Lu Xun (魯迅), 20th-century China’s most famous writer, spent the last nine years of his life in Shanghai (1927-1936). An avid reader of Japanese from his school years there at the start of the century, he soon befriended Uchiyama Kanzō (内山完造), owner of the largest Japanese bookstore in the city. Lu visited the store almost every day, and in times when Lu Xun’s life was in danger, Uchiyama protected him in numerous ways. This talk will discuss how the two men ended up in Shanghai, how their friendship was forged, and how they came to have such extraordinary mutual respect. There will also be musings on the meaning of genuine friendship in difficult times.
Joshua Fogel was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Berkeley, CA. He earned a B.A. at the University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. at Columbia University. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and York University, with visiting professorships at Kyoto University, Kansai University, and the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). His work primarily concerns the cultural and political interactions between China and Japan in recent centuries.