I ho Chuan

I ho Ch’uan


(Righteous Harmony Fists), the secret religious society in China that led the Boxer (I Ho T’uan) Rebellion (1899–1901). It became widespread after 1898. Those who joined the society vowed “not to be greedy, not to indulge in debauchery, not to disobey parents, not to violate existing laws, and to destroy foreigners and kill corrupt officials.” The society’s teachings were dominated by medieval backwardness, completely rejecting Western science and culture. The group was especially active in Shantung and Chihli provinces and drew its chief support from peasants, who naively believed that if they trained their bodies and learned certain magical incantations they would achieve immortality in fighting the enemy. Their anti-imperialist struggle was accompanied by attacks on the feudal nobility and the Ch’ing authorities. After the suppression of the revolt, I HoCh’uan disbanded.