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Comments on A Directory of People Who were connected with Sun Yat-sen in Japan

Two works, Two aims

This booklet consists of two separate works: 1) A Directory of People Who were connected with Sun Yat-sen in Japan and 2) List of overseas Chinese living in Japan (1913). The firstpiece is a biographical glossary of the Japanese related with Sun Yat-sen and 11 complementary lists, which is main part of this booklet. (From herein it will be referred to as ‘the biological glossary’). List of overseas Chinese living in Japan (1913) in the second part is a list of the people who met with Sun Yat-sen in Japan when he was a guest of the Japanese government in February and March of 1913.
There are two aims of this biographical glossary. Firstly, we researched, documented and ordered the names Japanese people who had connections mainly with Sun Yat-sen and overseas Chinese surrounding Sun Yat-sen, such as Huang Xing, Song Jiaoren, Dai Tianchou (Jitao ), Chen Qimei, Li Liejun, Ju Zheng, Zhang Ji, to name but a few. The relationship between Sun Yat-sen and various famous people such as Miyazaki Toten, Umeya Shokichi, Kayano Nagatomo, Toyama Mitsuru, Inukai Tsuyoshi, Yamada Yoshimasa, Yamada Jyunzaburo, Shibusawa Eiichi, Minakata Kumagusu, Uchida Ryohei and Kita Ikki have already been well documented in various writings and research papers. Though these names are recorded in the glossary we attached more importance to those Japanese names which are not so famous. The term “connected” not only indicates those who visited the home of Sun Yat-sen and exchange letters with him, but also includes people who attended lectures given by Sun Yat-sen, doctor’s visits, and even those who had their picture taken with Sun Yat-sen. We have recorded as many people as possible who had daily contact with Sun Yat-sen. In a sense, this is a wide-ranging glossary. Therefore, readers can realize and appreciate the extensive contacts and relationships Sun Yat-sen had during his stay in Japan.

The range of objective period

The Japanese names recorded in the biographical glossary are those who had some working relationship with Sun Yat-sen from 1894 to 1931. The 37 years can be divided into following three periods.
(1) Pre-November 1895 (before the exile of Sun Yat-sen in Japan): names such as Sugawara Den, Nakagawa Tsunejiro and Umeya Shokichi can be found.
(2) November 1895 to March 1925. From the beginning of his exile to his death, Sun Yat-sen had established relationships with many Japanese. Most of the names recorded in the biographical glossary are from this period.
(3) March in 1925 to 1931 : the names from this period are those who attended memorial services for Sun Yat-sen, which is called “ Feng An Da Dian”, or people connected with the establishment of a memorial statue of Sun Yat-sen such as Umeya Shokichi.

Process of research and data

In the book Chuka minkoku kakumei hikyu (1940) written by Kayano Nagatomo, who was a firm supporter of Sun Yat-sen, there is the following passage.

Some years ago, Hu Hanmin wanted me to find out the names of Sun Yat-sen’s acquaintances. I examined them again in order to compile their information into this book, and found that there are almost three hundred people connected with Sun Yat-sen. There may be many more people, but I didn’t record them at this time. (p. 59)

