Hawks, and Eagles


        5: Golden Eagle                        6  Hawk on Pine under Fujisan


3:Taka:                                                     4:  Fish Eagle-Sold                                                      8: Snow Eagle             


A Japanese hanging scroll by SENREI OKUMURA
Painted in colour on paper with paper mount
Depicting a Kestrel type Hawk on the pine tree
Signed SENREI with his seals, (1883- )
Slightly soiled, a few small stain
Picture size 127cm x 33.5cm including box


2: The Eagle by Hu Ke Zhong  Sold. Information left on file as it is very interesting

This is a very special scroll painted by an outstanding Chinese artist. This is a very important Scroll.

Sold at an exhibition of his work in Japan in 1992. This was the last Hu Ke Zhong exhibition.


Eagle (t: 鷹: s: 鹰; pinyin: yīng) - strength This bird, as a Chinese symbol, reflects the strength of a person. Integrity, strength of will,


Research into this scroll was extensive and done by a well respected Chinese Scholar, Shu Zheng Hsu(Xu)
Painting and calligraphy: '1992 Hu Ke Zhong held personal exhibitions in Japan to great Local acclaim'

This news shows Hu Ke Zhong was member of the Literary and History Association(文史)

In the past, only older famous people could join such an association. Most of them were former members of Guomindang government.





From Mr Xu: We found  this link and called them. The director Mr.He, told us that

Hu Kezhong (Ke Zhong Hu) was indeed a very famous professor of Art in China but has been dead for many years. This was the artists last exhibition in Japan.

This scroll is an outstanding example of Chinese Scroll art at the very highest level and comes with the original artists signed box.

I have since found this extra information:

HU Cuizhong (1899-1974)
Seal prints: "Hu", "i HU CUIZHONG (1899-1974)  Description:signed and dated in Chinese, with a Chinese poem and seal of the artist.  Hu Cuizhong , born in 1899 in Jiangsu. In 1924 and graduated from Suzhou meizhuan. Study abroad after Japan, the Japan Art Institute engaged in research at the University. Former President of the art of Suzhou, Suzhou art and initiated the establishment of associations. After 1949, successive Suzhou meizhuan President and Professor, Jiangsu teachers ' College, Professor of Arts in East China, Xian metallurgy College of architecture, art director of the teaching of architecture. Publication of the Hu Cuizhong watercolor sets, etc. Hu Cuizhong, born in 1899, is a native of Suzhou, Jiang Su Province. He is well known for his watercolor. After graduating from Suzhou Fine Arts School in 1924, he went to Japan and studied in Japanese Art Institution. Hu was the chairman of Suzhou Artists Association. His publications included Hu Cuizhong’s Watercolor Collection, etc.

This scroll is an outstanding example of Chinese Scroll art at the very highest level and comes with the original artists signed box. Although sold I kept this wonderful description as  it was very interesting. Please read my friends autobiography at the foot of this page.

In Chinese Martial Arts, The Eagle Claw(grip)

Eagle Claw (Chinese: 鷹爪派; pinyin: yīng zhǎo pài) is a style of Chinese martial arts known for its gripping techniques, system of joint locks, takedowns, and pressure point strikes, which is representative of Chinese grappling known as Chin Na. The style is normally attributed to the famous patriotic Song Dynasty General Yue Fei. Popular legends states that he learned martial arts from a Shaolin Monk named Zhou Tong and later created Eagle Claw to help his armies combat the invading armies of the Jin Dynasty. It was passed down until the Ming Dynasty when the monk Lai Chin combined the style with another form of boxing called Fanzi. Thus, the style took on long range strikes and aerial jumps. During the Qing Dynasty, the military instructor Liu Shi Jun became known as the modern progenitor of Eagle Claw and taught many students. His student Liu Cheng You later taught Chen Zizheng who was invited to teach the style in the prestigious Chin Woo Athletic Association during the Republican era. The style spread as Chin Woo opened sister schools in other provinces. Today, it is practiced around the world.

