The Places of Sun Yat-sen

Thursday May 26, 7:00-9:00pm
Keoni Auditorium, East-West CenterUniversity of Hawai’i at Manoa

“Singapore’s Sun Yat-sen in Perspective”

According to the conceptual framing by the organizers of this Eleventh East-West Philosophers’ Conference, humanity takes up space and has the unique disposition and power to purposefully and qualitatively transform spaces into places with distinctive significance. Sun Yat-sen, being one of the “great men” in the history of humanity who had played a key role in the Republican Revolution of China during the second decade of the twentieth century, had certainly also left his indelible mark on the Chinese continental space inhabited by a quarter of mankind. In his long and arduous journey to foment revolution and bring about an end to the Chinese monarchical system, he had built bases and mobilized revolutionary acquaintances in several locations, including Hawaii, Japan and Singapore. This presentation examines the place-making effects of Sun in Singapore from three perspectives. First is the placing of Sun into a refurbished Memorial Hall in Singapore. Second is the tracking of Sun in the changing historiography on the Overseas Chinese community. Last is locating Sun in moments of Chinese diasporic transnationalism and modernity.

HUANG Jianli (National University of Singapore)


HUANG Jianli is an Associate Professor with the History Department of the National University of Singapore. Within the university, he is concurrently the Deputy Director of Asia Research Institute and a Research Associate at the East Asian Institute. His first field of study is on the history of student political activism and local governance in Republican China from the 1910s to 1940s. His second research area is on the Chinese diaspora, especially the relationship between China and the Chinese community in Singapore. He has a monograph on The Politics of Depoliticization in Republican China (1996, 2nd edition 1999, Chinese edition 2010) and co-authored The Scripting of a National History: Singapore and Its Past (2008). His co-edited volumes include Power and Identity in the Chinese World Order (2003) and Macro Perspectives and New Directions in the Studies of Chinese Overseas (Chinese, 2002). He also has published papers in internationally refereed journals such as Modern Asian Studies, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, East Asian Studies, Journal of Oriental Studies, Frontiers of History in China, Journal of Chinese Overseas, Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies, International Journal of Diasporic Chinese Studies, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, South East Asia Research and Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.  

E-mail: .  

“The Importance of Japan for Sun Yat-sen: A Place for Encounters, Captivation, and Conspiracy”

Japan’s geographical and cultural contiguity with China made it a vitally important for Sun Yat-sen in the following three ways: First, as a revolutionary leader brought up in the trans-Pacific overseas Chinese network, Sun Yat-sen encountered the Chinese literati’s pilgrimage to Asia’s emerging intellectual center, Tokyo, where he gained many new followers. Second, unlike the Western nations whose support he had sought in vain, a significant number of Japanese activists, who identified themselves with “Asia” or the “Orient,” were captivated by Sun Yat-sen’s Pan-Asianist cause and joined the Chinese Revolution in person. Third, Japan was the closest imperialist power competing for concessions with China. Japan’s ambition tempted Sun Yat-sen to organize repeated conspiracies to request its support for his revolutionary movement, by offering various rights and interests in exchange.

FUKAMACHI Hideo (Chuo University)

Professor Fukamachi is Professor of Chinese Political History in theFaculty of Economics, Chuo University. He graduated from the Department of Aesthetics, Division of Philosophy, Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University in 1988. He studied for one year from 1994 at the Ph.D. program in History and East Asian Languages, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, and graduated from the Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Area and Cultural Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with a Ph.D. degree. He then served as a full-time lecturer and an Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Chuo University before assuming his current position in 2004 (also a visiting fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University from 2004 to 2006). Professor Fukamachi’s major publications include Party, Society, and the State in Modern China: The Making of the Chinese Nationalist Party [Kindai Chugoku ni okeru Seito, Shakai, Kokka: Chugoku Kokuminto no Keisei Katei]; Party, Society, and the State in Modern Guangdong: The Making of the Chinese Nationalist Party and Its Party-State Regime; 100 Years of China’s Political Regimes: What has been pursued? [Chugoku Seiji Taisei 100 Nen: Nani ga Motomerarete kitanoka]; A Revolution Anthology of Sun Yat-sen [Sonbun Kakumei Bunshu]; and Physical Discipline Politics: The Kuomintang’s New Life Movement [Shintai wo shitsukeru seiji: Chuugoku Kokuminto no Shinseikatsu Undo].

“Hawai’i’s Sun Yat-sen”

It can be fairly argued that China’s democratic revolution was born in Hawai’i by a son of Hawai’i. Arriving as a young schoolboy, for more than a decade revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen attended the best schools in Honolulu. With his roots in his own Chinese cultural heritage, he was much influenced by the values of his adopted homeland in his efforts to overthrow the Manchu dynasty, and in the vision of a democratic China he was able to promote as he inspired his countrymen to join him in constructing the New China. He used Hawai’i’s revolutionary organization, the Xing Zhong Hui, as the base for his arduous struggle for revolution in Qing dynasty China, and relied heavily upon local financial and political support as he traveled the world to garner the resources needed to make his dream a reality.

Roger T. AMES (University of Hawai’i)

Roger T. Ames is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawai’i and editor of Philosophy East & West and China Review International. He has authored interpretative studies of Chinese philosophy and culture: Thinking Through Confucius (1987), Anticipating China (1995), and Thinking From the Han (1998) (all with D.L. Hall), and most recently Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary (2011). His publications also include many translations of Chinese classics: Sun-tzu: The Art of Warfare (1993); Sun Pin: The Art of Warfare (1996) (with D.C. Lau); the Confucian Analects (1998) and the Classic of Family Reverence: The Xiaojing (2009) (both with H. Rosemont), Focusing the Familiar: The Zhongyong (2001), and The Daodejing (with D.L. Hall) (2003).