K'ang Yu-wei

(redirected from Kang Youwéi)

K'ang Yu-wei

(käng yo͞o-wā), 1858–1927, Chinese philosopher and reform movement leader. He was a leading philosopher of the new text school of Confucianism, which regarded Confucius as a utopian political reformer. K'ang first gained fame in 1895 when he sent a memorial to the emperor unsuccessfully urging continuation of the war with Japan, rejection of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and adoption of extensive administrative reforms. That same year with Liang Ch'i-ch'aoLiang Ch'i-ch'ao
, 1873–1929, Chinese reform leader. Liang was a disciple of K'ang Yu-wei. Stunned by China's disastrous defeat by Japan (see Sino-Japanese War, First), K'ang and Liang launched (1895) a movement for constitutional and educational reform.
..... Click the link for more information.
 he founded a reform newspaper and a reform organization, but both were quickly suppressed (1896). Enthusiasm for his ideas spread, however, and several provincial reform associations were founded (1896–97). Again confronted with foreign pressure for concessions, Emperor Kuang-hsuKuang-hsu
or Kwang-hsü
, 1871–1908, emperor of China (1875–1908). Although he was not in the direct line of succession, he was appointed to the throne by his aunt, the dowager empress and regent, Tz'u Hsi. He began his rule in 1889.
..... Click the link for more information.
 (1898) summoned K'ang to Beijing and asked him to draw up reform plans. In a series of decrees known as the "hundred days' reform," the emperor changed the civil service examination system to include essays on current affairs, established Beijing Univ. as well as western-style provincial schools, abolished many sinecure posts, and revised administrative regulations. Backed by conservative officials, Dowager Empress Tz'u HsiTz'u Hsi,
 Tsu Hsi,
 Tse Hsi,
or Cixi
, 1834–1908, dowager empress of China (1861–1908) and regent (1861–73, 1874–89, 1898–1908).
..... Click the link for more information.
 imprisoned the emperor and rescinded most of the reforms. K'ang fled to Japan and spent the years before the 1911 revolution working for constitutional monarchy. He and Liang were bitterly opposed to the T'ung-meng-hui, an anti-Manchu revolutionary party founded in 1905 under the leadership of Sun Yat-senSun Yat-sen
, Mandarin Sun Wen, 1866–1925, Chinese revolutionary. He was born near Guangzhou into a farm-owning family. He attended (1879–82) an Anglican boys school in Honolulu, where he came under Western influence, particularly that of Christianity.
..... Click the link for more information.
. After the revolution, K'ang remained in opposition to the republican government, participating (1917) in an unsuccessful attempt to restore the last Ch'ing emperor, Pu YiPu Yi
or Henry Pu-yi,
Manchu Aisin Gioro, 1906–67, last emperor (1908–12) of China, under the reign name Hsuan T'ung. After his abdication, the new republican government granted him a large government pension and permitted him to live in the
..... Click the link for more information.


See M. E. Cameron, The Reform Movement in China, 1898–1912 (1931, repr. 1963); biography ed. and tr. by Lo Jung-pang (1967).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/