A TASTE OF FREEDOM
By Peng Ming-min
|I. My Formosan Heritage||VIII. My Arrest|
|II. Nagasaki¡A1945||IX. Interrogation|
|III. Return to Formosa and to University Life||X. Court Martial and Prison|
|IV. The March Uprising, 1947||XI. Surveillance|
|V. Montreal and Paris||XII. Escape to Sweden|
|VI. Academic Life Formosa and Abroad||XIII. The View from America|
|VII. At the United Nations: A Personal Dilemma|
I. My Formosan Heritage
The last dim light of the island gradually faded behind me. I was almost to the high sea and beyond the reach of the Nationalist Chinese agents. In my whole life I had never felt such a sense of real freedom. After fourteen months in prison and over four years under surveillance I still could not believe that I had finally managed to escape from captivity.
This feeling of freedom was so overwhelming that it was physically almost unbearable. Even more exhilarating was my thought that I could now repudiate publicly all the ¡§confessions¡¨ and ¡§repentance¡¨ forced from me and used by the Nationalist government and party to humiliate me. The fact that I risked my life to flee Formosa is itself a complete repudiation of the regime and all their propaganda aimed at discrediting me.
As I looked to the future I suddenly realized that fate would thrust upon me the role of a spokesman for the rights and aspirations of my compatriots. In the past I had considered myself purely an academician, but now a new destiny was to radically change my whole life. A deep sense of fatalism and unreality permeated my being.
The three worlds in which I had lived in the past decades came distinctively and simultaneously into my thoughts the Chi1nese world of my ethnic heritage; the Japanese world in which I spent most of my youth, received my early education, and which was once politically dominant over Formosa; and the western world to which I had been closely linked ideologically and intellectually and to which I was now returning.
I was now heading toward a blank and uncertain future, but I was certain of
one thing: the life ahead would never be the same as the life I had lived.
I became sharply aware that my experience symbolized the destiny of a whole generation of Formosans-their life and tragedy.
I KNOW VERY LITTLE about my ancestors, but since on my father's side, I am of the fifth generation born in Formosa, I must assume that his forefathers were among the extremely poor farmers and fishermen who left Fukien more than a hundred years a go to settle on the rugged island frontier.
My humorous old grandfather used to say with a laugh that his grandfather was a fisherman who had reached southern Formosa with nothing more than a thin pair of pants-too poor to possess even a shirt. In his later days he entertained himself by drawing tip a family tree, but it begins only with this shirtless ancestor. lie seemed unable to remember or was uninterested in tracing the family lineage back across the Straits to China. we do know that in Fukien province, near Amoy, there is a village in which the family name Peng is quite common, but on Formosa this name is used almost exclusively by Hakka people whose forefathers came principally from the hinterlands of Kwangtung province, and whose traditional social life, costume, and dialect set them apart from the people of Fukienese descent. However, my family is not Hakka.
Technically speaking, the great majority of Chinese who crossed to the Formosan frontier before 1875 were ¡§outlaws¡¨ and ¡§renegades¡¨ in the eyes of imperial Peking, and this must he understood as the background for much of contemporary Formosa's unhappy relationship with the continent. The island was a wild jungle-covered place, inhabited only by headhunting savages of Indonesian or Malayan origin when Europeans first explored it. The Dutch and Spanish opened it to settlement and agricultural development in the seventeenth century, established missions and schools, opened roads in the southwestern region, and began to import cheap Chinese labor from nearby Fukien. In i663 they were driven out by an adventurous sea-baron named Cheng Cheng-K'ien, known to the Western world as Koxinga. This man, half-Japanese and half-Chinese, dreamed of conquering the continental provinces, but was driven off to Quemoy and Formosa. Cheng died before he could realize this ambition, but for twenty years his son ruled in Formosa, developing a maritime principality quite cut off from China, but thriving on commerce with Japan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. He had the same dream as his father, until at last in 1683, Peking sent a great expeditionary force to Formosa. This expedition destroyed the independent principality, and after a garrison administration was established at Tainan, imperial edicts forbade further Chinese emigration.
Although these edicts, renewed again and again, remained on the books until 1875, they were ignored by impoverished farmers and fishermen who found conditions in Fukien and Kwangtung intolerable. Some of these people went to Southeast Asia and the Indies, others went to the Philippines, and tens of thousands slipped over to Formosa which was an open frontier, poorly and lightly governed. Here, there was new land available for anyone hold enough to drive back the aborigines and clear the land of trees and scrub.
By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the southwestern lowlands were fairly well settled, and adventuresome farmers were pushing into the northern regions as well.
My great-great-grandfather, the shirtless fisherman, was one of the tens of thousands of emigre's who broke with the past in China and ventured to make a new life in southern Formosa. He settled at the seaside village of Tung-kang, about thirty miles south of present-day Kaohsiung. In this rough region he found a wife and established a family. Tung-kang lay at the mouth of the largest river in the region and not far from a massive mountain wall that runs from north to south throughout the island. At that time Hakka immigrants from south China were pushing eastward across the narrow coastal plain to the foothills nearby, quarreling incessantly with the ¡§tamed¡¨ aborigines, the Pepohuan, who were still clinging to their ancestral tribal lands in that region. Southward along the coast were lawless villages of ¡§wreckers¡¨ and pirates who farmed a little, fished a little, and plundered any luckless ship stranded nearby.
Around 1850 my great-grandfather and his fellow villagers began to hear more and more often of Western ¡§barbarians,¡¨ for British and American ships were beginning to touch here and there along Formosa's western shores, seeking to exchange silver dollars and opium for camphor brought out of the hills by the Hakka bordermen. By 1855 adventuresome American traders had established a base within a stockade at Kaohsiung (then known as Ta-kow), and had run up the American flag at the entrance to the lagoon anchorage. Four years later Spanish Catholic missionaries landed at this harbor and pushed inland several miles to establish a Christian mission at the Hakka village of Pithan, a little north of Tung-kang. The appearance of these bold strangers created a great sensation, and I am sure my great-grandfather was curious about them.
In 1865, about the time of my grandfather's birth, English Presbyterian missionaries
also established themselves at Kaohsiung, an event that was to have profound
influence upon the future of the Peng family. The mission leader was Dr. J.
L.Maxwell, a physician who had graduated from the University of Edinburgh and
from French and German schools. He first founded a small hospital at the port
town, and after some years moved his mission and clinic to the larger city of
Tainan, some thirty-five miles north of Kaohsiung. My great-grandfather is reputed
to have been one of the early converts to Christianity.
Within the next twenty years, the Presbyterians founded schools and set up a printing-press which issued texts and a newspaper printed in the romanized Amoy dialect. They developed the pioneer medical service program in Formosa and ultimately established about forty outlying chapels and congregations in the southern region. As a youth my grandfather was employed as a cook for the missionary doctor, Dr. Thomas Barkley. He became a convert and until his death in 1945 remained a devoted and active leader in Formosan Christian life. Mission histories speak of him as ¡§Pastor Peng,¡¨ but I do not know if he was ever formally ordained. I know nothing of his first wife except that she was reputed to have had a fearful temper. He had five sons and two daughters by her and a daughter by a second marriage to a widow.
Clearly my grandfather was happy in his association with the foreign teachers and doctors and was interested in Western culture and in the changes that were so swiftly taking place around him. He moved steadily away from traditional Chinese life through two revolutionary periods. From about 1850 until 1895 the island of Formosa was the center of frequent international controversies. The Western maritime world and Japan demanded that the Chinese government light and chart its coast and maintain law and order within the area it claimed to govern. They demanded that Peking put an end to piracy in Formosan waters and establish some control over the headhunting aborigines living in the mountains and along the eastern coast. When the Chinese government made all sorts of promises but did nothing, the foreign powers--England, France, the United States, and Japan--proposed various corrective measures. In 1874, when my grandfather was a young boy, Japan sent an expeditionary force to occupy the southern tip of Formosa until Peking grudgingly paid a large indemnity and took some steps toward reform.
Beginning in 1875, two comparatively progressive governors arranged to cancel
the edicts forbidding Chinese migration to the island and removed many of the
restrictions upon expansion of settlement and general economic development.
The imperial Peking government soon lost interest, and the Formosans found themselves
once again at the mercy of a set of rapacious Chinese officials. In 1884, when
my grandfather was a youth of nineteen, France blockaded the island and elements
of the French Foreign Legion occupied Keelung. Again Peking sent a comparatively
progressive governor to Formosa and the French withdrew. Within the next five
years Governor Lin had made Formosa the most modern territory within the Chinese
empire. He built a railway line from Keelung to Hsinchu, introduced a post and
telegraph system, bought ships to serve Formosan trade with Southeast Asia,
laid a cable from Tamsui to Amoy, tried to introduce electric lights, built
a ¡§School for Western Studies¡¨ at Taipei, attempted to found a government-supported
hospital, and tried to overhaul and reorganize the land-tax system. In 1887,
when my grandfather was in his early twenties, Formosa was declared a ¡§Province
Many of these innovations were possible because the Formosans were much less traditional than their distant cousins on the continent. Thanks to the stimulus of maritime trade promoted by the foreign merchants and consuls now settled at the ports, the economy made spectacular gains. But when the progressive Governor Lin was recalled in 1891, the traditional, inefficient and unimaginably corrupt scholar-bureaucracy from China let most of the reforms lapse.
Throughout these years the attention of men like my grandfather had been drawn away from traditional China and turned to the Western world. Peking's neglect and the abusive administration of Chinese agents sent to the island on temporary assignments angered many Formosans.
Then in 1895 Peking handed Formosa over to the Japanese. Formosa was used to buy off the Japanese armies prepared then to march to Peking after defeating the Chinese forces in Manchuria. The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed in April 1895. For a few days in May before the Japanese arrived to take control, there was a confused and ill-organized attempt to establish a ¡§Republic of Formosa.¡¨ This attempt failed, and after the Japanese flag was raised at Taipei in June, imperial Japanese troops marched southward. Thousands of Formosans took to the hills to join outlawed bands in guerrilla warfare, a hopeless attempt to prevent Japanese occupation of the island. Chinese authorities and soldiers had fled back to China from the northern region. In the south, around Tainan, a Chinese general known as ¡§Black Flag¡¨ Liu held out until October, when all organized resistance collapsed and General Lin escaped to Amoy disguised as an old woman.
Even though Peking had not consulted any Formosans in reaching the decision to cede Formosa to Japan, Tokyo offered all Formosans and Chinese on Formosa a two-year grace period in which to declare a choice of nationality. Those who wished could leave the island and take their property with them; those who preferred to remain Chinese subjects could register as ¡§resident aliens,¡¨ but if they did not do this within the two-year period, they automatically became subjects of the Japanese emperor. A few thousand Formosans left for the continent and a few thousand registered as aliens, but the great majority--some 3,000,000--remained on their native island, and my grandparents were among them.
At that time cholera, plague, malaria, tuberculosis, black river fever, trachoma, and many other diseases were endemic in Formosa, giving the island an evil reputation. Except for Governor Liu's short-lived effort to found a hospital at Taipei, no Chinese official had ever done anything to clean up the island. The concept of public health and sanitation was not a continental Chinese idea. The incoming Japanese forces had lost nearly 12,000 men who either died or were totally disabled from the effects of disease during the four-month campaign of subjugation. Mortality rates among the common people were spectacularly high. The nominal commander-in-chief of the Japanese forces was an imperial prince and despite the elaborate precautions taken to protect this exalted personage, he, too, died at Tainan of malaria and dysentery contracted on the march southward. This made an enormous impression at Tokyo.
The imperial government saw at once that if Japan were to establish itself successfully in this new island possession, Formosa would have to be cleaned up. But until 1898 the military governors were preoccupied with subjugation of the guerrilla bands in the agricultural lowlands and in the foothills, and public health problems were left in the hands of military officers who knew little about them. Japan had no hope of establishing a permanent administration if the mortality rates among her soldiers and civilians remained so high. A healthy Formosan labor force also would be required to make the colony a success. However, the only medical services then available to the common people were the Presbyterian mission hospitals and clinics at Taipei and Tainan. Something had to be done, and done quickly, to supply medical services on a large scale.
Therefore, in 1898, when Tokyo sent down the fourth governor general, General Baron Kodama Gentaro, a military man of unusual distinction, he brought with him a medical doctor, Dr. Goto Shimpei, to serve as his civil administrator and deputy in all but purely military matters. For six years these two men relentlessly carried through a program designed to reorganize the Formosan administration, economy, and social life. No Formosan family remained untouched. One of Goto's first moves was to establish a medical school at Taipei, which offered a short course to train men urgently needed for the proposed island wide public health clean-up campaign. He advertised for students, offering each a small monthly subsidy.
