A Brush with the Emperor and Exile in Tokyo

Liang briefly rose to the very highest levels of prominence during the Guangxu Emperor’s Hundred Days Reforms. But when Empress Dowager Cixi quashed those reforms, Liang fled to Japan with his mentor Kang Youwei.

The Japanese government welcomed Liang in Tokyo and gave him the wherewithal to give voice to the growing community of Chinese dissidents living overseas. Liang briefly flirted with allying himself with Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary republican group, but eventually set out on his own.

Yokohama Chinatown in 1903