Yu Dafu (Yu Ta-fu) [real name Yu Wen] 1896-1945

Yu Dafu was born in Fuyang, Zhejiang province. In 1913, Yu was taken to Japan by his eldest brother, where he attended the high school and gained a place in the Economics Department of Tokyo University in 1919. According to his own account, he spent much of his time at university reading fiction, and read English, Japanese and German fluently. Two novellas he wrote in Japan—Yinhuise de si [A silver-grey death] and Chenlun [Sinking]—caused a great scandal when they were published in 1921. On his return to China in 1922, Yu Dafu was preoccupied with the Creation Society which he had helped to found the previous year. Apart from brief spells of university teaching, most of his energies up to 1927 were spent on writing for and editing Creation Society magazines. When the war with Japan broke out in 1937, he did propaganda work, then left for Singapore in 1942. With the fall of Singapore in 1942, he fled to Sumatra. He died after the Japanese surrender, apparently executed by Japanese military police.

Works available in English:

  • Nights of Spring Fever, and Other Writings. Beijing: Chinese Literature, 1984.