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My Thirty-Three Year's Dream

My Thirty-Three Year's Dream: The Autobiography of Miyazaki Toten

Miyazaki Tōten
ETŌ SHINKICHI
MARIUS B. JANSEN
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 298
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvtzk
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  • Book Info
    My Thirty-Three Year's Dream
    Book Description:

    Annotated by Professors Jansen and Eto, the book illuminates the experiences of Miyazaki's generation with Western culture and the development of an Asian consciousness.

    Originally published in 1982.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5725-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Translators’ Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Etō Shinkichi and Marius B. Jansen

    When we first met in 1951, Miyazaki Tōten’sThirty-Three Years’ Dreamprovided the first item in the discovery of common interests. In our numerous encounters and discussions during the almost thirty-three years since then, a host of other topics relating to Sino-Japanese relations have come up, but none more engaging than the autobiography of this Japanese China enthusiast with its insights into the thought world of young men in Meiji Japan.

    Some fifteen years ago we first began to discuss cooperating in an English edition and translation. We were not the first to discuss such cooperation; in postwar days Kuwabara...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xi)
  4. [Illustration]
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. Introduction Miyazaki Tōten: The Dream and The Life
    (pp. xiii-2)

    Miyazaki Torazō, better known as Tōten, the pen name he used during a career that revolved around Sun Yat-sen and the Chinese revolution, published hisThirty-Three Years’ Dreamto explain the failure of efforts to mount a revolution in south China in 1900. Then and later he was the most important of a small group of Japanese enthusiasts who devoted their lives to helping their Chinese friends overthrow the Manchu dynasty. Tōten saw that overthrow as an essential first step in a world-wide crusade for freedom and justice in which his role was that of a chivalrous Lafayette to Sun...

  6. 1 HALF MY LIFE A DREAM, I LONG FOR FALLEN BLOSSOMS
    (pp. 3-4)

    “Mt. Yoshino!” the poem goes; “The booming bell scatters the cherry blossoms.” Yet the wind drives petals before it too, and it is wrong to blame the priest alone who sounds the bell. Some rejoice to see a branch heavy with blossoms, laden as though with snow; others delight in the wild blizzard of blossoms before the wind. Ten cases, ten tastes: each of us is stirred according to his spirit. The blossoms themselves, however, are not sensitive to this, but quite indifferent to it. Let me be like those blossoms.

    Blossoms are beautiful. They are splendid when they rival...

  7. 2 MY NATIVE HILLS AND RIVERS
    (pp. 5-7)

    It happens that my mother, who has reached the great age of more than seventy years, still lives in my native village. If my song of fallen blossoms and of failure reaches her ears, what will her emotions be? My wife and children too are there in the same village. Faithful to the dream of their husband and father, they have endured all kinds of hardship. If they hear this song of mine, whatever will they say? And if I should ever go back what would Ichizō and Hyōkichi, our old servants, think of me? Indeed I wonder how the...

  8. 3 MY FAMILY
    (pp. 8-10)

    My father died when I was eleven, so I have only a few memories of him. I do remember that he opened a school in which he taught fencing to the boys of the locality. I also remember that he would sometimes load a horse with watermelons that he had grown himself and go through the village giving them to the aged and the sick. And I remember how frightened I could be sometimes when, after having had too much sake to drink, he would wave his arms around and bellow some tuneless song at the top of his lungs....

  9. 4 MIDDLE SCHOOL AND THE ŌE ACADEMY
    (pp. 11-17)

    My classmates in middle school all had the same ambition: they were constantly saying, “I’m going to be an official” or “I’m going to get a job in the government.” All they could think of was a government position. But to me officials and administrators were robbers or criminals, and I considered them enemies of the movement for freedom and people’s rights. As a result I disliked those students even more than they disliked me; in fact I despised them. The problem was that I was powerless against so many. I was a single rebel, surrounded by a government army....

  10. 5 I ABANDON MYSELF TO DESPAIR
    (pp. 18-20)

    Now that I had quite despaired of my own worth, I stood at a point of great danger and temptation. How was the god of fate going to deal with me? Upon my arrival in Tokyo, I got in touch with a friend from Kumamoto and arranged to stay in his lodging-house. At a time when everything I saw was new and novel to me, nothing astonished me more than the transformation of my friend. To begin with, I could not get over the change in his outward appearance. He had always been a healthy fellow with cropped hair and...

