During the Age of Discovery, Dutch surveyor Phillip meets Dalai, a Taiwanese indigenous boy. Dalai helps Phillip as he learns about the local indigenous culture – but a conflict between the newcomers and the locals is brewing…
During the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorers named Taiwan “Formosa” – the beautiful isle. In what is now Anping, in the south-west of Taiwan, countless red deer roamed across the plains and marshes where the Siraya people hunted. It was here, that Westerners first made contact with the people of Taiwan.
The Dutch East India Company, in search of profit, took over southern Taiwan, and our story’s protagonist is Phillip, a surveyor for the company. Living and working with the Siraya people in the village of Sinckan, Phillipe forms a friendship with Dalai, adopted son of the village elder, and comes to understand the dilemma the arrival of the foreigners means for them. Meanwhile, the village medicine woman is hostile towards the Dutch, even blaming the death of the village elder on the anger of the gods at his meetings with the foreigners.
Conflicted, Phillip leaves the village and learns that the Dutch governor Nuyts has responded to the conflict with Sinckan by forming an alliance with their sworn enemies, the village of Mattau. The people of Sinckan, including Dalai, lose their trust in Phillip and relations become tense. As the two sides engage in a fast-changing battle of wits, what choices will Phillip be forced to make?
Kinono turns the interactions and conflicts between the Dutch and the indigenous people into an exciting graphic adventure. The first section takes place without dialogue, introducing Phillip’s mysterious background while retaining emotional tension and creating curiosity as to how the story will develop. This carefully researched book recreates the process by which local and Western cultures met in Taiwan four centuries ago and portrays the unique local culture.