From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

17 April 1908
Hue City, Vietnam

Some days ago, people from six districts marched on Hue to demonstrate against their harsh taxes. When some Vietnamese disobeyed the orders given by French guards, the guards fired into a crowd. Many of our people were killed, including children. When the guards started throwing bodies into the river, some farmers pulled two of the French into the river, which swept all four downstream. When the French discovered they had lost two of their own, they opened fire again. Because I helped translate for the peasants, I was expelled from school. Perhaps now my education will begin.

A Vietnamese resistance leader, Phan Boi Chau, succeeded in staging several uprisings against the French. Although these were defeated, Phan eluded arrest. He set up a new revolutionary group that tried to enlist foreign groups to train Vietnamese students. Ho was one of those selected to study in Japan. This invitation must have had an enormous appeal for a youth already rebellious and no doubt looking to be associated with resistance groups. Yet Ho turned it down, for reasons unknown. But he must have discerned what subsequently became evident, that the Japanese were not interested in promoting Vietnamese hegemony. They only wanted to develop contacts as a source for spying.
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