A Vietnamese Royal Exile in Japan
Prince Cuong De (1882-1951)
By Tran My-Van
Routledge – 2005 – 270 pages
Prince Cuong De, viewed by the French as a pretender to the Vietnamese throne, was an important and interesting figure in the history of Vietnam’s struggle for independence. He was highly regarded by many non-communist Vietnamese nationalists, but has been virtually ‘written out’ of Vietnamese history.
Based on extensive original research, including interviews and important documents from the French national archives, this book traces the life of Cuong De as a royal exile in Japan, exploring his links to key Japanese leaders and how he campaigned for his cause and was supported in Japan, Vietnam and elsewhere. The author shows how Cuong De had great hopes that imperial Japan would advance the cause of Vietnamese independence from France, especially during the Japanese occupation of Vietnam in 1941-5. But these hopes were disappointed as Japan's Indochina policy gave primacy to Japan's own economic and strategic self-interest.
This book provides many fascinating insights into the development of Vietnamese nationalism and the long, harsh struggle for independence, from the perspective of an interesting and undeservedly neglected figure.
Introduction 1. Cuong De's Ancestry and Colonial Heritage 2. The Making of a Revolutionary Path: 1896-1905 3. Japanese-French Politics and Vietnamese Experiences in Japan: 1906-1909 4. Overseas Wandering: In Search for Alternative Alliances: 1910-1915 5. Exile in Japan: Hope and Despair: 1915-1932 6. The Making of a 'Second P'u-Yi of Annam': 1933-1940 7. The Japanese Occupation and Independence for Vietnam: 1941-1945 8. The Japanese Occupation and Independence for Vietnam: Opportunity for Cuong De and His Nationalist Supporters: 1941-1945 9. An Imperfect Alliance and its Consequences: Misfortune and Fortune in Vietnamese Politics: 1945-1946 10. The Return of a Nguyen Lord and his Legacy 11. Conclusion
Tran My-Van is Associate Professor and Program Director at the School of International Studies, University of South Australia. She has been recognized with a number of honours, including membership of the Order of Australia (AM) for her professional service to Australian-Asian Relations, multiculturalism and to the overseas Vietnamese community. She has published two books and many articles on overseas Vietnamese, Vietnamese literature and Vietnamese-Japanese relations.