By this time my grandfather had become a lay minister serving the English Presbyterian church mission. He was a poor man with five sons and three daughters to support. The boys gathered firewood in the hills and did the most menial work in the town in order to help support the family. My grandfather was much too poor to send all his sons to school, but when the new government offered this subsidy for medical studies, he urged his third son- my father-to enter the course at Taipei.
The Japanese were having difficulty winning Formosan cooperation, for Tokyo's military authorities and the civil police were very severe. The island people had often in the past tried to throw off Chinese rule and had resisted the Japanese troops in 1895; now for a decade they offered passive resistance in the towns and resorted to sabotage and guerrilla action in the more distant countryside. Generally speaking, there was a mutual dislike and mistrust on both sides that was to continue for many years. My grandfather, however, was an optimist, a man of good will, and intensely interested in new ideas. His long association with the missionary doctors and teachers at Tainan influenced him to look away from China and the past, and try to make the best of the dramatic change the Japanese were determined to bring about. Though lacking in formal education, he was a truly enlightened man.
At a young age my father entered the medical school at Taipei. At Tamsui and Taipei the young stranger was introduced to members of the Presbyterian community. There he met my mother who was a school girl at the Canadian mission in Tainsut. Her family had settled long ago in Patou village, on the road between Keelung and present-day Taipei. Her parents were acquainted with the first foreigners who passed that way and with the missionaries in the northern region. They too had become Christians sometime after 1872 when the Canadian Dr. George MacKay founded his Tamsui mission. My maternal grandparents were brewers of rice wine, and therefore were well off in comparison with Pastor Peng's family. They had accumulated enough capital to buy up rice fields in the fertile northern region. My maternal grandfather was a rather quiet, gentle, easy-going man who left much of the management of the brewery to his hard- working wife. When the Japanese came, brewing was made a government monopoly, and all private breweries were bought by the government. My mother had two brothers and a sister. 11cr elder brother was sent to Japan to study at the Doshisha University, an American missionary foundation in Kyoto. He returned to become a Presbyterian pastor, chairman of the MacKay Mission Hospital Board, and moderator of the northern Presbyterian synod in Formosa. Meanwhile my mother's second brother attended the Tamsui Mission School and then became a businessman.
When my father had finished his medical training at the government school he
spent two years as an intern at MacKav Hospital, Taipei, and dining this time
my parents married. Moving down to the small coastal town of Ta-chia (Tai-ko)
in central Formosa, my father opened his first practice. This old coastal community
of less than twenty thousand inhabitants was then quite famous; it was a very
prosperous community of household craftsmen producing finely woven hats and
mats for export to a world market, In its best years Ta-chia sent nearly ten
million hats to the United States alone, and the number exported to Japan was
Once established in Ta-chia, my father prospered too. A doctor's income was rather high and in every community the doctor enjoyed prestige and influence. Since my father was the first in our family to earn money, he sent his brothers to the medical school as soon as he was able to do so. One after the other they too began to prosper, and the brothers together took great pleasure in making my grandfather's life more comfortable.
My proud grandfather discovered that he had in effect founded a ¡§medical dynasty,¡¨ for his sons' children either took medical degrees or married doctors, and their children in turn arc entering the medical profession. At least fifteen members, including five women, of the Peng family have completed their medical degrees, and a third generation, including my son and some nephews and nieces, are now in medical school.
My father enjoyed a dose relationship with his brothers throughout his life, and all the brothers were keenly interested in education, determined to secure the best possible opportunities for every child in the Peng family.
Father remained in practice at Ta-chia for eighteen years, and as he prospered he invested in rice land until he had acquired forty chia, which is a substantial estate by Formosan standards. Lie planned to leave ten chia to each of his children, which would enable us to support our children when the time came to send them to school. I remember well that often as we rode northward on the train, he used to point out the golden paddy, saying with pride, ¡§Those rice fields are all ours.¡¨
I was horn at ta-chia on August 15, 1923, the youngest of three brothers and a sister. As we grew older we discovered what a truly remarkable man our father was, and why he commanded such wide respect and affection in the Ta-chia community. He loved horses and sometimes kept four of them at one time. He always had at least one horse and a groom to attend it. He would ride out in the early morning to make distant house calls, which was not the usual thing in Formosa. I vividly remember a day when he came back riding at a furious gallop with an angry water-buffalo chasing along behind him. On another occasion his horse was actually gored by one of these surly beasts. Through-out his life he rode for pleasure and was at one time an enthusiastic member of the local Japanese riding club of Kaohsiung.
His interests were varied and in some respects quite extraordinary. He learned to box in the Chinese style, he was an enthusiastic gardener who cultivated chrysanthemums and rare orchids, he took up ink-painting, and he learned to play the violin. His relations with his tenant-farmers were good. I recall how often they came to discuss the shares to be paid out of crops in the forthcoming season or to ask his understanding for not paying an agreed amount, his large clinic was also the scene of many charitable acts, for this kind-hearted man often overlooked failures to pay for treatment and gave free attention to patients too poor to meet the usual fees. Both he and my mother were devout Christians who served as elders in the local Presbyterian congregations and supported charities and the educational work of the Formosan church.
I can recall only one issue that seriously disturbed the harmony of our family. It was common practice in Formosa for well-to-do families to ¡§adopt¡¨ girls who were really servants. The girls were taken into the households when only five or six years old, and money was paid to their families in return for which the girls served as maids until they were marriageable. In some households these servants were well treated, but in some they were abused. We always had one or two in our household, and when my sister was married, an aunt gave her a servant who remained with her for many years. When my brothers entered higher school they attacked this practice as being a form of slavery. They criticized it harshly, sometimes saying, ¡§You call yourselves Christians and these are slaves!¡¨ My embarrassed and troubled parents tried to justify the practice by pointing out that the handmaidens in our house were very well treated. Nevertheless, my brothers were often distressed by this situation and never felt completely comfortable with it.
When I was about five years old I was taken to China. I remember how cold it was in Shanghai, and I recall the long flights of steps to the newly constructed tomb of Sun Yat-sen near Nanking. Mr. Huang Chao-chin, one of my father's acquaintances who was then in the foreign ministry at Nanking, guided us about the capital. He had just returned from study in the United States. I was too young to comprehend all that we saw, but this trip gave my father and mother an opportunity to compare the living conditions of the Chinese in China with conditions in Formosa after thirty-three years of Japanese rule. They were of course impressed by the immensity of China and felt some nostalgia toward the land of their ancestors. However, in terms of social development, industrialization, education, and public health they felt that, compared to Formosa, there was still much to be done in China.
When my sister and brothers were old enough to attend school, Father rented a Japanese-style house in Taipei near the old American consulate. Mother stayed there with us and Father came up for weekends whenever he could. Occasionally we would all return to Ta-chia to be with him, and the sixty-mile train trip was always a great adventure.
On entering school we children began to move away from the protection and warmth
of a large family in a rural town and into the more complicated life of a colonial
capital. At Ta-chia we were the children of a prominent family pampered and
petted by household servants and sun-ounded by our Formosan friends. At Taipei
after being rigidly examined, we were allowed to enter the best Japanese schools,
attended principally by sons and daughters of Japanese officials.
The situation for all young Formosans was quite peculiar at that time. From 1895 until 1922 the Japanese had maintained separate primary schools for children of Japanese colonials in Formosa. There had been a legitimate excuse for this in the opening years of the Japanese era when Formosan children could not understand or speak proper Japanese, but after twenty-five years had passed that was no longer true. Nevertheless, the separate school arrangement was perpetuated through prejudice. World War I had brought about the first organized Formosan demands for home rule and an end to economic, social, and political discrimination. Japan's participation in the European war on the Allied side had stimulated an extraordinary expansion of industry in Japan and a corresponding growth of urban population and industrial slums. The new urban proletariat demanded wider suffrage in the same period in which revolutionary movements began to sweep Europe. The Russian imperial system was destroyed, and England, Holland, and France were challenged in their colonies. President Wilson of the United States was proclaiming the equality of man and stressing minority rights to self-determination.
Against this background Japan had demanded at Versailles formal international
recognition of racial equality. Formosan university students at Tokyo promptly
petitioned the Japanese government to end racial discrimination in the colonial
schools. In 1918 a commoner became the prime minister of Japan for the first
time in history, and Tokyo began to make slight concessions in Formosa. For
example A civilian was appointed governor general after twenty-five years of
rule by admirals and generals, and in 1922, the year before my birth, discrimination
was theoretically done away with in the schools. The first generation of Formosans
had now matured under the Japanese flag and many became bilingual. Their children
in turn were bilingual, as was I, from earliest childhood.
At the time I entered school the law said that any child speaking adequate Japanese could study in the primary schools previously reserved for Japanese children. Nevertheless discrimination continued in fact. An examination system screened all applicants. The schools in which Japanese students were in the majority were better equipped and generally had better teachers than the schools in which Formosan pupils were in the majority.
Mother had taken a house in the Japanese section of town. My father's early training in the Japanese medical program, his professional status, and his wealth gave us a privileged position. Nevertheless we underwent severe examinations before my brothers and my sister were admitted to the Kensei Primarv School and I was allowed to enter the Taisho Kindergarten nearby. Only one other Formosan child was in that kindergarten. Our teachers were kind and good, but nothing could conceal the fact that we were expected to consider ourselves fortunate.
After one year in kindergarten I passed the Kensei Primary School examinations and joined my brothers and sister there. In the second year my mother decided to return to Ta-chia. She took me with her and left my maternal grandmother to care for the others. I entered the local primary school for Japanese children which had an enrollment of about 200 pupils. I believe I was the only Formosan boy enrolled at that time. Here the Japanese principal developed an unusual affection for me, always turning to me with the questions other boys had failed to answer. On the small public occasions of a primary school, I was again and again put forward to represent the student body.
In this pleasant way I spent two years, but before such treatment could altogether spoil me or spoil my relations with my fellow-pupils, my father decided to suspend his practice in Ta-chia for a period of advanced study in Japan. It was now 1933. My sister was graduating from the best girls' school in Formosa and was about to go to Tokyo to take entrance examinations for a women's medical college. At Taipei one of my brothers was attending the First Middle School and the other had entered the Koto Gakko (¡§higher school¡¨). Both schools were considered to be the best in Formosa.
During these years we heard much talk of the Japanese invasion of China and of the ¡§Shanghai Incident.¡¨ It aroused a complex feeling in us. The Japanese newspapers carried stories of the noble deeds of Japanese soldiers and of Japan's righteous purpose in subduing the backward Chinese. Teachers and students at school echoed these patriotic sentiments, but at home we heard our parents talking about the brave Chinese who had resisted the Japanese invasion.
On the day of our departure from Ta-chia, the principal of my school brought the entire student body to the station to see us off. This was an unprecedented gesture. We talked about it then, and as I grew older I discovered that many thoughtful Japanese civilians did not approve of the government's discriminatory policy. There were unprejudiced teachers and other intellectuals who sincerely attempted to treat Formosans as equals and were eager to bridge the gap between the Japanese and the island people.
This first trip to Japan in 1933 took me into a world quite different from anything I had known before. At that time in Formosa, the Japanese were a self-conscious minority of about 300,000 ruling a population of about 4,000,000, and no one could conceal the differences between the two groups. In Tokyo our family found itself lost in a sea of Japanese in one of the world's largest cities. Nobody noticed us because we were Formosans; we enjoyed no special privileges nor were we treated as curiosities. My sister passed her examinations and entered the medical school, I was enrolled in a primary school near our temporary home in Kamatu-Ku (¡§Kamata ward¡¨), and my father entered a large private hospital in Ogimachi to take a special course in gynecology. We spent over one year in Japan.
By this time I was an ardent baseball fan. When Babe Ruth visited Japan I boldly wrote a letter to him and in return received his autograph, which became my treasure.
When we returned to Formosa my father decided to open a new hospital in the thriving southern port city of Takan (Kaohsiung). The government had undertaken a great industrial expansion program there. New hydroelectric generators at Sun-Moon Lake were ready to supply power, the old Takao Lagoon had been dredged to accommodate ocean-going freighters, and docks warehouses, and industrial sites were being constructed to anticipate the great thrust southward into Southeast Asia and the Indies. The public was aware of this ultimate purpose and under this intensive development program Takao had become a booming city.
Here, a short distance from the industrial area, my father purchased a rather large Japanese hotel, converted it into a clinic, and turned one wing into a pediatrics hospital to be run by one of my uncles. My energetic mother assisted in the day-to-day management details. The hospital prospered at once, it was a financial success, and my father's reputation grew as a specialist in treating ovarian tumors.
