Monday, November 23, 2009

Update on Su Beng's condition

The doctors have decided not to do kidney dialysis on Su Beng if possible. So they are treating Su Beng's kidney condition with the combined use of an IV and catheter.

In recent days, Su Beng has become more lucid and seems in good spirits. He's been able to sit up and talk, and has had plenty of visitors. Even in his frail condition, he talks passionately about Taiwan, the state of politics in Taiwan and has expressed his wish that the Taiwanese people continue working towards building their own new country.

Since late October, Su Beng has been in Tokyo trying to get his noodle shop up and running again. All these years, since the 1950s, it was the noodle shop's revenue that has supported Su Beng and financed all of his Taiwan independence activities. It funded the underground training of Taiwan independence activists in the 1960s-70s, the weekly Taiwanese Independence Action (獨立台灣會) motorcades that make their rounds throughout Taiwan, and the Su Beng Education Foundation (史明教育基金會). Over the past year, Su Beng has made several trips between Taipei and Tokyo to renovate and reopen the noodle shop in hopes that the noodle shop will be able to continue to provide funds for the Su Beng Education Foundation (史明教育基金會)- so that the foundation can continue working to build Taiwan into a country made for and by the Taiwanese.

The noodle shop has been closed for much of the year. Su Beng is facing financial hardship with the loss of the noodle shop's revenue and now he has the added expense of medical bills for his treatment in Japan. If you are in Taiwan and wish to make a donation to Su Beng through the Su Beng Education Foundation, visit this website:

On the bottom of the page is an account number where donations can be made to to support these organizations: Taiwan Independence Association (獨立台灣會) and the Su Beng Education Foundation (史明教育基金會).

Taiwan independence advocate Su Beng hospitalized in Japan is too ill to travel to face ROC jail

Michael Richardson of the Boston Progressive Examiner has written about Su Beng's condition.

I had a few points of clarification regarding Su Beng's book "Taiwan's 400 Year History" and I've included my comments below.

Taiwan independence advocate Su Beng hospitalized in Japan is too ill to travel to face ROC jail
November 21, 10:38 AM
By Michael Richardson

Su Beng, the 91 year-old elder of the Taiwan independence movement, is in a Japanese medical facility too ill to return to Taiwan to face nine months in prison for a 2005 protest. Su Beng must undergo dialysis treatment or face death from kidney failure. Doctors are contemplating moving Su Beng from his treatment center to a larger hospital because of his frail condition and oppose any travel to Taiwan unless in a special aircraft equipped with life support equipment.

Su Beng had travelled from Taiwan to Japan in October to reopen his noodle restaurant which has been closed for renovation. Also in October, Su Beng's appeal of a nine-month jail sentence for a 2005 Taipei protest was denied and he must face imprisonment or pay a hefty fine.

The Republic of China in-exile [ROC] Supreme Court ironically denied Su Beng's appeal on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples' Republic of China. The independence activist had been arrested for an April 2005 protest against Kuomintang [KMT] leader Lian Chan's visit to China.

Su Beng, author of Taiwan's 400 Year History, was the first native-born Taiwanese to write a history of the four centuries of colonial rule in Taiwan. The classic history book has been translated and is now available in Japanese, Chinese and English. The book was written from Su Beng's noodle shop in Japan during his long exile from the island under the martial law period of Taiwan.

Su Beng had plotted the overthrow of KMT dictator Chiang Kai-shek after the defeated Chinese Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949. In the early 1950's Su Beng's revolutionary plans were discovered and he had to flee the island to Japan or face certain execution.

After martial law was lifted in the late 1980's Su Beng eventually returned to Taiwan where he renewed his independence efforts. Speaking, writing and leading protests filled the aging advocate's time. Although the passing years have slowed Su Beng down they have not quieted his voice or ended his tireless advocacy for Taiwan independence.

A constant irritant to the ROC government that rules the island, Su Beng has continued to lead marches, plan protests, write essays and seek to motivate others to liberate Taiwan from the Chinese government imposed on the island by the United States following World War II. Although the KMT-controlled media infrequently mentions Su Beng his many years of effort have made him a popular word-of-mouth folk hero in Taiwan.

Su Beng's long life has spanned the Japanese colonial period, the Chinese civil war where he fought with the Communists, and his decades of Taiwan independence advocacy at a time when he was considered by KMT leaders to be a traitor.


Here are my comments on Mr. Richardson's article:

Dear Michael,

I'd like to offer some clarification regarding the Japanese, Chinese and English versions of Su Beng's book "Taiwan's 400 Year History."

In this article, you mention that, "The classic history book has been translated and is now available in Japanese, Chinese and English."

Actually, Su Beng wrote the first version of "Taiwan's 400 Year History" in Japanese and it was published in 1962. Several years later, he wrote a more comprehensive Chinese language version which was published in 1980. The condensed English version of "Taiwan's 400 Year History" was published in 1986.

To read more on Su Beng visit:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Critical Condition

It is with great reluctance and a heavy heart that I must report this.

This weekend I heard from Bin Hong, Su Beng's assistant. She told me that Su Beng is in the hospital in Tokyo. In late October Su Beng had returned to Japan to look in on his noodle shop but recently he's had some health complications.

It's his kidneys.

Bin Hong was going to fly from Taipei to Tokyo on Wednesday but moved up her travel plans to Monday.

Yesterday she told me that his condition is not stable enough for him to return to Taiwan for treatment. In order to do so they'd have to charter a plane with special medical staff and equipment, which would be quite costly, so he will remain in Japan for treatment. Though the facility he's in specializes in kidney treatment, they are making arrangements for him to be transferred to a general hospital which will be better equipped to deal with any possible complications that might occur when they do kidney dialysis on Su Beng.

In the past year Su Beng has been traveling back and forth a great deal between Taiwan and Japan- overseeing renovations on his noodle shop in Ikebukuro and trying to get the shop back up and running. There's been a great deal of financial burden, and Bin Hong is afraid that the stress of it all has taken its toll on him.

What is there to say at a time like this?

It is serious. The man is ninety-one.

Let's just hope for the best and pray that Su Beng pulls through all of this okay.

For those of you who read Chinese, this blogger has written about Su Beng's condition and posted a video about Su Beng here: