郁達夫 (1896 - 1945)
Yu Dafu (1896 - 1945)
Originally named Yu Wen, also named Yu Dafu. Born to a poor family, Yu Dafu was diligent in his studies and obtained outstanding academic results. In 1913, he went with his elder brother to Japan to pursue his studies, later graduating from the Department of Economics of Imperial University in Tokyo. Yu was one of the founders of the Creation Society, a prominent vernacular literature group of the time. His first collection of short stories, Sinking, was universally acclaimed as an amazing piece that put its mark down on the modern history of Chinese literature. His essays, classical style poetry and lyrical poetry, literary criticism and various writings and political commentary take on a style of their own and are quite exceptional.
Apart from writing up literature, Yu participated actively in various anti-imperialism anti-Japanese organizations. He actively engaged in the anti-Japanese and national salvation promotion activities in a number of places including Shanghai and Wuhan. In the autumn of 1938, Yu was invited to Singapore to help in launching a newspaper and promoting the Anti-Japanese and National Salvation Movement. When Japanese forces finally moved in on the South Pacific regions and Singapore was lost to the enemy, Yu went into exile, escaping to Sumatra. He was later captured by the Japanese forces and, because of his excellent command of Japanese, was forced to work as interpreter in the army. He used the convenience given by his work capacity to secretly assist and protect a great number of exiles from the cultural sector, patriotic leaders of overseas Chinese and others. On August 29, 1945, he was murdered by the Japanese military at the age of 49.