A huge collection of pictures of 台灣神社 can be found in the Taipics.com website. Two of them are shown below, you can see the torii (gateway to the jinja grounds), the bridge over Keelung River - the 明治橋 (中山Chung Shan Bridge after the war), and the street leading up to it - the 敕使街道 (later the Chung Shan N Road):
To the left of the taxis was the old Yuan-shan Zoo. Notice the bike riders traveled on the left side of the street.
And a bird's eye view of the whole complex is captured in this painting:The shrine complex was further expanded in the 1940s. In 1942, the 台灣護國神社 (Taiwan Gokoku Jinja) was built on the 劍潭 side. This would become the Martyrs' Shrine after the war. The original Jinja seen above was promoted to the palatial status to 台灣神宮 in 1944, and a new hall was constructed next to the old jinja. It was to be dedicated in Dec of the same year; instead, it burned down shortly before on Oct 25, when an airliner crashed near it while trying to land in the Matsuyama 松山Airport. Many would see this as an omen foretelling the downfall of the Japan Empire. It was never rebuilt and Japan surrendered 10 months later. This site is now a radio station.
The imposition of the Shindoism onto [some would argue that this was accepted voluntarily by] the Taiwanese went into high gear in the 1940s and the shrines served as the spiritual centers. Worshiping at the shrines was integrated into school activities. Many had their wedding ceremonies conducted at these shrines. They were also the favorite sites for the touring public. After the war, most jinjas were dismantled. The recent interests in preserving these shrines and artifacts (e.g., stone lions, bronze horses, and stone lanterns - ishidoros) came from the realization that the Japanese did share a common past, however briefly, with the Taiwanese. Marc of Taipics.com has sent this photo of an ishidoro on display at the Flowers Expo (for more, see here) - a remnant of the past except the light bulb, a gratuitous addition:
There are strict rules, etiquette and proper attires for attending ceremonies at Taiwan Jinja:
Some photo records are highly personal. Here we have three generations of Tansui-jin/Danshui-ren celebrating the wedding of Mr Hirokawa and his bride, Miss Harada:
[This photo of 廣川 bride and groom (couple in front center), family and guests was taken on May 20, 1939, at Taiwan Jinja 台灣神社 - kindly provided by Hirokawa's son.]
The groom, Mr Hirokawa, had taught at 淡水公學校 [now Danshui Elementary School]. Among the guests were the School Principal, Mr Matsuda松田 (right-hand side of groom) and the Mayor of Tansui/Danshui, Mr Nakahara中原 (second from right, front row).