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desire to be and to do,"

In this connection the Young Women's
The Young Christian Association is pushing forward an
ChrbHan individual and most valuable Avork. Indeed,

Association 0"^ of the Special reasons why this organiza-
tion entered China was to reach ''women of
leisure," a class of necessity largely left untouched by the
missionary societies. Married women who could not be
induced to attend a mission school, are gladly patronizing
the Association classes in cooking, sewing and fancy-work,
and through this means an appeal is being made to them
to study books and even to enter Bible classes.
A 66



522 MTSCELT.ANEOTTS

Anti-footbinding^ sentiment is growing

Change ^^ apace. In Soochow a club of sixty women,

many well advanced in years, has not a

single member whose feet are not unbound, and this is in

no way an unusual occurrence.

A gratifying spirit of friendliness toward foreigners is
apparent, replacing the barely tolerant or idly curious
attitude of former days.

The customs of concubinage and child betrothal are
relaxing their hold, due in part at least to the changing
feelings and efforts of the influential class of women
tliemselves. The case of the official's wife, in a populous
Eastern city, who several years as^o sold her jewels in order
to buy for her husband a concubine who would bear him a
son, could not easily in the same area be paralleled to-day.

A modification of religious beliefs and superstitions is
very noticeable. An interesting illustration of this occurred
the past year in Peking, where a once ardent Confucianist
admitted that her ideas had altered considerably, and
positively declined to give her approval to the organization
of a Confucian church.

Interest in social service is growing rapidly.
latefY* m ^ ^ ji^^i anti-cigarctte league flourishes in Peking.
Social service leagues are multiplying. The
one started in Shanghai a little over two years ago, is now
supporting five free day-schools, and other plans are
expected to materialize soon. The members give generously
to the work, and for a w^hile some of the women taught
classes, but their attendance w^as too spasmodic to make
this practicable. A few weeks sin3e, tw^o Chinese leaders
in Nanking, invited a hundred or more faital^ to Ginling
College to witness a play setting forth the need of social
service, and various ways of putting it into practice. The
Avomen turned out in large numbers, w^ere genuinely
interested, their sjanpathies and help enlisted, and a new
impetus was given to the Social Service League already in
existence. The work of not a few upper class women in
conducting gentry schools, largely if not solely for the
purpose of promoting education among girls, is worthy
of all praise. In one city an octogenarian of commanding



TNPrjTENCE OF WESTERN CIVILTZATTON ,y^o

personality aud influence, is the principal of a fine school
of fifty or sixty pupils, which is run at a constant financial
loss. This same woman is engaged in a vigorous campaign
against gambling. In another centre a young woman from
a i)atrician family sold her jewels in order to secure money
to open a school. Years passed, and the school now
flourishes like a green bay tree with an enrollment of more
than two hundred students. The principal is at heart a
Christian, though she has made no profession. On all
l)ublic occasions the school exercises are opened with
prayer, and Bibie classes are practically a part of the
curriculum.

Lastly, there is a growing willingness, in
lSach*rThe ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^ strong desire, on the part of
Chfldreif ^ mothers of upper class families, for their

children to be educated in mission schools.
In this lies the hope of the future and the actual key to
the situation under discussion. Women of leisure are too
difficult of access, mentally and spiritually, ever to be
readied in large nnmbers through outside influences. The
leaven that will bring about a general awakening and
regeneration must be the young people of the home.

^Mothers difl:'er in their feelings regarding
Inflaeace of ^j^g ^^^^^ ^f Christian teaching upon their
Mission Schools , .,, ^^ xi.-i.-xi

chddren. Some treat it with unconcern, as

was the case with the women, representing two of the
highest families in the land, who in visiting recently a
kindergarten where their little daughters were pupils,
laugiiingly remarked to the missionary in charge, "You
are making Christians of our children!", and then went on
to narrate with evident pleasure, the sayings of the little
ones and to tell of their changed lives. Other mothers,
while progressive enough to desire the best advantages for
their daughters, are violently opposed to their becoming
Christians. A woman brought two girls to a mission
]>oarding-sehool. Ln less than a year both had accepted
diristianity. The mother was thrown into a towering rage
and at once took her children out of school. Finding tiiat
she could not induce them to abandon their faith, she
p,fter^yards allowed them to return. A couple of years



524 MTSrrJiLANEOTTS

later this woman knocked at the office door of the principal,
and on being admitted threw herself on her face on the
floor, and with tears and sobs declared herself a Christian
and begged for baptism. '^It was my children who did it.
It was my children who did it!" she kept reiterating
brokenly.

