ZHONG ZHAOZHENG, A.K.A. CHUNG CHAO-CHENG (1925— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

ZHONG ZHAOZHENG, A.K.A. CHUNG CHAO-CHENG (1925— ). Novelist. Zhong Zhaozheng was a member of the first generation of Taiwanese writers that emerged after the Japanese occupation. His works, written in the tradition of social realism established by older writers such as Zhang Wojun, Wu Zhuliu, and others, ushered in a new generation of Taiwanese writers. Educated in the Japanese system, Zhong began learning written Chinese in his adult years and published his first work in Chinese in 1953.

Zhong mostly wrote short stories in the 1950s, depicting local customs and tradtions. In the 1960s, he turned to writing novels, publishing in installments his first book, Lubing hua (Lubing Flower). His most important works are Zhuoliu sanbuqu (Trilogy of Muddy Torrent) and Taiwanren sanbuqu (Trilogy of the Taiwanese), which portray life in Taiwan under Japanese occupation, bearing witness to the national mentality of that period. Zhuoliu sanbuqu is an autobiographical novel, and through the experience of the protagonist, a young man of some education, it depicts Taiwan during and after the Japanese occupation. The novel denounces the Japanese colonizers’ hypocrisy and cruelty and describes a nascent nationalism among the Taiwanese and their search for identity.

Taiwanren sanbuqu, which took the author more than 10 years to write, is a saga of five generations of the Lu clan, whose ancestors came to Taiwan from Guangdong in the 18th century. Zhong links the patriotic anti-Japanese struggle on the island with the important historical events that occurred on the mainland between 1895, when Taiwan was ceded to Japan, and 1945, when Taiwan was restored to China. He treats the history of Taiwan by describing the heroic struggles of the Taiwanese under the Japanese occupation. This novel is unique in the history of Taiwanese literature in terms of the broad span of time it covers and its grand scale. For his numerous books about Taiwan, Zhong is regarded as an important chronicler of its history and a bard of its spirit.