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Hakkalogists, please comment
Could the Hakklogists please comment on my eassy.
An abstract of the five migrations of the Hakkas
Overseas Hakkas claim that their ancestors have moved five times.
Their first migration was at the end of the Western Jin Dynasty
(265AD to 317AD). The second migration took place in around 874AD just
before the end of the Tang Dynasty (618AD to 907AD). The third migration
was due to the conquest of the Mongolians and the collapse of the Song
Dynasty (960AD to 1279AD). The fourth migration of the Hakkas occured
between 1680AD to 1720AD after the Manchus had established their Dynasty
of Qing (1644AD to 1911AD). The fifth and the last migration of these
energetic hardworking Hakkas took place after the destruction of the
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1865to 1940AD).
The First Migration around 311AD to 317AD
Towards the end of the Han Dynasty (206BC to 220AD) the land was
divided by the three most powerful generals during that time. In the
North was Cao Cao, in the region of South and Southeast of the Yangtze
River was Sun Quan and Liu Bei in Sichuan, the Western part of the
Cao Cao, who was the Prime Minister of the Han Court, died in 220AD
and his son Cao Pi succeeded him as the new Prime Minister. Without
hesistation Cao Pi dethroned Emperor Xian of the Han Court and
established his own Dynasty called Wei in 220AD with the capital in Luo
Yang in Henan province.
The following year Liu Bei established his Kingdom called Su in the
Western part of the land with the capital in Chengdu in Sichuan province.
In 229AD Sun Quan proclaimed the formation of his Kingdom with the capital
in Jian Ye (present day Nanjing) in Jiangsu province. The historians called
this period the Romance of the Three Kingdoms with incessant warfare for
more than 50 years.
In 260AD Cao Huan was installed as Emperor Yuan of the Wei Dynasty and
his Prime Minister was Si-Ma Yan. The Kingdom of Su was conquered by Wei
Dynasty in 263AD. In 265AD Emperor Yuan was dethroned by his Prime
Minister Si-Ma Yan who established his own Dynasty called Jin. Si-Ma Yan
installed himself as Wu Di (Emperor Wu) of Jin Dynasty. He subjucated
the Kingdom of Wu in 280AD. Thus Si-Ma Yan unified the country which had
an estimated population of 16,163,863.
Si-Ma Yan was not only a drunkard but also a debauchee who could not
tolerate criticism. He kept thousands of young and beautiful girls in
his palace as his concubines. He could punish any official who dare
to exposutulate with him on his debauchery. Si-Ma Yan died in 290AD and
was succeeded by his son Si-Ma Zhong who was crowned as Emperor Hui.
Si-Ma Zhong was a moron who did not have the ability to govern such
a large country. He allowed his wife Emperess Gu Nan-Feng to take charge
of the administration. She used her husband's authority to manipulate
with power and the country fell apart in a civil war which was called the
Rebellion of the Eight Princes that lasted from 290AD to 305AD.
Eventually Emperess Gu died in the general chaos.
As a result of the civil war the situation of the country deteriorated
into famine which followed by droughts and the invasions of locusts.
The non-Han Chinese tribes of the Turkic Xiong Nu, the Jie, the Xian Bei,
the Di and the Qiang took advantage of the anarchy and established
themselves into politcal and armed units. In 304AD the Di founded a
kingdom in the western part of the country, the Xiong Nu proclaimed the
formation of a kingdom in south Shaaxi. The historians called this period
"Wu Hu Luan Hua" The Invasion of the Five Barbarians.
In 311AD Liu Zong the chieftain of Xiong Nu siezed Luo Yang, the
capital of Jin and captured Emperor Hui who was later executed. The
14 years old Si-Ma Ye, a nephew of Empero Hui, was installed as Emperor
Min in Chang An in Shaanxi by a relative. In 316AD another leader of the
Xion Nu tribe overran Chang An and captured Emperor Min who was later
killed by the conquerors. It was the end of the Jin Dynasty.
