Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian [孫逸仙])
Sun Zhongshan (孫中山)
While the rest of the world knew him as Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian [孫逸仙]) the Chinese always referred to him as Sun Zhongshan (孫中山).
Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925)
Sun Zhongshan 孫中山
He was born on November 12, 1866 in the small village of Cuiheng(翠亨村) which is located just south of present day Zhongshan City (中山市) and was named Sun Wen (孫文) which was the name he used to refer to himself. The name Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian [孫逸仙]) was his Courtesy Name (號) which began as Rixin or Yat San in Cantonese (日新); both Courtesy Names have roughly the same pronunciation in Cantonese even though the characters are different. His Style Name (字) was Zaizhi (載之).
Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen
At the age of thirteen years in 1879 his father sent him to Honolulu, Hawaii (then a U.S. territory) where his much older brother (15 years his senior), Sun Mei (孫眉) was a business man. There he studied English and graduated from Iolani School in 1882 and then attended Oahu College. In all he resided in Hawaii for seven years. He left in 1883 and returned to China. He studied medicine in Hong Kong and graduated in 1892. Thereafter he practiced medicine in Hong Kong and China and later on in Japan.
Wall Mural at Zhongshan Gujugongyuan in Zhongshan County
天下為公壁在中山市中山故居公園 Calligraphy by Sun Wen 孫文
He married his first wife who came from the same village by the name of Lu Muzhen (盧慕貞) (July 30, 1867-September 7, 1952). They had three children, a son, Sun Fo/Sun Ke (孫科) and two daughters, Sun Yan/Sun Yan (孫延) and Sun Wan/Sun Wan (孫琬).
Altogether he spent seven years living in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was quite enthralled by the personal freedom and was also inspired by the form of elected government. This impression was to stay with him the rest of his life and was the driving force in his intense desire to free China from a non-Han (漢) despotic and ruthless Qing Dynastic (清朝) rule. This inspired in him the conviction that the shackles of the dynasty had to be overthrown and be replaced by a republic. Thus began his involvement in politics which led to a perilous life style and being constantly hunted by agents of the dynasty. As he knew what it meant to be an overseas Chinese from his sojourn in Hawaii, here thus had empathy and rapport with overseas Chinese around the world who were willing and financially able to support his political cause.
He was involved in ten uprisings before the dynasty was finally overthrown. These were:
1. Guangzhou Uprising of 1895 (廣州起義) (Guangdong Province [廣東省])
2. Huizhou Uprising of 1900 (惠州起義) (Guangdong Province [廣東省])
3. Chaozhou Uprising of 1907 (潮州黃岡起義) (Guangdong Province [廣東省])
4. Qinuhu Uprising of 1907 (七女湖起義) (廣東省)
5. Fangcheng Uprising of 1907 (防城起義) (廣西省)
6. Zhennanguan Uprising of 1907 (鎮南關起義) (廣西省)
7. Hekou Uprising of 1908 (河口起義) (雲南省)
8. Guangzhou New Army Uprising of 1910 (廣州新軍起義) (Guangdong Province [廣東省])
9. Huanghuagang Uprising of 1911 (黃花崗起義) (Guangdong Province [廣東省])
10. Wuchang Uprising of 1911 (武昌起義) (Hubei Province [湖北省])
Sun Yatsen Mausoleum in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
The Qing Dynasty (清朝) was finally overthrown in the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911 and this day is still celebrated as the Shunangshijie (雙十節) festival. The Republic of China (中華民國) was formally established on January 1, 1912 in Nanjing (南京).
He died in Beijing (北京) in 1925 of liver cancer and is buried in Nanjing (南京) in Jiangsu Province (江蘇省) which was then the capital of the Republic of China (中華民國). His mausoleum is a worthy historical site to visit as he was designated the Nation’s Father (國父) in recognition of his achievements against the Qing Dynasty (清朝).
Calligraphy by Song Qingling 宋慶齡
Should you visit Zhongshan County (中山市) in southern Guangdong Province (廣東省) make it a point to visit the historical Zhongshan Gujugongyuan (中山故居公園) (Zhongshan Ancestral Home Gardens). It is quite a large site with a Memorial Museum (孫中山紀念館) and his ancestral home is located in the rear amongst landscaped gardens. One could spend a better part of a day looking at the information contained in the museum and within the walled ancestral home there is a tree he brought back from Hawaii which is planted to one side of the home and it is still thriving to this day.