When I was twelve years old I was enrolled in the local primary school for my fifth year. By now I was beginning to have sharp preferences and dislikes; I took a great dislike to brush- painting, and reserved my greatest enthusiasm for baseball. Our school masters took baseball very seriously, treating it almost as if it were a military training program. Although I was a poor batter, I was an excellent fielder, and played on our team when it won a citywide championship. Needless to say, my Babe Ruth autograph gave me great prestige among my classmates.
From my earliest childhood the problem of being a Formosan had become psychologically more and more complex. I spoke Japanese perfectly and usually stood high in my class; nevertheless I was always self-conscious, constantly aware that I was different from my Japanese classmates. My name embarrassed me; the Chinese character for Peng is in Japanese pronounced "Ho," and when it was called out in the classroom it often provoked laughter. Mother wore the conventional dress of an upper-class Formosan woman, but when she came to the Japanese school on public occasions I was embarrassed because she looked so different from the other mothers present.
On entering Takao Middle School I found that about one fourth of my schoolmates were Formosans, the majority of whom were excellent students for they had been obliged to pass stiff examinations designed to restrict Formosan access to higher education and the professions. The colonial administration saw to it that the cut-off point in educational opportunity came at this middle school level. The theory seemed to be that it was useful to train Formosan laborers to read and write at the most elementary level, but dangerous to encourage development of an intellectual or professional leadership within the island.
A change of principals took place soon after I entered this school; a small, gentle man was replaced by a tall, austere one wh6 had the reputation of being a hard disciplinarian. His severe alcoholism caused his head to shake constantly even when he ad dressed the students in public. We were immediately subjected to a Spartan regimentation. In addition to meeting a heavy class-room schedule, each of us was obliged to prepare and tend a small garden plot on the school grounds for which we had to carry in buckets of human excrement to apply as fertilizer, and to work in teams cutting grass and doing other manual labor on the grounds. We resented it all, but it was required discipline and was intended to toughen us for ultimate military service, As in middle schools throughout the empire, we were required to wear drab gray uniforms, visored caps, and puttees, all of which were extremelv unsuitable without the uniform. We could not wear the cool, comfortable, and cheap for Takao's tropical climate We were punished if anyone reported seeing us off-campus wooden footgear (geta) that most students preferred, we were not supposed to ride bicycles to school but had to walk, and we were absolutely forbidden to go to the movies; any student discovered at the cinema might be expelled from the school.
We ranged in age from about twelve to eighteen, and these restrictions irked us. Like all boys, we took risks. None of us will forget the day our principal, in his official capacity, attended an athletic meet held at a girls' school across town. On such occasions the girls all wore short, tight athletic bloomers, and a number of our middle school students sneaked to the edge of the crowd in an effort to spy on the girls in this brief attire Our principal happened to catch sight of them, and the next morning the entire student body was subjected to a furious tirade, a screaming and almost hysterical denunciation. In the view of this martinet we were not fit to be soldiers for the emperor. We thought this very unjust, and gossiped about the male swimming instructor at the girls' school who was allowed to enter the pool with his young charges.
The principal was typical of many military men and superpatriots in Japan at that time. The invasion of China had been resumed, and the so-called ¡§China Incident¡¨ that began with the Marco Polo Bridge affair near Peking in July 1937 did not end until August 1945. Reservists were being called up throughout the empire, and one by one our teachers were leaving for the front. We students were obliged to march in great lantern parades celebrating countless victories won by the emperor's soldiers in China, and we heard our Japanese friends sending off husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers with the chilling farewell, ¡§Rippa ni shinde kudasal!¡¨ (¡§Please die beautifully!¡¨)
We had one peculiar middle-aged military instructor named Tokunaga who was rather popular He was straightforward, unprejudiced, and sometimes entertaining. H he thought a student was not acting briskly enough or seemed effeminate, he would rush forward and grab for the student's crotch ¡§to see if he is really a man!¡¨ We missed him whet) he went off to the war, and were horrified later to hear that he had died on Guadalcanal where, it was said, he had starved to death and had been eaten by his companions, Our fanatic principal and our military instructors inculcated in us a drill-master enthusiasm for war, lecturing us constantly on the backwardness and cowardice of the Chinese people, the heroic bravery of the Japanese, and Japan's self-sacrifice on China's behalf. We Formosan students found ourselves in an awkward and painful position. My father was well read and kept himself informed of developments in China as best he could. Following his example, I may have kept my-self better informed than some of my classmates, for r was a newspaper addict throughout my primary and middle school days, always reading every page of the papers very carefully. It is a habit I have never lost.
The China War and foreign affairs were frequent topics of conversation in our home. Both my parents had foreign friends, members of the English and Canadian Presbyterian missions, who visited our home from time to time, and we visited them in return. I suppose that none of my middle school classmates had such foreign associations and wide foreign interests.
I had begun the study of English in my first year in middle school, and I enjoyed it. It is possible that foreign-language studies have always appealed to me as a subconscious avenue of escape, an avenue leading toward the great world beyond both China and Japan, and from the dilemma in which we were placed by the war in China. My grandparents had known the disorder and lawlessness of the last years of Chinese rule in Formosa, and had obviously prospered under the Japanese administration. T was born a subject of the Japanese emperor, and every day was exposed to the propaganda of Japanese patriotism, but I was also a Chinese by blood, language, and family tradition. At this impressionable age the English language offered an intellectual passport to the Western world, which to our family meant Canada, England, and the United States, thanks to their association with the Christian church.
English was therefore my favorite course, and I achieved some distinction in it. My Japanese teacher, Mr. Amatsuchi, took great pride in my accomplishment, but unfortunately these were the years of growing anti-British and anti-American fanaticism among the Japanese militarists, and our school principal was a fanatic.
A student was expected to spend five full years in middle school, but the regulations also provided that a youth was entitled to sit for entrance examinations to a higher school at the end of his fourth year. The endorsement of the middle school principal was customary but not technically required. I stood high in my classes scholastically, and my father wanted me to go to Japan to sit for examinations. My older sister had previously done this successfully. The competition would be keen, but we were confident that I would succeed. I therefore applied to my principal for his approval and for a transfer of records and recommendation. This he flatly refused. The reason was simple--he would not allow any of his students to do so. My father then called on him at his office to remind him with some emphasis, that ¡§this is the right of every qualified student. I want my son to do so. You have no right to refuse.¡¨ The principal bluntly retorted, ¡§Withdraw your son from this school.¡¨ Just as bluntly, my father said, ¡§I shall.¡¨
With an unpleasant memory of this colonial martinet lingering in my mind, I set out for Tokyo by myself. I was to stay with my sister while I took the examinations for the Second Higher School at Sendai. She had finished her medical work, and had married a rather successful Formosan businessman, a graduate of Keio University. To my chagrin, hut possibly to my benefit, I failed. I had been an outstanding student in a small colonial middle school at Takao, far from metropolitan Tokyo, but it was not quite enough. Undoubtedly I was overconfident. Youth and homesickness, too, probably had something to do with it. I was then sixteen years of age.
Now I had a problem. I had to find a middle school in Japan to finish my study at this level. In principle, middle school administrators were always reluctant to accept a student transferring in his last year. After a painful search I was accepted for registration in a mission school, the Kansei Gakuin, located midway between the great international commercial port of Kobe and the industrial city of Osaka. It was not much more than an hour's ride to Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto. This was a school much favored by aristocratic and wealthy families. The college was not first rate, and the lower school had a poor scholastic reputation. It was considered a refuge for the spoiled sons of indulgent wealthy parents.
I did not live on campus, but found instead rather simple accommodations with a farmer's family living not far away in the suburbs. It was a rather primitive lodging by standards I had known at home. I had no servants to do things for me which meant I had to wash my own linen and take care of my room. We depended upon a well in the dooryard for our water supply, and I thought the food poor compared to our varied Formosan table.
By this time my second brother was at Keio Medical School in Tokyo, and my sister continued to live there. I was miserably homesick h)r several months, and when I found myself alone in the evenings, I sometimes cried. But this passed, and when it did I began thoroughly to enjoy myself. It would be impossible to imagine a greater contrast with life at that barbarous Takao Middle School. The Kansei Gakuin seemed to have assembled a faculty of entertaining eccentrics, nonconformists who loved teaching hut did not fit into the drab para-military regimentation of the state schools. Class requirements were very easy, nevertheless I worked hard, eager to absorb everything offered on the campus. At the chapel services I enjoyed singing familiar Christian hymns in Japanese, and for a time I admired the extremely handsome and well-dressed young music teacher. His exceedingly smart Western clothes and manner fascinated me. When we occasionally sang in English I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
The one strict rule in this school forbade us to go to the famed Takarazuka Theatre, an all-girl revue patterned after New York's Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. The brief attire of Takao's school girls and the costumes of the girls at the Takarazuka Theatre seemed to lack something in the eyes of school administrators.
The school itself was situated in the most westernized district in all Japan, a strip of suburban residential communities where many foreign businessmen and consular people maintained sub stantiaT homes. Some of my classmates came from wealthy westernized families in this area. We were free to travel on weekends, so I often went to Osaka or Kobe to wander about by myself. Sometimes I went to classical Kyoto. I was learning to enjoy Japanese food, and best of all, I now had no feeling of self-conscious strangeness. Everywhere I was treated as an equal; I was no longer a subordinate colonial.
On the contrary I found myself something of a favorite on campus, a Formosan who unexpectedly spoke Japanese surprisingly well. Also I was at the top of my classes. Even the military instructor liked me. I had been so thoroughly disciplined by the Takao martinets that I performed with a precision noteworthy among my easy-going classmates. In consequence I was usually assigned to carry the flag during parade drill, the highest honor the military instructor could think to confer upon a student.
Throughout these pleasant months I was working at my studies late into the night
and managed to emerge as the out-standing student of the school. The school
year ended in February. I applied to take examinations for admission to two
prestigious higher schools, the economics department at Keio University and
the literary and arts course in the Third Higher School at Kyoto, known to everyone
as San-ko. I passed both exams with some distinction. This created a great sensation
at the Kansei Gakuin, for no graduate of that school had ever successfully passed
into the Kyoto school. It was considered one of the two finest higher schools
in Japan, sharing this distinction with the First High School in Tokyo, and
I, a Formosan, had done this after only one year at Kansei Gakuin.
I cabled the news to my parents. They were extremely pleased although not altogether happy that I had decided not to study medicine. I was the maverick in the family. A long exchange of correspondence followed. Both my parents were disturbed, for as matters stood in Formosa, there was little hope for a distinguished career outside the medical profession, and even in the medical academic profession, only one Formosan had reached the rank of a full professor.
Suppressing their disappointment, they gave me full support, observing only that the youngest sons and daughters always have their own way. My brother at the Keio Medical School understood me rather well, and at every turn gave me good advice when I faced a choice between Keio University and the Dai Sanoto Gakko (San-ko).
Scholastically the Keio was not to be compared with San-ko, but once admitted to it, I could expect to move right up the ladder through the university to a bachelor's degree without further difficult examinations. The rate of admission to Keio was about one in every sixteen applicants, hence the numerical competition was stiff, but the quality of Sari-ko applicants was the highest in the nation. Nevertheless, when a student finished at San-ko, he had once again to face a stiff competitive examination when he applied for admission to one of the imperial universities at the summit of the Japanese school system.
Without hesitation I enrolled at San-ho. Moving from Kobe to Kyoto, I entered upon the happiest period of my life. The school was well known for its liberal tradition. The San-ho motto was Ji-yu (¡§Liberty¡¨ or ¡§Freedom¡¨) and when I entered, it was fighting hard to maintain that liberal tradition. In 1940 it was under great pressure from the militarists. The China War was drawing Japan deeper into the continent. While Japanese recruits were being called upon to ¡§die beautifully¡¨ the national economy was being strained to prepare for further escalation of war. Our school administration and faculty were struggling to preserve a degree of intellectual and personal freedom for them selves and their students, a freedom then rare in Japan, and about to vanish.
In Kyoto I found a rooming house near the famous fifteenth-century temple, the Ginkaku-ji. In a peculiar Kyoto tradition, meals were not served in student lodgings. Instead each man had to go out to one of the many tiny shops nearby catering to students. It was the same with bathing. I soon established a routine, studying until very late, sometimes reading through the night and I spent many hours browsing through Kyoto's many old bookshops. The master of my lodging house treated me with great kindness, and we became good friends.
