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Dr. Sun Yat-sen - Chinese Cultural Plaza - Honolulu, HI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Hawaiian Ninja
N 21° 18.858 W 157° 51.712
4Q E 618041 N 2357358
Quick Description: Sun Yat-sen (November 12, 1866 – March 12, 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader often referred to as the Father of Modern China. Sun played an instrumental role in the eventual collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.
Location: Hawaii, United States
Date Posted: 9/3/2008 6:56:50 PM
Waymark Code: WM4KR6
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Mark1962
Views: 102

Long Description:
He was the first provisional president when the Republic of China (ROC) was founded in 1912 and later co-founded the Kuomintang (KMT) where he served as its first leader. Sun was a uniting figure in post-Imperial China, and remains unique among 20th-century Chinese politicians for being widely revered in both Mainland China and in Taiwan.

Although Sun is considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China, his political life was one of constant struggle and frequent exile. After the success of the revolution, he quickly fell out of power in the newly-founded Republic of China, and led successive revolutionary governments as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Sun did not live to see his party bring about consolidation of power over the country. His party, which formed a fragile alliance with the Communists, split into two factions after his death. Sun's chief legacy resides in his developing a political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People (The People's Relation/Connection, The People's Power, and the People's Livelihood/Welfare, or sometimes known as nationalism, democracy, and socialism depending on the translation).

EARLY YEARS:
Sun Yat-sen was born on November 12, 1866, to a peasant family in the village of Cuiheng, Xiangshan county , Guangzhou prefecture, Guangdong province (26 km or 16 miles north of Macau). When Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, the name of Xiangshan was changed to Zhongshan, His Japanese name when he was living in Japan. As a child, Sun Yat-sen listened to many stories about the Taiping Rebellion from an old Taiping soldier named Lai han-ing (???). After receiving a few years of local school, at age thirteen, Sun went to live with his elder brother, Sun Mei, in Honolulu. Sun Mei, who was fifteen years Sun Yat-sen's senior, had emigrated to Hawaii as a laborer and had become a prosperous merchant. Though Sun Mei was not always supportive of Sun's later revolutionary activities, he supported his brother financially, allowing Sun to give up his professional career. Sun Yat-sen studied at the prestigious Iolani School where he learned English, mathematics and science. Originally unable to speak the English language, Sun Yat-sen picked up the language so quickly that he received a prize for outstanding achievement in English from King David Kalakaua. He became a citizen of the United States and was issued an American passport. It is unclear whether or not he maintained his original citizenship as a subject of the Qing empire. After graduation from Iolani School in 1882, Sun enrolled in Oahu College (now Punahou School) for further studies for one semester. He was soon sent home to China as his brother was becoming afraid that Sun Yat-sen was about to embrace Christianity. While at Iolani, he befriended Tong Phong, who later founded the First Chinese-American Bank.

His American experience was to be of lasting influence. Sun attached particular importance to the ideas of Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln. Sun often said that the formulation of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, had been the inspiration for the Three Principles of the People. He incorporated these ideas, later in life, in two highly influential books. One, The Vital Problem of China (1917), analyzed some of the problems of colonialism: Sun warned that “…the British treat nations as the silkworm farmer treats his worms; as long as they produce silk, he cares for them well; when they stop, he feeds them to the fish.” The second book, International Development of China (1921), presented detailed proposals for the development of infrastructure in China, and attacked the ideology of laissez-faire, as well as that of Marxism adhering more to the ideas of Henry George's, particularly land value taxation. His ideology remained flexible, however, reflecting his audience as much as his personal convictions. He presented himself as a strident nationalist to the nationalists, as a socialist to the socialists, and an anarchist to the anarchists, declaring at one point that “the goal of the Three Principles of the People is to create socialism and anarchism.” It is an open matter of debate whether this eclecticism reflected a sincere effort to incorporate ideas from the multiple competing schools of thought or was simply opportunistic posturing. In any case, his ideological flexibility allowed him to become a key figure in the Nationalist movement since he was one of very few people who had good relations with all of the movement's factions. When he returned home in 1883, he became greatly troubled by what he saw as a backward China that demanded exorbitant taxes and levies from its people. The schools maintained their ancient methods, leaving no opportunity for expression of thought or opinion. Under the influence of Christian missionaries in Hawaii, Sun had developed a disdain for traditional Chinese religious beliefs. One day, Sun and his childhood friend Lu Hao-tung passed by Beijidian(???), a temple in Cuiheng Village, where they saw many villagers worshipping the Beiji (literally North Pole) Emperor-God in the temple. They broke off the hand of the statue, incurring the wrath of fellow villagers, and escaped to Hong Kong.

