by Lin Yeoh
...The history of the Triads is in many ways the history of modern China. Popular myth holds that the Triads originated as a resistance movement against the Ching dynasty after it descended from Manchuria to seize the capital of Peking by force. When faced with a rebellion in the Fukien province, the Ching dynasty recruited an order of warrior monks who were later deemed expendable by the Emperor and all but exterminated. Survivors organized a number of secret monasteries and became known as the "Hung Mun," dedicated to overthrowing the Chings.
The Hung Mun showed a remarkable political adaptability, portraying themselves as protectors of the people even as they accepted money from Japanese corporate fronts during WWII...