Literary references to The Eagle:

Xi Chuan

Xi Chuan
(né Liu Jun)
b. 1963, Xuzhou, Jiangsu
Poet, essayist, playwright, professor
Xi Chuan studied in the English Department of Peking University from 1981 to 1985 and became a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in the 1990s. He began poetry writing in 1981 and very quickly established himself as one of the most important new poets in the 1980s. His early poems, such as ‘Gazing into the Starry Sky at Ha’ergai’ (Zai Ha’ergai yangwang xingkong, 1986), are short, lyrical and meditative, even sublime. They are concerned mainly with an almost cosmic correspondence between nature, the universe, history, tradition and the individual. In the spring of 1989, his poet-friend Haizi committed suicide, while his other poet-friend, Luo Yihe, died later that year. These events had a profound impact upon Xi Chuan, whose own poetry took a radically different turn in the 1990s. In works such as ‘Salute’ (Zhijing, 1992) and ‘Discourse of an Eagle’ (Ying de huayü, 1999), he experiments with various hybrid forms of prose and poetry to convey what he now calls a ‘pseudo-philosophy’ (wei zhexue), inquiring into the absurdities and previously overlooked dark shadows of history, human consciousness and reason.
Xi Chuan is the winner of many literary prizes. He has published four books of poetry and two books of essays and has been widely translated.
Van Crevel, Maghiel (1999). ‘Xi Chuan’s “Salute”: Avante-Garde Poetry in a Changing China’. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 11.2 (Fall): 107–49.
Xi, Chuan (2003). ‘What the Eagle Says’. Trans. Maghiel van Crevel. Seneca Review 33.2:28–41.


I envy the Eagle: A short biography of my friend ShuZheng Xu:, Poet, Scholar and teacher. Please read my friends autobiography at the foot of this page.




4: Fish Eagle diving into a wave. A superb painting full of energy. Restored mounts and original scroll wood ends. With box
£225 C1920 Sold

5: TAKA TO OIMATSU Stellars Eagle on old pine
£225. I really like this painting. A very powerful image of a raptor that has great presence. 19 inches wide by 64 inches long/ 48.24cm x 162.5cm reserved


The Steller's sea eagle is one the world's most spectacular looking birds. Black, except for white stripes on its tail legs and wings, it is slightly larger than the American bald eagle, with a wingspan of up three meters, a body length of one meter, and weighing between 5.5 and 9 kilograms. They often look bigger because they often fluff up their feathers for better insulation. Steller's sea eagle are named after George Steller, a German naturalist who explored the Kamchatka in the 1740s. They have been carefully studied by Russian biologist Alexander Ladygin.

Inhabiting the frigid coastal waters off of eastern Russia and Hokkaido, Japan, they gather in the winter at Nemuro Channel to feast on small fish known as o-washi in Japan, sometimes resting on platforms of sea ice. About 6,000 to 7,000 Stellers' Sea Eagles remain, with about 2,000 gathering to feed off the northeast coast Hokkaido in the winter. Many follow fishing boats or gather in the morning near fishermen to collect leftovers.

Hundreds of Steller's sea eagles gather at Lake Kurilskoye on the Kamchatka Peninsula of eastern Russia in the winter. They spend most of their time perched in the trees and come to life during the winter sockeye salmon run, the largest in Asia. Steller's sea eagles sometimes have such difficulty finding in food in winter they starve but those that gather around Lake Kurilskoye sometimes are so gorged with fish they can't fly and naturalist have caught them by hand. [Source: Klaus Nigge, National Geographic, March 1999]

Steller's sea eagle's nest only in eastern Russia, in remote places like the island of Bolshoy Shantar. Nigge wrote: "Each spring eagles return to the same nest with the same partner. Favorite branches on lookout trees—ones with the best views of their nest and fishing spots—are rubbed bare by sentry duty."

3: This fine Hawk Scroll was remounted recently. It comes with a new box and the original painting dates to the second part of the 19th Century £275

8: The painter of this scroll is by the artist Yusin. Painted in the 1920's, Yuson, also known as Yusin,  has captured the Hawk watching carefully for its dinner

53x27 inches / 136x69 cms  In its own box £225



6.Fuji san Landscape with Taka on Pines

A Hawk, Taka, sits on the top of her branch surveying the landscape for prey. A beautiful painting with the majestic Fuji san in the background.

Size: 80x22
 Painting signature says: Yasuyuki.