Due to the famine, the politcal and economic chaos in North China
en masse of Han Chinese fled southward to the safety regions south of the
Yangtze River. In 317AD Si-Ma Rui set up a new Dynasty called Eastern Jin
in Jian Kang (present day Nanking city) and installed himself as Emperor
Yuan. The exodus of Han Chinese continued to move into south of Yangtze
River. They were the powerful family groups and they established
political units to control over their new homes. They swamped the
regions where it is now called the provinces of Jiangsu, Jiangxi and
Anhwei. It was estimated that more than a million people had emigrated
to the South.
There were feuds between the emigrants and the locals mostly over the
seizure of lands by the new comers. The locals nicknamed them "Cang Ren"
reckless fellows among them were the forebears of the Hakka People.
Although the new Dynasty of Eastern Jin had made a few attemps to
recover the North, Emperor Yuan and the new comers were contented with
their new found and fertlie land in the South. As a result the Chinese
population in the South increased by several folds and the non-Han
Chinese in the South were Sinicized by these Diaspora.
The second Migration of the Hakkas around 874AD
In Northern China, Tuo-Ba (surname) Gui, the leader of the Xian Bei
tribe, destroyed the military power of the other tribes of Turkic Xiong
Nu, the Jie, the Di and the Qiang. Thus the whole of Northern China came
under his control.
In 386AD Tuo-Ba Gui established his Dynasty called Later Wei (386AD to
534AD). He titled himself as Emperor Dao Wu (386AD to 409AD) and employed
many Han-Chinese to administer his government. About half of the
population in his domain were Han-Chinese. Gradually, many of the citizens
of Xian Bei origin were being sinicized by the Han Chinese subjects.
In 471AD Yuan Hong was installed as Emperor Xiao Wen (471AD to 499AD).
He proclaimed that all the people of Xian Bei descent should be sinicized.
He decreed four steps that Xian Bei people should do:
(1) to adopt Han Chinese surnames.
He and his children adopted Yuan as their surname as his
name was Yuan Hong.
(2) to encourage Xian Bei people to speak only Han language
and to adopt Han model of administration in government offices.
(3) to inspire Xian Bei and Han Chinese to intermarriage.
(4) forbid Xian Bei people to wearing their tribal costume.
The sinicization was a great success and people of Xian Bei origin
considered themselves as Han Chinese. People of other tribes followed
suit and sinicizing themselves as Han Chinese too. Thus North China
became a melting pot and the population living there considered
themselves as Han Chinese.
In 420 Liu Yu dethroned Si-Ma De Zong the last Emperor of Eastern Jin
and established the Song Dynasty. This period was called the Dynasties of
South and North which lasted until 581AD when Yang Jian unified the whole
of China under his Dynasty of Sui (581AD to 618AD). In 618AD Li Yuan, a
general in the Sui armed forces, seized the throne from Emperor Gong, the
last Emperor of Sui and founded the Tang Dynasty (618AD to 907AD).
Tang Dynasty was the most resplendent in all Chinese history. It was
the golden age of Chinese culture. Tang Dynasty was super in political
and economic organization and in religious too. The influence of Tang
civilization in Asia was at its apex. Chang An, the capital of
Tang, was the central for studying classical poetry and Buddhism.
After the revolt of An Lu Shan in 757AD the Tang government began to
deteriorate. Population growth and the declining administrative
efficiency were the main causes that improverished the people and
followed by famine.
In 874AD a peasant uprising occured in Hua Zhou (present day Hua
county in Henan province) and its leader was Wang Xian Zhi. The following
year another peasant rebellion, with its leader named Huang Chao, broke
out in Cao Zhou (present day Cao county in Shandong province) and Ju
Zhou (present day He Ze county in Shandong province). Huang Chao led the
hungry peasants and pushed southward. They crossed the Yellow River and
Yangtze River and overran the cities of Fuzhou and Guangzhou in the
coastal region. He killed all the foreign residents in Guangzhou city,
about 120,000 of them and razed the city to the ground.
In 880AD his peasant army swiped westward and captured the Tang
capital of Chang An. Huang Chao installed himself as the first Emperor
of Qi Dynasty. The Tang Court fled to Chengdu in the west in present day
Sichuan province. Eventually with the help of the Tibetants the Tang
Court destroyed the fledging Qi dynasty. Huang Chao escaped back to his
home base in Shandong province and committed suicide there.
