This week, we turn to the life of the father of modern China: Dr. Sun Yat-sen. How did he help turn China from an empire into a modern nation-state, and how did his paths cross with Japanese allies and enemies along the way?
Listen to the episode
Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.
My Thirty-Three Years’ Dream: The Autobiography of Miyazaki Toten.
Schiffrin, Harold Z.
Sun Yat-sen and the Origins of the Chinese Revolution.
Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China.
Sun Yat-sen with Japanese and Chinese allies. Sun is seated on the far right; his confidant Miyazaki Toten stands in the center.
Sun Yat-sen at a meeting of Chinese revolutionaries in Tokyo in 1898. The attendees are: (front row from left) Tasunaga Tonosuke, Yang Quyun, Hirayama Shu, Suenaga Takashi, Uchida Ryohei; (back row from left) Kani Choichi, Koyama Yutaro, Miyazaki Toten, Sun Yat-sen, Kiyofugi Koshichiro, Ohara Yoshitaka.
Sun Yat-sen at a meeting of Tongmenghui sympathizers in Singapore.
Yuan Shikai negotiated the abdication of the Qing emperors, but then turned around and betrayed Sun’s revolution for a shot to make himself an emperor. He would fail and died in 1916 as the country slipped into civil war.
From 1912 to 1928 this was the flag of the Republic of China. The five colors represent the unity of the five major ethnic groups in China — Han, Manchu, Mongol, Hui (Chinese Muslims), and Tibetans.
Chiang Kai-shek with Sun Yat-sen (seated) in Guangdong in 1924.
Zhongshan-ling, the mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen in modern Nanjing next to (and modeled on) the tombs of the Ming Emperors. I’ve climbed (part of) those stairs — they’re every bit as tortuous as they look.
The white sun on a blue background (shown here incorporated into the post-1928 flag of the Republic of China) is the symbol of Sun’s party, the Guomindang.
Sun Yat-sen and Miyazaki Toten, still together today (at least, in the courtyard of the Nanjing Museum of Modern History).