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              Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. With Overlooked, we’re adding the stories of remarkable people whose deaths went unreported in The Times.


              In 1917 Yamei Kin, a Chinese-born doctor then living in New York, visited her homeland to study a crop that was virtually unknown to Americans: the soybean.

              1917年,在中國出生、當時住在紐約的醫生金韻梅(Yamei Kin)回到故鄉,研究一種幾乎不為美國人所知的農作物:大豆。

              By this point she had become something of a celebrity dietitian. For years before the mission she had been telling women’s clubs that tofu and other soy products were nutritious alternatives to meat that required fewer resources to produce. She liked to say that they tasted “a little like brains and a little like sweetbreads.”


              “She was many decades ahead of her time in terms of promoting tofu to a wider American audience,” said Matthew Roth, the author of the book “Magic Bean: The Rise of Soy in America (2018).

              “向美國民眾大力推廣豆腐方面,她領先于時代好幾十年,”《魔豆——大豆在美國的崛起》(Magic Bean: the Rise of Soy in America,2018年)一書的作者馬修·羅斯(Matthew Roth)說。

              The United States Department of Agriculture approached her with the mission of going to China to study how the soybean could be used in America. The government saw her research as part of a wider effort to develop new sources of protein for its soldiers during World War I.


              Kin had a laboratory at the U.S.D.A., where she tested what the department called “Chinese soybean cheese,” and she presented soybean seeds to the department’s Bureau of Plant Industry. In addition, Roth said, some of her recipes were likely included in “The Soybean,” a landmark study published in 1910 by the U.S.D.A. officials William J. Morse and Charles V. Piper.

              金韻梅在美國農業部有一個實驗室,她在那里對該部所謂的“中式大豆奶酪”進行測試,并把大豆種子交給該部的種植業局。羅斯說,她的一些食譜很可能收錄在1910年由農業部官員威廉·摩爾斯(William J. Morse)和查爾斯·派珀(Charles V. Piper)發表的具有里程碑意義的研究報告《大豆》(The Soybean)中。

              “Americans do not know how to use the soybean,” Kin, then in her early 50s, told The New York Times Magazine in 1917 as she set out for China on her mission. “It must be made attractive or they will not take to it. It must taste good. That can be done.”


              A 1918 report in The San Antonio Light newspaper offered this description of her lab:

              1918年,《圣安東尼奧快報》(The San Antonio Light)的一篇報道這樣描述她的實驗室:

              “On a long table was a row of glass jars filled with what looked like slices of white cheese. It was soy bean cheese. A jar was filled with a brownish paste. It was soy beans. There were bottles filled with the condiment we get with chop suey. That, too, was made from soy beans. Talk about dual personalities! The soy bean has so many aliases that if you shouldn’t like it in one form you would be pretty sure to like it in another.”


              In essays and correspondence at the time, U.S.D.A. colleagues expressed glowing praise for Kin’s work.


              “Very interesting,” Frank N. Meyer, a department botanist, wrote in 1911 in response to one of her letters. “There probably will come a time that soy beans are also given a nobler use in the United States than mere forage or green manure.”

              “非常有意思,”農業部植物學家弗蘭克·N·梅耶爾(Frank N. Meyer)在1911年的一封給她的回信中說。“也許有一天,大豆在美國會得到更高尚的應用,而不只是飼料或綠肥。”

              The Times Magazine noted that Kin’s research mission was the first time the United States had “given so much authority to a Chinese.”


              Kin did not live to see the soybean become popular in mainstream American society, and historians say the precise impacts of her tofu advocacy in the United States are hard to measure. But she was apparently the first person inside the federal government to promote the bean outside Asian immigrant communities — cultural eons before veggie burgers and soy lattes were fashionable.


              Kin’s U.S.D.A. assignment was just another chapter in a lifetime of professional trailblazing. Historians say she was among the first female students in the China’s modern history to study overseas and earn a medical degree in the United States. Later, when she moved back to China, she ran a women’s hospital, founded a nursing school and reportedly even served as the family physician to a president of the young republic.


              Kin’s career is remarkable partly because it unfolded against such a noisy backdrop: The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, as well as political turmoil in China surrounding the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912.

              金韻梅的職業生涯非常引人注目,部分原因在于它有著極為嘈雜的背景:1882年的《排華法案》(Chinese Exclusion Act),以及1912年清朝覆滅時期中國的政治動蕩。

              “That she shows up in so many places doing so many different things is very resonant,” said Madeline Y. Hsu, a historian at the University of Texas at Austin who studies migration between China and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

              “她出現在很多不同的地方,做了各種各樣的事,這一點非常感人,”德克薩斯大學奧斯汀分校研究19世紀末20世紀初期中美之間的移民問題的歷史學家徐元音(Madeline Y. Hsu)說。

              “It’s a really, really transnational story,” she added.