My father now indulged me by providing an allowance of sixty yen per month, far more than I needed for food and lodging, and perhaps twice as much as the average student had to spend. I began to buy books. Soon I had a collection that was unusual for a student in the higher school. One day while walking through the grounds of the ancient Yoshida Shrine, I suddenly was swept with an overwhelming sense of exhilaration, perhaps the happiest moment of my life, for I felt that I had no cares, and could buy all the books I wanted. I was seventeen, an age when all things seem possible.
I had entered the literary and arts course rather than the science course. This was an intensive program of directed reading in history, literature, and philosophy. We were stimulated by a sense of pride and friendly competition among ourselves. Each of us was eager to be the first to call attention to new discoveries. Everything and anything in print beckoned to us and we had insatiable intellectual curiosity. Each man thought he was a philosopher. We were visionaries at that age, and the friendships formed were deep and emotional, perhaps unconsciously assuring ourselves a little desperately that we knew much more of the world than our elders and the common man beyond the campus gates. A strong sense of membership in an elite led us to look at the world with a degree of supercilious youthful contempt.
We were living in the shadow of war. It was inevitable that every graduate who did not go on to college somewhere would be drafted and leave for China. Some of my fellow students were true individualists. In this age group, from sixteen to nineteen years, there was a sudden blossoming of personality. Talents appeared. Each man was free to follow his own interests and these were frequently outside the formal courses of instruction. At the core of the system was intensive reading and passionate discussions among ourselves and with our instructors.
Great emphasis was placed upon intensive language training, and I excelled in this. We had all completed four or five years of English training in the middle schools, and however imperfectly we spoke the language, our ability to read was well developed. Now another foreign language was required, and I chose French. This meant four hours per week of training in grammar, five hours of reading, and three hours of conversation, much of it with first-rate teachers. I did well in spoken French, but in all language courses the emphasis was on reading. As one of our teachers said, we were not being trained as tour guides, we were being trained to absorb foreign culture and thought.
I soon found myself intoxicated with everything French, especially French history, language, and literature. T read these subjects in translation and in the original, and I joined a small informal group of students brought together by one of our Japanese professors. It was our custom to meet very early in the morning before regular classes assembled in order to read and discuss French literature and philosophy.
In our first year we read Western philosophy in Japanese translation, but in our second year we were expected to read in French. Anatole France and Jules LeMaitre took first place in my personal estimation. I bought many volumes of their original works and of critical Japanese essays concerning them. The rather cynical views of Anatole France influenced my philosophical development.
The writings of Ernest Renan have had a strong influence on my political philosophy.
His essay entitled Qu'est qu'une nation? (¡§What is a Nation?¡¨) touched me as
a Formosan, rather than as the loyal Japanese I was supposed to be. He raised
the fundamental idea that neither race, language, nor culture form a nation,
but rather a deeply felt sense of community and shared destiny. In the context
of the savage war in China. what could this idea mean to a Formosan?
One remarkable faculty member was a professor of philosophy named Doi, an individualist who wordlessly taunted the military establishment and defied regimentation of mind and body by affecting certain disheveled mannerisms in dress and conduct. This advertised his dissent to all of us, and he had our admiration. On the whole, our faculty and student body shared a strongly antimilitarist sentiment. We wanted to preserve our independence and our ivory tower, and the militarists wanted to break it down. This created a sense of tension between the school body and the army martinets assigned as our instructors in military training.
One day we witnessed an astonishing confrontation. The senior military officer who had recently arrived on campus was a colonel in the regular army. He called an assembly. Some small rules had been broken, and a junior military instructor had complained to the colonel. Singling out the guilty students, he heaped contempt upon them, scorning them as not true Japanese. After ranting on and on, he ended his tirade by ordering them to begin running around the parade ground bearing heavy arms until told to cease or collapsing in exhaustion. It was a harsh discipline. Suddenly one of the students broke out of line, dashed screaming at the colonel and struck him several times with his gun butt. He then threw the gun to the ground and ran across the field toward the campus gates. For a moment everyone stood frozen by this unprecedented and shocking action, and then the other military instructors raced after him. He was, of course, expelled and then called up at once for military service. We never knew what finally became of him. The school was shaken by the incident which no doubt hardened attitudes of anti-intellectual militarists toward liberal institutions such as ours, My psychology professor was a quiet, stiff person who had served in the regular army. His courses were rather dull and systematic, but the subject itself was of great interest One day, rather surprisingly, he asked us to write an essay in which we were to open our hearts to him and express ourselves freely on subjects that concerned us most deeply. He promised to treat the papers confidentially. My response was an essay' condemning the invasion of China, and once into it I wrote on and on, at least ten pages of hitter comment on discrimination and the contempt shown by Japanese toward all Chinese in China and in colonial Formosa. Knowing that I might he arrested by the ¡§thought police¡¨ if my sentiments were known, I nevertheless turned in the finished paper. A few days later the professor called me to his office, quietly assured me that no one else would know of my outpouring, and expressed deep regret that the situation was as it was. He warned me however that it would be best to keep my thoughts to myself in the future, and not to speak of such things to other persons.
My aversion to military service was intense. I had hated military drill since middle school days. School units were taken on long in maneuvers from time to time, obliged to march with heavy equipment, camp in the rough for two or three days at a time, and perform drills and exercises along the way. Some students could not take it, breaking down physically while on the march or showing signs of emotional disturbance. I was in my last year at San-ho now, I was nineteen, and I considered myself an intellectual entirely superior to the needs and demands of the military establishment. I simply did not report for the field maneuvers, knowing very well that I would get a poor grade for the military course, but confident that it would be the only bad grade on my entire San-ko record, except mathematics.
At the close of the school year, near graduation time, I chanced one day to meet one of my professors who said, in a tone of obvious relief, ¡§Congratulations! You did manage to pass!¡¨ I was astonished, for it had never occurred to me that I might not. There had been a great debate in the faculty meeting called each year to consider questionable cases and final records. The military instructor had given me a failing mark and had vehemently demanded that I should not graduate. My professors had won the argument with great difficulty. They argued on my behalf at some personal risk, for this was early 1942, and the military were in full control.
A Kyoto University student of economics who was the son of a wealthy Tokyo family and an outspoken critic of militarism lived in my rooming house. We were quite good friends despite the difference in our ages and academic status. One December day he rushed into my room shouting out, Tojo is a fool! Now he has done the most stupid thing! This will be the end of us!" My friend had just heard the radio report that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, and that Japan had won a great victory.
From that day the school was plunged into a mood of fatalistic despair, underscored by' noisy crowds demonstrating in the streets outside. After the long years of fruitless campaigning in continental China a great victory N the Pacific was doubly welcome, Everyone boasted of how many American ships had been sunk and how many planes destroyed. There' was pride and surging enthusiasm. China had been defeated in 1895, Russia had been defeated in 1905, and now the United States! There were lantern parades and public celebrations. But inside our campus gates faculty and students alike were not so sure. We bad read too widely arid knew too much of America. Pearl Harbor would be only a surprise success at the beginning of the conflict, not the final victory.
Japan celebrated victory after victory. Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day, 1941, Manila was occupied a week later, and Singapore fell into Japanese hands in February 1942. The spectacular success in this great thrust to the tropics was marred by the Doolittle hit-run raid on Tokyo on April 19. This was a reminder that Americans had the capacity to reach the imperial capital itself. In the far south the inhabitants of Dutch, British, and American territories were showing reluctance to cooperate with the Japanese forces and in many places were offering determined resistance. The war in China dragged on. Tokyo saw that a total mobilization of manpower was required through-out the empire.
It was announced suddenly that although preparatory school science courses would continue as usual, courses in the humanities and social science would be shortened by six months. At San-ko therefore we would have to be prepared to enter a university in the summer of 1942 or face the military call-tip. This meant that I had to decide as soon as possible upon a university and a professional field.
As long as the sea-lanes leading southward past Formosa were open we could keep in communication with our worried parents at Takao. Their letters urged me to choose a career in medicine, the only career that promised a future in Formosa. They wanted me to abandon thoughts of the imperial universities and to enroll in a medical school such as my brother's school at Nagasaki.
It was unthinkable that I should make such an important decision concerning my future without full consultation with my parents, nevertheless I refused to yield on this issue. My letters argued against a medical career. I wanted only to enter the Department of French Literature at Tokyo Imperial University and to turn my face away' from Formosa and Japan and toward the Western world of arts and ideas. I was truly bemused by the French language, and at the age of nineteen I was repelled by the situation in which my close Japanese friends and schoolmates were expected to die beautifully following military orders. My parents now probably had reason to regret my years at the liberal Kansei Cakuin and at San-ko, where the motto was ¡§Freedom.¡¨ They patiently observed, again and again, that French literature offered no livelihood and no future for me either in Formosa or Japan.
At last I offered a compromise. I would give up French as a major, and would enter the Department of Law or Political Science at the Tokyo Imperial University. I would become either a lawyer or a bureaucrat. After many letters had passed back and forth, they accepted this, but with regret.
I now had to work extremely hard to prepare for the imperial university entrance examinations, to be given this year in the early summer. They were the stiffest exams required in the Japanese system. When the time came I went to Tokyo, took a small room near the main campus, and sat for the two-day ordeal. It was well known that a Formosan applicant had to do far better than Japanese students if he was to penetrate this screen. Colonial subjects, Koreans and Formosans, were not welcomed into the imperial civil service. More than ten Formosans were sitting for examination at this time, but we knew that only one at most would be accepted, no matter how high the others' marks might be.
When the results were posted I was the lucky one, standing rather high on the list of nearly five hundred applicants accepted for the corning session. I purchased the proper uniforms, found lodgings, and settled down to work.
One day it was announced that military service deferments were canceled for all students in the university' humanities and social science courses. A majority of the young men about me vanished from the campus, including my friends from happier San-ko days. As a colonial subject I was not legally subject to conscription, but I had the privilege of volunteering. In Formosa, itself, thousands wen.' being obliged to volunteer. A few were accepted into the regular military service, but the majority were drafted to form a labor corps sent overseas for duty behind front lines. At first Formosan students were merely harangued on the moral obligation and glory of service to the emperor, but soon the Formosan students at all the Japanese universities were summoned to the offices of the military instructors on each campus, where they were invited to sign individual applications for volunteer duty. On our campus the names of those who had been ¡§invited¡¨ were soon posted in a prominent public place. My name appeared as the only one who had not yet presented himself.
I promptly left Tokyo to consult with my brother, then a student iii the Nagasaki Medical School. We met with other students from Formosa and spent long hours discussing my situation. I could not imagine myself submitting to the mindless regimentation of military service for Japan. I was a second-class subject in peacetime, and I could not serve as a first-class soldier in war.
After a week I returned to the campus in Tokyo, attending lectures and continuing to read for my courses. My name remained posted as the only one who had not yet volunteered, and I began to fear arrest. I moved my lodging from time to time and went to the campus less and less often. Fortunately the Japanese university system permitted this, for we only had to pass our final examinations, and class attendance was not mandatory. Life in Tokyo was bleak. Consumer goods were scarce, rationing had become severe, and the black markets were flourishing.The government's optimistic news reports were received with growing skepticism, for the public sensed that the military situation had taken a turn for the worse. The years 1943 and 1944 produced no victories to lift the public gloom and depression.
Fortunately for us, my father had made good financial arrangements. My brother was finishing his work in Nagasaki and about to take charge of a public clinic in the small village of Tameishi twenty miles to the south. My second brother had to give up his medical studies at Keio University because of ill health, and made his way back to Formosa to rest and recover before all communication with our island had been cut off. Allied submarines and planes were taking a heavy toll on shipping near Japan. Many died when the ships went down, and I lost several of my friends.
I left Tokyo at last, going westward to the beautiful old castle town of Matsumoto in the heart of the mountain country. It was far from any military targets. No one in Tokyo knew of my whereabouts, but I notified my brother in Nagasaki, and at Matsumoto found a cousin who was then enrolled at the local higher school. He had written me that the food situation was comparatively good, but my first lodging proved to be very poor. Although I had managed to ship my books to Matsumoto, most of them had to be left in their unwieldy boxes. I had little taste for reading now, for on leaving the university I plunged into a Period of extreme anxiety and despair.
A few other students and one laborer shared my lodging house. As winter came it became very cold. There was little charcoal and no hot water in which to wash our clothes in freezing weather. This was snow country. The high mountains all around were brilliantly white and beautiful, but cruel and repellent to anyone born in the tropics. Then came word of the great Tokyo raids. We read the newspaper accounts with horror. Thousands had died in a single night, and the city was carpeted with fire.
