In The Emperor's Wake
The Fighting Tongs
Distinct from the Six Companies were the secret societies which later became the notorious “fighting tongs.”
Though some have said that the tongs were a purely American phenomenon, they evolved from the secret societies that flourished in China. One of the biggest was the San Ho Hui, or Triad Society, alias the Hung Society and the Society of Heaven and Earth. Originally a secret, revolutionary political organization opposed to the Manchu dynasty, in San Francisco it became something akin to a Chinese version of the Cosa Nostra.