In order to escape famine, drought and peasant upheavals people from the
Central Plain of China were emigrating to the regions south of the Yangtze
River. History repeated itself as they were in the similar situation
as the earlier emigrants in the 4th century. They armed and banded
themselves in groups to move southward and settled down in the fringes
of the five ridges in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangdong. These
displaced people or Guest People had no intention of staying here
permanently. They hoped to return to their homeland in the north when the
turbulence was over. However, the situation in the North had deteriorated
into total chaos with the collapse of the Tang Dynasty in 907AD.
After the extinction of the Tang Dynasty China was disintegrated into
many Kingdoms. The next fifty three years was called by the historians
as Wu Dai (Five Dynasties) and Shi Guo (Ten Kingdoms). Under these chaotic
circumstances there was no way that these Guest People wanted to go back
north to their homelands. They always told themselves that they would
return to the north, but they lived there right until the 20th century
preserving their ancient tongue (Hakka) and custom. Even up to the
present day they still saying that they were originally from the north.
On September 8, 1927 Mao Zedong led a group of peasants and staged a
uprising which was called Autumn Harvest Uprising in Hunan province.
After the collapse of the uprising Mao Zedong congregated about 800 men
and 80 rifles, the remnants of the uprising. They climbed the Jing Gang
Shan and established the first Red revolutionary base in these mountains.
Jing Gang Shan is a massive mountain ranges, lying between the two
provinces of Jiangxi and Hunan. There were only five villages, at that
time, in this region of 900 square kilometers. All the families were
Hakkas whose forefathers came from the north several hundred years ago.
(Selected Works of Mao Zedong Vol.1)
The third Migration of the Hakkas (1268AD to 1279AD)
It was the period of Wu Dai Shi Guo (The five Dynasties and the ten
Kingdoms 907AD to 960AD) and Zhao Kuang-Yin was a commander in chief of
the armed forces of the Later Zhou Dynasty (951AD to 960AD). In 960AD he
was ordered north to stop the incursion by the Liao army who were from the
Liao River Valley in present day Southern Manchuria.
Zhao Kuang-Yin and his army arrived at Chen Qiao a small suburban
town north east of Bianjing (present day Kaifeng city in Henan province).
They camped there for a few days. Those generals under his command
decided that he should become the Emperor as the present Emperor was only
a seven years old boy. Whether Zhao Kuang-Yin like it or not they put a
yellow robe on him and proclaimed him the Emperor. Zhao Kuang-Yin refused
to wear the yellow robe. For three times his generals made him wear the
yellow robe and become the new Emperor. Each time he refused, but
eventually he was persuaded by his subordiants. Thus he became the emperor.
He named his empire the Song Dynasty (960AD to 1279AD) with the capital
in Bianjing. He was known as Emperor Tai Zu3 (reigned 960AD to 976AD).
Seven generations later in 1101AD Zhao Ji was crowned as Emperor Hui
Zong. It was during the reign of Zhao Ji that the Song empire began to
decline. The financial situation of the country was in bad shape. Its
administrations were in a mess. Yet Zhao Ji continued to spend a lot of
money on his hobbies which were painting and creative arts as he was a
born artist. He also maintained a luxurious Court. In the process it
further strained the country's revenue.
During that time there lived a tribe called Jurched in present day
northern Manchuria in the upper basin of Song Hua Jiang (Sungari River)
which was part of the domain of the Liao. They had risen to power and
they rebelled against their ruler, the Liao. They established their own
dynasty known as the Jin Dynasty (Golden Dynasty). In 1153AD they moved
their capital from Manchuria to Yanjing (present day Beijing city in
A new dynasty like Jin could easily defeated the Liao, Zhao Ji thought
that his army could do the same and defeat the Liao too. So he formed an
alliance with the Jin hoping that, together, they could destroy the Liao.
Zhao Ji wanted to regain the sixteen border prefectures previously lost to
the Liao in 963AD.
