On the Wulu River Terrace, located to the southeast of Wulu Gorge, is the Wulu Settlement, which is inhabited by members of the Bunun Tribe. On the highest point of the village, behind Wulu Elementary School, there is a very small fort park. Two old cannons are on display in the park. This is the famous Wulu Battery.
Most of Taiwan's old forts were built close to the coast, to garrison naval defenses. So what is a fort doing in this mountainous area of Wulu? And why are the cannons aimed at an even more remote mountainous area? The explanation goes back to the Japanese occupation era, with its history of Bunun opposition to Japanese control.
When the Japanese controlled Taiwan, on the one hand, they used conciliatory methods to try to win over the Aboriginals in the mountains. On the other hand, they also used military oppression. The Sinwulyu River Valley area was the scene of many violent uprisings against the Japanese, resulting in great loss of life and injury on both sides. These included the Fongban Incident and the Daguanshan Incident. In order to more effectively control the Aboriginals, the Japanese build more than ten guard routes in the mountain area. One of these was the Guanshan Mountain Crossing Guard Route, which was built for the purpose of protection against the Bunun Aboriginals living in the Sinwulyu River and Laonong River valleys. The Guanshan Mountain Crossing Route connected Lilong (today’s Guanshan Township) in the east and Liouguei in the west. Construction of this road began in 1919, and was completed in 1931.
Wulu Battery was built in 1927, during the time that the Japanese were working on the Guanshan Mountain Crossing Route from Sinwu to Wulu. The cannons were built in Russia in 1903, and were possessed by the Japanese during the Japanese-Russian War. They were then sent to Taiwan, and used by the Japanese police to subdue Bunun uprisings. At that time, forts were also built in nearby Saku (Dalun) and Madiangulu (Motian), but only Wulu Battery has been preserved to this day, testifying to that bloody period of history.
Address：At the Old Fort Park (Gupaotai Park) behind Wulu Elementary School, Hairui Township, Taitung County