Manual The Origins of the Tiandihui: The Chinese Triads in Legend and History

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Some were organized for clandestine, criminal, or even seditious purposes by people alienated from or at the margins of society. Others were organized for mutual protection or the administration of local activities by law-abiding members of a given community. The common perception in the twentieth century, both in China and in the West, was that the Tiandihui was founded by Chinese patriots in the seventeenth century for the purpose of overthrowing the Qing Manchu dynasty and restoring the Ming Chinese.

This view was put forward by Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries who claimed that, like the anti-Manchu founders of the Tiandihui, their goal was to strip the Manchus of their throne. The Chinese Nationalists Guomindang today claim the Tiandihui as part of their heritage. Each of those rackets are worth more than half a trillion dollars a year, and the lion's share goes to Chinese organized crime.

From which they earn untold tens of billions more. Chinese organized crime in the late 20th century and early 21st century has varied when it comes to those it recruits.

The origins of the Tiandihui : the Chinese triads in legend and history in SearchWorks catalog

In mainland China it's usually all Chinese. When it comes to the overseas Chinese syndicates, most of them are divided by regional dialect Cantonese, Fujianese, Chaozhou, Hokkien, etc. In Thailand, their syndicates consist of both ethnic Thai Chinese and native Thais.


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In Hong Kong, they've recruited South Asians and sometimes women. Down in Australia, the Triads have recruited non-Asians from elite schools. The leadership within most of these Triads likewise remained Chinese only and among those few Triads that had non-Chinese leadership, it was the Chinese members who had the wealth and power acting as the syndicate's bankers.

A few Chinese crime syndicates and criminal networks have been led by women. The Chinese Mafia has possessed a wide variety of weapons depending on the time and place. During the early 20th century, in one of the warlord periods of China some of the Triad leaders became generals or warlords. Leading armies of conscripts or bandits armed with artillery and armored vehicles, and sometimes even gunboats or propeller fighter-bombers.

In the Golden Triangle, Chinese drug lords control narco armies equipped with anti-aircraft artillery, mortars, heavy machine guns, land mines, anti-tank weapons RPGs , armored vehicles, and armed riverine craft. There are Chinese syndicates involved in piracy equipped with all types of boats, heavy machine guns, and RPGs. In mainland China in the last few decades with the resurgence of organized crime, there have been syndicates armed mostly with firearms and some with grenades, land mines, machine guns, and armored vehicles though the latter groups have all been taken down by the government before they become a threat.

In Hong Kong, Chinese crime outfits have stuck to swords, cleavers, automatic firearms, and sometimes grenades. Over in the United States, ethnic Chinese mobs of the late 20th century and early 21st century are known for using handguns, sub-machine guns, and assault rifles. Sign In Don't have an account?

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Legend of the Burning of the Southern Shaolin Temple 南少林寺

Some were organized for clandestine, criminal, or even seditious purposes by people alienated from or at the margins of society. Others were organized for mutual protection or the administration of local activities by law-abiding members of a given community.

Triads and Cartels and Casinos

The common perception in the twentieth century, both in China and in the West, was that the Tiandihui was founded by Chinese patriots in the seventeenth century for the purpose of overthrowing the Qing Manchu dynasty and restoring the Ming Chinese. This view was put forward by Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries who claimed that, like the anti-Manchu founders of the Tiandihui, their goal was to strip the Manchus of their throne. The Chinese Nationalists Guomindang today claim the Tiandihui as part of their heritage.

This book relates a very different history of the origins of the Tiandihui. Using Qing dynasty archives that were made available in both Beijing and Taipei during the last decades, the author shows that the Tiandihui was founded not as a political movement but as a mutual aid brotherhood in , a century after the date given by traditional historiography. She contends that histories depicting Ming loyalism as the raison d'etre of the Tiandihui are based on internally generated sources and, in part, on the "Xi Lu Legend," a creation myth that tells of monks from the Shaolin Monastery aiding the emperor in fighting the Xi Lu barbarians.

Because of its importance to the theories of Ming loyalist scholars and its impact on Tiandihui historiography as a whole, the author thoroughly investigates the legend, revealing it to be the product of later - not founding - generations of Tiandihui members and a tale with an evolution of its own. The seven extant versions of the legend itself appear in English translation as an appendix. This book thus accomplishes three things: it reviews and analyzes the extensive Tiandihui literature; it makes available to Western scholars information from archival materials heretofore seen only by a few Chinese specialists; and it firmly establishes an authoritative chronology of the Tiandihui's early history.

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The Chinese Triads in Legend and History

Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. More featuring secret societies. See more. French Connections: Networks of Influence. Sophie Coignard. They were born in the same region, went to the same schools, fought the same fights and made the same mistakes in youth.

They share the same morals, the same fantasies of success and the same taste for money.


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They act behind the scenes to help each other, boosting careers, monopolizing business and information, making money, conspiring and, why not, becoming Presidents! From Corsica, the Corree, Auvergne, Brittany and Savoy, former "collaborationists" and free-masons; homosexuals and aristocrats; tax inspectors and ex-Trotskyites; hunters and golfers; Jews and Protestants They explain more surely than official communiques the decisions, the nominations, the transactions that take place.

From the "Make Yourself Comfortable" brotherhood to the laundry "gang.