple industry and its contribution to the country's economy.
At the museum, visitors can also get hands on experience by attending a pineapple label workshop. It exhibits a collection of more than 50 canned pineapple labels that the industry featured over the years. Visitors can then create their own pineapple labels and get the opportunity to see what they would actually look like on a can.
Next door to the museum is the Wanglai Company that offers a multitude of pineapple treats. One of the company's most popular desserts is its pineapple shaved ice. Other popular items include cold pineapple tea, dried pineapple and pineapple jam. Wanglai Company also grows a variety of pineapples in the region. Information boards have been set up to educate guests about the different varieties of pineapples they grow.
Visitors that are interested in regional history can also explore Dashu District's other cultural attractions, such as the Old Railway Bridge over the Lower Danshuei River, Sanhe Brick Kilns and Jhuliao Water-pumping Station. Needless to say, being the region's newest attraction, Taiwan Pineapple Museum will certainly be a highlight.