SON OF FORMOSA (來自清水的孩子)

Story/Yu Peiyun(游珮芸) Comic/Zhou Jianxin(周見信)
Slowork Publishing
2021 The White Ravens Award (International Youth Library)
2021 Taipei Book Fair Award
2021 Golden Tripod Award
2021 Golden Comics Awards Best New Talent
The true story of Tsai Kun-lin, born in Qingshui, Taichung, in 1930, as he lives through Japanese rule and the arrival of the Kuomintang. Polite and a good student, Tsai found himself sentenced to ten years in jail for “membership of an illegal organization” after attending a high school book club. This graphic novel recounts his tenacity and determination.


The 1930s, Japanese-ruled Taiwan. A young boy, Tsai Kun-lin grows up, accompanied by picture books and folk tales. But the merciless flames of World War 2 soon arrive – protests, bombing and conscription will change his life forever.

After the war, the young booklover learns a new language and hopes to finally live a life of peace, never expecting his attendance at a high school book club will land him in jail. Transported to the penal colony for political prisoners on Green Island, he loses ten years of his youth to torture, terror, hard labor, and brainwashing.

This series of graphic novels draws on the actual events of Tsai’s life. At Taichung First Senior High School he was a trainee soldier and a good student; years later he was sentenced to ten years in prison for attending a high school book club. On release he worked in publishing and advertising, and founded Prince, a children’s magazine which kept Taiwan’s cartooning tradition alive during martial law. He raised funds to allow a rural little league team to compete in Taipei and, on retirement, became a human rights activist.

Tsai’s life is Taiwan’s recent history writ small. There is darkness, but always a light; hardship, but always the strength to endure. A simple yet graceful style faithfully recreates the historical scenes, with the accurate use of the Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese languages bringing those times to life. The warmth and vitality of the storytelling demonstrate that while we cannot control events, we can, as Tsai did, persevere through them.

About the Author

Story/Yu Peiyun(游珮芸) Comic/Zhou Jianxin(周見信)

Story/Yu Peiyun(游珮芸)
A graduate of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University, Yu Peiyun also holds a PhD from Ochanomizu University in Japan. She currently researches and teaches at the Graduate Institute of Children's Literature at National Taitung University. She is also involved in the curating, writing, translation and criticism of children’s literature.

Comic/Zhou Jianxin(周見信)
Zhou Jianxin has recently established himself as one of Taiwan’s upand-coming illustrators. His first illustrated title, The Maroon Oriole, won the 2014 Taiwan Golden Butterfly Award for Best Book Designnd honorable mention from the International Design Awards. His collaborative works with Kuo Nai-wen have also been very well received: their title Missing Cat Posters also won Honorable Mention in the Hsin-Yi Children’s Literature Award in 2012, and Puppy and I won first prize for an Illustrated Publication at the 2016 Hsin-Yi Children’s Literature Award, a position that has remained empty for eight years. He is the featured artist of Taiwan Pavilion at the 2017 Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), for the launch of the Spanish edition of Missing Cat Posters.

《來自清水的孩子》© 周見信、游珮芸/慢工文化