Family and personal life
Professor Ting Yin H. Ma family
In August of 1945 the Sino-Japanese war and World War II had ended. October of the same year, Professor Ting Yin H. Ma took a trip to Taiwan accompanied by two other Doctors of Sciences Dr. Chen Jiangong, an alumnus from the Tohoku Imperial University, and Dr. Su Buqing. Also in the company was yet another Japanese university graduate Cai Banghua, Mr. Lu Zhihong and a special representative from the government Mr. Luo Zhongluo. The six of them were joined by Dr. Du Chongming , a Taiwanese from the Kyoto Imperial University, and Mr. Lin Maosheng, publisher of the Citizens Daily. They were to receive the Imperial Taihoku University from the retreating Japanese government and rename it the National Taiwan University.
During the process of expropriation, Professor Ma insisted on retaining the Japanese teaching faculties to continue on their teaching and researches and studies, against the most prevailing opinion, which was to expel all Japanese faculties. Professor Matsumoto, a plant pathology expert, a dear friend of Professor Massashi Adachi, not only did he look after Professor Adachi’s son Moto, he also introduced Professor Ma to the Adachi residence. Professor cherished the residence greatly, and did not make any attempt to reshape it.
In 1947, Chi Bangyuan, who had just graduated from the Nanking University, accepted an invitation from Professor Ma to teach as Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Literature and Languages, and lived for a short time in the Kodomoheya room of the house. Professor Chi still vividly recalled Professor Ma’s instruction not to close the door if a male visitor visits her. Professor Chi Bangyuan was Mr. Chi Shiying’s daughter, who was Professor Ma’s best friend in Liaoning Province in the northeastern region of China. In 1960, Mr. Chi, together with Mr. Lei Zhen and Mr. GaoYushuformed the Democratic Party of China in opposition to the ruling Kuomintang party. As a result of their opposition to the KMT party, their Journal “Free China” was banned. Some of the socialistic, rebellious texts and publications that touched on sensitive issues were then stored in Professor Ma’s residence.
In 1947, Professor Ma’s children, a son and a daughter, moved to Taiwan from Mainland China. His son is the now famous writer Ma Guoguang with the penname Liangxuan. Ma GuoGuang graduated with a M.A. degree in Broad Casting and Public Media from The New York City University. He also taught in Fu Ren University,Shi Xin College and Tunghai University.
In 1950, Professor Ma’s sister and her husband, the Suns, moved in the house. They were accommodated in the Zashiki rooms that were floored with tatami, while Professor Ma moved into to the reading room. In addition, a small summer house was constructed next to the sun room of the house. At this time, there were 3 adults and 6 children in the house. The Suns administered a fowl farm in the front yard, raising chickens and geese. These birds were wiped out during a bird flu epidemic, and the business attempt ended also.
According to accounts by Mr. Ma GuoGuang, he was responsible for shepherding the flock of geese in the afternoon to drink and graze. There were paddy fields just beyond the entrance to the lane and extended as far as the hills at Liuzhangli. Occasionally, engrossed in his own amusements, he would forgot about tending the geese, and find them home already, safe and sound. Often in dreams of early mornings were interrupted by chirps and tweets of flocks of birds. Sometimes monkeys playing in trees can be seen as well. Naughty little children loved to climb up trees just so they can enjoy the fun of running on roof tops.
Professor Ma was very diligent
In 1940, Professor Ma met Miss Sun Chaiping, also an overseas Chinese student who studied in Japan. They married in Qongqing and bore two children, a girl and a boy, together. Unfortunately, the two separated. When Madam Ma-Sun came over to Taiwan, Professor Ma made arrangements so that she was accommodated in the town of Peitou, and did not invite her to live in Qingtian. Her visit in Taiwan was brief. Later, she returned to Mainland China, and was regretfully separated from her children as the Civil War broke out.
In 1945, Professor Ma came to Taiwan to expropriate the “Imperial Taihoku University, and also headed the Department of Geology. Within one short week following his arrival at the campus, Professor Ma was chairing a symposium on geology on the second floor of Building No. 2 on the campus, displaying his swift and prompt, positive manner in executing things at hand and research works and studies. The government administration had hoped that Professor Ma would agree to fill the position of Chief of Provincial Bureau of Education or assume the position of President of the Taiwan University. However, Professor Ma did not have any desire to be involved for any long period of time in administrative businesses, and only accepted the position of Head of the Geology Department in Taiwan University. He held the title from 1947 to 1951, and was also concurrently Head of the Institute of Oceanography from 1946 to 1950. The Institute of Oceanography was founded during Japanese time. In 1950, due to lack of funding, the institution was dissolved. From that time on, Professor Ma maintained publication of the research journal “Acta Oceanographica Sinica” on money from his own pocket.