(This is possibly Suzuki Yasuyuki 1911-1980 )

However ithe brushwork and detail of composition is more in the style of another artist who also used the same name:Yokoo Hogetsu (1899-1990) Nihonbashi Signed and sealed Hogetsu Hanging scroll; ink, color on silk  signed, sealed and titled by the artist . Hogetsu was born in Hakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture. He studied Shijo- school painting first under Nishimura Sobun. In 1917 he moved to Tokyo to study beauty painting under Ikeda Terukata (1883-1921), a pupil of Kaburagi Kiyokata (1878-1972). Hogetsu participated in Teiten, Nitten and Shin-Nitten exhibitions. While mainly a painter of Japanese Ladies he also did other subjects occasionally. This seems to have a alternative name he must have used when painting other subjects (Yasuyuki)

In lovely condition with the original silk scroll mountings. With box £195








Taka oi Matsui. Hawk on Old Pine £155

21.5 inches x 71 inches

54.5cm x 180.2cm


Taka oi Matsui. Hawk on Old Pine

Bone Scroll ends, Jiku.

With a vintage silk covered box.£155


A fascinating biography
Please read the selection of Poems at the foot of this page in Chinese and English

I Envy the Eagle:

My brief autobiography
Written by Frank Xu ( Mr.Shu Zheng Hsu ), translated by Dr.Zhiqun Zhu,USA   

Frank Xu in his study

Please click images for a larger more detailed picture

On the desk in my study room sits a color photo of  SiPinBu (appliqué gown).  The original cloth, embroidered with five-color golden silk, was cut from my grandmother’s official clothes she wore during the Qing Dynasty.  With purple color as the background and wild geese standing on rocks in the sea, the gown was decorated with anagram lace and back-lined with blue silk fabric.  After over nine decades of wars and plundering, it was rediscovered, still shinning and full of life.


For generations my family had lived in downtown Wuxi City’s Chongning Road, where officials of previous dynasties gathered.  Big and prosperous families like Sun, Qin, Wang, Hou, and Xu had resided here from generation to generation; it had been a place full of culture.  In our house there was a brick arch carved with a series of scenes from ancient plays and dramas and the four seal characters of mountain, pool, lake and sea.  In a survey after the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), it was “discovered” to be the best architecture of the late Qing Dynasty on Chongning Road.  Upon learning this, professors and students from Shanghai Tongji University’s department of ancient architecture expressed strong interest.  It took them three days to set up stands and shoot a film about our house, the Bao Shan Hall.  Unfortunately the whole house was eventually pulled down and destroyed in the movement to renovate the old city in the 1990s.  It was in this big house full of inscribed boards that I grew up.   We lost nearly everything during the Cultural Revolution


                Part of the intricate carving at our old family home, Bao Shan Hall, on Wuxi City’s Chongning Road

According to the Xu family record maintained by the Family History Research Center at the Shanghai Library, our ancestors moved from Xi county in Anhui Province during the Kangxi years in Qing Dynasty.  Over the next 300 years, ours grew to be one of the best-known families of letters in Wuxi.

My grandfather Xu Zhanzhi was a top student of Wu Zhihui (Wu, a Kuomintang veteran, later became a senior statesman of the Republic of China).  At a young age, my grandfather followed Mr. Wu to Japan to study military affairs and graduated from Japan’s military academy.  Upon returning to China, my grandfather became a battalion commander at the age of 19.  He was promoted to level four in the administrative system, responsible for military affairs in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

All his life my grandfather followed Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.  During his study in Japan he joined the Resuscitate China Society, the Alliance Society, and the Recovery Society.  As a revolutionary, he joined the 72 martyrs in launching the 1911 Revolution.  When the revolution failed, he escaped to Shanghai and lived there until the Republic of China was founded.  Later he was appointed by Dr. Sun to be the police chief of Wuxi.  Soon, Dr. Sun lost in the power struggle and my grandfather gave up his office.  At the invitation of General Wu Peifu, my grandfather participated in the Northern Expedition government.  My grandfather was an honest, uncorrupted and devoted official.  At age 41 he suddenly died from stroke.  Losing his top student, Mr. Wu Zhihui was heart-broken.  He presided over the memorial ceremony of my grandfather.  At that time, my father was only 11.

My grandmother experienced a great deal in her life.  She lived in Wuxi’s Buddhism Society and studied Buddhism for a long time.  During the warring years and the eight years anti-Japanese war, my family could not make ends meet and had to sell some of the land properties.  My grandfather was a founding member of the China Kenye Bank and owned many stocks.  But in a  later lawsuit  my grandmother lost and had to mortgage all stocks.  Before escaping from the anti-Japanese war, my grandmother stored a dozen suitcases and a full house of mahogany furniture in an old friend Mrs. Qian’s house.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Qian’s house was burned down to ashes by the invading Japanese.  Recalling this, my grandmother was very open-minded.  “Our family belongings have gone with the wars, but the revolution is perhaps more worrisome,” said grandma.  She deplored that if my grandfather had not passed away early and if she had not lost all the stocks, life might have been very difficult for our family when the Communists came to power.