  11. 6 I BECOME A CHRISTIAN
    (pp. 21-30)

    At that time there was a student at the school named Araki Mihohiko who had been ahead of me at the Ōe Academy. He took me around to see the famous places in Tokyo every day, and thereby managed to ease the despair in my heart to some degree. One Sunday evening Araki was serving as my guide again on a stroll; when we passed in front of a Christian church on our way back, he suggested that we enter. Accordingly I followed him in without particularly thinking about it. Once we were inside I listened to a hymn, still...

  12. 7 CHANGES IN MY IDEAS, AND MY FIRST LOVE
    (pp. 31-45)

    At that time Tamizō, my oldest brother, was home in Kumamoto and ill. He wrote me that I should come home. Because of a bad crop the family finances were strained, and they would be unable to send me money for schooling for some time. So Yazō and I came home; we three brothers were together again for the first time in many months, and we gathered around our mother to help and serve her.

    Our house now unexpectedly became a center for the study of religion and philosophy. Yazō and I tried to persuade Tamizō of the truth of...

  13. 8 I SET MY COURSE
    (pp. 46-50)

    My brother Yazō was not only a beacon of light in the dark for me: he also provided the compass whereby I could steer my life’s course. His views on religion were the same as mine, and so were his ideas about society. That is, we had come to the same view on the priority of a solution to the problem of hunger. There was the difference, of course, that though I had wandered off the track by entering the byway of love instead of concentrating on the problem, Yazō had not allowed anything to take priority over the problem...

  14. 9 I ENTER THE COUNTRY OF MY DREAMS
    (pp. 51-53)

    My friend Kiyofuji suddenly came back from Nagasaki. “I’ve changed my mind about going to China,” he said. “I want you two to release me from the agreement I made with you.” When I asked him the reason he said that he had changed his whole outlook and couldn’t work together with us any more. He detailed the reasons for his change of heart with great eloquence. He now asserted the inanity of spiritual theories and argued that only materialism made any sense. In an overnight reversal of his previous positions he held forth on materialism, the survival of the...

  15. 10 FOUR WASTED YEARS
    (pp. 54-64)

    Soon after I returned home, I was married to Miss Maeda. Everybody thought that that was why I had returned; I suspect that the only one who knew that that wasn’t the case was “Count” Rice. Nevertheless I was a long time getting over the resentment I had for him for having forced me to exchange the sights of the continent for the pleasures of home. My old friends, however, were all concerned for me. They were afraid that I had become softened with love for my new bride that my resolve had been dulled, and I was no longer...

  16. 11 I GO TO SIAM
    (pp. 65-79)

    When I returned to Tokyo and reported all this to Yazō, he too rejoiced on hearing about the chivalry of that woman. He stood and said to me, “If our determination is firm we can storm the heavens and conquer the oceans. Let us continue. Let us now try to persuade the nameless hero.” And with that we left the greengrocer’s where we lived.

    Our “unsung hero” stayed temporarily in a back room on the second floor of a small Western clothing-store named Isekō in Ginza. Despite the noise, horse-carts, and crowds, it looked like a haven from the dusty...

  17. 12 THREE MONTHS IN JAPAN AGAIN
    (pp. 80-95)

    As I wanted to propose reviving the Slam immigration project to the Hiroshima Immigration Company, I went straight from Moji to Hiroshima. I had never been to Hiroshima before. As had often been the case, my strange appearance and air roused suspicion; I was often denied a room at inns where they did not know me. Since I was worried about this, and thought I wouldn’t fit a high-class place, I asked the rickshaw man to pick out an inexpensive inn for me. He moved along in high spirits, and brought me to a small inn. “A guest” he called...

  18. 13 MY SECOND TRIP TO SIAM
    (pp. 96-107)

    When our ship arrived in Hong kong we found that plague was raging and no ships could leave port with passengers. Nobody knew when we would be able to leave. We looked at each other with consternation at this new setback.

    Still, we had to be ready for setbacks like this. Except for Yato, who was a banker and trader between Siam and Japan, all of us were poor fellows. If we had to stay in Hong Kong for even ten days, we would run out of money for room and board. It was as clear as fire before our...

