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Maestro Series VII: Wu Zhuo-liu

  • Date:2018-11-23
Maestro Series VII: Wu Zhuo-liu

Xinpu’s celebration of their adopted literary hero


Wu Zhuo-liu (1900-1976, 吳濁流) was a Hakka author born in Xinpu Township, Hsinchu. However, Xihu Township in Miaoli could be considered to be the more important influence on his writing than his birthplace. For one thing, Xihu was Wu's home for the longest time in his nearly 80 years; for another, it was where he began his writing career in earnest.


Wu Zhuo-liu began reading and writing novels during his time as a teacher at the Wuhu School in Miaoli. His life in Xihu not only sowed the seeds of literature in his heart, but also saw him write novels like "Moon Water (水月)" and "Working Dog (功狗)," both of which profoundly reflected his dissatisfaction with Japanese colonial rule and paved the way for his more famous work "Orphan of Asia (亞細亞的孤兒)." Given all this, Xihu could be seen as not just a second home for Wu, but also the root of his literary accomplishments.


The Wu Zhuo-liu Literary Museum was completed in March 2003, a project conceived of by the Miaoli County Xihu Township Office to help "recreate the literary hometown of Wu Zhuo-liu" and provide a northern equivalent of Meinong's celebration of their hometown hero Chung Li-ho (鍾理和) in Kaohsiung.


The museum primarily focuses on relics of Wu's life, a collection of his works, and books that provide an introduction to Taiwanese literature, with a secondary focus on the other local artists of Miaoli. It also features a collection of antiques, including loan receipts from the Qing Dynasty and telegrams from the Japanese colonial era.


As a result, the museum gives visitors not only an insight into the life of the late writer, but also into life in Xihu more broadly under Japanese rule, along with a conduit for getting into the local culture.