Professor Ma Ting Ying was also known by his second name HsuehFeng which means “snowy mountain”, also as one of the tallest mountains in Taiwan. Professor Ma was born in Jin Xian County, Province of Liaoning in 1899. He was an internationally well-known geologist, paleontologist as well as an expert in marine geology.
His family was quite poor when he was young. He was the eldest of 9 siblings, and was gifted, smart and open-minded. He graduated from his hometown middle school, the Jinzhou Middle School. Following his graduation, he secretly wrote the entrance exam and was enrolled by the Tokyo Normal High School. He graduated from the Tokyo Normal High School with first standing honor, and wrote an exam to enter the Imperial Tohoku University in Sendai, Hokaido, Japan,to study geology and paleontology.
He graduated in 1929 and was then engaged in graduate study towards a doctoral degree. Professor Ma was very diligent, and would continue on his studies for several days without taking any break. He thus caught the attention of Professor Hisakatsu Yabe (失部長克).
In 1933, Professor Ma completed his doctoral dissertation. The Japanese government, however, proposed to grant Professor Ma doctoral degree only if he would take up a research position in the Manchurian Science Faculty in the Manchuria region from China (back then the region was colonized by Japan). The Japanese government also demanded that Professor Ma to give up his Chinese nationality, and adopt a Japanese nationality in exchange for the D.Sc. degree. Professor Ma refused both extortions. Professor Yabe by then has found out about his government’s intervention of academic affairs and felt quite despicable. As a result, Professor Yabe sent Professor Ma’s doctoral dissertation to the Berlin University in Germany instead. The university quickly recognized Professor Ma’s achievements and bestowed him the Doctor of Science degree in 1934. The Japanese government, in fear of losing grip on Professor Ma’s works, immediately granted Professor Ma a doctoral degree in science from the Imperial Tohoku University without the need of him accepting their previous demands. Professor Ma was thus possessed with two Doctor of Science degrees from both the German and Japanese governments. During his academic stay in Japan, Professor Ma presented many papers in the Japanese academic conferences. He presented research results on the annual growth rate of rugosa corals and applied his studies on interpreting several important topics in geology, showing new insights. Gradually and firmly, Professor Ma established himself as one of the fore-runners in the field of paleontology.
In the fall of 1936, the relationship between the Japanese and the Chinese governments strained as Japan reeked with intense militarism. Upon invitation from Mr. Ting Wen Jiang, Professor Ma returned to China in secrecy. Before his departure from Japan, Professor Ma made a farewell visit to Professor Yabe. Professor Yabe assured Professor Ma if he needed anything for his research, any and every specimens in the Tohoku University’s collection are available for his taking. In later years, Professor Ma would be highly agitated and grateful when approached about the topic. In Professor Ma’s study at home, as well as in his research room in university, there were always pictures of Professor Yabe, showing a strong feeling of respect and appreciation between these two prominent scientists. Professor Ma held very high respect towards his tutor Professor Yabe, while Professor Yabe was proud and appreciative towards Professor Ma. The relationship and bond between these two distinguished scientists was as much comparable to that between a father and his son.
In July 1937 the Sino-Japanese war broke out, a bitter war that lasted eight long years on Chinese soil. In 1937, upon invitation from Mr. Qi Shiying, who was one of Professor Ma’s dear fellow Liaoning natives, Professor Ma took up the position of school principal in the North-East High School. As the war raged on in their region, Professor Ma led the group of North East High School students to flee the Japanese armies in a long journey, retreating to the safe grounds in the south beyond Japanese influence. The trip saw all of them climbing treacherous high mountains, lodging in run-down temples and broken-down work sheds. Despite the extreme difficulty, all the while during the move to the rear, school works and classes similar to the original school scheduled curriculum calendar were maintained. The group had fallen in siege of robbers in Hunan, and luckily fled from the bandits through gun fires. The rattling of gun shots was accompanied by the clicking of typewriter tapping as Professor Ma carried on his work on his scientific papers. Fortunately, the entire group of staffs and students reached Szechuan safe and sound with not a single person injured or killed. Upon arrival and after the school staffs and students were taken care of and out of harm’s way, Professor Ma resigned from his post of school principal. Professor Ma then assumed the position of Division Head, in the Maritime Division in the Chinese Institute of Geographic Studies. From 1939 to 1945 he was responsible for researches in geomorphology in the off-shore areas along the south eastern provinces as well as strategic resources.
