Newly discovered Lu Xun historical materials on display
Literary giant Lu Xun (1881-1933) is a household name in China.
The short story "Diary of a Madman," which was written by the novelist, essayist, poet and literary critic, was first published in vernacular Chinese in 1918 and is considered the mainstay of the New Culture Movement.
"The True Story of Ah Q," a serial novella published in 1921 and 1922, is also considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature.
The recent discovery of a collection of posthumous letters and photographs from the home of Japanese writer Kaji Gwanji has sparked interest among Chinese academics, particularly because it includes a personal letter from Lu Xun to Uchiyama Wenzo (1885-1959).
The letter, along with a collection of historical materials, is currently on display at the 1927 Luxun and Uchiyama Memorial Bookstore until April 9.
A signed copy of "A Brief History of the Chinese Novel," which Lu gave to Fujitsuka Chikashi, is also on display, as is a commemorative numbered copy of "The Complete Works of Lu Xun" from the Rong Desheng Collection.
In fact, the bookstore itself lends a unique perspective to the Chinese writer's relationship with his Japanese friends.
Lu visited the Uchiyama Bookstore near his home shortly after moving to Shanghai in 1927. The shop became a favorite hangout for Lu and other left-wing intellectuals, and it came to represent Sino-Japanese friendship over time.
It is well known that Lu formed a circle of Japanese friends in Shanghai, including Kaji Gwanzo, a writer who arrived in Shanghai with his wife in 1936 and was later introduced to Lu by the bookstore's owner, Uchiyama Wanzou.
Lu invited Kaji Gwan to translate his anthology of random thoughts. When Gwan encountered difficult questions in his translations, the young man frequently consulted Lu and his assistant.
Uchiyama had become the sole seller of Lu's works by 1932. Lu purchased over 1,000 books there in the last decade of his life, and the two men remained close friends until Lu's death from tuberculosis in 1936.
The final decade of Lu's life in Shanghai's Hongkou District, during which many of his important literary works were published, shaped modern Chinese culture.
After his wife died in 1945, Uchiyama closed his bookstore and returned to Japan. He was the first president of the Japan-China Friendship Association after the war.
The three-story renovated building has been renamed the 1927 Lu Xun and Uchiyama Memorial Bookstore. It officially opened to the public in November 2022.
The handwritten letter from Lu to Uchiyama Playzo in Japanese is the focus of the exhibition. The letters written by Gwan to his parents in Japan reveal Lu's admiration, trust and support for Kaji Gwan, a young Japanese left-wing writer.
Date: Through April 9, 10am-9pm
Venue: 1927 Lu Xun and Uchiyama Memorial Bookstore
Address: 2050 Sichuan Rd N., Hongkou District