The few young men remaining in Matsumoto were embarrassingly conspicuous and were stared at in the streets. When the weather permitted, I took long, lonely walks in the castle park or in the countryside. My first lodging house had become intolerable. The rooms were dirty and full of fleas seeking warmth. I found a better place and moved my ten boxes of books and my few other possessions into two upstairs rooms which I had to my self in the home of an old man and his daughter. These kind people took care of me, glad to have a little additional income in these hard times.
This tedious and lonely life continued for about six months. Now and then a letter came through from my parents, but my letters rarely reached them. Then came news that Takao city had been heavily bombed and my father's hospital destroyed. The family had survived, however, and had moved out into the countryside. This was the last I heard of my parents until after the war.
I was at a loss as to what to do with myself. It was a useless life and my funds were dwindling. My brother had married a doctor, the daughter of one of my father's classmates at medical school, and with their tiny daughter had moved to the fishing village, Tameishi, to take charge of the public clinic. We now agreed that the most economical course would be for me to join them there. Together we could conserve our dwindling resources while we waited to see what was going to happen to us all.
Japan was in full retreat at sea. Great raids were leveling the industrial cities and the ports, and the future looked hopeless. On April 1, 1945, the battle for Okinawa had begun. In desperation the Army organized suicidal kamikaze units which were sent out to strike the Allied fleet that now stood between Japan and Formosa.
In preparing to leave the old castle town, my first thought was for my beloved books which I shipped off to my closest friend of San-ko days, Jiro Nishida. He had gone on to study in the Department of Linguistics at Kyoto Imperial University. Because of ill-health he had escaped the draft and had returned to his country home in Kyushu. I wrote and asked him to take care of them. If I were alive at tile end of tile war I would come to claim them;if not, they were to he his. Meanwhile they would be stored not too far from my brother's place on the same island. I still don't know whether he ever received them. I reserved a few books,my dictionaries and the works of Anatole France and LeMaitre, which I mailed directly to my brother's clinic.
Train tickets were not easy t(I get. A reluctant stationmaster issued me a ticket from Matsumoto to Nagasaki when I pleaded that my brother was in a hospital, and my young cousin saw me off. It was an emotional parting, for he would be left entirely alone in cold Matsumoto, and I was setting out on a long and dangerous journey, a thirty-hour trip. The route passed through Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, and Yawata in northern Kyushu, cities and towns then being subjected to devastating raids. I had to change trains at the rail centers which were also major targets.
I reached Nagasaki station about five o'clock in the afternoon of a late April day. Since my brother's village was twenty miles away, it was necessary to stay in the city overnight. On the next day I could choose to ride on a truck leaving rather early in the morning to cross the hills nearby, or I could board a small ferry at ten o'clock for an easier ride to my brother's village. Although I invariably become seasick on any craft large or small, I decided on the latter. I could sleep late, and I was exceedingly tired after sitting up throughout the bug journey' in third-class coaches.
Although picturesque Nagasaki was an important shipbuilding center, it had not been bombed. The government had eased rationing there, and rice was plentiful and good. An extraordinarily beautiful girl brought me a delicious dinner, and sat and chatted with me in my room as I ate. After a quiet night and an excellent breakfast, I set out, baggage in hand, for the ferry pier not far away. A small ship of thirty or forty tons was waiting, just ready to cast off. About thirty other men, women, and children were already aboard, lining the rails or settling down on deck mats for the short voyage. It was a beautiful day, and I was happy to see that the sea was calm.
As I went aboard and looked about for a sheltered spot, I heard overhead the peculiar whistling sound of a plane gliding down. It banked and began a steep climb with a sudden roar of motors. An instant later I was knocked unconscious to the deck by a tremendous explosion.
When I regained my senses and opened my eyes, I was in the midst of screaming confusion and a scene of horror. I was covered with blood, and the deck was awash with it, and strewn with bodies, the shattered pads of bodies, and people writhing, moaning, and struggling to drag themselves away. I tried to rise, and found to my disbelief and horror that my left arm had been torn off at the shoulder and was hanging there by' a few tendons and a shred of skin. The shattered bones were exposed, and blood was pouring out. ¡§This is the end,¡¨ I thought, ¡§I am dying here, and my parents and brother don't even know I am here.¡¨
The instinct for survival is powerful. With my right hand I seized my dangling left forearm, found it very, heavy and strangely cold and without feeling. It was an extraordinary moment. I was in a state of shock and felt no pain, although I was conscious that I also had a wound of some sort on my left temple, for warm blood was trickling down into my eye and across my cheek. Struggling to my feet, feeling so strangely off-balance, I managed to cross the slippery deck, get down to the dock, and stagger into the street, feeling immensely alone in a screaming crowd. Over and over I said to myself, ¡§I must get to a hospital! I must find a doctor¡I¡¨
Knowing nothing of the town, I tried to speak to people running frantically to and fro. Two or three looked at me and turned away in shocked revulsion, for by now I was drenched in blood from head to feet, and they showed a natural human reaction to such a sight. Suddenly one middle-aged man shouted at me as if in anger, literally cursing me. I was astonished and even in that condition angry and disbelieving. ¡¨Why? Why such a response to a man in such an extreme condition?¡¨ It was only long after the war that I understood. He was using a Japanese military technique, a shout, a blow, or a violent shake to create shock and tension to revive a person about to faint, but at that moment I was in no condition to understand. After what seemed an eternity, though perhaps it was only a matter of moments, someone directed me to a small clinic in the street near the wharf. As I staggered through the door I lost consciousness.
When I came to, I was lying on the concrete floor of a dark reception area, only one of a large number of victims being brought in. One doctor and one nurse were trying desperately to offer first aid to all while waiting for an emergency medical team from the Nagasaki Medical School nearby.
I was lying motionless, drifting in and out of consciousness, when doctors and nurses came in. To my astonishment I saw that one of them was an eye specialist, Dr. Yo, my brother's classmate, and best friend, one of the Formosans who had counseled me on my previous visit to Nagasaki. This was a miracle! I tried to attract his attention each time he passed, kicking at his ankles and calling his name. I thought I was shouting, but I was probably speaking in a whisper.¡¨Dr. Yo! Dr. Yo! This is Peng!¡¨
He had passed me three or four times before he looked down and finally recognized me despite the blood and tatters. ¡§What? You are here?¡¨ he exclaimed in shocked disbelief. In a moment, summoning a nurse, he gave me a hasty examination and first aid as best he could, an emergency stimulant twice, directly to the heart. The blood-loss was obviously great and my life in peril when he gathered me up and sent me off at once to the nearby hospital.
I have no clear memory of this interlude. When I regained my senses, I was on an operating table and the surgeon was completing the removal of my left arm, shattered at the shoulder-joint. I was alive hut little more.
Somehow Dr. Yo had managed to get word to my brother. He had come to Nagasaki as quickly as he could, riding the truck over the mountain road. I was dimly aware of his presence and it was comforting. A fearful night followed. My brother had left me to consult with the surgeon, to attend to urgent business, and to get some badly needed rest. Although I still felt no pain, I developed a burning thirst. There were no nurses available, and once or twice I attempted to get up for water. My weakness from blood-loss and the strange imbalance of my body caused by the loss of my left arm, caused me to fall to the floor. Lying there in the darkened room I began to realize that this accident marked an irrevocable and fundamental change in my life.
My sister-in-law joined us in Nagasaki the next day, but they lived too far
away and were too busy to come often thereafter. It was decided that I should
remain as long as necessary in the Nagasaki hospital where I had a room to myself
on the third floor. Since there were no trained nurses available to care for
me, my sister-in-law engaged an old woman who began soon to complain of the
flights of stairs and of my requests that she go out early each morning to buy
the local papers, issued now in limited number. She had to be dismissed. To
replace her we hired a girl of obscure background who did the best she could
quite willingly but sometimes was given to odd behavior. We were plagued with
mosquitoes, and to my embarrassment, when she had hung the bed-net each evening,
she would slip in, bared to the waist, to sleep on the floor within its protective
folds. In contrast, there was a very kind young nurse who used to come in sometimes
on her off-duty hours to feed me and help me move. Whenever she came I was visibly
in better spirits and cheerful, and this seemed to delight her.
All hospitals in Japan were undergoing a severe shortage of medical personnel and supplies of every kind, The dressings on my wound could he changed only every few days and the medications and equipment were not sufficiently sterile. When maggots were found in the wound, I suffered a psycho logical shock. Moreover, I began to suffer terrible itching sensations where my lost arm and hand should be, and there was nothing there to scratch. At times this drove roe to the point of desperation. At last blood poisoning set in, because of unsterile dressings, and I developed an extremely high fever. The doctors almost gave up on my ease. I needed a massive blood transfusion.
At that time the Japanese people were generally undernourished. There were no blood banks and no selling of blood. However I was extremely fortunate because several Formosan students at the Nagasaki Medical College heard of my need and volunteered. My blood-type is 0, and four students saved my life by gifts of blood. One of these was a Pepohuan, an assimilated lowland aborigine.
It was now mid-June. Nagasaki was not being bombed very often, hut when the alerts sounded, usually in the night, it was necessary for the hospital staff to carry all patients down into the basement shelter. After being in bed without exercise for six weeks or more, I was extremely weak. These midnight trips, down four flights of stairs, were very painful. Psychologically too there was great strain, for whenever we heard planes overhead while sheltering in the dark basement, we expected a bomb to drop. It was a nightmare to be endured every night. Bombs were falling on towns and cities throughout Japan, and the Americans had begun to shower leaflets over Nagasaki warning people to leave the city.
One day the hospital administrators were ordered suddenly to empty the hospital
of all who could possibly be sent elsewhere to shelter. Only a skeleton staff
would remain to care for air raid victims. My sister-in-law had been coming
in once or twice a week to bring me food. We now agreed that I must go to my
brother's home. They could dress my wound, and since the food situation in the
village was comparatively good, and seaweed and vegetables were plentiful, I
might gain strength. The journey was an ordeal, however, for by now even the
truck service was erratic. I would have to ride out of Nagasaki as far as I
could, then walk for more than an hour over a steep and stony path to a point
where another truck might be available for the onward journey to Tameishi.
On the day of that painful journey my brother was unable to come into Nagasaki, so his pregnant wife took his place. Without her valiant help I could never have completed the trip. More than two months had passed since my injury; nevertheless I was extremely weak and had no proper sense of balance. When at last we reached my brother's home, exhausted, I cried as much from emotional relief as from pain, but I was overwhelmed by a black despair. Would my life be always like this?
Somehow my parents in distant Formosa had heard that I had been the victim of a bombing raid. They attempted to cable my brother, but no message came through. They were convinced that I was dead, and for weeks spent sleepless nights in tears and agonizing remorse. They blamed themselves for not having sent more funds to me so that it would have been unnecessary for me to make the fatal trip to Nagasaki. Such was their love for me. This had been a double blow since my beloved grandfather had died about this time. He had spoken of me so often by my nickname ¡§Bin,¡¨ for I had been one of his favorite grandsons, and when he was dying he was heard to say, ¡§My only consolation is that I'm going to meet Bin in Heaven!¡¨
Little by little I regained my strength and began to recover my spirits. New great silver planes, the huge B-29s, flew over nearly every day on their deadly missions. The Japanese had lost Okinawa on June 18. Official announcements and stories in the Nagasaki press played up the story of heroic last-ditch resistance and patriotism, but the military significance of the island's loss could scarcely he concealed from even the more uninformed Japanese.
It was a great psychological blow, for it was realized that an invasion of Kyushu must soon take place. The newspapers candidly told of massive attacks on the larger cities and the appalling conditions in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Our little village was not bombed, although occasionally American planes bombed and strafed the fishing fleet not far offshore. We expected the enemy to land any day. Many women sharpened bamboo spears and practiced using them, and some women and children retreated to the hills.
July came. Sometimes the heat and tension seemed unbearable. As the weeks passed my wound began to heal satisfactorily at last, arid my brother very, skillfully began to fashion a light artificial arm for me, using bamboo, wire and cloth. He felt that it would help me adjust psychologically to my new condition. I was suffering from severe digestive troubles, possibly induced by the unrelieved tension in which we lived. There was no news from home. Fortunately my precious selection of hooks, my dictionaries, and the volumes of LeMaitre and Anatole France, had come through safely by mail, hut I had no further news of the larger shipments sent down to my friend Nishida. I was in no mood to read seriously, however, since I spent my days and evenings in long walks along the shore.
On August 8 the Nagasaki newspapers carried a brief official announcement, ¡¨Yesterday Hiroshima was bombed. The Americans have used a new weapon. There was considerable damage,¡¨ hut no particular attention was paid to such a routine bombing announcement. As we were to learn much later, 150 thousand men, women, and children had perished in an instant when that first atomic bomb exploded.