A young girl from a high class family was sent to a
mission school in an eastern city. So opposed was she to the
Christian religion, tiiat she used to pace the floor of her
room inveighing against the Bible, and planning to write a
paper in condemnation of it. But as time passed the young
woman experienced a complete change of heart, and not long
after she returned to her home, word came back to the
school that every member of her immediate family had been
led through her influence to accept Christ, "What have
you done to my daughter?" exclaimed a puzzled father.
" Since she has been in your school, everything is changed.
My two wives, who formerly spent their time quarreling,
now live in peace and love rules our home."

A girl from the interior was nearing graduation in a
mission school. " I will not marry the man to whom I am
betrothed!" she declared vehemently. "I am a Christian
and educated. He is neither. Life with him would be
unendurable." The missionary wisely said little but
prayed much. The day came when the girl sought her
with shining face. "I cannot disobey and disappoint my
mother. It was she who gave me my education, for she
influenced my father to send me to this school. I am
determined to go home, marry my fiance, and live for
Jesus in the very place where I was born and brought up."
The girl did go home and the months slipped by. One
morning a letter came to the missionary containing joyful
news. It read, "My husband is seeking an education. I
have opened a day-school, and I am also teaching the Bible
to my mother and many of the women in our neighbour-
hood. I think they will soon accept Jesus as their Saviour
and oh, I am so happy and so glad I came back!"

These are a few concrete instances of the

Hopeful ^^^"^ ^^ ^^'^^'^^ Christian children from count-

^ less upper class homes are doing. It may be



Influence of western civilization 525

true that work amODg the upper class women has not yet
registered large results. NeA^ertheless the seed is being
sown, and some time a harvest will be reaped, for as one
unusual woman, a seeker though not a professor, confided in
an awed undertone to a missionary, " There are many more
Christians in China than you know. Just wait, and by
and by you will see!"



CHAPTER LVII

CHINESE CHARITIES OF SOOCHOW
Wesley M. Smith

It ia luii'd to love the uulovely, thankless rccipieut of
your alms, and the more one studies the i^roblem of earing
for the poor the further it seems to be removed from the
Christian conception of charity. The Christlike idea of
such service had practically no place in the mind of tlie
most advanced Chinese of the old school. Of philanthropic
enterprisCvS in China there are now and have been for ages
a number of types which have saved many lives. Of these
larger enterprises there are six in the city of SoochoAv.
Four of them are very large and well endowed. They are
the result of the union of six older institutions. A¥itliont
the Christian or some closely related motive it seems surpris-
ing that there should be such large enterprises.

Their origin seems to be the result of severa I
Offgin of causes. The Buddhistic idea that it is meritori-

Ch*?r^ ^"" ^^^^^ ^^ ^'^'^'•^ ^^^^ ^^^ fostered benevolent enter-
Charities prise much as it has fostered the special places

where ca,ptive animals are set free. AVith this
religious idea many others have been acting. The obtaining
of the right to wear a coloured button on the hat, freeing
the Avearer from certain political oppressions, was a power-
ful motive. A disinterested gift to a charitable enterprise
would frequently open a road to royal ears and secure the
prize desired. Shrewd officials would appoint a wealthy
gentleman as manager of an institution. The income from
it would seem inadequate a carry it on as he Avished, so
rather than add annually from his private funds he Avoukl
resign, but to show Jiis interest Avould make a donation
to the institution Avhosc burdens he Avouid not bear.
OAvners of land Avhose taxes had to be paid but Avhose
tenants could not be made to pay their rents, frequently
saA^ed expense by giving the land to a Avorthy enterprise.



CHINESE cnARlTlES OP SOOCIIOW 527

Criiiiiuals of certaiD classes were punished by liaviug their
estates confiscated and applied to specified benevolent enter-
prises. Corrupt officials, even down to modern times,
blinded seeing eyes and stopped critical tongues by gifts to
these institutions. Families becam.s extinct, even in China,
and the property was left for the benefit of the poor and
unfortunate. Occasionally, there were gifts for other
reasons and from other sources.

