In 1945, Sun Moon Lake was a part of Taichung County. After the national government withdrew to Taiwan from mainland China in 1949, it reorganized Taiwan's administrative districts and from 1950, Sun Moon Lake became a part of Nantou County.
Taiwan's retrocession to China meant that the Japanese workers at the power plant returned to their homeland. The allied bombing of the Sun Moon Lake plants in the war and the 1947, "228 Incident" led to economic and political stagnation in Taiwan. The Sun Moon Lake area was deeply affected by these events. During Japanese rule, with the exception of some small stores, most industries in the Sun Moon Lake area including the power stations, the Hanbi Building, and the tea factories, were Japanese managed. After the war, these industries were taken over by the Taiwanese. The black tea industry, with its high quality tea leaves and economic labor force, became the most important industry of the Sun Moon Lake area.
Jade (Yu) Island becomes Guanghua Island
After the war, Sun Moon Lake was the most famous tourist spot in Taiwan. In 1946, two central government officials, Chien Chang-chao and Liu Wen-tao came to inspect Taiwan. Attracted by its reputation, they visited Sun Moon Lake, including the "Yu island Temple" on Jade Island. Chien felt that this name signified the imperialism of the Japanese in Taiwan, and changed the island's name to "Guanghua Island", meaning “The Light of China”.
Puji Village becomes Dehua Village
After Taiwan's retrocession, the national government changed the name of Puji Village to Dehua Village, meaning “transformed by virtue”, implying that the Thao tribe was positively influenced by Chinese culture. Together with the new Guanghua Island, these names emphasized the ideology of "Great China." From then on, the life of the Thao tribe was mainly guided by this "ideology of a Great China", such as nationalism, the education in the national language, local elections, agrarian reform, and so on. In 1947, the government took down Yu Island Temple which had symbolized the Japanese invasion.
After the national government withdrew from mainland China to Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake became President Chiang Kai-shek's favorite vacation spot, and the Hanbi Building became his temporary residence. The Hanbi Building was constructed in 1916, using Chinese cypress wood. It was originally built to host Japanese royalty when they vacationed at Sun Moon Lake. Under President Chiang , the Republic of China remained for many years a full member of the United Nations, and many state guests visited Taiwan. President Chiang often invited these state guests to Sun Moon Lake to enjoy the scenery, as well as the dancing and songs of the Thao tribe. The state guests regularly stayed at the Hanbi Building, serving as an unofficial national guesthouse. The Hanbi Building is now known as the Lalu Hotel, and is the most distinguished hotel at the Sun Moon Lake area. From the Hanbi Building, you can enjoy a view of Sun Moon Lake in the distance.
King Mao's real name was Mao Xinxiao. At one time, he was a member of the Guard Regiment during Japanese rule. Because President Chiang was not well-informed concerning Thao tribal organization or hierarchy, he called Mao Xinxiao by the title "King Mao." In 1949, while visiting Sun Moon Lake, President Chiang took a boat to Dehua Village to enjoy the Thao tribe's dancing and singing. In order to welcome the president, Mao Xinxiao led his people to the wharf to sing and dance.
President Chiang Kai-shek appreciated the singing and dancing of the Thao tribe so much that he arranged for King Mao to head a dance group to pay respects to the soldiers stationed on the frontline island of Zhoushan, where their performances were highly appreciated.
Mao later organized the Sun Moon Lake Aboriginal Singing and Dancing Group. In 1955, he established Mao's Garden. In the garden, you can take pictures with a "princess", and buy handicrafts. To strengthen the tourist appeal, the Peony Garden, the Shuishe Hall, the Chieftain's Great Garden, and the Aboriginal Culture Hall were also established in succession. From then on, the fame of King Mao spread further. Tourists would often assume that King Mao was the chief (“Toumu”) of the tribe. However, the Thao tribe in Dehua Village does not have the titles of “Chief” or “King”. Their leaders are known as “Skatafatu” and “Sinawanan”.
Owing to his good relationship with the government, King Mao became the new leader of the Thao tribe. Throughout his entire life, he strove enthusiastically for the welfare of his tribe's people.