Prison Writings by Members of the Wang Jingwei Regime

wjwchinanewsAbout the books, Announcements

Prison Writings by Members of the Wang Jingwei Regime Volumes I-IV, published by the Wang Jingwei Irrevocable Trust in collaboration with Eight Corners Books is now available worldwide on July 1, 2024 through Elephant White Cultural Enterprise. Readers can purchase the printed book from online retailers such as Books.com, Eslite, Kingstone, and other major bookstores. The ebook is available at Google Books and Apple Books.

Prison Writings by Members of the Wang Jingwei Regime amasses the works of 31 associates of the Wang Jingwei regime such as his wife Chen Bijun, Long Yusheng, Zhou Zuoren, Chen Gongbo, Jiang Kanghu. The four volumes include more than 700 pages of handwritten manuscripts with transcriptions created at the Tiger Bridge prison in Nanjing and Lion’s Mouth prison in Suzhou. These documents, ranging from letters, poetry, literary discussions and selected anthologies, reveal the long-silenced voices of members and followers of the Wang regime while under authoritarian rule, making it an exceptionally rare example of prison literature in Chinese history.

Why should we read the writings of political prisoners after the Sino-Japanese War?

Between 1945 and 1947, the National Government organized special courts to prosecute more than 30,000 individuals as “traitors,” with more than 1,000 sentenced to death or life imprisonment. Throughout history, following political upheavals, writings of political prisoners often reveal truths that are easily forgotten. While the relentless tide of history reduces each person to a mere statistic, we must remember that they were all flesh and blood, many of whom were elite figures from various sectors of society. Regardless of one’s historical perspective, it is important to listen to these echoes from prison under authoritarian rule. Such diverse historical materials can help us make more equitable historical judgments.

What is new in the new edition?

In 2019, the Wang Jingwei Irrevocable Trust and China Times Publisher in Taipei released the six-volume series Wang Jingwei and Modern China, including one volume titled Prison Writings by Members of the Wang Jingwei Regime.

The four-volume 2024 revised and expanded version of the 2019 Prison Writings includes all of the Ho Mang Hang prison writings collection dating from 1945 to Ho’s release from prison in 1948. In addition, it includes never-before-seen manuscripts from the poetry collections of Zhou Zuoren and Wei Nailun and the complete hand-copied collection Wang Jingwei poetry by Chen Bijun. These unique records of post-war figures associated with the Wang Jingwei regime provide readers with a more comprehensive understanding of Republican history.

What other highlights does this book offer?

The third volume of Prison Writings by Members of the Wang Jingwei Regime features a detailed biography of Chen Bijun, based on various firsthand sources, including manuscripts by Chen Bijun and Wang Jingwei, recollections from her younger brother Chen Changzu, her daughter Wang Wenxing and her son-in-law Ho Mang Hang, contemporary reports and historical records from Malaysia (where Chen Bijun was born). Through cross-referencing and verification, this volume meticulously reconstructs Chen Bijun’s life, from her involvement in the Tongmenghui during the first decade of the 20th century to her work during the Reorganized National Government period in the early 1940s. This biography details her many contributions to education, social welfare, public infrastructure and women's rights. By presenting Chen Bijun's life objectively, readers will have a more accurate, complete and balanced understanding of this vibrant historical figure, her actions, motivations and emotions.

now being released as individual e-books and in print