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The origin of the name, Green Island (Island of Fire)

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  • Last updated:2023-01-16
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Summary of the establishment and history of Lyudao Prison

  Green Island was originally named Island of Fire. It is an island of volcanic rock, surrounded by fringing coral reef. It is located on the sea, 33 kilometers east-southeast to Taitung. The square measure is about 16 square kilometers and the surrounding length is about 20 kilometers. Islanders are mostly immigrants from Taiwan. In the 1960s, islanders lived by fishing and took fish, yam bean, and peanuts as their staple food. They lived simple in poverty.
  The first record of Green Island in historical documents is Taiwan Office History written by Gao Gong-qian in 1696. It was named "Shang Zai Yu" at that time. Later, in Taiwan Record written by Huang Shu-jing during Qianlong's reign in Qing Dynasty and Revised Record of Fengshan County written by Wang Ying, Green Island was called "Ji Xin Yu." In addition, in Union of Taiwan Office in Qing Dynasty and Taiwan Office and Textual Criticism written by Xu Hong-pan during Daoguang years, Green Island was called "Nan Shi Dong Yu." As for the name, "Island of Fire," it was firstly seen in Taiwan Office Maps. In this book, "Island of Fire" indicated Green Island.
  In Taiwan Interview written in 1829, Han people gave it the name "Island of Fire" when they explored and exploited Green Island. The island got the name because it was composed of volcanic rock. After the marine erosion, the rock turned black as if it had been burnt. In addition, the soil on the island is reddish brown lateritic soil. In each spring and summer, the brutal south-eastern wind blew through the coast with salty and misty air. The wind made the earth look as if it was burnt. The grass and trees turned yellow. In each fall and winter, the sharp north-eastern monsoon made leaves and grass withered on the island. Broad red soil was exposed. Looking at the island from the passing boats, it looked like burning so it got its name. Later, the second officially designated Taitung County Magistrate, Mr. Huang Shi-hong, visited the island on May 21st, 1949. He thought the name was not an elegant one so he suggested renaming the island. Island of Fire was formally renamed as "Green Island" on August 1st, 1949. The name is still used today.


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