The Jin attcked the Liao from the East and the Song from the south.
The Jin army had no troble to overrun the eastern part of Liao, but the
Song armies were beaten by the Liao. Knowing that the Song was weak the
Jin marched southward into the Song territory. The Song could not stop
them. In 1126AD, in consternation, Zhao Ji abdicated in favour of his
elder son named Zhao Hang who was installed as Emperor Qin Zong. But the
Jin hordes continued riding south and captured Bianjing, the Song
capital. The two Emperors, Zhao Ji and Zhao Hang were still in the city
because they did not escape fast enough from the blitze-kreig of the
Jin. They were captured by the Jin and became prisoners.
Zhao Gou, the numbered nineth son of Zhao Ji, continued to
resist the Jin. The following year in 1127AD Zhao Gou crowned himself as
Emperor Gao Zong the numbered tenth Emperor of the Song Dynasty. He
established his capital in the southern city of Lin An (present day
Hangzhou city Zhejiang province).
The Hakka People, like Yue Fei the Hakka general, were fanatical
patriots supporting the Song Court. They swore that they would recapture
the lost territory in the North and free the two Emperors held in
captivity by the Jin. General Yue Fei trained and organized an army which
was called the northern expedition army. They marched northward and
recaptured a vast territory from the Jin.
When Zhao Gou crowned himself as the Emperor he was tormented day and
night by two matters. First, he was afraid that his elder brother
Zhao Hang and his father Zhao Ji would be released by the Jin. He would
have to give up the throne in favoure of either of them. The second
matter was that a much adored and highly respected general might seize
the throne just like his ancestor the founder of the Dynasty Zhao
Kuang-Yin did 267 years ago.
General Yue Fei and his northern expedition army were winning battles
after battles. The Jin were being routed and pushed further northeast.
The Emperor of Jin was in panicked. Meanwhile, down in the south Zhao
Gou was in panicked too. He was afraid that Yue Fei might conquer all
the territory in the north and free the two Emperors.
One of his ministers named Qin Gui convinced Zhao Gou to make peace
with the Jin and recall Yue Fei's expedition army. Zhao Gou agreed.
Yue Fei and the army under his command were summoned back to the
southern capital, Lin An. Later Qin Gui had Yue Fei murdered.
In 1233AD the Song Court formed an alliance with the Mongolian
from the north with the intention to destroy the Jin. It was agreed that
after the destruction of Jin the land south of the Yellow River would be
returned to the Song Court, whereas the Mongolian would occupied the rest
of the land north of the Yellow River. In 1234AD the combined forces
of the Song and Mongolian destroyed the Jin.
After the extinction of Jin, the Mongols did not honour the agreement
and did not return the land south of the Yellow River to the Song.
Instead in 1268AD the Mongolian army began to conquer the South.
The Hakka People, who were the strong supporters of the Song Court,
desperatly resisted the invasion, but the Mongolian armies under the
command Genghis were too strong. The Song Court fled South and the
Hakkas went with them. They fled from Jizhou (present day Ji An city in
Jiangxi province) through Fuzhou and Quanzhou in Fujian province to
Meizhou (Meixian), Chaozhou, Xiushan (Humen town in Dongguan district),
Huizhou and finally in 1278AD they arrived at Yashan near Xin Hui county
in the coastal province of Guangdong. The remaining members of the Song
Court, the Song army and the civilians numbered about a quarter million
and the Song Emperor was Zhao Bing, an eight years old young boy. They
set up their Court on the boats because they had no land of their own.
Wen Tian-Xiang, the last Prime Minister of Song Dynasty was captured
by the Mongolian troops at Lufeng in Guangdong province. He was sent back
to Da Du (present day Beijing city in Hebei province) where he was
executed because he refused to surrender and work for the Mongols.
While in prison and before he was executed Wen Tian-Xiang wrote a famous
essay entitled "Zheng Qi Ge" (The Song of Uprightness) which is still
being taught in some of the Chinese schools in Malaysia.
A year later in 1279AD the Mongols finally caught up with them. In
front of them lay the deep waters of the South China Sea and behind them
stood the Mongolian armies. Quite literally, the Song Court was between
the devil and the deep blue sea.
