“Once I got in Taihoku Higher School, I won’t have to shave my head anymore! As a high school student, I’ll be able to grow my hair out!”

“The course load is quite heavy. Japanese, German, and English languages are all compulsory subjects.”

“There is a Liberty Bell on campus. The banana leaf school logo was designed by painter Shiotsuki Toho.”

“I heard that some students found the Culture and Arts Club’s magazine, Soaring Wind, boring. So, they started their own magazine...”

In the 1930s, Yeh Hsing-Chiao moved into Chisingliao Dormitory. Taihoku Higher School was the only higher school in colonial Taiwan known for its liberal and autonomous education style. With a goal of becoming a doctor and the weight of his family’s expectation on his shoulders, Hsing-Chiao was accepted by the top-notch school, and moved to Taipei. His roommate, Minashiro Kumotarou, is a notorious troublemaker at school. He had a wild spirit. He loved to read, but was facing expulsion for skipping too many classes.

Despite their different personalities and backgrounds, the two got along and became friends. In the cradle of liberty and knowledge, they were brimmed with youthful uncertainties and hopefulness. One day, Minashiro said to Hsing-Chiao excitedly, “The format of Soaring Wind is so rigid these days. Let's make our own magazine.”

After extensive research, comic artist Zuo Hsuan recreated the rich extracurricular activities and off-campus life of Taihoku Higher School students with a detailed drawing style. Depicting a “worn-out style” of the uninhibited students, Zuo reproduced the wonderful 1930s era of Taihoku Higher School.

Zuo Hsuan - Comic artist and illustrator.
In 2015, Hsuan Zuo published her first full-length manga, The Summer Temple Fair, which won a bronze prize at the Japan International Manga Award. It has been translated into Japanese, French, Vietnamese, and Italian, and a TV adaptation was made and aired in 2020. Zuo also represented Taiwan and attended the 2017 Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, the 2022 Lucca Comics & Games in Italy, and the 2023 Festival de bande dessinée Lausanne in Switzerland
In 2017, she drew the manga version of What She Put on the Table as part of the “Qseries Manga Collection.”
In 2022, she began to create the first full-length manga, Banana Sprout.

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