Three days later I was indoors, glancing through the newspaper when I heard the drone of a plane overhead. Suddenly there was a blinding light, as if a huge photo-flashbulb had been triggered in the room. This was followed instantly by a tremendous metallic clanging sound as if the whole earth had been hit by a gigantic hammer. Our house shook violently. Something prompted me to cry out in Formosan ¡§What is it?¡¨ as I looked out to see an enormous black cloud over Nagasaki. Then the great white mushroom rose above it. Later there was a sudden light shower in our garden, falling out of a clear sky.
Within an hour, my brother rushed into the house. lie had received an urgent call. All doctors had been summoned to meet at a certain place for transportation into Nagasaki. Taking a c1uiek lunch and gathering up his medical kit, he rushed away.
That afternoon we heard that Nagasaki had been destroyed, ten zenmatsu (¡§obliterated¡¨). The Americans had used their new weapon again. It was rumored that everyone in Nagasaki was dead. When my brother returned, late that night, he was in a state of shock and nausea. lie could barely speak and had to struggle for words with which to tell us what he had seen. The city as we knew it was gone. The whole area was dead, He left again at (lawn the next day to help search for and treat survivors who were dragging themselves out of the ruins. There were appalling injuries and incredible stories were told by the people who began to come into the village from the ruined city. Although my sister-in-law was in the last days of a second pregnancy, she did what she could at the clinic during my brother's absence. He was overjoyed to find our friend Dr. Yo alive.
The effects of the blast had produced an irrational pattern of damage. Some concrete structures still stood, but all wooden fixtures and other combustible materials had been instantly consumed. It was said that in some classrooms only neat piles of white ashes marked the spots where students had been seated at their desks at the fatal moment. The heat had been that intense. A majority of medical school students had perished, and among them were the four young Formosans who had so generously given blood to me. It was a tragic irony that their useful lives should be snuffed out and that I should live.
One of my brother's best friends, Dr. Lin, and his wife lived in the center of the city at the time of the atomic explosion. However, miraculously, they survived unharmed. Although they had not had children before the war, they had several normal children afterward.
It was midsummer. Soon the dead city gave off an intolerable stench. Relief work meant an extraordinary test of human will. There had been about 70,000 victims, and many injured survivors could be moved only a short distance. Within a few days a new horror appeared. Scores of survivors suddenly began to bleed from the nose and mouth, the hair dropped out, and soon many died. My brother and his fellow-doctors were at a loss with this new phenomena.
The government had made a brief announcement that Nagasaki had been destroyed but vowed that the nation would fight on. On August 14, it was announced that the emperor himself would address the nation. My sister-in-law and T were in the village street when we heard this unprecedented broadcast begin. Reception was extremely poor. We understood little more than that Japan had agreed to unconditional surrender. The nation was asked to ¡§bear the unbearable,¡¨ but this meant that peace had come at last.
As Formosans we were not so awed by the high-pitched imperial voice as our Japanese friends about us; nevertheless, we were deeply moved. Our astonishment was followed by a sense of immeasurable relief. An era had ended. What would come next? What would become of Formosans in Japan? What would become of Formosa?
III. Return to Formosa and to University Life
We decided to return to Formosa as soon as possible. No other thought occurred to us. We had been born nuder the Japanese flag, we had many Japanese friends, and we had been law-abiding subjects. If we had wished, my brother could continue to carry on here in the medical profession, and I could complete my education in the best university in Japan. A number of our Formosan fends elected to stay, but we were determined to leave as soon as possible. We felt we must go hone.
It was as if Japan had suddenly, lost all memory of Formosa. We searched the papers daily for any scrap of news, but during the late summer saw only one brief note. General Chen Yi had been appointed governor general on Chiang Kai-shek's behalf, and my father's acquaintance Huang Chao-chin was to become the first postwar mayor of Taipei.
There were now six in our household, for about ten days after tile surrender, my sister-in-law gave birth to a second daughter. She was being cared for very well by the Formosan maidservant who had accompanied her to Japan and was considered to be a member of her family. We were the only Formosans in Tameishi village.
Immediately after the emperor's surrender broadcast many American planes began to fly over us at very low altitude. We heard that Allied prisoners of war had been released and that these planes were parachuting food to them. It was believed that an American landing was imminent. Many village girls and women retreated to the hills, taking their sharpened spears with them. They had been told often that all American soldiers were devils, beasts, and rapists, and they believed it.
Americans did begin to appear in the area about twenty days after the surrender. My brother and I encountered a jeep on a nearby mountain road and were surprised and interested in this new vehicle. Soldiers, black and white, began coming into the village, and at once the American image changed radically. There was a curious emotional swing to another extreme. The anticipated devils proved to be wonderfully kind and helpful human beings. There was candy for the children, cigarettes for older people, and extraordinary stories of first encounters. There were occasional reports of a rape or a robbery, but as a whole the Japanese were astounded that conquerors were often so considerate. For example, when the overburdened village truck broke down on the mountain road one evening, an American jeep came along, the driver carefully maneuvered to light the scene with his headlights, and helped the harassed driver make repairs. The passengers and the driver were overwhelmed.
There was no interference with village life. American patrols drove through the streets from time to time, but the villagers were left unmolested. One day I fell into conversation with two Americans in a jeep beside the road, and in passing, explained to them that I was not a Japanese, but a Chinese from Formosa. It was something of a shock to find myself for the first time openly and proudly making this distinction.
My brother remained in charge of the Tameishi Clinic throughout the autumn months. We were safe, he was being paid properly, and we were comparatively comfortable. Still we longed to go home. No letters came from Takao. My young cousin at Matsumoto had decided to remain in Japan to complete his medical education, not realizing that fifteen years would pass before he would visit Formosa. We had no word from my sister who had gone to Shanghai and Peking with her husband during the war. Now that my wound had healed and I was regaining my strength, I was restless. Occasionally I went into Nagasaki where there were many Americans and many of the new jeeps and bulldozers, a powerful wartime American invention being used to clear away shattered buildings and open the streets once more. Enormous heaps of rubble everywhere created the effect of a gigantic city dump.
One afternoon in late December I returned from Nagasaki on the village truck to find our house in an uproar. We had been notified that we would leave at once for home. We would be allowed to take with us only hand baggage and had to be at the Nagasaki railway station before midnight ready to board a train for Sasebo naval port. There we would take a ship for Keelung.
I wanted to carry my precious books and at last prevailed upon my brother to allow me to scatter a few volumes here and there through the bags and bundles the three fit adults must carry. I could carry very little. My brother had to cope with all the gear necessary to supply two babies and four adults. All that we could not carry we gave away to our Japanese friends and neighbors.
At Nagasaki station we found twenty or thirty other Formosans, the medical students who had survived, our friend Dr. Yo and his family, and a few others, all eager to reach Formosa. Japanese officials were in charge of the arrangements under the general direction of American military authorities. In a special compartment set aside for evacuees and their luggage, I found myself talking with a very young Korean girl on her way home to Seoul. We had all come to a dramatic point of change in our lives. It was a new era, and we were no longer second-class subjects of the Japanese emperor, but we were not sure of what lay ahead. The Koreans had been promised independence, and we Formosans had been promised freedom in a new, reformed, postwar China, and had been handed over to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
At Sasebo we were hustled aboard an overcrowded converted cargo ship and left to find ourselves some space for the long homeward voyage. A majority of the passengers were young Formosans who had been conscripted for labor corps service with the Japanese Army. They were a tough, restless lot and many quarrels erupted among them. Nevertheless they were all glad to be going home.
Having been rushed to Sasebo and aboard ship, we sat rocking in the harbor for one week in utter misery. When we left the sheltered anchorage at last and moved out upon the rough high seas, we were thoroughly seasick, In this unhappy condition we were then told that the waters through which we would pass were full of mines and some repatriation ships had been sunk with a heavy loss of life. Watches were organized among the passengers to take turns at the rail throughout the voyage.
We reached Keelung at nightfall on January 2, 1946, still with-out word from our parents and with no friends or relatives to greet us. The devastation in Keelung was astonishing, for this port city had suffered an estimated eighty percent total destruction during the battle for Okinawa. It had been bombed thoroughly in order to keep it from Japanese use during that fearful encounter nearby.
We came off the ship, hired rickshas at the dock, and made our way to the home of a noted doctor, my father's old friend and classmate, When along the way we noticed a crowd of dirty men in ragged uniforms and remarked that they were not Formosans, our ricksha men said in contempt and disgust that they were Chinese Nationalist soldiers, recently delivered to Keelung by American ships coming over from continental ports.
We were welcomed with great cordiality into the doctor's home, and our first great pleasure was to learn that our parents were well and had moved back into Takao, now called Kaohsiung. Even though we were very tired, we talked excitedly until long after midnight. Much that we heard was terribly depressing. Between August 15, the day of the imperial surrender announcement at Tokyo, and October 26, when General Chen Yi at Taipei officially took over the administration of Formosa on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek, the Japanese had continued to administer the city. The main streets had been repaired and considerable progress had been made in clearing building sites and restoring public services, But then a paralysis had set in. The utility services were faltering, public officials newly arriving from China proved incompetent and incredibly corrupt, and the rag-tag conscript Nationalist troops were petty thieves, becoming a rabble of scavengers as soon as they came off the ships. It was a gloomy picture, but even so we were glad to be back in Formosa.
In a gray dawn the next morning we had our first experience of the change that had overtaken Formosa now that Nationalist Chinese were in charge. Before the war the Japanese government had maintained a precise schedule for twelve or fourteen trains running each day between Keelung and Takao. Some were expresses, some semi-expresses, and some were locals. There had been little wartime damage to the main lines. The railway installations near Taipei were larger and better equipped than any in China, and these too had escaped serious damage.
At the time of surrender in October the rolling stock was extremely shabby, but it was intact. Now we discovered that tinder Chinese management only one through train per day linked Keelung with Kaohsiung. The Keelung station was filthy and crowded with dirty soldiers who had been hanging about all night for want of a better shelter. When our train pulled in, there was a wild scramble to get aboard. As the pushing crowd surged forward, baggage and children were thrust in through the windows, and adults scrambled in after them in a fierce struggle to obtain space. Somehow we managed to find seats and began the long slow ride. The chill January air poured in through broken windows, the seats had been stripped of green plush that had once covered them, and it was obvious that the ears had not been cleaned for many weeks. This was "Chinese Formosa" and not the Japanese Formosa we had known. We had never seen anything like this dirt and disorder on a public train in our lives.
For us, however, nothing could detract from the joy of riding southward again through the beautiful countryside of our island. As we drew near Ta-chia we looked out on our father's fields and watched eagerly for familiar sites associated with our childhood. We fell into conversation with fellow passengers who came and went at the stations along the way, some entering through the windows and some through the doors. The story was always the same, a tale of dissatisfaction and disappointment with the new government. Security of property was a thing of the past. There were frequent long, unexplained delays along the way, and these brought up stories of well-organized gangs of looters who had stripped the right-of-way of copper wires and carried off signal equipment for shipment to Shanghai or Amoy to be sold as scrap. "Nobody knows when this train may be derailed," a passenger remarked. Since the Chinese had taken over management of the railways, shippers had to send private guards along with cargo sent in the baggage ears and freight trains. The newly arrived government officials themselves were sharing in the loot.
After fourteen hours on the train we reached our destination after nightfall. I had been absent from my home for nearly six years. Only the sight of the beautiful countryside and the anticipation of reunion with our parents kept us from deep depression. We left the station not knowing the address of our parents' new home, but one of the local ricksha men knew of the clinic and we set off at once. It was about nine o'clock at night when our little fleet of rickshas pulled up before a small, two-storied concrete house. A sign before it advertised the clinic on the ground floor and the residence was above.
The gate was securely barred. Since we could find no bell, we knocked loudly and even the ricksha men joined us in calling loudly "Open up! Open up!," for they seemed to share in giving us a welcome. My parents had no cause for alarm, for they had heard that repatriation ships were beginning to arrive from Japan and my sister-in-law's voice, the voice of a woman, surely meant that this was no marauding band of Nationalist soldiers. They assumed correctly that my brother and his family had arrived.
When they threw open the door they were astonished to see me, too. They had believed me dead. It was an emotional reunion. My parents at once asked us all to pray with them, thanking God for our safe return. My father then with tears sought to console me for the loss of my arm and the consequent great changes in my life. There were two new grandchildren to be admired. Through the hours of excited conversation that followed my father could not conceal his feeling that the whole prospect for Formosa was grim. Repeatedly he said, "We are in a terrible situation."