  19. 14 ALAS, YAZŌ DEAD!
    (pp. 108-114)

    The three of us were equally heavy drinkers. As we could not afford liquor on board the ship, we tried to fight boredom with chants and story telling as a ludicrous substitute. When we got to Hong Kong we broke our agreement not to drink and argued stubbornly over who was to blame. Then came negotiations with the Japanese consulate to borrow money, a promissory note for our lodging and locating a coal ship that would take us as passengers: all in good order; we took care of these things in Hong Kong. It was already seven years since my...

  20. 15 A NEW LIFE OPENS FOR ME
    (pp. 115-120)

    Alas, the wellspring of my activities had run dry. I had now returned to the vale of tears and was in the world of lamentation. I was distraught and had no idea of what I should do. My friends in Siam must have become angry and must have thought I was irresponsible. They must certainly have been in extreme difficulty. I could not put this out of my mind, and yet I did not have the will-power to go back there. At times I tried to force myself to do so, but I couldn’t. Then word came from a friend...

  21. 16 I ENTER THE COUNTRY OF MY DREAMS A SECOND TIME
    (pp. 121-129)

    I gradually recovered from my illness. Meanwhile Inukai lived up to his promise. Hirayama, Kani, and I received orders from the Foreign Ministry to investigate the state of secret societies in China. I was still in the hospital. When I got the order I persuaded the hospital head to release me. I went to the Foreign Ministry and met a certain high official, made arrangements, and was about to set out on the journey when my illness flared up again and I wasn’t able to leave as planned. Hirayama and Kani left for China, and I stayed on in my...

  22. 17 SUN YAT-SEN, THE LEADER OF THE HSING-CHUNG HUI
    (pp. 130-140)

    Sun Wen, also known as Sun Yat-sen, was born in Hsiang-shan prefecture in Kwangtung. His ancestors had been farmers for generations. As a child Sun too followed his forebears’ calling with plow and hoe. When he was thirteen, he went to be with his eldest brother, who had migrated to Hawaii and was regarded as one of the well-to-do. He went to an American school there55and was converted to Christianity. This upset his brother, who forced him to return home, where he worked on the farm once again. He was then seventeen. But the local villagers now realized his...

  23. 18 AMATEUR DIPLOMAT
    (pp. 141-158)

    At that time the Chinese emperor accepted the proposals of K’ang Yu-wei and energetically set about on the reform of the national government. The conservative faction that was in power opposed this, and the political situation in Peking became unstable. Hirayama and I parted company shortly after we reached Shanghai; Hirayama went to North China, and I to South China.

    I proceeded to Hong Kong, where I put up at the Tōyōkan. I looked up old friends and made new acquaintances, and met secretly with members of theHsing-Chung huiandSan-ho hui,63to investigate the state of affairs. Then...

  24. 19 K’ANG YU-WEI ENTERS JAPAN
    (pp. 159-172)

    K’ang had made up his mind and the money had come. I went to see the consul with Usa right away to tell him of K’ang’s decision, and he was very pleased. He sent Usa to make convenient arrangements with Mihara, who headed the branch office of the Nippon Yūsen Company. Mihara entered into the spirit of the thing very generously; he said he would see to it that the passenger list was restricted to Japanese and English, and that he would have the steamship leave the harbor on time, and then stop outside the harbor to wait for our...

  25. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  26. 20 OUR ACTIVITIES IN THE TROUBLED WORLD OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
    (pp. 173-185)

    Thanks to the kindness of the owner of the Taiyōkan, I had sake to drink and rice to eat. In comparison with earlier days, I was better off than I had been in body and mind. Still, when I thought of the road that lay before me, I couldn’t help but feel that I was not making any progress. Once the Yamagata cabinet was organized, all the help our friend Inukai had been able to provide collapsed overnight. Moreover, I had failed in my attempts to bring about the cooperation between K’ang Yu-wei and Sun Yat-sen that I had dreamed...

  27. 21 A DRAMATIC CHANGE
    (pp. 186-198)

    Shortly before this a letter from our comrade in Hunan, Pi Yung-nien, arrived with the news that the top leader of theKo-lao huiwould be in Hong Kong soon accompanied by several of his men. Ch’en Shao-pai suggested that I wait for them in Hong Kong rather than proceed to inland China for the observation Sun Yat-sen had asked me to undertake. Then one day Ch’en came to me and said, “TheKo-lao huigroup has arrived, but Pi is not with them.” He showed me a letter from Pi that introduced the group to Ch’en and to me....

