In “Autobiographical sketch” Wang Jingwei wrote about studying the philosophy of Wang Yangming (1472-1529) from his father as a child. Such training nurtured Wang’s lifetime devotion to the philosopher/poet. On this anniversary of Wang Yangming’s birth, this newsletter will highlight a few Wang Jingwei’s works that show his admiration for Wang Yangming which are featured in our books.
In addition to a 1920 poem dedicated to Wang Yangming, Wang calligraphed Wang Yangming’s poems and have them carved in stone in Tianchishan (see rubbing of the inscription in the video above) which was the inspiration for the poems. Please find this poem in our book Wang Jingwei Poetry - Newly Edited, p.27.
In 1938, before the Reorganized Nanjing Government was established, Wang completed his translation of Yangmingyuchan《陽明與禪》 from Japanese, which he began more than thirty years before while studying in Japan. The book was published in 1942 by the Sino-Japanese Cultural Center. In the preface and postscript, Wang mentioned Wang Yangming Chuanxilu as his favorite book since childhood, and the principles of being “open and clear, internal and external should be united, not acting is not knowing.” Please read in our book Wang Jingwei: His Life, Ideas and Beliefs, pp.518-159. Clearly, the philosophy of Wang Yangming had left a deep impression on Wang Jingwei.