Satō Haruo's “Ajia no ko” and Yu Dafu's Response

Christopher T. Keaveney

in Beyond Brushtalk

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099289
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206656 | DOI:
Satō Haruo's “Ajia no ko” and Yu Dafu's Response

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This chapter explores the complex relationship of the Chinese writer Yu Dafu (1896–1945) and the Japanese writer Satō Haruo (1892–1964). The two writers were familiar with one another's works even before they met, and Yu's story “Sinking” exhibits a debt to Satō's signature work Rural Melancholy. The relationship between these two texts shows the closeness of aesthetic goals of the two literary communities during the interwar period. The literary friendship between these two writers is described. Yu first expressed his respect for Satō Haruo's writing in a brief essay entitled “Haishang tongxin”. The contact between the two literary groups during the 1920s, centered in Uchiyama Kanzō's bookshop in Shanghai, was undermined by the nationalism and militarism of the thirties. The breaking off of relations between Yu and Satō, and Yu's death in 1945, came to symbolize in a broader sense the demise of intimacy and fellowship between Chinese and Japanese writers in the interwar period.

Keywords: Yu Dafu; Satō Haruo; Sinking; Rural Melancholy; literary friendship; nationalism; militarism

Chapter.  5816 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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