Sun studied English at the Anglican Diocesan Home and Orphanage (currently Diocesan Boys' School) in Hong Kong. In April 1884, Sun was transferred to the Central School of Hong Kong (later renamed Queen's College). Sun was later baptized in Hong Kong by an American missionary of the Congregational Church of the United States, to his brother's disdain. Sun pictured a revolution as similar to the salvation mission of the Christian church. His conversion to Christianity was related to his revolutionary ideals and push for advancement. As a result, his baptismal name, Rixin (??), literally means "daily renewal."

Sun studied medicine at the Guangzhou Boji Hospital under the medical missionary John G. Kerr. Ultimately, he earned the license of medical practice as a medical doctor from the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (the forerunner of The University of Hong Kong) in 1892, of which he was one of the first two graduates. He subsequently practiced medicine in that city briefly in 1893. He had an arranged marriage with fellow villager Lu Muzhen at age twenty; she bore him a son Sun Fo, who would grow up to become a high ranking official in the Republican government, and two daughters, Sun Yan and Sun Wan.

During and after the Qing Dynasty rebellion, Sun was a leader within Tiandihui, a precursor to modern triad groups. Tiandihui provided much of Sun's funding. His protégé, Chiang Kai Shek, was also a member of Tiandihui.

LEGACY:
One of Sun's major legacies was his political philosophy, the Three Principles of the People (sanmin zhuyi, ????). These Principles included the principle of nationalism (minzu, ??), democracy (minquan, ??) and the People's Livelihood (minsheng, ??). The Principles retained a place in the rhetoric of both the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party with completely different interpretations. This difference in interpretation is due partly to the fact that Sun seemed to hold an ambiguous attitude to both capitalist and communist methods of development, as well as due to his untimely death, in 1925, before he had finished his now-famous lecture series on the Three Principles of the People. In addition, Sun is also one of the primary saints of the Vietnamese religion Cao Dai.


POWER STRUGGLE:
After Sun's death, a power struggle between his young protégé Chiang Kai-shek and his old revolutionary comrade Wang Jingwei split the KMT. At stake in this struggle was the right to lay claim to Sun's ambiguous legacy. In 1927 Chiang Kai-shek married Soong May-ling, a sister of Sun's widow Soong Ching-ling, and subsequently he could claim to be a brother-in-law of Sun. When the Communists and the Kuomintang split in 1927, marking the start of the Chinese Civil War, each group claimed to be his true heirs, a conflict that continued through World War II.

The official veneration of Sun's memory, especially in the Kuomintang, was a virtual cult, which centered around his tomb in Nanking. His widow, Soong Ching-ling, sided with the Communists during the Chinese Civil War and served from 1949 to 1981 as Vice President (or Vice Chairwoman) of the People's Republic of China and as Honorary President shortly before her death in 1981.


FATHER OF THE NATION:
Sun Yat-sen remains unique among twentieth-century Chinese leaders for having a high reputation both in mainland China and in Taiwan. In Taiwan, he is seen as the Father of the Republic of China, and is known by the posthumous name Father of the Nation, Mr. Sun Chungshan (Chinese: ?? ?????, where the one-character space is a traditional homage symbol). His likeness is still almost always found in ceremonial locations such as in front of legislatures and classrooms of public schools, from elementary to senior high school, and he continues to appear in new coinage and currency.