From the above quotation Kayano mentioned "almost three hundred people,” however, Kayano only listed about 150 Japanese names in his book. Furthermore, we referred to other materials written before the war, such as, Toa senkaku shishi kiden (1936, reprinted edition in 1966) edited by Kokuryu Kai and Taishi kaiko roku (A book of memories about China) edited by Toa Doubun Kai: 1941, reprinted in 1973. Both of these documents recorded about 1,200 people. Though both of these are invaluable records, the discrepancies demonstrate each of them was not limited to the people directly connected with Sun Yat-sen.
How about the compiling works of biographical directory of Japanese concerned with Sun Yat-sen done after the war? In the 1950s, even though Sugiyama Tatsumaru compiled Chugoku kakumei kankeisha nihonjin ryakurekisho meibo huzoku, the compiling of date had been carried out mainly by Taiwanese researchers such as Guting Chen, Pengren Chen, and so on. The books mentioned above were invaluable works, but the release and use of Kakkoku naisei kankei zassan Shina no bu kakumeito kankei – Boumeisha wo hukumu (a file of records of internal affairs and international relations compiled by the Diplomatic Record Office within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.) This file, 19 volumes in total, was compiled from detailed documents and reports organized on the tracking of Sun Yat-sen and his delegation. The category of “inspected foreigners” from 1897 to 1923 was done by several government agencies controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Governors of Tokyo, Hokkaido and all the other prefectures. Certainly, there were limitations due to the description limited within the concerns of those agencies and within the feasibility of carrying out these inspections.
In addition, this file doesn’t include the period from February to March in 1913, in which Sun Yat-sen had toured through Japan as a semi-national guest. This is due to the fact he was not considered an “inspected foreigner” during this period. However, significant part of his action can be traced from these records. The first full-dress work utilized this data is Sonbun no kenkyu (a book of the study of Sun Yat-sen - especially the development of nationalism theory-: Keisoshobo, 1966) written by Fujii Shozo. Full usages of the data were in the compiling process of Miyazaki Toten zenshu (a book of complete works of Miyazaki Toten: Heibonsha, 1976), especially in Miyazaki Toten nenpu ko (a book of the chronological draft of Miyazaki Toten: included in volume 5) written by Kondo Hideki. Moreover, the overall use of “zassan” had been prompted by historical researchers while the period reaching the reform and opening in China in 1980s like Sun Zhongshan zairi huodong milu (1913.8-1916.4) Riben waiwusheng dangan (a book of Sun Yat-sen’s activities in Japan from August in 1913 to April in 1916 kept in the archives in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan: Nankai University Publishing, 1990) edited by Yu Xintun. Yu’s work was prompted by Duan Yunzhang and Li Jikui in their works, such as Sun Zhongshan yu Riben shishi biannian (the chronology of Sun Yat-sen’s historical facts in Japan: Guangdong People's Publishing House, 1996, reprinted 2011) and Sun Zhongshan yu Riben (a book of Sun Yat-sen and Japan: Guangdong People's Publishing House, 1996) respectively. In addition, Sun Zhongshan nianpu changpian (a book of biographical Sketch of Sun Yat-sen: chief-edited by Chen Xiqi, Zhonghua Book Corporation, 1991) were also compiled and written mainly by Duan, Li, Lin Jiayou, in which many writings included “zassan” were referred to.
In this connection, Japanese appeared in the works written by Duan and Li are up to 700 and 650 respectively, and in Sun Zhongshan nianpu changpian are about 130. The works of Yu, Duan, Li and Lin stimulated us a lot because there was no work written before in Japan based on reading the whole volume of “zassan” in detail and organizing it to present to readers except for Miyazaki Toten nenpu ko written by Kondo Hideki.
We considered that we needed to introduce the content of “zassan” to the public. This is one of the reasons that we made up our mind to compile the biographical glossary. In addition, it is unfortunate that there is no index in the books mentioned above, so that it is difficult to form an understanding what kind of Japanese people were connected with Sun Yat-sen. Moreover, our leading motive for compiling this booklet was that we would like to make a list for not only professional researchers but also citizens to access easily to the data of Japanese concerned with Sun Yat-sen.
In addition, a noteworthy study about Japanese in this period is Miyazaki kyodai den (a book of biography of Miyazaki brothers: Ashishobo, Publishing House of Kumamoto: 2004) written by Uemura Kimio. This great 6 volume work centers on the life of the four brothers Miyazaki Toten, Hachiro, Tamizo and Yazo to describe the interchanges between Sun Yat-sen and Chinese revolutionists and actions of Japanese patriots. The period is from the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate to the beginning of Showa, which is from the end of Qing Dynasty to the beginning of the Republic of China. The number of Japanese amounts to 2608 (3673 if including Chinese and foreigners, volume 6, page 477). Of course, it does not mean that all of them were directly concerned with Sun Yat-sen, but it is a painstaking work including those valuable pictures, detailed annotations. Moreover, when we had compiled the biographical glossary, we had referred greatly the directory attached to the last volume.
Another work is Kindai nichu kankeishi jinmei jiten (a biographical records of modern Sino-Japanese relations: Publishing House of Tokyo-Do, 2010) edited by Nakamura Tadashi, Kubota Bunji, Tao Demin, Machi Senjuro and Kawabe Yutai. They “followed the footprints of Japanese appeared in Sino-Japanese history in the 80 years from Meiji to Showa” (page 2). Though the people recorded in the records are not only the people concerned with Sun Yat-sen, it amounts to 1200 people and was a worthy tool to compile the biographical glossary. Unfortunately, there was no index found in that record.
Nevertheless, without the works mentioned above, it would have been nearly impossible for us to finish compiling the biographical glossary.

Internet Retrieval

In order to maintain easy access to the information of the people recorded in the glossary, we have placed it in the database of Japan Center for Asian Historical Record. Based on the ideals of “peace and friendship exchanges”, promoted by Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi the Center for Asian Historical Record was opened on November 30, 2001 as a division of the National Archives of Japan. The center works hard to digitalize and provide internet access to Asia-related records dating from the early Meiji era to the end of the Pacific War.
We referred mostly to “zassan” which is possessed by the Diplomatic Record Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we compiled the biographical glossary as mentioned before. Fortunately, whole volume of “zassan” has been digitalized at Center for Asian Historical Record, which enables easy access to the target data through the internet. There are up to 1,700 people appearing in “zassan”. The biographical glossary is based on “zassan” and several data, and listed up Japanese concerned with Sun Yat-sen and revolutionists surrounding him, such as Huang Xing, Song Jiaoren, Dai Tianchou, to name a few. There are actually more than 1000 names recorded. There are several ways to search the data of those people. The data stored at the National Archives of Japan and the Library of the National Institute for Defense Studies of the Ministry of Defense also can be accessed to in the same way, but there aren’t so many people in connection to the biographical glossary. We consider that to be one of our future projects.


In order to understand the relation between Sun Yat-sen and Japan, we provide eleven appendix lists. Part of these lists includes the people who could not be recorded in the biographical glossary. We hope the readers to grasp the general understanding through the biographical glossary and the appendixes.

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