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Sun Yat-sen - His Hawaii Roots

Historical sites of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s activities in Hawaii

Dr. Sun Yat Sen Trail in Honolulu: 



Historical sites of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s activities in Hawaii. Compiled by Yen Chun 陈燕and Yansheng Ma Lum 马兖 生 for Dr. Sun Yat-sen Hawaii Foundation.

Updated on 7/20/2011

  • SUN YAT-SEN STATUE AT AGE 13  (Location: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Park, corner of Hotel and Bethel, downtown Honolulu, next to Hawaii Theatre)\
    Statue donated by Dr. Sun Yat-sen Hawaii Foundation to the City of Honolulu on November 12, 2007, showing Dr. Sun as a school age boy when he came to Hawaii for his education. Sculptor Master Chu Tat Shing of Hong Kong.

  • IOLANI SCHOOL(Location: 563 Kamoku Street)
    Dr. Sun Yat-sen enrolled as a boarding student at Iolani School using the name Tai Chu from 1879-1882.  He spoke no English when he first arrived in Hawaii at age 13.  Upon his graduation on July 27, 1882, he was awarded a second-place prize in English grammar by Hawai’i King David Kalakaua. At that time, the campus was located on Bates Street and Nuuanu Street.  Since then, Iolani School moved six times to this campus on Kamukou Street.

  • PUNAHOU SCHOOL: (Location: 1601 Punahou Street)
    Wishing to advance his studies, Dr. Sun enrolled at Oahu College (now Punahou School).  There were 32 other students.  He was one of three Chinese students in the coeducational class, which included Hawai’i’s Prince Kuhio.  School tuition was $1 per week and semesters consisted of 12 weeks. Dr. Sun was enrolled for the winter and spring semesters of 1883. The building Old School House built in 1852 is still being used as classroom. Punahou School Archives kept the record of Dr. Sun (Tai Chu) paying  $55.00 tuition in 1883.  Dr.Sun’s name was also listed in the catalogue of names of pupils of class 1882-1883.

  • ST. ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL:  (Location: 229 Queen Emma Square)
    Dr. Sun  Yat-sen, as a student of Iolani School during 1879-1882 came to this church every Sunday to attend service.  King Kamehameha V laid the cornerstone for this church in 1867 and the construction of the Church went on in stages until 1958 when the structure was finally finished. In the meantime, a temporary pro-Cathedral was built and Dr. Sun attended service in the pro-Cathedral which was demolished in 1909.

  • THE HISTORICAL SITE OF THE INAUGURATION MEETING OF HSING CHUNG HUI(Location: Parking lot on Emma Lane near Queen Emma Street.)  Used to be the site of  Ho Fon’s and Li Chong’s houses. November 24, 1894, the first meeting of the Hsing Chung Hui was held , first in Ho Fon’s house, later moved to Li Chong’s house. The two houses were demolished in the 1960’s.

  • MID PACIFIC INSTITUTE:  This used to be the playground of Mills School in 1894-1895.  This was the site of military training ground of around 40 Hsing Chung Hui members.

  • MAUNAKEA MARKET PLACE: (Location: Corner of Maunakea Street and Hotel Street)
    This used to be the site of the “American Theater”. On December 13, 1903, Dr. Sun Yat-sen made a public speech here. The <Honolulu Pacific Commercial Advertiser> of  December 14,1903 reported the event, saying that hundreds of Chinese packed in the theater and enthusiastically listened to Dr. Sun who urged the overthrow of the Manchu Regime in China.

  • THE OFFICE OF THE CHINESE NEWSPAPER <LIBERTY NEWS>. (Location: 40 N Hotel Street, Chinatown)
    Dr. Sun Yat-sen made the <Tan San Sun Bo Long Kee> (The Hawaiian Chinese News) the official newspaper of the Hsing Chung Hui.  In 1908, its name was changed to become <Chee Yow Shin Bo>(The Liberty News).  Dr. Sun visited Honolulu during March-May, 1910.  Dr. Sun often came to work in this office and was interviewed by the reporter of the Honolulu Advertiser here.  The original office building was demolished.

  • NO. 177 KING STREET:  During March-May, 1910 when Dr. SunYat-sen visited Honolulu, he had lived on the second floor of this store located at No. 177 King Street. At that time, this was the store Wing Hong Yuen Co., which was owned by Ching Chow, a member of  the Tung Meng Hui Hawaii Chapter and a close friend of Dr.Sun Yat-sen.

  • NO. 88 KING STREET, LUM YIP KEE BUILDING:  In 1910, this was the store Kwang Cheong Lung owned by Yang Kwong-tat, the chairman of the secret chapter of the Tung Meng Hui Hawaii Chapter.  Dr. Sun Yat-sen and members of the Tung Meng Hui used to carry on secret activities  in the basement of the store. Now, the building was renovated and the basement was demolished.

  • CHUNG SHAN SCHOOL:  In 1910  Dr. Sun Yat-sen made his last visit to Hawaii. Before he left, he advised the Chinese in Hawaii to set up a Chinese School to educate the younger generation of the Chinese in Hawaii.  In 1911, Tung Meng Hui members in Hawaii, together with the Chinese community in Honolulu raised funds and established the “Hua Meng School”(The Chinese Language School).  It was re-named “Chung Shan School” in 1928 in commemoration of.

  • KET ON SOCIETY(Location: Maunakea Street, Chinatown): On January 8, 1904, Dr. Sun Yat-sen was inaugurated as a member of the Ket On Society in Honolulu, which was one of the Hung Meng organizations in Hawaii. The Ket On Society kept the membership records in which Dr. Sun’s name and the day he joined the Society were recorded.

  • SEE DAI DOO SOCIETY (Original location was on Vineyard near Liliha Street.  Current location is Pali Highway):  Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a member of this Society. In the end of 1903 and  early 1904, Dr. Sun often came to the society Building to work.   Sometimes, the Chinese came here to see Dr. Sun for medical advise and he wrote prescriptions for them. At that time, the Society Building was on old Vineyard Street which was demolished.

  • SUN YAT-SEN STATUE AT CHINESE CULTUAL PLAZA (Location: next to Sun Yat-sen Mall at Chinese Cultual Plaza)
    A statue of Sun Yat-sen holding the declaration of the Hsing Chung Hui.  The statue was donated by the people of Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1984 on the 90th anniversary of the Hsing Chung Hui.

    Dr. SunYat-sen’s elder brother Sun Mei owned a cattle ranch in Kula on the island of Maui. Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s family, including his mother, his first wife Loo Mu-chun and his children lived here for almost ten years. In 1896 and 1903-1904 when Dr.Sun Yat-sen visited Hawaii, he came here to visit his family.  Hence this ranch was named “the former residence of Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Hawaii”.  Sun Mei sold his ranch in 1908.  Now the land belonged to the Haleakala Ranch Company which use the land to breed cattle.  The old buildings of Sun Mei were all demolished. 529  Kealaloa Avenue, Makawao, Hawaii, 96768. Telephone: 808-572-7288.