In the next few days and weeks relatives and friends came to see us and we went about visiting them in turn. Gradually I heard my father unfold the story of the Japanese surrender, the arrival of Chinese troops in south Formosa, and the rapid corruption of public life thereafter. The Nationalists were undoubtedly pulling us down to the general level of chaotic life in continental Chinese provinces. He had always remained aloof from politics and public office before the war, but immediately after the surrender the Japanese officials in Kaohsiung sought him out with an invitation to become chairman of a local committee formed to maintain local law and order until the Chinese should arrive to assume control. He was a respected senior citizen, acceptable to Japanese and Formosans alike. Like a majority of his Formosan associates, he was glad that Japanese rule had come to an end. The great economic and social benefits of Japanese administration had never been enough for self-respecting Formosans who bitterly resented social and political discrimination. Formosan leaders and students had been demanding home rule for the island since World War I. In 1945 the victorious Allies, principally the Americans, used radio broadcasts and leaflet drops to promise Formosans a bright future in a postwar freedom under China. Accepting these promises at face value my father agreed to be a committee chairman, believing that he could help bring about this new era of great promise.
In late October word came at last that Chinese military units were expected to land at Takao. My father was made chairman of a welcoming committee. The job soon became a nightmare. He was notified that the troops would arrive on a certain date. Preparations included the purchase of firecrackers and of banners bearing appropriate sentiments, construction of temporary booths at the exits from the landing stage, and preparation of huge amounts of roast pork and other delicacies, soft drinks, and tea. Then came notification that the arrival was delayed. The perishable foods had to be sold or given away. This happened twice again, tripling the expenses, before a fourth notification proved to be correct.
An American naval vessel came slowly into Takao harbor, making its way among the sunken hulks. Local Japanese military authorities, awaiting repatriation with their men, turned out a smartly disciplined honor guard to line the wharf, ready to salute the victorious Chinese army. A great crowd of curious and excited citizens had come to support my father's welcoming committee and to see the show.
The ship docked, the gangways were lowered, and off came the troops of China, the victors. The first man to appear was a bedraggled fellow who looked and behaved more like a coolie than a soldier, walking off with a carrying pole across his shoulder, from which was suspended his umbrella, sleeping mat, cooking pot, and cup. Others like him followed, some with shoes, some without. Few had guns. With no attempt to maintain order or discipline, they pushed off the ship, glad to be on firm land, but hesitant to face the Japanese lined up and saluting smartly on both sides. My father wondered what the Japanese could posibly think. He had never felt so ashamed in his life. Using a Japanese expression, he said, "If there had been a hole nearby, I would have crawled in!" This victorious Chinese army was made up of country conscripts who showed not the least sign of understanding the welcome arranged for them. They moved into the town, grabbing up what food they wanted and tossing aside things they did not like. There was no acknowledgment by the few Chinese officers accompanying them and no thanks for anyone. Within an hour these troops, spreading through the town, had begun to pick up anything that struck their fancy. As far as they were concerned, the Formosans were a conquered people.
Now that some Chinese troops were ashore and a garrison present in Kaohsiung, Chinese civil officials began to venture down from Taipei in larger numbers. They asked my father for advice and directed him to represent the Formosan side during the takeover. He was quickly disillusioned, he said, for invariably the first question seemed to be, "How much money is there in the city bank?" That is the kind of question any new administration would eventually ask, but it was always their very first question, and because of the way it was asked, it left an extremely bad impression on my father and other Formosans. It was apparent that these petty officials coming down from the capital were little better than the common soldiers. Soon they began to dress well and to commandeer good houses. The reason for the new affluence was apparent to all Formosans who had to deal with them. They were carpetbaggers. From one end of Formosa to the other looting was in progress at all levels. The common conscript roaming in Kaohsiung was simply taking what he wanted from shops and homes and the public streets. The newcomers from Taipei had been sent down by the highest officials to loot the sugar mills and warehouses, the factory stockpiles and industrial equipment. Junks were leaving the harbor every day loaded with foodstocks, scrap metal, machine tools, and consumer goods of every variety, destined for private sales along the China coast.
Father's sense of humor prompted him to suggest that someone should collect stories of the incoming Chinese, especially of the ignorant conscripts who had been shipped over to Formosa from inland provinces on the continent. Many were totally unacquainted with modern technology. Some had never seen or had never understood a modern water system. There were instances in which they picked up water faucets in plumber's shops and then, pushing them into holes in walls and embankments, had expected water to flow. They then complained bitterly to the plumbers from whose shops the faucets came. There was a story of one soldier who took a seat in a barber's shop, had his hair cut, and then when the barber picked up an electric hair-dryer, instantly put up his hands pale with fright thinking it was a pistol.
My father had his own special problems. A large sign at our entrance advertised
a gynecological clinic, but soldiers insisted upon coming in for VD treatments,
or brought remarkable and unidentifiable salves and liquids which they insisted
he should inject into them. Injections were believed to be the cure-all for
Every week produced some new story of such behavior or some new instance of theft on a grand scale. For a time my father was very active in public affairs. The mayor consulted him often, and he became speaker in the local city council. His integrity was unchallenged, his clinic was busy, and he was beginning to recover financially from the losses suffered during the war. Since our house was overcrowded, he decided to rebuild on the site of his burned-out older hospital. One day he happened to remark to the mayor that he proposed to clear the site. "That's no problem," said the mayor, and within a day or two about thirty Japanese soldiers came to the clinic. The officer in charge said that they were awaiting repatriation, and they would like to help.
We went to the old hospital site. They worked hard and efficiently. My mother provided tea and food. For my part I was astonished to find myself "commanding" so many Japanese soldiers, and recalled with a smile my unfortunate military record at San-ko. To our embarrassment, the Japanese would accept no pay.
Our relations with the Japanese in this period were peculiar. They were awaiting repatriation, waiting for General MacArthur to give them permission to return to Japan. Those who had been in authority throughout our lives were now taking orders from us. The Japanese policeman, once a petty overlord, had now put aside his official sword and uniform, and was glad to find work of any sort. Teachers who had enjoyed high prestige were forced to sell their possessions one by one. I saw a number of my Takao Middle School teachers peddling small objects in the streets. In some cases former students rallied to help them in this difficult period, but in a few instances old scores were settled, and teachers who had been intolerant disciplinarians were badly beaten.
Throughout this period my father was in an uneasy position. Loyalty to his friends and to his profession prompted him to help the Japanese doctors awaiting repatriation, but he also knew that incoming Chinese were seizing private clinics and stripping Japanese doctors of valuable medical equipment and supplies. When a Chinese with some influence wanted a particular property, he had only to accuse a Formosan of being a collaborationist during the past fifty years of Japanese sovereignty.
THE TIME HAD COME for me to make some decision about me future. My indulgent parents urged me to remain at home to rest for a longer period, but I was physically well recovered. I was twenty-three years old and restless. Periods of natural youthful optimism alternated with periods of hopeless depression. And I was beginning to be bored. Kaohsiung offered little intellectual stimulation, and I longed to get back among books.
Since I lacked one year's credit for my Tokyo Imperial University degree, I looked into the possibility of completing work for a diploma at the former Taihoku Imperial University, founded by the Japanese in 1927 and now, twenty years later, occupied by the incoming Chinese. It had recently. been renamed the National Taiwan University or Taita for short. The Japanese had developed it as a center of research and teaching principally in agriculture and medicine. The humanities and the social sciences were weak. However, a splendid library was there along with the buildings and grounds and laboratories. Now it was being managed by scientists recently arrived from the continent. The new emphasis was to be on physics and agriculture.
In the summer of 1946 it was announced that all Formosans who had come home from the imperial universities in Japan were entitled to enter the new Taita without examination. They would merely enroll at Taipei and be accepted as transfers as soon as the university resumed operations. At once I went to Taipei. About thirty of us who qualified under these terms met to discuss the offer. We had come from faculties of law, economies, and political science, and we were an elite group, for we had survived the fierce competition to enter the best institutions in Japan.
After discussing our problems, we called upon the dean and the president of the reconstituted university. They were scientists. Neither had any idea what to do with anyone not prepared to enter the science courses. We asked if our work in the Japanese universities would be given credit toward degrees at Taita. They did not know. Despite the published invitation that had drawn us to Taipei on this occasion, they were not prepared for our enrollment. They would have to refer the question to the Ministry of Education at Nanking. We then asked if they expected to bring in professors of social science and the humanities. They didn't know. This too would have to be referred to the authorities at Nanking.
By this time most Formosans had come to realize that under General Chen Yi's administration few policy promises made locally could be relied upon, and that communications between officials in the government on Formosa and the central government offices at Nanking were in confusion. We decided to take as few risks as possible. The Chinese university system was based upon the four-year, hour-and-credit formula derived from the American university system, whereas our Japanese university program had derived from European patterns. We obtained copies of all pertinent Chinese Ministry of Education publications, studied them carefully and found that the hours of course work were explicitly stated. After several meetings we decided that to be on the safe side we must meet all the requirements as specified by Nauking and take all the specified courses leading to degrees. Thus in the long run we would avoid embarrassing either ourselves or members of the new Taita administration.
We discussed our problem repeatedly with the new university administrators and discovered quickly that they were not only unfamiliar with the Ministry of Education requirements in fields other than their own, they Simply did not care. This reflected the disarray and incompetence throughout General Chen Yi's administration. His commissioner of education was a nonentity in China's academic world, who in his first public address in Formosa told the Formosans bluntly that he thought them a backward people. The other commissioners cared little or nothing about the university as there was little money to be squeezed from it. What the new university administration chose to do was of minor interest.
Soon a curious situation arose. We students organized courses, recruited staff, and ran part of the Taiwan National University. We notified the administration that we were prepared to earn all the course-credits prescribed by Nanking and were ready to begin. When the dean protested that Taita had no professors in our fields, we assured him that we could find some for him.
To begin, we found some Formosan lawyers and an economist who were all graduates of the Tokyo Imperial University and each well qualified to teach. The young economist, for example, had been a prote'ge' of Japan's distinguished economist Dr. Tadao Yanaihara, one-time president of the Tokyo school, the most prestigious institution in Japan. One of the lawyers bad served on the bench in Japan, reaching the highest judicial office ever occupied by a Formosan in prewar years.
Our recommendations were accepted. This show of interest and determination on our part stimulated the president and dean of Taita to begin recruiting faculty in China for service at Taipei. For a time the situation continued to be unusual, to say the least, for we students found ourselves informally charged with the responsibility of carrying through the innovations, setting up courses when we could find capable instructors, prescribing hours and schedules according to basic Ministry of Education requirements. If the new teachers could provide notes, we undertook to cut stencils and distribute mimeographed copies. As the first lecture series were completed we organized our own notes, mimeographed these, and supplied them as supplementary materials for the students who followed us. We continued to search for qualified and capable instructors and recruited several specialists who were glad to teach at the university. Some of the lectures were delivered in Formosan and some in Mandarin. At that time all of us could read formal Chinese texts, and very quickly learned to speak it.
Under these circumstances our student-life was very busy but easy, and not to be compared with the preexamination periods of intensive study we had all experienced in Japan. We disregarded only one important Nanking Ministry regulation, the precisely even, four annual divisions of degree courses, and by stepping up the pace, we completed the Ministry of Education credit-hour requirements in two years. It was an unorthodox performance, to be sure, but we were an unusual group. Each of us had proved himself in competition near the summit of the Japanese empire's educational system, but at the war's end we had been at different levels and stages of development in the three-year Japanese university curriculum. Now we were working more or less as a body, adapting ourselves to the four-year Chinese system, calling ourselves at my suggestion the San-San Kai ("Three-Three Club"), representing three fields, law, economics and political science, and three years in the Japanese system. We got along well enough with our faculty and fellow-students at the university, but as students of law, economics, and political science, we looked about us with growing disillusionment and anger, for as we completed our degree requirements, the island passed through a bloody crisis.
IV. The March Uprising, 1947
Formosa's legal status was peculiar. China had ceded Formosa and the Pescadores to Japan in 1895. Tokyo then gave the inhabitants two years in which to choose nationality, and a few thousand Formosans chose to leave or to register as Chinese subjects. The great majority did not, however, and for fifty years thereafter they and their children and grandchildren were Japanese subjects by law. Had they wished to migrate to China at any time, they could arrange to do so. Some did, but the vast majority remained. Under the Japanese they enjoyed the benefits of a rule of law. The police were strict, often harsh, and the Japanese colonial administration treated Formosans as second-class citizens. However, under Japanese reorganization and direction our island economy had made spectacular gains, and our living standard rose steadily until among Asian countries we were second only to Japan in agricultural and industrial technology, in communications, in public health, and in provisions for the general public welfare. Our grandparents had witnessed this transformation from a backward, ill-governed, disorganized island nominally dependent on the Chinese. They did not like the Japanese, but they appreciated the economic and social benefits of fifty years of peace which they enjoyed while the Chinese on the mainland proper endured fifty years of revolution, warlordism, and civil war.
