Tainan Prefecture (Chinese: 臺南府; pinyin: Táinān Fǔ) was a prefecture of Taiwan under Qing rule. The prefecture was established by the Qing dynasty government in 1887, when Fokien-Taiwan Province was established. The prefecture included the districts/counties of Anping, Kagi, Fengshan, and Hengchun, and the sub-prefecture of Penghu.
The island was previously governed as Taiwan Prefecture, with its capital at Taiwan-fu in the south. With the reorganization beginning in 1885, Taiwan-fu was moved north to a new location in the center of the island, outside of the boundaries of the new Tainan Prefecture. Thus the southern city formerly called Taiwan-fu was renamed Tainan-fu. This is the name origin of modern-day Tainan.
- Davidson (1903), p. 244.
- Davidson (1903), p. 244-5: "As a result of these changes and additions, the seat of government (which had been formerly at the old town of Taiwan-fu in the south, which city had been in turn the capital of the Dutch, Koxinga, and the Chinese,) was now removed temporarily to the new city of Taipeh, which had been lately in course of construction. Consequently the big southern city no longer remained the capital of the island, and was therefore not entitled to bear the name Taiwan (Formosa), but became instead, merely the capital or fu of the single prefecture Tainan. It was, therefore, renamed Tainan-fu. In connection with this, it is necessary to go further and explain that it was the intention of the government to build a new capital city in the centre of the island near Changwha. Accordingly, the new city was laid out and the construction of official yamens commenced. The name of the new city became Taiwan-fu, or the capital city of Taiwan (Formosa), and it was also to be the seat of a new prefecture called Taiwan [Prefecture]. These alterations resulted in much after confusion as to names. The maps, previous to the French war, show Taiwan-fu near the south-west coast, some two miles from Anping. Subsequent maps show it in the north-central part of the island, many miles from the coast. The reason of this has now been explained, and it will be necessary for the reader to bear in mind that, in the following pages, the old southern city is spoken of as Tainan-fu and the new central city as Taiwan-fu."