Besides the reasons already mentioned there
f N^^d"^^ were two causes even more distinctly Chinese
People t^i'^^ helped make charitable institutions neces-

sary and added to their endowments. The
first is the large and peculiarly persistent mass of needy
people who feel that they have a right to all they can get
from others- Anyone who lias had opportunity to observe
the experience that the wealthy Chinese has Avith poor
families and relatives, to say nothing of professional
grafters and beggars, will agree that the man of means
would be practically forced to satisfy such persons if he
cared to smoke his pipe in peace. He preferred to deal
with them in classes. Even the kiug in liis visit to the
famous hill found the road so full of aged men that his day
was spoilt and he had to do something for them. A home
for aged men is the result.

, The second thing is the strong community

SpSr""'*^ spirit. It insists that wealth shall not leave
the native city. This is a large factor. If a
man had gained wealth here he must spend it here. Fines
must be applied where the criminal was convicted. The
opposite side of this feeling was that each community must
care for its own poor. Community pride demanded their
protection.

. ■ Certain classes of defectives were omitted

w.'l't'n *r!. .« from the ancient scheme. For the deaf, dumb

WofK Unknown i i i- t • • t mi

and blind no provision was made. The
invalids and the insane suffered and died, as they still do in
most cases. Moreover, constructive w^ork was unknown.
Even the foundling home which seeks to provide for the
adoption of infants loses a part of its glory when it is found
that the exposure of female infants among the poor was



528 MISCELLANEOUS

very common while the customs of society demaDcled
numerous and cheap wives. None of these really native
institutions planned to help make the recipient an
independent and self-supporting member of society. When
the person began to receive help he expected, and others
rather expected him, te get help until he rested beneath the
sod. The Industrial and Reform Schools, the Door of
Hope and modern medical work, as well as the Loan Bureau,
ai-e recent institutions and are the direct results of mission-
ary work and of western ideas.

Another phase of the subject is that those who would
not come before the public in an insistent way were
frequently neglected. The rigid division of labour and
class distinctions complicate the problem. Scholars of
the old school Avith mediocre ability — a broken down
aristocracy— have been, and stiil are, the subjects of much
suffering. If there are any in our midst who starve they
probably belong to this class. They cannot seem to learn
to dig and are one class that seems ashamed to dig. A more
difficult class with which to deal would be hard to tind.

The discouraging feature of the situation

ments"""^^^" ^^ ^^^'^*^ *^^^^® ^^ ^^ ^^**^^ ^^ *^^® individual
element in the w^ork. There is practically no
concern on the part of the public as to how the work is
conducted, and no knowledge as to how it should be done.
There is no auditing of accounts and those in charge are not
expected to, and do not, iiold their offices from a charitable
motive. Even in the balmiest days of our civic reform the
cost of administration was excessive, by far the smaller
half of the net income reaching the individual for whom it
was intended. Those in charge are frequently ignorant
both as to the exact source and extent of the funds they are
supposed to administer. There is no income from the
public and, therefore, no education in this phase of public
duty. No Board of Charities exists. Interest has always
been sporadic and no fixed policy has ever been suggested.
The easy transportation of tJie poor is a modern complica-
tion since they are willing to leave their native cities which
they used to be unwilling to do.



CHINESE CHARITIES OF SOOCHOW 529

g The helpful element is that there are a

tneats^^^ few who are really interested in securing
better things. The new idea of brotherhood
opened some purses and created interest a few years ago.
The vision of a better day was seen faintly. It will be seen
again and more clearly. New and better institutions, not
ideal to be sure, have been started. They will be increased
and improved. The Central Government has asked certain
philanthropic gentlemen to" draft a series of recommenda-
tions, and this is now being prepared. The work of many
Christian missionaries now dead, and the messages of those
now living, coming as they have done in many ways, are
bearing to the non-Christian community a new ideal, and
linally bring with God's blessing a better day for the
unfortunate and dependent.