In our father's generation, and in our own, hundreds of well-educated young Formosans had supported a home ride movement. This was first organized during World War I when they were encouraged by the American president's call for the universal recognition of the rights of minority people. Throughout the 1920s Formosan leaders pressed the Japanese government for a share in island government, and, at last, in 1935, Tokyo began to yield. Local elections were held for local assemblies, the voting rights were gradually enlarged, and in early 1945 it was announced that Formosans at last would be granted equal political rights with the Japanese.
But it was too late. By then Japan faced defeat and young Formosan home rule leaders were reading and listening to promises broadcast to them by the American government, promises of a new postwar life in a democratic China. To us this meant freedom to participate in island government at all levels and to elect Formosans to represent the island in the national government of China.
Japan surrendered Formosa to the Allied Powers at Yokohama on September 3, 1945. Transfer of sovereignty to China would not take place, however, until a peace conference produced a formal treaty. In view of promises made by President Roosevelt to Generalissimo Chiang at Cairo in 1943, promises then reaffirmed by President Truman at Potsdam, Washington decreed that the island of Formosa and the Pescadores should be handed over to the Nationalist Chinese for administration pending legal transfer. There was no reservation of Allied rights during this interim period and no reservation of Formosan interests, There was no provision offering Formosans a choice of citizenship as there had been in 1895. The Formosans, whether they liked it or not, were to be restored to China.
Formosa was a rich prize for the ruling Nationalists. Keelung and Kaohsiung had been heavily dam aged and Taipei city had suffered, but the basic industrial and agricultural structure was there. Warehouses were full of sugar rice, chemicals, rubber, and other raw materials that had not been shipped to Japan. The power plants and sugar mills were not badly damaged The Japanese prepared an elaborate and carefully detailed report of all public and private properties handed over to General Chen Yi On October 25. It was estimated that these confiscated Japanese properties had a value of some two billion American dollars at that time. At Chungking and Nanking the factions around Generalissimo Chiang, the armed forces, the civil bureaucracy. the party, and the powerful organizations of Madame Chiang's family had competed fiercely to immediate control of this island prize. A temporary provincial administration was set up, and the Generalissimo made Lieutenant General Chen Yi the new governor general, carefully surrounding him with representatives of other leaning factions, principally of the army, the air force, and Madame Chiang's interests. T. V. Soong had hired representatives of an American firm to survey Formosan industrial resources on his behalf, and the surveying team reached the island even before Chen Yi arrived to accept the formal local surrender and transfer.
American planes and ships ferried the Nationalists from China to the new island possession. Formosans welcomed them enthusiastically in 0ctober 1945, thinking that a splendid new era was at hand. Within weeks we found that Governor Chen Yi and his commissioners were contemptuous of the Formosan people and were unbelievably corrupt and greedy. For eighteen months they looted our island. The newcomers had lived all their lives in the turmoil of civil war and of the Japanese invasion. They were carpetbaggers, occupying enemy territory', and we were being treated as a conquered people.
In the nineteenth century, Formosa had been controlled by a disorderly garrison government, notorious even in China for its corruption and inefficiency, hut after a half-century of strict Japanese administration we had learned the value of the role of law. People made contracts and kept them. It was generally assumed that one's neighbor was an honest man. In the shops a fixed price system had made it possible for every merchant to know where he stood. We had learned that modern communications, scientific agriculture, and efficient industries must operate within a system of honest measurement, honored contracts, and dependable timing.
All these standards were ignored by our new masters. We were often treated with contempt. Incoming government officials and the more intelligent and educated carpetbaggers made it evident that they looked upon honesty as a laughable evidence of stupidity. In the dog-eat-dog confusion of Chinese life during the war years, these men had survived and reached their present positions largely through trickery, cheating, and double-talk, often the only means of survival in the Chinese cities from which they came. To them we were country Bumpkins and fair game.
The continental Chinese have traditionally looked upon the island of Formosa as a barbarous dependency Addressing a large gathering of students soon after he arrived, the new corn-missioner of education said so, with blunt discourtesy, and this provoked an angry protest. On the other hand, Formosans laughed openly and jeered at newcomers who showed so often that they were unfamiliar with modern equipment and modern organization. I witnessed many examples of Chinese incompetence myself and heard of other extraordinary instances. There were well-advertised incidents when officials insisted upon attempting to drive automobiles without taking driving lessons, on the assumption that if a stupid Formosan could drive any intelligent man from the continent could do so. The conscript soldiers from inland Chinese provinces were the least acquainted with modern mechanisms. Many could not ride bicycles, and having stolen them or taken them forcibly from young Formosans, they' had to walk off carry mg the machines on their backs.
The year 1946 was one of increasing disillusionment. At all 1evels of the administration and economic enterprise Formosans were being dismissed to make way, for the relatives and friends of men in Chen Yi's organization. The secretary general, Chen Yi's civil administrator, had promptly placed seven members of his family in lucrative positions. One of them was given charge of Formosa's multimillion dollar tea export industry. The new manager of the Taichung Pineapple Company, one of the world's largest producers before World War II, was a Y.M.C.A. secretary from Shanghai who had never seen a pineapple plant. The new police chief in Kaohsiung was believed to have more than forty members of his family and close associates on the payroll. The commissioner of agriculture and forestry attempted to sequester a large number of privately' owned junks on the Fast Coast or the pretext that they would be "better kept" under government management at Keelung, when in fact it was common knowledge that his subordinates were operating a smuggling fleet.
At the beginning of 1947 tension had reached a breaking point. The governor
general had a direct family. interest in the management of the Trading Bureau
to which many producers were obliged to sell their products at fixed prices,
after which they. were sold in turn at great profit within Formosa or on the
continent. The commissioners of finance, communications, and industry developed
between them an elaborate network of rules and regulations which gave them a
stranglehold on the total island economy. Nothing could move out of the island
or be imported without some payment of fees, percentages, or taxes.
For a time we students of law, economics, and political science, the San-San Kai group, continued to devote ourselves to books, theories, and abstract discussions. We were not yet politicized, but it was impossible to close our eyes and ears to evidence of a mounting crisis. The Generalissimo's representatives on Formosa were extending to our island the abuses that weakened his position throughout China and brought about his ultimate downfall. By the end of 1946, Chen Yi's commissioners were acting with unlimited and desperate greed. They wanted to become as rich as possible before the Nationalist government collapsed. They. called it "necessary state socialism."
All this directly affected our own interests or the interests of our families. My father, Speaker of the Kaohsiung City Council, was not molested but he was well acquainted with countless incidents of extortion and illegimate confiscation of Formosan property, and of properties and businesses in which Formosans and Japanese had developed shared interests during the preceding fifty. years. The "collaborationist" charge was used by any unscrupulous Chinese who thought he saw a chance to dispossess a Formosan of attractive property.
During the first weeks of 1947 while we were concentrating on our work for degrees,
a series of acts by the Chen Yi administration provoked a violent protest. The
commissioners of finance, communications, and industry, working with the Trading
Bureau, issued a series of new regulations that drastically' tightened the monopolies,
the "necessary state socialism," that was draining Formosa's wealth
into the pockets of these commissioners, the governor general, and their patrons
on the continent. These regulations provoked heated discussion among the students
in our group. Concurrently the central government announced adoption of a new
constitution for "democratic China", but Governor Chen Yi, on Ching'
Kai-shek's orders, informed the people of Formosa that since they were unfamiliar
with democratic processes, the provisions would riot apply in Formosa until
after a period of political tutelage. In other words, we would not be able to
have an effective voice administration until the Nationalist party leaders were
ready to take the risk. According to us, students of law and political science,
the true reason was that Formosa was not yet legally Chinese territory, and
the local administration could not take the risk of exposing itself to a public
vote of confidence. Then followed a third provocation, and the consequences
of this action nearly blasted Chen Yi and the Nationalist from the island.
On the night of February 28, 1947, several of Chen Yi's Monopoly Bureau police savagely beat an old woman who was peddling a few packs of cigarettes without a license in the street-market of Round Park. A riot followed. The Monopoly agents were chased to a nearby police station, and their cars were burned. On the next day the whole of Taipei was seething, and by nightfall a great confrontation between the Formosan people and the occupying Chinese had begun. The first wave of angry protests were directed against the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau. Its branch offices were ransacked and burned and its employees beaten in the streets. Demonstrators marched on the Monopoly Bureau headquarters to demand moderation of Monopoly policies. Getting no satisfaction there, they marched toward the governor's office to protest and present their petition. As they approached the gates, the unarmed marchers were mowed down by machine-gun fire before they could enter the compound.
Pent-tip public auger immediately burst forth. By nightfall next day Chen Yi's administration was virtually paralyzed. The principal officials and more influential carpetbaggers had established an armed camp in the northern suburbs to which they sent wives, children, and truckloads of private possessions, tinder heavy guard. A majority of newcomers from the continent hid in their homes, fearing a general massacre.
There was actually no threat of this. The Formosans were unarmed and police functions were taken over temporarily by students who were observing strict discipline. In the first twit days there had been some violence on both sides, for Governor Chen's roving patrols were shooting at random in an attempt to terrorize the people, and the Formosans sometimes resorted to clubs and stones. Several Monopoly Bureau employees were beaten so severely that they died of injuries. Greater public anger was provoked by the disappearance of a number of middle school students who had entered the Railway Bureau offices to ask when service would be resumed on the main line so that they could leave the city for their homes south of Taipei.
On the third day Governor General Chen Yi announced that he was ready to hear the people. He appointed a committee of prominent Formosans to meet with his own representatives to settle the "incident" by drawing up a program of reforms which he promised to submit to the central government for consideration. He promised to withdraw roving patrols from the city streets and pledged that no troops would be brought into Taipei. This widely representative committee included members of the emergency and temporary police force that had assumed the duties of Chen Yi's men, now in hiding. Among his own representatives on the committee, I am ashamed to say were several men who were Formosans by birth but had gone to China in the 1920S and had worked there for the Nationalist government. They had come hack to serve under Chen Yi, and can only be described as "professional Formosans," men who were well paid by the government and who were always brought forward as "native Formosans" to talk convincingly with foreign visitors on behalf of Chen's administration.
In setting up the committee, the governor announced he wished to receive the recommendations for a program of reform on March 14. Seventeen branch committees were set up in cities and towns throughout the island. At each of these, local Formosans grievances were discussed, recommendations drawn up, and forwarded to the central committee at the capital. The Settlement Committee met on the stage of the city auditorium, and the seats in the large hall were crowded at every session.
Within five days after the initial upspring, Taipei was quiet, although tense. Shops reopened and supplies began to come in from countryside to city markets. Despite the governor's pledges, he tried to bring troop up from the south, hoping to forestall the necessity of receiving the reform proposals. Fortunately word of the events of February 28 and March 1 had spread rapidly throughout the island. Alert citizens in the Hsinchu area prevented troop movements by tearing up the rails at certain places and stalling the troop trains. Governor Chen's attempt at deception the anger and mistrust of the Taipei people. Riots occurred in some of the principal towns where the governor's men attempted to maintain control. A handful of communists, men and women released from local Japanese prisons in late 1945 on General MacArthur's orders, attempted to take advantage of the confusion. They failed to attract a following. Formosans had become accustomed to fear communism ever since Japan adopted its determined anticommunist policies at the close of World War I.
During the height of the excitement at Taipei, we students at the university gathered at the medical school auditorium to discuss the situation. There was not organization, and the meetings were inconclusive. Our situation on the campus was a favorable one, and we still thought we lived in a detached world. We would have liked a better and larger faculty, but we had no real academic grievance. Our only grievances were both personal and general, the troubles, injuries, and losses suffered b'. our families and by Formosans in general. When our meetings broke up, we each went our own way with the tacit understanding that each would do what he wanted in the crisis.
Chen Yi and his principal officers addressed the people from time to time on the radio, urging them to be calm, saying that their demands for reform were justified, and that their proposals would be given careful consideration. But we began to hear rumors that a large military force was being assembled in Fukien, a hundred miles away across the straits. The committee therefore hastened to finish the Draft Reform Program, knowing that if Nationalist troops arrived in force, Governor Chen would never bother to consider it.
All through the week our local papers issued regular and special editions to keep its informed of the committee's work, and from time to time the proceedings in the city auditorium were broadcast. Occasionally some of our university group attended these sessions, and we talked of nothing else throughout the first week of March. On March 7, after consulting with all the seventeen local committe