  28. 22 OUR EXPEDITION TO THE SOUTH
    (pp. 199-208)

    Sun Yat-sen asked Hirayama to go on to Hong Kong and wait for our group there. There were six in our party: Sun Yat-sen, Cheng,90Ch’en, Kiyofuji, Uchida, and I. Fukumoto and Hara were to take the next ship, and Shimada and Suenaga decided to remain in Fukuoka and bring their men to join us when Sun Yatsen’s preparations were complete.

    Once our departure date was set and we were about to leave, the thing that was most on my mind was my Tomeka. She had been living with me and taking care of me for several months. I was...

  29. 23 ARRESTED IN SINGAPORE
    (pp. 209-229)

    Kiyofuji and I had gone to the entrance of our inn to see Uchida off. We came back to our room and, amazingly enough, put some of our papers and belongings in some kind of order, and then picked up a broom to clean things up a little ourselves. We said to each other “That’s that!” and then Kiyofuji ordered the girl to cool some beer in preparation for the night’s drinking. Then he called in the houseboy, who was named Yoshimura, and began to playgowith him. I had no difficulty in keeping up with Kiyofuji when it...

  30. 24 GENERAL HEADQUARTERS ON BOARD THE SADO MARU
    (pp. 230-241)

    When we woke up the next morning we began to swap stories and complaints about the events of the previous week. Fukumoto began with his account of the situation when he arrived:

    “When the ship docked somebody showed up asking for me. When I asked him what he wanted, he looked around him as if he was afraid somebody would see him. I thought there was something wrong with him. Then he put his mouth to my ear and started whispering what had happened to you. Was I surprised! He gave me your message that we should not get off...

  31. 25 THE FAILURE OF OUR PLANS
    (pp. 242-246)

    It is the landscape of Japan that always warms my heart. Lake Biwa and Mt. Fuji, to which I had bade farewell so recently, seemed to smile at me on my return. The white clouds that touched Fuji’s peak mirrored the tranquility of my mind.

    When my train reached Yokohama I parted from Sun and went on to Tokyo, where Kiyofuji and I lived quietly in Shibaura near the shore. From Uchida and Suenaga Junichirō I learned what had happened since our departure and that Suenaga Setsu and Tajima were in Shanghai organizing comrades there. As old friends gradually located...

  32. 26 MY LETTER TO SUN YAT-SEN
    (pp. 247-263)

    I wanted to be generous of heart. In the daytime, when there were other people about, the matter did not seem so important to me, but at night when everything was quiet and the wound hurt I would shed bitter tears of indignation. I thought of how little one could depend on people, and what a terrible thing the human heart was. And I myself became suspicious of people. I began to suspect that our Japanese comrades distrusted me. And what about Sun himself? Wasn’t he somewhat suspicious of me too? Since human nature is weak, it wasn’t at all...

  33. 27 THE HUICHOU INCIDENT
    (pp. 264-275)

    Alas, what agony my dream has brought! During the period that it possessed me, the dream of Philippine independence failed, and so too the Huichou (Waichow) revolutionary rising. The Philippine story is now widely known; the Huichou story is not. Let me tell of that dream, even though only the foolish talk of dreams.

    In June of 1900, when we left Yokohama for Hong Kong with Sun Yat-sen, he sent orders to his lieutenants in Kwangtung province to assemble six hundred volunteers at a mountain stronghold in Sanchout’ien [Samchautin], (Sanchout’ien is near Tap’eng Bay [Mirs Bay] in Kwangtung, and about...

  34. 28 I SING OF FALLEN FLOWERS
    (pp. 276-280)

    There is nothing more painful for a person than his inability to live up to others’ expectations of him. It is like asumōchampion who disappoints his supporters. When he first enters the ring and postures in all directions, the shouts and claps of his supporters are like thunder and hail. What are his thoughts at that time? Of course his only concern is the satisfaction of his supporters, and he does not think about his own fate. I had always clung to my great purpose and high hope. Tomeka, naturally, did not understand what I had in my...

  35. APPENDIX: FOUR PREFACES TO ORIGINAL EDITION
    (pp. 281-294)
  36. Index of Names
    (pp. 295-298)
  37. Back Matter
    (pp. 299-299)