The Dong Du Movement (東遊運動)

The Dong Du Movement (Toyu Undo or Donzu Undo in Japanese: Phong trào Đông Du in Vietnamese) was an independence movement that started in Vietnam at the end of the 19th century.

Since 1883, Vietnam was a French-protected state, where, around 1904, Phan Boi Chau and others, inspired by the Russo-Japanese War, organized an association advocating the anti-French movement. In 1905, Chau went to Japan, where he sought military aid from Japanese and Chinese revolutionaries for Vietnamese cause, however, they criticized him for his idea of resorting to armed uprising and urged on him the importance of human resource development. Chau accepted their suggestions, and encouraged young Vietnamese to go to Japan to study. Over two hundred young Vietnamese and others who had passed Kakyo (ancient Chinese higher civil service examinations) went to Japan to study, and this movement became known as "the Dong Du Movement."

The aim of the movement was to obtain freedom from French colonial rule, and Chau rallied like-minded people to foster young leaders of the independence movement and also raised funds from the public. Thus, several brilliant young Vietnamese were sent to Japan. Chau also went to Japan himself and made every effort to further the independence movement, devoting his life to it.

When Vietnamese students and others in Japan began to form an anti-French movement organization and started its campaign, French government cracked down on them in different ways, which included putting their relatives in prison and interfering with money transfers. After the signing of the Japanese-French agreement in 1907, the French government demanded the handover of the students from its Japanese counterpart. Although theJapanese government did not accept the demand, all Vietnamese students were expelled from Japan in 1909. This brought the Dong Du Movement to an end.

Chau fled to the city of Shanghai after being deported from Japan, and in 1912, after the Xinhai Revolution (Chinese Revolution), he established "Kofukukai" (Quang Phuc Hoi [Vietnamese for Vietnam Restoration Society]) in Guangdong Province and began working toward the liberation of Vietnam from French colonial rule by force.

[Original Japanese]