In 1945 to 1947, in dire financial conditions, Professor Ma managed to secure sufficient funding on an expedition to Lanshu for reconnaissance survey and investigation on the geology, botany, zoology and flora and fauna of the island. The 1945-1946 expedition teams were made up of experts in the various fields of biological sciences and geosciences with Professor Ma as head scientist of the group. In 1947 Professor Ma led the group and conducted reconnaissance survey on Nansha Islands and the Hainan Island.
In 1950 Professor Ma presented a paper on “The Theory on Petroleum Formation”. In this paper Professor Ma pointed out that the sudden sliding of the earth’s solid crust caused mass annihilation of organisms which accumulated to form petroleum. He also theorized that in western Taiwan and in the seaboard areas around Taiwan there exist in great depth petroleum reservoirs. He recommended large-scale exploration for oil and gas to be immediately conducted.
In 1955, the significant achievement from the paper “Total Sudden Displacement of the Earth’s Solid Crust” was recognized by the Ministry of Education, and Professor Ma was awarded the very first Ministry of Education’s Grand Award on Academic Achievement. The other recipient of the Grand Award was Professor Dong Zuo Bing, the authority on ancient Chinese tortoise shell inscriptions. Mr. Ma Guo Guang recalled that the sum of the award was as much as thirty thousand dollars, this sum of money, at that time, was sufficient to buy a house. Professor Ma used the entire sum of the award money on his research works and not a single cent of that money went to any household or personal expenditure.
In 1955, Professor Ma attended the UNESCO’s Conference on Physical Oceanography and presented a paper entitled “Reef-forming Corals on Equator, Evidence on Drifting of Crustal Blocks and Submarine Topography, Evidence on Sudden Total Displacement of the Earth’s Solid Crust”.
In 1956, Professor Ma attended the 8th Pacific Science Conference held in the Philippines and presented a paper: “Geologic Evidence on Sudden Total Displacement of the Earth’s Solid Crust Over the Fluid Core”.
In 1957, Professor Ma attended the 20th International Geology Conference held in Mexico City. He presented a paper, with Mr. Pan Jialing as co-author, “A Discussion on the World’s Volcanic Zones, Basing on blocks of the Earth’s Solid Crusts as a result of Total Sudden Displacement of the Solid Earth Crust”. All of the above listed papers were the result of Professor Ma’s research on total sudden displacement of the earth’s crust.
In 1960, Professor Ma attended the 21st International Geology Conference held in Norden, Germany, and presented a paper “The Origin and Cause of Paleozoic Glaciations in Australia and South America”. This paper was the result of Professor Ma’s years of research and study on paleoclimate and continental drift. The paper was highly resonant and drew much international attention.
In 1962, following a match-making trip to Japan, Professor Ma married Madam Ono Chizuko, The marriage brought a son and two daughters to Professor Ma’s family.
Upon his retirement, Professor Ma was invited by Mr. Zhang Qiyun, the founder of the Chinese Culture University, to set up a geology department in the Chinese Culture University. In 1976, Professor Ma became Chairman of the Geology Department in the Chinese Culture University, but only for a short eight months.
Professor Ma passed away in 1979. In February of the next year, President Chiang Ching Kuo bestowed a post humus honor on Professor Ma. In 1988, Professor Ma’s name was entered under the subject “Oceanography” in the encyclopedia compiled by Mainland China. In 1991 Professor Ma’s short biographic record was entered in the Biographic Dictionary of Scientists in Mainland China.
In a special publication in memory of Professor Ma by the China Times on 28th September,1979, these excerpts were published:
*”As always, Professor Ma was either teaching, doing research, or he is studying. He was a humorous person in the classroom as well as out in the field. He was joyous, and rather forgiving of people but very strict towards himself”. Quoting Mr. Pan Yuxi.
*”Professor Ma was very keen on research and study. And it is obvious as his picks out findings out of his own pocket for publishing papers and monographs”. Comment by Dr. Gu Zhaozhen.