Lu Xiu-Fu, a Minister in the Song Court, carried the young Emperor
Zhao Bing on his back and said,
"We, the Emperor and the Minister, would not
be humiliated by foreigners".
With that statement and the young Emperor still on his back, Lu Xiu-Fu
walked right into the sea. Both of them were drowned. That was the end
of the Song Dynasty which had existed for 320 years.
After the extinction of the Song Dynasty, the remnants of this great
Dynasty, including the Hakka People, did not go back to the North but
dispersed and settled down in the regions between the provinces of
Guangdong and Fujian, specially in the districts of Meixian, Dongguan,
Huizhou, Dabu, Haifeng, Lufeng (Hai-Lu-Feng), Yongding, Yongxin and many
other hilly places.
They built villages and remained isolated and aloof, retaining their
own customs and speaking their ancient dialect (Hakka). They multiplied.
Several hundred years later in the 19th and early of 20th centuries
the offspring of these Hakkas emigrated to all over the world especially
to Nanyang (Southeast Asia ) where I was born.
The fourth Migration of the Hakkas (1661AD to 1720AD)
In 1279AD the Mongols, who came from the north of China, destroyed the
Song Dynasty (960AD to 1279AD). They established the Yuan Dynasty (1280AD
to 1368AD). This was the first time in history that a non-Han Chinese
Government ruled the whole of China. This was the most racial conscious
Government in Chinese history. The Mongols divided the people under their
rule into four classes. The northern sinicized Chinese were treated as 3rd
class citizens and the Chinese living south of the Yangtze River were
treated as 4th class citizens who were oppressed, suppressed, maltreated,
persecuted, generally ill-treated and regarded as nothing more than
The 4th class citizens had had enough of hardship under the Mongols.
So during the years between 1348AD to 1353AD they organized themselves
into many groups throughout the country for the sole of fostering
rebellion against the Mongols: Fang Guo-zhen in Zhejiang province; Liu
Fu-tong in Anhui province; Li Er in Jiangsu province; Zhu Yuan-zhang in
Hao Zhou Zhejiang; and many others in other parts of the country.
Eventually Zhu Yuan-zhang united all these groups and destroyed the Yuan
dynasty. In 1368AD Zhu Yuan-zhang established the Ming dynasty (1368AD to
It was comparatively peaceful through out the period of the Ming
dynasty. The administration of the Ming was orderly and the society was
The Ming Government conducted a census of the empire and the result was
that there were about hundred million people living in the Ming empire.
At the turn of the seventeenth century the Ming dynasty began to
decline. The enunch dominated the Ming Court. The national morality was
at its nadir. Political corruptions were wide spread through out the
country. High taxes and intellectual irresponsibilities were the normal
of the day. The decadence was followed by wide spread of banditry and
desolation in many parts of the empire. During this period there were two
bands of bandit under Zhang Xian-zhong and Li Zi-cheng who overran the
greater part of the Ming empire for nearly twenty years resulting untold
Li Zi-cheng was a poor peasant who lived in Mi Zhi district in Shaanxi
province. In 1628AD Shaanxi was hard hit by a famine. Many people died of
starvation. There were banditry every where and the Ming government could
not cope with the disaster. With a few young men Li Zi-cheng formed a
bandit band and became its leader. His band was like a rolling snow ball
which grew biger and bigger as thousands upon thousands of hungry peasants
joined him. He organised an army and marched eastward. While on the march
he raided government treasuries and offices.
In the April 1644AD he descended on Beijing, the capital of the Ming
dynasty. He captured Beijing on the 25th of April and his followers
ransacked the city as the numbered seventeenth Ming Emperor, Zhu You Jian
fled and hid in the Prospect Hill, over looking the Forbidden City, not
far from his palace. Later he hanged himself in the pavilion on that hill.