              Yamei Kin was born in 1864 in the eastern Chinese city of Ningpo, now called Ningbo, to a Chinese pastor and his wife, according to an annotated bibliography of Kin’s life that was published in 2016 by the SoyInfo Center in California. 根據加利福尼亞州大豆信息中心(SoyInfo Center)2016年發表的一份注釋版金韻梅生平文獻目錄,金韻梅于1864年出生于中國東部城市寧波一個中國牧師家庭。

              When Kin was 2, her parents died of cholera during an epidemic, and she was adopted by Divie Bethune and Juana McCartee, an American missionary couple. She was raised in China and Japan, where her adoptive father worked for the Education Ministry.

              金韻梅兩歲時,她的父母在疫病流行期間死于霍亂,她被美國傳教士夫婦麥嘉締(Divie Bethune)和胡安娜·瑪蒂爾達奈特(Juana McCartee)收養。她在中國和日本長大,她的養父在教育部工作。

              Her parents moved to New York, and she went to high school for a year in Rye, N.Y. At 16, Kin enrolled in the Women’s Medical College of New York under the name Y. May King, according to Roth’s book.

              她的養父母搬到了紐約,她在紐約州拉伊市就讀了一年的中學。羅斯的書中說,16歲時,金韻梅以Y·May King的名字被紐約女子醫學院(Women’s Medical College)錄取。

              Researchers believe she altered her name to hide her ethnicity because she was frequently reminded that she was one of few Chinese women studying in the United States at the time.


              “Workmen in the street would often hurl abuse at me, and even my fellow woman students were not particularly enthusiastic about me,” she was quoted as saying in “My Sister China” (2002), a memoir by Jaroslav Prusek, a Czech Sinologist who knew her in the 1930s.

              “街上的工人經常辱罵我,甚至我的女同學對我也沒什么特別的熱情,”從1930年代就認識她的捷克漢學家雅羅斯拉夫·普實克(Jaroslav Prusek)在回憶錄《我的姊妹中國》(My Sister China,2002)中引用她的話說。

              She graduated in 1885 at the top of her class, however, and published an article two years later in the New York Medical Journal that extolled the perks of “photomicrography,” or photography through microscopes, for medical research.


              During the 1880s and 1890s, she worked as a medical missionary in China and Japan. She married Hippolytus Laesola Amador Eça da Silva, a Macau-born musician of Portuguese and Spanish descent, in 1894.

              在1880年代和1890年代,她在中國和日本擔任醫療傳教士。1894年,她與澳門出生的葡萄牙-西班牙裔音樂家伊波利圖斯·拉索拉·阿馬多爾·艾薩·達席爾瓦(Hippolytus Laesola Amador Eça da Silva)結婚。

              The couple settled in Hawaii, where Kin gave birth to a son. But she later moved to California and separated from her husband.


              By 1903, Kin was traveling across the United States to lecture to women’s clubs about Chinese nutrition and other “things oriental,” including the opium crisis in China and the role of women there.


              Kin’s profile was growing in the United States even as Chinese immigrants there were protesting the Chinese Exclusion Act, the country’s first anti-immigrant law that targeted a specific nationality.


              She was part of a “transnational elite” and would have been exempt from the law, which targeted laborers, said Mae M. Ngai, a history professor at Columbia University and the author of “The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America.”

              哥倫比亞大學歷史學教授、《幸運者:一個家庭和華裔美國非凡的發明》(The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America)一書的作者艾明如(Mae M. Ngai)說,她是“跨國精英”的一部分,可以免受那部針對勞動者的法律的影響。

              In one sign of her elite status, President Theodore Roosevelt himself wrote to Kin in 1904 to express regret that he did not have the power to make her an American citizen. But she was still permitted to stay.

              西奧多·羅斯福(Theodore Roosevelt)總統在1904年親自寫信給金韻梅,表示很遺憾他沒有權力讓她成為美國公民,這是她精英地位的一個標志。但她仍被允許留下來。

              In 1907, Kin began running the Imperial Peiyang Women’s Medical School and Hospital in the northern Chinese city Tientsin, now called Tianjin.


              She later founded a nursing school in the city with funding from Yuan Shikai, a Qing dynasty official who would become president of the new Chinese republic after the 1911 revolution, said Zhou Zhuitian, a historian in Tianjin. Prusek wrote in his book that she also served as the physician for Yuan’s family.


              “She is the founder of nursing education in China — the pioneer, the trailblazer,” said Qian Gang, a Hong Kong-based historian.


              Kin returned to China for good in 1920, two years after her son, Alexander, died while fighting in France for the United States in the waning weeks of World War I.


              She died in 1934 at the age of 70, leaving no survivors. The cause was pneumonia.


              At her request, she was buried on a farm outside Beijing.


              “Here my dust will blend with soil,” she told Prusek, “and after the pile of clay they will place upon my grave has crumbled as well, I will become a field, a fertile field.”


              The land has since been swallowed by the city’s urban sprawl.


              內容來自 聽力課堂網:http://www.6109171.com/show-500-430133-1.html

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