In addition to the beautiful mountains and oceans, one of the most internationally recognized activities in Taitung in recent years is surfing. Since the east coast has became a surfer’s paradise, it has attracted surfers from around the world. Jun, a surfer from Tokyo, Japan, who not only went to Taitung to surf, but also fell in love with a local girl from the Bunon Tribe girl. He decided to settle down in Taitung and contribute his talents to his favorite place.
Before coming to Taitung, Jun was originally a guitarist and singer at a pub in Tokyo. He was specialized in singing and playing the guitar. He liked the management methods and ideas of the Bunun tribe. It was then when he set out to assist the Bunun tribe in building a Japanese language website and editing Japanese catalogues. After a long period in the tribe, Jun discovered that not only would Japanese tourists come to visit the tribe, but there were also numerous researchers who were engaged in academic work that came. Jun even helped several “Wansei” (Japanese who were born in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule) who came to Taiwan to settle down in their 80s. After contacting and understanding the touching stories of these Japanese elders, he developed a deeper feeling about this place.
But why did he choose Taitung?
“Because the people are nice and the scenery is beautiful, and I just like everything about Taitung!” he says with a typical Japanese accent. Jun goes on to describe his indescribable love for Taitung in a simple and direct way.
Talking about Jun’s favorite activity, surfing, his eyes suddenly glitter. “All the waves that are suitable for surfing around the world are naturally formed, and are not artificial!” he says. Since he is familiar with all the waves along the east coast, he likes to bring surfers to various less wellknown places that only he knows about. It is because of this that these players are able to fully perform their surfing skills. Japanese surfers in particular like to stay at Jun’s bed and breakfast. About three to four hundred Japanese surfers come to Taitung each year, especially when the northeast monsoon blows in. It is also the main reason that attracts various professional surfers to the beach. To be the first one running a surfing B&B in Donghe, Jun admits that to promote surfing was not easy. Everything was difficult at the beginning. No one knew how to surf here, so it was difficult to promote it. It was difficult to start a business in Taitung in the early days, but he moved on with persistence.
According to Jun, Taiwan is a maritime country, but compared to Japanese children, it seems that very little Taiwanese children can swim. With this in mind, the Taitung County Surfing Association and Jun began to develop a deep-rooted action project three years ago. The project hoped that the children of Taitung would be able to enjoy themselves in the ocean and peacefully coexist with nature. As the courses began in the summer vacations, children were taught swimming, skateboarding, environmental education, and local ecological activities. “I also created two songs and taught children to sing this year, and the children had their own performance at Tiehua Village!” he announces. Because of his love for Taitung, he knows well that these young seedlings will live and grow up here in the future. By watching them learn and grow from the curriculum, he feels satisfied that he can return the favor in the way of natural education. The enthusiasm of the people and the natural beauty of Taitung are the most precious assets in Taitung, according to Jun. With every step he has made so far, he has transformed into the power the motivation over the past 13 years. This is why he is able to give more to Taitung and take care of this land with real actions.