Yesterday, Shanghai Daily reported that there were 155 historically significant homes in the city that are currently unprotected. These houses were previously used by Shanghai’s most influential politicians, industrial tycoons, scholars and such, but are now in a dilapidated state (though, luckily, not yet torn down). Interestingly, many Chinese newspapers printed out exactly which 155 homes these were, so I thought I’d document them.
I was curious to know more about these houses, where they are and who they contained. Perhaps if we all had an idea of the history behind some of these places, we’d better know which ones to vouch for. Below is all the information I could find. There are a couple of gaps, but hopefully someone who’s relying on more than just Google, Baidu and a cursory knowledge of famous Shanghainese will be able to fill them in later.
Since there’s a huge amount (more than I can go through in a day at least), I’ll focus on some districts a day for as long as it takes.
陶行知纪念馆 – The Taoxingzhi Memorial Hall at 558 Dahua No. 3 Lu: Tao Xingzhi was a prominent educator who studied at Columbia in New York before returning to Shanghai to champion progressive education, such as kindergartens. Shanghai Guide calls him one of the “greatest educationists, communists and patriots in modern China.” The museum was built for him in 1986.
陈化成纪念馆 – The Chen Huacheng Memorial Hall at 1 Youyi Lu: Chen Huacheng was a national hero from the Opium War era who guarded Wusong from the British. Despite being wounded in his upper body, he defended his fort until he finally died. The museum was built in 1991 as part of justifying renovations for an old Confucian temple.
沙汀旧居 – Sha Ting’s old residence on Lane 44, Qinguan Lu No. 13: Sha Ting was a Communist revolutionary writer known for his bitter satires during the rule of the Kuomintang.
Feminist hero Qiu Jin, from Wikipedia
秋瑾故居 – Qiu Jin’s ancient residence on Lane 1515, Sichuan Bei Lu No. 19: Qiu Jin was an anti-Qing Dynasty revolutionary and one of China’s first modern feminist icons. She sounds absolutely fascinating – her Wikipedia entry states that “She was known by her acquaintances for wearing Western male dress and for her left-wing ideology” and that a reason she joined the revolution was because she felt women would have a better chance under a Western-style government (fair enough). She was caught by officials and executed at 31.
周建人故居 – Zhou Jianren’s ancient residence on Lane 35 Hengbing Lu No. 10: Zhou Jianren was a revolutionary, social activist, biologist and women’s rights activist. He helped establish the Shanghai Association for Promoting Democracy and was the governor of Zhejiang Province after the war. He’s also the little brother of Lu Xun.
叶圣陶旧居 – Ye Shengtao’s old residence on 35 Hengbing Lu No. 11: Ye Shengtao was a prominent author, known for his children’s books, and one of the founders of the first literature association during the May Fourth Movement. Besides being an author, he was also a reporter and an educator, whose strongest advocation was “Literature is for Life.”
柔石旧居 – Rou Shi’s old residence on Lane 35 Hengbing Lu No. 25: Rou Shi was a young writer in the 1920s who came to Shanghai from Zhejiang and one of Shanghai academic great Lu Xun’s most famous students. His life was tragically cut short in 1931 after he was executed by the Kuomintang for writing “leftist” work – he and four others became known as the Five Martyrs. Apparently, the corner of Hengbing Lu and Qinguan Lu was just a hotbed for writers.
宋耀如故居 – Soong Yaoru’s ancient residence on 530 Yuhang Lu: Better known as Charlie Soong, he was the man who begot a giant fortune, fathered the three Soong sisters, and helped Sun Yatsen start his revolution. He lived here somewhere between moving to Shanghai from Hainan and building his more famous residence on Hengshan Lu (the one that’s now Sasha’s).
赵超构故居 – Zhao Chaogou’s old residence on 29 Liyang Lu Ruikang Li Zhao Chaogou was a famous Chinese journalist and author who also went by the psuedonym Lin Fang. He is best known for founding the Shanghai Xinmin Evening News, one of the oldest modern newspapers in the country.
吴昌硕故居 – Wu Changshuo’s ancient residence on Lane 457 Shanxi Bei Lu No. 12: Wu Changshuo is an artist associated with the Shanghai School of art. Besides painting and calligraphy, he also led a society of seal-carvers.
金子光晴寓所 – Kaneko Mitsuharu’s dwelling in Yuqing Fang: Kaneko Mitsuharu’s residence – Kaneko Mitsuharu was a Japanese bohemian poet who visited Shanghai three times in his life and wrote poetic verses about the city – most notably “Manchuria was where you went with your wife and children to plant pine and cedar, whereas Shanghai was where a loner went to drop out of sight of those he knew for a couple of years so the excitement he’d created might die down.” Heh.
土肥原贤二旧居 – Doihara Kenji’s old residence on 7 East Tiyunhui Lu: Sometimes known as “Lawrence of Manchuria,” Doihara Kenji was a general of the Imperial Japanese Army who was instrumental in the establishment of Manchuria. At the end of World War II, he was prosecuted for war crimes in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, found guilty and hanged in December 1948.
山上正义寓所 – Shanshang Zhengyi dwelling on 31 Bei Sichuan Lu: Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about this character. If anyone knows anything, please contact me and I’ll put it in.
周扬寓所 – Zhou Yang’s residence on Hengbing Lu in 德恩里??: Zhou Yang was a literary theorist, translator and activist – an all around academic. He served as a secretary of the Writer’s Union and was instrumental in writing for the Communist Party at the start. He opposed and suffered through the era of Jiang Qing and the Cultural Revolution, but was able to regain his status in the party after she left.
周立波寓所 – Zhou Libo’s residence on Hengbing Lu 德恩里??:
The Shanghainese stand-up comedian who was recently one of the judges on China’s Got Talent. Oops, shoulda figured, but I’ve been informed this is another Zhou Libo – a modern Chinese Communist writer.