A G7



Chapter lviii

THE PEKING SOCIAL REFORM ASSOCIATION
R, R. Gaifey

The Peking Social Keforin Association had
Mr. Yung -^^^ origin in the public spirit and whole-souled
Founder^ devotion of Mr. Yung T'ao. The occasion

for the launching of the movement Avas the
presentation of the Twenty-one Demands b^^ Japan. On the
very day when this occurred, (May 7, 1915) Mr. Yung T'ao
applied for and secured the registration of the Association
in the Ministry of the Interior. In commemoration of this
public effort Mr. Yung erected in prominent places in the
city two stone monuments upon which v/ere inscribed suitable
sentiments from the classics which appeal to the conscience
of the people. On the base of the monolith on Hatamen
Street there are inscribed the four elemental principles
without which a nation cannot be established : Li — ceremony^
F?'— duty, Lien— imrity , C/i'i/i— shame, and the last word
faces the main street in large characters so as to be easily
seen of all.

Mr. Yung'S idea was that the real cause for
Reasons for siiaiue of iMay 7, 1915 was not the aggression
so Do ng ^^ foreign nations upon China but China's

weaknesjs due to her own sins, and that the thing to do was
not to revile outsiders but to see the real conditions of their
own hearts and lives and their bearing upon their country's
peril and need.

In the first efforts to promote the interest in
p^tr^-* l^^s reform work Mr. Yung appreciated and

Futiicrty ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^j known scheme of publicity. One

Aveek after registration of the Association he arranged for a
big public meeting in the Central Park. For three days
(May 14-16, 1915) large crowds come into the Public i*ark
(admission free, but by tickets widely distributed to carefully



THE PEKING SOCIAL REFOI^M ASSOCIATION 53 1

selected groups of people) to hear lectures and read appro-
priate iDscriptions on the walls and see pictures and draw-
ings specially made for the occasion.

The objects of the Keforni Association are
of^the tliree: (1) Not' to take concubines (2) To

Assocfation refrain from immoral life (illicit intercourse)

(3) To abstain from gambling in every form.
J\[r. Yujig has selected these three forms of vice so ( ommon
in China as in his estimation three chief causes of China's
present weakness. Other objects may be added as the work
of the movement gains headway. In fact Mr. Yung now
intends to promote a more positive programme which will
include such ideas as, (1) The worship of God (2) Eespect
for forefathers (o) " Learn and Practice." ITis main idea
tluis far has been to create public opinion in regard to tliese
common evils.

This has 1)ecu done by holding large public
Ustd°*^' gatherings in the Public Park. In all about

ten sucli meetings have been held since May 7,
1915. He advertises widely and makes extensive use of the
press. He publishes a weekly paper called *' The Social
Star " (3000 copies issued). This he sends free to every
important institution interested in public welfare and to a
carefully selected list of prominent people in official circles
and in other walks of life. He has fearlessly attacked the
wanton debauch of official harems, the profligate liaunts of
the florid youth splurging on a borrowed ten dollars capital
to waste ''in riotous living" in the red-light district, and
exposes the fearful glamour of the gam.bling den or the
wealthy parlours of Government officials who squander the
nation's treasure in all-night revels.

Formerly these evil practices were the com-
the Movement ^^^^^ *^^^ ^^ " polite society" and a proper

question to ask a gentleman in Peking after
the usual courtesies of name, place, age, etc., was, "How
many w'omen do you have? ' ' meaning how many concubines
does he have. Now such a question is seldom if ever heard
and as for the " women " (concubines) themselves they are
beginning to feel the shame of their lack of social respect-
ability. At first Mr. Yung feared that opposition would be



532 MiSCELLANEOUS

made to his public demonstrations against the pet vices of
Chinese high officials, but to his surprise they even approve
bold efforts, acknowledging that they themselves are in the
mesh of these evil customs and asking how they can get free
from their entanglement. To his single answer to such
question, " Give up your concubines,' ' they demur but feebly
and ease their slightly troubled consciences by thinking it is
China's social custom and all are doing the same.

During this year 1917 it is hoped that
Leglsktion^ Public sentiment will be well enough informed

about the effects of these three gross evils to
justify appealing to Parliament for the enactment of proper
legislation to prohibit the wilful practice of such baneful
customs. It will be a remarkable thing if such laws are
made and an even more remarkable thing if the laws are
enforced, since the very people who make and enforce the
laws are infringing the laws it is desired to have enacted.