My father learned to do business after graduating from junior high school.  He taught himself while working.  Soon after the 1949 revolution, my father started to work at the Southern Jiangsu Grain Bureau in Nanjing, and our family moved from Wuxi to Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu province.  During the Cultural Revolution he was labeled as anti-revolutionary.  Since my father was born in an “official and land owner” family, even though he participated in the revolution before 1949, he became the target of every political campaign.  Most of his colleagues at the Grain Bureau were revolutionary veterans; my father was much younger and his family background made him vulnerable to every political movement.  He was imprisoned in 1952 during the so-called “Three Antis-Five Antis” movement.  Without a steady income, our life became extremely difficult.  My younger brother had to be adopted by another family soon after he was born.  Only several years ago, after countless efforts, was I able to finally find him.  He grew up in a poor family and suffered enormously and was not well-educated. 

My father could never forget the injustice imposed on him until he collapsed at the age of 77.  I told my father that even Liu Shaoqi, the country’s president, did not survive the Cultural Revolution, so he should be satisfied to live to see the rectification of the wrongdoings committed by the party in the past.  My father left me a paper bag after he died.  The bag was full of his letters of appeal for redressing the wrongs done to him.  I could not help crying as I read his letters.

My grandmother Madame Shao Yujin came from an aristocratic family of Changzhou near Wuxi, well conversant with the ancient Four Books and Five Classics ever since she was very young.  In my memory, my grandmother always enjoyed reading, with her golden-trimmed spectacles on.  She had great hope me on me as her eldest grandson.  She often kept me beside her, teaching me herself.  In the ultra-leftist years, she was a ready target for the revolution.

            The porch of the Doorway to our old family home

After I moved to Nanjing with my parents, I always returned to Wuxi every winter and summer break.  My grandmother and I would read in the study all day, sometimes forgetting to cook and eat.  I still clearly remember how she taught me the four tones in Chinese reading.  Her deep interest in classic Chinese and Buddhism influenced me as a young child.  She would tell me stories that she experienced during the Qing Dynasty; we would enjoy Pingtan opera “Yang Naiwu and Little Cabbage” together.  She would tell me that the story about Official Yang and Little Cabbage was real because she read the story from the “imperial paper” in Beijing at that time.  “Don’t tell others,” she would advise me each time. 

My eighty-year old grandmother passed away during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.  I was only 18 then.  Now after so many years, I can still see my grandmother walking with the help of her black stick.  I’m not a Buddhist, but every year I burn tin foil paper from Shanghai’s Town God Temple for my grandmother during the Chinese New Year and the winter solstice.  I’d rather believe that one’s spirit lives on after death.

In 1964 I was accepted by the renowned Nanjing Foreign Languages School (NFLS).  I resolved to follow the steps of my forefathers and to become literate in both Chinese and a foreign language.  The school’s general admission regulations clearly stated “our school trained advanced experts in translation and interpretation”.  At that time, foreign language education received utmost attention from the central government to provinces.  The training of foreign language students was based on foreign minister Chen Yi’s instruction that all students had to be both “red and expert”—politically reliable and professionally competent.  All of us benefited enormously from NFLS’s rigorous style of study and our teachers’ expertise and high moral standards.  

Unfortunately, the Cultural Revolution that started two years later dashed our hopes.  I spent the following seven years in the countryside during the 10 years of turmoil.  When I returned to Nanjing, I was almost 30 years old.  I spent the next 25 years working for import and export companies.  Though very busy, I kept in touch with the outside world and widened my horizon.

By 1988 I had worked for 12 years in the foreign trade business, mainly in charge of the export of stationery.  I attended the Guangzhou Trade Fair twice a year and traveled abroad every year.  My life was basically good.  However, I felt that the state-owned companies lacked vitality and prospect.  I had a sense of crisis.  In that year, Shenzhen and Hainan became front-runners in China’s economic reforms.  An old classmate of mine encouraged me to restart my career in Shenzhen.  I was persuaded by her and became the first person in Jiangsu’s import and export companies to request a change of job.  I waited for very long without any official document for my job change from Shenzhen.  Finally I was told that the Shenzhen Personnel Bureau delayed my application due to my lack of a college degree. 

