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Sun Yat-Sen and the Secret Societies

Sun Yat-Sen and the Secret Societies

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Sun Yat-Sen and the Secret SocietiesAuthor(s): John C. DeKorneReviewed work(s):Source:
Pacific Affairs,
Vol. 7, No. 4 (Dec., 1934), pp. 425-433Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 14/01/2012 18:50
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SUN YAT-SEN AND THE SECRETSOCIETIES
JOHN C. DEKORNE
IF
THERE
iS
one factof modernChinese historyeyond dispute,it is that the father f modern China was Sun Yat-sen.It is clear thathe furnished he leadershipfor the movement hat drovethe Manchusoff thethroneof China and established he Republic.It has not yetbeen made equally clear just what forces his leadership utilized incarrying n his dramatic trugglewith the old empire.One of the mostimportant,nboth the propaganda phase and theexecution phase ofthe Revolution,was the force that for centurieshad been more or lessbottledupin thesecret-society ovement.TheChungHuaKuomintang,or ChinesePeople'sParty, whichrules China today and doesnotpermit heexistencef any other politi-calparty,tillbears withinitsorganicstructureheresidual tracesofits secret-societyrigin.Even asthe Masonic Orderis said to haveevolvedfromradical secretorganizationtoahighlyrespectablefra-ternalandbenevolent ociety,o theKuomintanghasevolved fromnunderground, roscribed rganizationo thepointwhereittoday repre-sentsanobleattemptt anewordernChina.Thisarticlesan effort o trace thatpartof Sun'srevolutionaryc-tivitywhichutilized secretocieties,irstnstirringpinterestnrevo-lutionandlateraswell-organizedunits,used toworkingunder coverandthusequippedtostrikequicklyandeffectively.One ofthemostinterestingints that has ever been thrownoutinconnectionwithSun Yat-sen'suseofsecretsocietiesas an instrumentofrevolutionstheonewhichascribestoan Americanauthor,HomerLea,1theconceptionf the wholeplan.Itis certainthatLea cametoappreciatethepowerthattheyexerted.n hisbook,TheVermilionPencil, publishedn
i908,
he wove intohistalethestoryfoneof thesesocieties,TheGreatDeluge Family."2Hewas for awhilemilitary
'AuthorofThe Vermilion encil,New York,
i908;
The ValorofIgnorance,NewYork,
909;
andTheDay ofthe Saxon, NewYork,
9I2.
'Thisis probablyea'stranslationf HungMen, asecretocietymentionednCouling'sEncyclopediainica, Shanghai,
1917.
<< 25 >>
 
PacificAfairsadvisoroSun Yat-sen, ndit has beenrecognized hat SunwasgreatlynfluencedythisAmericandventurer,ho wascelebrated,n
hisday,as a military ritic.
Dr. Sunwas a great joiner."The namesof at leastten secret o-cieties iguren hishistory.venaside fromis membershipn theseorganizations,isown ife was organizedlmost ikea secret ociety,forne ofhis biographers,r.EdwardBing-shueyee,8did nothesi-tateo say of his hero:"Although e felt hathis lifework ay inthesalvation f China,herealized hathemustchooseprofessionnorderhathemayhaveacloak o coverhis activities,nd he regardedmedicine sthekindlyuntwhocoulddirectim o thepolitical rena,forheChinese egardmedicalmen s being mmune rom oliticsndhe could carry n hispropagandaithoutrousing oomuch ttentionfrom heauthorities."Thetensecret ocietieshroughhichDr.Sunworkedwere:
i.
The
FUJENWENSHE
(HelpBenevolence iterary ociety),nobscure rganizationhatostensiblyevotedtself oliterarytudies.Its membership as closelynit.There wasafinepiritf loyaltyofellowmembersndto thegeneralpurposesfthesociety. hisat-tractedun Yat-senarlyn hiscareer,ndhesawin this rganizationgreatpossibilitiesorthefurtheringfhisrevolutionaryrogram.ebecamemember,ndthroughisorganizingeniusnd enthusiasmforthecausesucceedednimpartingnentirelyifferentharacterto the society.tgraduallyame tobethenucleus or hefirstfthemanyrevolutionaryocietieshroughhichSuncarried nhispropa-ganda,namely,heHsingChungHui.
2.
The
HSINGCHUNGHUI
(RestorehinaSociety)wasorganizedn
i89I,
whenSun was only wenty-sevenearsld.Around he bannerof thereorganizeduJenWenShe,hegatheredmembers fanum-berof secretocietieshat wereflourishingt that time nFukien,Kueichow,ndKuangtung Canton)provinces.ctiveeadershipnthesocietywas dividedbetweenDr. Sun andMr.YangCh'ii-yfin,whoaterwasputto deathbyorder ftheManchugovernment.em-bershipn theHsing ChungHui was limitedo thosewho"wishedtosaveChina."A five-dollarembershipee wascharged.Wherever
8InaradioaddressfromNanking,underauspicesoftheCentralPartyHead-quartersf theKuomintang,March
i, I929.
Theaddresswasprintedn fullinthe ShanghaiTimes,Shanghai,f March
2, I929.
AreportfitalsoappearedntheChinaWeeklyReview,hanghai,May
25,
1929.
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