Because the task is a most difficult one, Mr.
Toward Yu.ng early in his efforts saw the necessity,

Christianity stirely the desirability, of having the Christian

communities aligned with him in this crusade.
When he undertook this public reform work, he himself was
not an avowed Christian, but after a full year's toilsome
effort in creating public opinion regarding these age-long
practices in China, Mr. Yung decided that it would be
better for him to show forth boldly his convictions regarding
the necessity of living, as well as believing, the truth of
Christianity. So on May 7, 1916, the first anniversary of
the founding of his Reform Association, he was iDublicly
baptized in the Chinese Christian Church by the venerable
Doctor AV. A. P. Martin (since deceased) and there first took
the vows and used the emblems of the life of sacrifice and
loyal service under the banner of the cross of Christ.

When the first membership campaign was
Ca^m^arn^ held in August, 1916, the most feasible plan
ampaign ^^^^ ^^ work through the already organized
Christian Churches and various affiliated institutions with
the result that over eleven thousand members were secured.
Membership is for life and without fee, but each one sub-
scribes to observe the threefold purpose of the Association and



TTTE rKKINO SOCTATj KEPORM ASSOCTATTON .)•»>

promote the iuterests of tlie movement. There are at present
ov(;r 1I),000 members and plans are in liand to lanneh a city-
wide campaign for a hundred thousand members this year.
Mr. Yung T'ao lias scores of applications for the extension
of the movement to other cities but he steadily refuses to go
into other communities uutil it is fully shown that the
objects of the .\ssociation are being achieved in this locality.
The officers of the Association are Admiral
Assodatfon ^^ ^'^^' ^'I'^sident, Mr. Yung T'ao, General
Secretary, and fifteen directors, practically all
of whom are Christiaus. Mr. Yung has bought over an old
temple property (Ta Fo Ssu) . This he is making the active
headquarters of the Eeform Association; here his staff do
their work and the growing organization finds its first i)er-
nianent home.



CHAPTER LIX

GOVERNMENT SYSTEM OF SIMPLIFIED CHINESE
R. R. Gailey

Que of the fciiire signs of the new and better day in
China is the attempt that has been made to simplify the
Chinese language. 'J'he very fact that there are men who
are thinking upon this fundamental problem of popular
education is cause for encouragement.

In the fourth year of the Eepublie, under
thf Board ^^^^ ministry of Mr. Chaug Yi-lin, the National

of Education Board of Education authorized a system of
simplified writing of the Chinese language.
It was stipulated in the ministerial order that the system
could be taught in Peking as an experiment. Headqaarters
were found in the xVnhwei (Juilcl Hall outside the Shun
Chih Men and plans were promoted to get the new system
into actual operation.

The man who has done the most work on
P*^°m"r"* ^^^^ ■'^^^^ enterprise and w4io is largely respon-
sible for its success thus far is one Mr. Wang
Pu. Closely associated with him is Mr. Cheng Clie-pu,
Assistant Director of the Higher Normal College in Peking.
The latter is a most enthusiastic promoter of general
education and has espoused this new system of simplified
writing of Chinese with tremendous ardour. These two
]jroraoters have taught and trained a few^ other interested
persons who have become teachers in the classes already
started. There are normal and special classes in which the
system is taught in a course covering three weeks. In tlie
general classes where tJie students are the unlettered the
course is covered in five weeks. There have hoen in Peking
four schools with a total of over ten tlionsand people, both
men and women, Avho have taken the courses and have
■' graduatec]."



nOVKRNMENT SYSTETSF 0|^ ST^^PTJlF[FD OTTTNF^^E i).'])

Tlie Prefect of Peking, Mr. Wang Ta, is a
^? P* ki °"* strong advocate of popular education and is

promoting the new simplified method of writ-
ing. In each of the twenty districts of his prefecture there
are eight or nine places or " schools'' that have taught the
system. It is also reported that the new way has been
introduced into Shantung, Iviangsu and Fukien. There is
a magazine which appears twice a month in the new
simplified writing and which is sold very cheaply so as to
induce the new aspirants for knowledge to buy the literature
being produced. There are textbooks for normal and special
classes, sold for ten coppers, and textbooks adapted to the
wholly unlettered, for six coppers each.
Diffi wities There are serious difficulties to be overcome

by the promoters of this new system and
doubtless they are being carefully studied and, as in every
new enterprise, they may be overcome by earnest and
faithful effort. On the other hand some leading educators



Online LibraryChina Continuation CommitteeThe China mission year book (Volume v.8) → online text (page 45 of 50)