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Recently Uncovered "Diary of Lu Heruo" Donated to National Museum of Taiwanese Literature

  • Date:2020-08-25
Recently Uncovered 'Diary of Lu Heruo' Donated to National Museum of Taiwanese Literature

Today, on the day that would have been the 106th birthday of Taiwanese literary heavyweight Lu Heruo, he was represented by his eldest son Lu Fang-ching at a ceremony for the donation of his diary to the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) for restoration and preservation. The ceremony was attended by members of the Lu family, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te, chair of the Transitional Justice Promotion Committee Yang Cui, and many other guests from the literary circle, all of whom came together to witness this donation of a piece of Taiwanese literary history.

Minister Lee expressed his admiration for Lu and his family, for their tenacity in walking this lonely road through some seven decades, even under authoritarian rule, thanking them for so graciously donating this extremely important diary manuscript to the museum. Lu Heruo was a writer, playwright, vocal musician, teacher, and journalist, and his short but rich life story was adapted into the well-received television series "Roseki." The Ministry of Culture continues to work with the Transitional Justice Promotion Committee and the National Human Rights Museum to preserve the historical truth of life under authoritarian rule, said the minister.

Lu Heruo was born in 1914 in Tanshi, Toyohara District (now Tanzi District, Taichung City), and became one of the most famous writers in Japanese-era Taiwan. In 1935, his article "The Oxcart" was published in The Literary Review in Tokyo. In 1944, he published "Clear Autumn," the only collection of short stories published by a Taiwanese author during Japanese rule. He traveled to Japan in 1940 to study vocal music, joining the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater. After returning to Taiwan, he joined the Kōnan Shimbun as a reporter and worked at Chang Wen-huan’s Taiwan Literature. In the meantime, he was assembling the Kōsei Theater Society.

"The Diary of Lu Heruo" covers the three years between 1942 and 1944 and is written in Japanese. In 2004, the NMTL published a Chinese-language translation of the diary, along with the manuscript. Over the past 70 years, family members have carefully kept this only copy of Lu's diary, remembering the departed through his diary during annual tomb sweepings for Qingming Festival. Finding it harder to preserve it, after discussions during this year's Qingming Festival, they agreed to donate the diary to the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature's collection, demonstrating that Lu's spirit of persistence has been passed down through generations. Now, even more people will be able to gain valuable insight into the past through this precious historical document.