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Wu Chuo-liu (Chinese: 吳濁流; pinyin: Wú Zhuóliú), born Wu Jiantian (吳建田) (28 June 1900, Xinpu, Hsinchu – 7 October 1976, Taipei?) was an influential Taiwanese journalist and novelist of Hakka ancestry.

Life and work


His family was long established in Xinpu and his grandfather, Wu Fangxin, was a well known traditional poet. He began with a standard Chinese education but, due to the Japanese occupation, most of his studies were conducted in the Japanese manner. In 1916, he was admitted to the "Taiwan Governor's Office Mandarin School" (臺灣總督府國語學校). He graduated in 1920 and became a teacher in the public schools.

After publishing an article called "School and Autonomy", he was labeled a radical by the Japanese government and transferred to a village school in Miaoli County. In 1927, he joined the Lishe Poetry Society, a group that would produce some of Taiwan's best known modern poets. Ten years later, he managed to secure an appointment as "Chief Disciplinarian" of the schools in Guanxi, but he resigned in 1940, following an incident in which the teachers were insulted by the Japanese authorities.

In 1941, he went to mainland China and served as a reporter for the New China News in Nanjing. He was able to return home in 1943 and took a position with the Taiwan Daily News. These experiences served as the inspiration for his most famous work, Orphan of Asia, a semi-autobiographical account of the experiences of a fictional protagonist named Hu Taiming (胡太明) during the course of the colonial period. This work, which highlighted the ambiguity and tension inherent in being Taiwanese, has since become a key text in the contentious subject of Taiwanese identity. He is also known for his autobiography The Fig Tree (無花果).

After the war, he continued his journalistic work at the People's Daily. He also served as director of the Datong Industrial-Vocational School. In 1964, he was one of the founders of the magazine Taiwan Literature and Art, which served as a starting point for many of Taiwan's young aspiring writers. The Wu Zhuoliu Literary Award was established in 1969.

He died in 1976, following a brief illness.

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