               Doorway section to our old family home

In September 1988 a friend of mine introduced me to Kang Hua company in Shenzhen.  I was promised with the position of department manager, with a salary of 500 Yuan per month (my salary at the import and export company was only 70 Yuan).  There would also be a company car for picking me up for work and sending me home after work.  So I decided to join Kang Hua.

It was unforgettable how I left Nanjing.  On the day of my departure, my company was kind enough to dispatch a car to send me to the airport.  My flight was delayed from noon till midnight.  It was not a good omen.  As soon as I arrived at Kang Hua, I smelt something wrong.  Most of the people here were a law unto themsleves who used their privileges to fraudulently buy up commodities of limited supply and sell them for more profits.  When I arrived, Kang Hua was already under heavy pressure, including criticism by top leaders in Beijing.  The company had promised me that I would be handling import and export businesses, but there was already no business left.  I became a window dressing.  Having been busy and efficient all my life, I became frustratingly idle at Kang Hua.  They reneged on all their promises and only provided me with a basic fee for living.  If I had not experienced a stormy life during the Cultural Revolution and lived in the countryside, I would not have been able to bear it psychologically.

From a major employee at a large provincial-level foreign trade company to a person with nothing to do in Shenzhen, I felt greatly lost with a very dim view of the future.  The discrepancy was too huge.  One of my old customers in Hong Kong came to see me and asked me: why have you come to Kang Hua now?  Newspapers overseas had already reported that Kang Hua was a heavily corrupted company and was in deep trouble.

My God, but how could I know?  The story was not reported in mainland Chinese news.  The propaganda department of the provincial import-export bureau did have Hong Kong newspapers like Ta Kung Po and Wen Wei Po, but they were kept for “cadres” and not available to ordinary people.  I suddenly remembered that when I bade my farewell to an old friend who was the deputy director of the customs office, he told me with worry in his face that “Kang Hua seems to have some problems”.  At that time, we never heard that a state-owned company could go bankrupt.  I was not sensitive to politics.  I was more sympathetic with those new graduates from Fudan University and Beijing Foreign Studies University who joined Kang Hua at the same time. 

The June 4 students’ movement in 1989 actually started with a campaign against Kang Hua.  As soon as students’ demonstrations were crushed, President Jiang Zemin declared to disband Kang Hua.  But it did not matter much to most employees at Kang Hua since they had already made a big fortune over the years.  A colleague, who graduated from the Science and Technology University, and I had to look everywhere for an apartment to live and a job to do.  It was capitalist Shenzhen, nobody cared about you.

What was unforgettable was that an old friend from Beijing’s China Light Industry Import and Export General Company made a special trip to Shenzhen to see me.  He introduced me to Shenzhen Light Industry Import & Export Company, whose manager was surprised to see my certificate for conducting export business.  He said probably I was the only one in Shenzhen to have this nationally recognized certificate.  “Why didn’t you contact us earlier?” he exclaimed. 

I already had much trouble in Shenzhen and was frightened by the situation at Kang Hua.  So I agreed to go to Shenzhen Light Industry Import & Export Company.  But just a few days later, my old boss at Jiangsu Foreign Trade recalled me and asked me to resign from Shenzhen Light Industry Import & Export Company.  He said since Kang Hua would collapse soon, it would be easier for me to leave from there than from Shenzhen Light Industry Import & Export Company.  After careful thought, I realized that I still miss my old job in Nanjing and decided to return to Kang Hua to wait for official documents for my transfer back to Nanjing.  After several months no such official documents came.  I went back to Nanjing and asked why and learned that the director of the provincial economic and trade commission would not accept anybody returning from Shenzhen and Hainan.  But in Shenzhen, no company would accept you if they knew you worked for Kang Hua before.

While in Shenzhen, my friend introduced me to a person who had his own company.  As soon as I heard this person’s name, I realized he was the person who, reportedly, willingly returned to his remote hometown after college graduation and gave up good government-assigned jobs.  His story was boasted in many newspapers.  The guy told me that he was indeed this famous personality.  He promised me that if I worked for his company, he would give me 5% commission after each business transaction.  I gladly accepted his offer.  When they learned about it, my two colleagues who went to Shenzhen together with me asked, Frank, are you crazy?  This is Shenzhen, you got to find your own customers and your own factory.  You have to do everything by yourself here.  You are naive in that you did not even ask him for a loan to start your business.  Why would you work for him like this?  He is cheating you. 