Wu San-gui was the Ming general sent to defend Shanhaiguan (The Gate of
Mountain and Sea) which was the only gate accessable to the Central Plain
of China, through the Great Wall that dividing the Zhongyuan (the Central
Plain of China) and the Liaoling peninsular (Southern Manchuria). Wu
San-gui heard that his father was captured by Li Zi-cheng who forced his
father to urge him to surrender. Wu San-gui agreed to surrender and was
marching back to Beijing. However, when the news came that his favourite
concubine, Chen Yuan-yuan was kidnapped by the rebel leader, he changed
his mind and retreated to Shanhaiguan. He opened the gate of Shanhaiguan
and invited the Manchus to joined forces with him to attack the rebels.
The Manchus, who were from the Northeast, had overran the peninsular of
Liaodong and wanted to extent to the Central Plain of China, but their
objective was blocked by the Great Wall. Now they were delighted with Wu's
The combined forces of the Manchus and wu marched to Beijing. They
routed the rebels. Before he withdrew from Beijing Li Zi-cheng killed Wu's
father, his favourate concubine and his entire family. The Manchus, after
ceremonially buried the Ming emperor, established the Qing dynasty (1644AD
to 1911AD). That was the end of the Ming Dynasty. Later in July 1645AD Li
Zi-cheng was killed by the villagers in Hubei province.
Now about the other rebel Zhang Xianzhong.
As the result of the 1628AD famine in Shaanxi province, there was
another man named Zhang Xianzhong who also formed a banditry band
consisting mainly of hungry peasants who roamed Northern China. Later they
went plundering and pillaging from the north to the south. Zhang Xianzhong
titled himself the Ba Da Wang (Eighth Great King) and his followers
nicknamed him the Huang Lao Hu (The Yellow Tiger). The armed forces of the
Ming Court were too weak to stop him from crossing the Yellow River. He
captured a large part of the province of Hubei where there was abundance
of water and rice for his men to eat. He killed all the landlords and
confiscated wealth from the rich and gave them to the poor; a Robin Hood.
In March 1635AD Zhang first entered Sichuan and captured its capital
Chengdu. However, the Sichuanese resisted him strongly and he had to
withdraw to the north to Shaanxi province, his homeland, where, he formed
an alliance with other armed bands.
In 1640AD with 100,000 men Zhang Xianzhong again invaded Sichuan
through the Yangtze gorges and captured Chengdu the second time. According
to the history recorded by the Manchu Qing dynasty Zhang Xianzhong put all
the residents in Chengdu to the swords. The Yellow Tiger engraved on a big
stone (later it was called Zhang Xianzhong's stone) these words:
"The Heaven gave rise to everything to nourish men.
Men has not even a thing to thank the Heaven.
Kill kill kill kill kill kill kill."
He depopulated the city of Chengdu and recklessly killed millions of
people in the province of Sichuan.
The Ming Dynasty ended in 1644AD and the Manchus established the Qing
Dynasty (1644AD to 1911AD). Zhang Xianzhong founded his own Kingdom called
Da Xi (Great West Kingdom). The Manchu troops entered Sichuan in 1645AD
and defeated Zhang. Again Chengdu was razed to the ground by the Manchus
who also killed millions of Sichuanese. The province of Sichuan was almost
depopulated by the killings of Zhang and the Manchus.
After the downfall of the Ming dynasty Zheng Cheng Gong, the patriot of
the Ming Court, refused to be subjugated by the Qing government. He
resisted the Qing Government fiercely and tried desperately to restore the
Ming Dynasty, but he failed.
In 1661AD with 25,000 troops he crossed the Straits of Taiwan and
landed in Tainan. Among the troops of Zheng Cheng Gong there were many
Hakkas. Zheng Cheng Gong proclaimed Taiwan as a territory of the Ming
Dynasty. He established a Kingdom in present day Tainan.
For the next twenty years under the rules of Zheng Cheng Gong, his son
Zheng Jing and grandson Zheng Ke Shao many Chinese emigrated to the Taiwan
Island and most of them were Hakkas.
The main reasons for these energetic hardworking and courageous Hakkas
flocking to Taiwan were to escape the miserable lives and the oppression
on the mainland. Besides the soil in Taiwan was fertile. To the Hakkas
Taiwan was indeed an El Dorado. Thousands upon thousands of Hakkas moved
and resettled themsevles in Taiwan. It was estimated that within a year
one-third of the Hakkas in Guangdong province had emigrated to Taiwan.
