Hatta, Yoichi

Hatta, Yoichi (1886-1942): Chief engineer of the "Chianan Irrigation Waterworks". He was born in Kanazawa, Japan. He graduated from the Imperial Tokyo University in 1910, and came to Taiwan serving in the Civil Engineering Department of the Taiwan Viceroy Office. The implementation of a irrigation/drainage project in the northern Tao-Yuan county established his reputation (1916). To solve the deficit of rice in Japan, he was charged with a great waterworks in the Chianan plains, where most farmlands depended on highly irregular rainfall at that time. His ambitious project consisted of a 1,300-meters Wushanto Dam and 16,000-kilometers waterway. The project was launched in 1920, mobilizing both traditional methods and most advanced machinery of the time. The Wushanto Reservoir became the largest in Asia and ranked third worldwide when it was completed in 1930. The construction increased the irrigated farmland by 30 times, and rice/sugarcane productivity multiplied. He died during a sailing bound to the Philippines under the assignment of evaluating an irrigation system in May 1942, when his ship was sunk by an US submarine. His wife, Sotoyo, drown herself in a discharge channel of Wushanto before evacuated to Japan in September 1945.