It was not too late before I realized this.  My two colleagues spoke out from a sense of justice and asked the guy to pay me.  After some efforts, the guy eventually agreed to pay me.  But he did not even want to spend postal fees to pay me through telegraphic transfer and asked me to pick up the money myself.  This is not the worst case in Shenzhen or China today.  For money, anything can happen.

A friend in Spain learned about my difficulties and encouraged me to pursue my career overseas.  He helped complete all the procedures for me to study in Spain.  At that time, there were only just over 1,000 Chinese in Spain and most came from Qingtian in Zhejiang province in order to make a living there.  The initial evaluation by the Spanish Embassy in Beijing suggested that I was well-qualified and would have no problem in getting a visa.  But just after I submitted my visa application documents, an unexpected event happened.  It was said that a group of people from Zhejiang province used fake passports they purchased and flew to Madrid.  They were detained by airport security.  Mysteriously they all disappeared overnight and were believed to have been picked up by local Chinese gangs.  The next day the whole of Spain was enraged.  The Spanish King ordered that no visa would be issued to Chinese passport holders. 

I had prepared to go abroad and spent the whole year of 1990 for it, so I was very upset when I learned about the visa situation.  My former customers were all in Europe and America, but they were not willing to make business orders through Shenzhen since there was no supply in Shenzhen.  After the June 4 incident of 1989, the government tightened financial control and it became more difficult to export.  My mother, who was missing me, asked me to come back to Nanjing.  So I returned.  Through the introduction of friends, I entered another company.  Unfortunately, the boss of this company whom I had known before was, for some reason,  not prepared to let me do any import and export business although I was fully qualified to do so. I could never understand his reasons. I spent the next unhappy 10 years in the billing department of that company.  My foreign trade friends in Shanghai were surprised by this. Although I was  very capable and well qualified to handle more responsibility , I ended up doing billing for 10 years. The reason I stayed? I got married and had a child.  My mother had three strokes and my father also became seriously ill.  I simply could not leave anymore. 

I’m honest and straight-forward and long for freedom.  I was not happy at all in the past few decades with the many political campaigns in China.  Deng Xiaoping’s open door policy warmed me up gradually, but corruption in recent years disheartened me once again.  The worst side effect of over 20 years of reform was the much-hated rampant corruption.  In my last job , where I had worked for 10 years in foreign trade,  the manager of the company was a dictator who brazenly snatched public assets for himself and punished those who disagreed.  I was not so easily corrupted.  My unwillingness to drift with the tide determined that I would offend him sooner or later.  Eventually he forced me to retire and even terminated all my benefits and returned my stocks to me.  I suffered once again in the past few years.  I’ve learned to look on the bright side of things.  What else can I do?  After so many hardships I’ve truly had a taste of life.

Life is like a journey.  The path is long and full of obstacles.  Only by walking around and observing everything can one learn to navigate the path.  After all, I’m free now and can live without restraint 'I envy the eagle'.  They live on the cliffs of snow-covered high mountains, but they fly freely in the sky.  What kind of life they enjoy!

Today we are fortunate to live in anage of  information.  The world wide web has shrunk the globe into a small village.  Email mmessages can reach 10 thousand miles away instantly.  I was an English student and quickly learned how to use computer with the kind help of friends.  After a year or so, I started my own online export business, enjoying the benefits of high-tech and have my own web site.  Since 2003 my business started to improve on the right track.  I walked out of a low point in my life once again.  I’m middle-aged now and still have a long way ahead.  This is the right time for my career.  After so many stormy and turbulent seasons, the spring is still full of beauty and life.  The second spring of my life has approached.

Our efforts today are for a better life tomorrow.  I’m very glad that during my lifetime I can finally enjoy some freedom to do whatever I want to do now.  It was unimaginable before, and I’m glad that China has changed tremendously.  I work at home now.  My wife is an architecture designer and is very busy.  My son is twelve now and will graduate from primary school soon.  He is very intelligent and plays the piano very well.  My wife and son leave early in the morning and return home late every day.  I cook at home every day.  My classmates and friends often have get-togethers.  After work, I write poems and keep in touch with classmates and friends overseas.  I treasure their friendship. What makes me happy and what can make me cry are these faithful friends.  As well-educated people we all have the same flaw: we rely too much on the spiritual life.