They settled in the Northwest of the island in the areas around the towns
of Xinzhu, Taoyuan, Miaoli, Xinbu and Zhudong. There were also a few
pockets of Hakka settlements in regions of Gaoxiong and Pingdong. Many
Hakkas also resettled themselves in the east coast of the island in the
areas from the cities of Hualian to Taidong. By the turn of the eighteenth
century it was estimated that there were more than 200,000 Hakkas in the
In order to be acquainted with the local conditions and strengthened
the ties between the Manchu Court and the country as a whole, Emperor
Kangxi, during his reign (1662AD to 1722AD) toured his empire more than
ten times. He toured the Southern provinces six times and during one of
these trips he decided to encourage the Hakkas in the Southern provinces
to emigrate to Sichuan province which was sparely populated due to the
turmoil happened several decades ago. He offered financial assistance to
those who were willing to resettle in Sichuan; eight ounces of silver per
man and four ounces per woman or child. In order to escape the poverty and
hardship thousands upon thousands of Hakkas living in the regions between
the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian responded and accepted Emperor Kang
In order to escape the poverty and hardship thousands upon thousands
of Hakkas living in the regions between the provinces of Guangdong and
Fujian responded and accepted Emperor Kang Xi's offer. They moved to the
West and many of them settled in Chengdu Plain, north and northwest of
Chengdu city, the capital of Sichuan province, where many a few decades
ago Zhang Xianzhong and the Manchus had depopulted the city. Chengdu Plain
is a very fertile plain because it is latticed by canals and streams.
Some of them resettled themselves in the furthermost west in the region
of Xikang in the counties of Daofu, Luhuo, Ganzi and Badan. From
November 1935 to June 1936 the Fourth Red Army under Zhang Guo-tao
established a Soviet Government there.
The fifth Migration of the Hakkas from 1865AD to 1940AD
On January 11, 1851 Hong2 Xiu4 Quan2, Yang2 Xiu4 Qing and others staged
an uprising in Jin Tian village in the county of Gui4 Ping2 in Guangxi
province. It was called the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Hong2 Xiu4 Quan2
proclaimed himself the Heavenly King. Hong2 was a Hakka (See my stories
entitled The Youth of Hong Xiu-quan parts one and two). The first thing
the Heavenly King did was to issue a decree to unbind the women's feet and
for men to cut off thier pigtails and to keep long hair. Later, the
Taiping soldiers were to be known as Longhaired soldiers. Hong2's sister
named Xuan Jiao was to head the team of Foot Inspectors whose duties were
to stop and forbid women to practice foot bidding.
In 1852 the Taiping army, proceeding northward from Guangxi, marched
through the provinces of Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhwei. They marched
eastward along the Yangtze River and captured Nanjing in March 1853.
Nanjing was renamed the Heavenly City and became the capital of the
Immediately after the establishment of their capital the Heavenly King
dispatched an expedition force northward. The mission was to capture the
Manchu capital Beijing. The northern expedition forces marched to the
vicinity of Tianjin where they were defeated.
The Taiping army failed to build stable base areas in the places it
occupied, and also, after establishing its capital in Nanjing, the leading
group in the army commiitted many political and military errors. Therefore
the Taiping could not withstand the combined onslaught of the forces of
the Qing Government and of the British, U.S. and the French mercenary
troops who finally destroyed this peasant revolution in 1864.
The result of the Taiping destruction was the butchering of many of
those Hakkas with the surname of Hong2 by the Manchu authority. Due to
these massacres many Hakkas fled the country to other parts of the world
or changed their surnames. Those who had no means to escape sold
themselves off as 'pigs' or indentured labour and ended up in Nanyang or
Southeast Asia (see my posting "The Crippled Tree by Han Suyin <6>).
