A Friend in Deed

Lu Xun, Uchiyama Kanzo, and the Intellectual World of Shanghai on the Eve of War

Joshua A. Fogel

Association for Asian Studies

A Friend in Deed

Pub Date: March 2019

ISBN: 9780924304880

122 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $16.00£13.99

A Friend in Deed

Lu Xun, Uchiyama Kanzo, and the Intellectual World of Shanghai on the Eve of War

Joshua A. Fogel

Association for Asian Studies

Lu Xun spent the last decade of his life in the turbulent world of Shanghai. Soon after arriving in 1927, he befriended Uchiyama Kanzō, owner of a bookstore specializing in Japanese writings. Their friendship and the mutual kindnesses (occasionally involving near-death experiences) form the core of this short volume. In part a meditation of what two people with such different backgrounds—one the most famous intellectual of his time, the other a merchant with a sixth-grade education from a country on the verge of launching total war against China—may speak to our own fractious times. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Sino-Japanese exchange, Joshua Fogel paints a captivating portrait of two men of very different temperament, background, and political outlook. We see their friendship in ordinary moments over a cup of Karigane tea, a specially-reserved rattan chair, and the efforts at mounting exhibits of woodblock prints but also in extraordinary moments when Uchiyama protected Lu Xun from GMD spies and Japanese military police in the tumultuous years before total war. Theirs was a remarkable friendship indeed.

About the Author

JOSHUA A. FOGEL was born in Brooklyn and raised in Berkeley. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago (BA 1972) and graduate work at Columbia University (PhD 1980). He has spent extended periods of research time in Japan over the last forty years. He has taught at Harvard University (1981–1988), the University of California, Santa Barbara (1989–2005), and is presently Canada Research Chair in modern Chinese studies at York University in Toronto. He has been a visiting professor at Kyoto University (1996–1997), the Institute of Advance Study in Princeton (2001–2003), Kansai University in Osaka (2008), and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2014, 2016). He is the author, editor, or translator of sixty books. His work has focused on the cultural relations between China and Japan historically.