Home » The Crisis of The Eighth Lunar Month, by Dean Meyers and My-Van Tran.

The Crisis of The Eighth Lunar Month, by Dean Meyers and My-Van Tran.

Vol. 2, No. 1 (2006): 1–39.


It has long been noted by scholars familiar with the Vietnamese religious, social, and political movement properly called the Dai-Dao-Tam-Ky-PhoDo, but more often known outside Vietnam by the shorter title “Cao Dai”, that movement, beginning in the spring of 1938, underwent a period of intense nationalistic and apocalyptic agitation. That ferment continued throughout much of that year, was echoed to some extent in the year which followed, and reemerged with new stridency in the summer of 1940—until the definitive silencing of the provocative divinations issuing from the Holy See at Tay Ninh, and the temporary occupation of the sacred site itself, by the French in July of that year. These decisive actions were followed, little more than a year later, by the exiling to Nossi Lava in the Comores Islands, off Madagascar, of the movement’s interim Pope, and Protector of the Law (Ho Phap), Pham Cong Tac, along with much of Tay Ninh’s upper-level leadership, in July, 1941. Taken into French custody immediately prior to the arrival of Japanese occupation forces in southern Vietnam, Tac remained in exile for the remainder of World War II, and was permitted to return to Indochina only in June 1946.

Author’s bio

Dean M. Meyers is presently an independent scholar living in Thailand but for many years (1982–2000) lectured in Southeast Asian History at the Comparative Culture Faculty of Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. His research interests have principally centered on late 19th and early 20th century political relations between the rival colonial powers in mainland Southeast Asia, namely France and Britain, the peoples and polities of the region, and an increasingly influential Japan. Current projects include research regarding French and British involvement with Siam during the critical period at the end of the 19th century when that ancient state managed, just barely, to retain its national sovereignty, and subsequently transformed itself into a modern nation. E-mail contact: dean@banglanung.com

Tran My-Van received her MA from Duke University and PhD from the Australian National University. Currently she is associate professor and Program Director for International and Asian Studies at the University of South Australia. She has been recognised with a number of honours, including the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her service to Australia-Asia relations and Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to Asian studies, multiculturalism and the overseas Vietnamese community. She has published three books and many articles related to Vietnamese literature and history, in particular, the wartime experiences of religious and political organizations in Vietnam and more broadly with French colonialism and Vietnam-Japan relations. Her most recent publication is A Vietnamese Royal Exile in Japan: Prince Cuong De (1882–1951) (Routledge, 2005). E-mail contact: My-Van.Tran@unisa.edu.au

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