FORERUNNER OF THE REVOLUTION:
Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in NanjingOn the mainland, Sun is also seen as a Chinese nationalist and proto-socialist, and is highly regarded as the Forerunner of the Revolution. He is mentioned by name in the preamble to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. In most major Chinese cities one of the main streets is named "Zhongshan" (??) to memorialize him, a name even more commonly found than other popular choices such as "Renmin Lu" (???), or The People's Road, and "Jiefang Lu" (???), or Liberation Road. There are also numerous parks, schools, and geographical features named after him. The city of Zhongshan in Guangdong, where Sun was originally from, is named after Sun, and there is a hall dedicated to his memory at the Temple of Azure Clouds in Beijing.

In recent years, the leadership of the Communist Party of China has been increasingly invoking Sun, partly as a way of bolstering Chinese nationalism in light of Chinese economic reform and partly to increase connections with supporters of the Kuomintang on Taiwan which the PRC sees as allies against Taiwanese independence. Sun's tomb was one of the first stops made by the leaders of both the Kuomintang and the People First Party on their trips to mainland China in 2005. A massive portrait of Sun continues to appear in Tiananmen Square for May Day and the National Day.


SUN AND THE OVERSEAS CHINESE:
Sun's notability and popularity extends beyond the Greater China region, particularly to Nanyang where a large concentration of overseas Chinese reside in Singapore and Malaysia. Sun recognised the contributions that the large number of overseas Chinese could make, beyond the sending of remittances to their ancestral homeland. He therefore made multiple visits to spread his revolutionary message to these communities around the world.

Sun made a total of eight visits to Singapore between 1900 and 1911. His first visit made on September 7, 1900, was to rescue Miyazaki Toten, an ardent Japanese supporter and friend of Sun's, who was arrested there, an act which also resulted in his own arrest and a ban from visiting the island for five years. Upon his next visit in June 1905, he met local Chinese merchants Teo Eng Hock, Tan Chor Nam and Lim Nee Soon in a meeting which was to mark the commencement of direct support from the Nanyang Chinese. Upon hearing their reports on overseas Chinese revolutionists organising themselves in Europe and Japan, he urged them to establish the Singapore chapter of the Tongmenghui, which came officially into being on 6 April the following year upon his next visit.


Sun Yat-sen's original handwriting (to his wife Soong Ching-ling)The chapter was housed in a villa known as Wan Qing Yuan (???) and donated for the use of revolutionalists by Teo. In 1906, the chapter grew in membership to 400, and in 1908, when Sun was in Singapore to escape the Qing government in the wake of the failed Zhennanguan Uprising, the chapter had become the regional headquarters for Tongmenghui branches in Southeast Asia. Sun and his followers travelled from Singapore to Malaya and Indonesia to spread their revolutionary message, by which time the alliance already had over twenty branches with over 3,000 members around the world.

Sun's foresight in tapping on the help and resources of the overseas Chinese population was to bear fruit on his subsequent revolutionary efforts. In one particular instance, his personal plea for financial aid at the Penang Conference held on November 13, 1910 in Malaya, helped launch a major drive for donations across the Malay Peninsula, an effort which helped finance the Second Guangzhou Uprising (also commonly known as the Yellow Flower Mound revolt) in 1911.

The role that overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia played during the 1911 Revolution was so significant that Sun himself recognized "Overseas Chinese as the Mother of the Revolution".

Today, Sun's legacy is remembered in Nanyang at Wan Qing Yuan, which has since been preserved and renamed as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, and gazetted as a national monument of Singapore on October 28, 1994.

In Penang, the Penang Philomatic Union which was founded by Sun in 1908, has embarked on a heritage project to turn its premises at 65 Macalister Road into Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Museum.
URL of the statue: Not listed

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