hansioux wrote:great blog.
saw you asking how Pork Ribs River (排骨溪) in Yilan got its name.
According to a famous Chinese hiking website (http://www.tonyhuang39.com/tony0949/tony0949.html), the prevailing version of the story is that the river, also known as Linshenxi (林森溪), used to be called Baiguxi (白骨溪, the white bones river). It got that name because as the Japanese cracked down on Altayals in the region, a battle was fought at the river with heavy casualties on both sides. Afterwards the skeletons filled the river, and the river got its name. It was also known as Baiguxi (百骨溪, the hundred skeletons river). The name was too negative and some dude decided to change it to Pork Ribs river, and then tried to change it to Linsen river (probably by a KMT dude, as it's named after a famous KMT leader).
Don't take that version at its face value though. The Japanese did fight the Altayals there back in 1910. However, why would the locals (Altayals) then name the river in Chinese? A more likely version is that there was a Atayal tribe which the Japanese called 擺骨社 (バイクッ, Baiku), which is a phonetic transliteration of an Altayal word.
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