Gold was discovered in 1848 in California U.S.A. Thousands of Chinese
joined in the gold rush starting from 1849 to California (Jiu4 Jin Shan or
Old Gold Mountain). The nimber of Chinese there had increased from about
25,000 in 1852 to 50,000 in 1867, and by 1882 there were 132,000 Chinese
on the Pacific coast. It was estimated that one-sixth of the population of
this new State of California were Chinese. Many of them were Hakkas. Many
of the Chinese workers were brought in from Hong Kong and Canton on
contract by Leland Stanfors and Charles crocker in doing the hard work on
the railroad building across the High Sierra in the 1860s. When the
railroad was completed in 1869 this redundant Chinese workers herded into
the Chinatowns in San Francisco and other smaller cities. It is much
better for the Californian Hakkas to tell the stories of the "Burlingame
Treaty" , the "Yellow Peril in America" and the "the riots at Rock
Springs (Wyoming) in 1880.
Gold was also discovered in Melbourne Australia in 1851 (Xin Jin Shan
or New Gold Mountain). Hoping to make a fortune, many Hakkas from
Guangdong province went to Australia to dig for gold. Among them were my
grandfather and granduncle (See my story "Two Gold Diggers"). In 1890 in
the State of Victoria, Australia, there were 9377 Chinese in a population
of 1,150,000. There were three Chinese to one Australian in the Northern
Territory of Australia.
Many Chinese, including Hakkas, also ventured out to work in the silver
mines in Peru, sugar-cane plantaions in Cuba, Jamiaca and Surinam (Dutch
Guiana in South America: I have a Hakka friend there who owns a book shop
which is called Peter Chong). There were many Hakka workers in the
pineapple plantations in Hawaiian Islands. Dr Sun Yatsen's family had
emigrated there. The other day a Hakka netter, Mr Sherman Cheung, told me
that there are 3,000 ethnic Hakka speakers out of 30,000 ethnic Chinese
Due to the White Australia Policy and the restiction on Chinese entering
U.S.A. Chinese emigrants to U.S.A. and Australia had slowed down at the
turn of the 20th century.
After the establishment of the Chinese Republic, China entered the
period of Warlordism. During the First World War in 1917 China declared
war on Germany and Austria, but it had no troops to contibute to the war.
Instead China dispatched 140,000 workers to France to help in the war
effort like minding the machinery in the factories, digging trenches in
the battle fronts and many other odd jobs. Later many Chinese students,
includung Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Zhu De, Chen Yi and many others,
followed them to Europe especially France to study-cum-work. Many of the
workers and students were Hakka. These students, in October 1920 formed
the "Communist Youth" of China in a forest outside the town of Montargis,
France, nine months before the formation of the Chinese Communist Party in
Shanghai (See Mao Tse-Tung and I were Beggars by Siao-Yu chapter 38 first
published in 1959) Subsequently these workers and students returned to
The most important of Chinese emigration was the great exodus of Hakka,
Cantonese Hokkienese to the British, French and Ditch colonies in
Southeast Asia. The Chinese population of Singapore rose from 54,000 in
1866 to 224,00 in 1911. The Chinese in Dutch East Indies (present day
Indonesia) increased from 175,000 in around 1860s to 295,000 in 1911.
During the period from 1910 to 1930 the Chinese arriving in these three
colonies increased by about 60 per cent. After 1930 Singapore, Malacca,
Penang and Cholon (a suburb of Saigon) becames almost 100 per cent Chinese
cities. About half of the population in the Malay peninsula (present day
Malaysia) were Chinese who were former peasants and coolies from the two
provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. They were the Hakkas, Cantonese,
Teochew, Hokkien, Amoy and Foochow from South China. After the Second
World War all the European colonies in Southeast Asia had gained their
independence. Chinese emigrantions to Nanyang came to a stop.
Shi3 Ji4 (Historical Records)
Zhong4 Guo2 Tong Shi3
The Crippled Tree by Han Suyin
East Asia The Great Tradition
by John K. Fairbank. Edwin O. Reischauer
Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung volume one
Zhong4 Guo2 Ren2 Shi3 Gang
The Rise of Modern China by Immanuel C.Y. Hsu
CHUNG Yoon-Ngan. email@example.com
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