I sit in front of my computer day and night and contact my friends at home and broad with email.  Gradually we formed a literary club.  My poems were written for myself, most of which are about my life in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.  I’m nostalgic, I miss friends and the past.  I believe my poems will be read by others, and that’s exactly the case.

There were over 20 million “educated youth” who went to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.  These people and their experiences had significant impact on Chinese society and even the world.  In places as far as North America, there are “educated youth” clubs.  Yes, we do have a special mentality as “educated youth”.  We write songs and poems about it in order to retain our good memory and sooth our injured hearts.  However, it is up to our generation to face reality boldly and confidently and pursue a better future.  Human beings cannot forget the past.  Every major historical topic should be written about.  This world is full of instabilities and wars, with human beings killing each other and destroying the nature.  The intellectuals are the conscience of their society and who must call upon their people to return to their spiritual home. 

My poems have frequently been recommended to the websites of newspapers and the sites of classical Chinese studies.  In January 2003 I was accepted as a member of the Nanjing Writers’ Association.  What I write in my poems is a true reflection of my feelings.  The Qing Dynasty poet Zhao Oubei once wrote: “Poets are fortunate while the country is not, since their poems become succinct and classic when they describe the turbulence.”  This is just like a precious pearl being extracted from a sick clam. I am now 57; I have accumulated too much in my mind about the disasters of our nation and our country

There is no limit to ones study.  I can not compare my work with the many scholars ahead of me in the study of Chinese classics but there must be grass within every ten steps.  I wish to get to know more colleagues in this area to exchange our ideas and to improve my own knowledge.  Both Chinese and foreign literatures are as rich as the ocean.  Like looking at a picture, only those who truly understand it can appreciate the whole piece, not just the surface or part of it.  What I like to pursue is more knowledge about arts and literature; what I want is to succeed in my contribution to society.  I am honored to become a member of the Writers’ Association which means that I can follow the steps of my predecessors and, in the process,  learn more.  This is indeed another starting point in my life.

Although I am already middle-aged I still have all the memories of those tumultuous years in my mind.  At my age I reflect on my past and hope that my son will quickly become experienced in his own life When he is old enough I want to tell him the history of our family and the different experiences of our two generations so that he can draw some lessons from the failure of generations before him and understand our society by himself.  He has to decide what to do for a better life.  However, he is still too young.  It is not a good idea to put all the weight of such a psychological burden on him at this young age.  Education is of utmost importance.  First he has to complete his Chinese education and lay a solid foundation in Chinese language and literature.  Then he can rely on himself to pursue advanced study in Europe or America.  That’s my hope.  As to what field he should specialize in, it all depends on his talents and interests.  Albert Einstein once said, “interest is the best teacher, it’s stronger than any sense of responsibility.”  Nothing is truer than this.  I want to tell my son that education is a life-long pursuit.  We must constantly improve ourselves to catch up with the time.

What kind of person would I wish my son be?  He must be psychologically healthy, physically fit, erudite and versatile, with an elegant temperament.  I hope my son has a loving and caring heart and shows his concern about everything around him.  History cannot be cut off, but our family history should not be a burden for the next generation.  Instead, it should be a driving force.  I hope my son can enjoy life after work, not like the two generations before him who lived so hard. 

I do not understand the current educational system.  Even we did not have to study so hard at such an early age.  My son is a class leader and a model student every semester.  He does his homework as soon as he gets home everyday, sometimes late into the evening.  He is only 12, but he has to work so hard, with no time for physical exercise.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  When can the Chinese catch up with Europeans or Americans physically? Its little different in many other cultures around the world today.

The history of a person or a nation is really like a river, with twists and turns, and waves and tides.  Sometimes it’s a personal choice; sometimes it’s fate.  I believe character determines fate and everything should go naturally.  My experience in the past decades taught me the ways of the world.  I enjoy helping others, especially those in trouble because I fully understand the quandary of no help and the subsequent loneliness.  I still remember when I was in a deep predicament in Shenzhen I found a book published in Taiwan, 'Luolan’s Casual Words.'  I did not have money to buy it and had to read it at the bookstand.  The words in the book were from those who had experienced all kinds of difficulties in their lives.  Their words gave me great encouragement.  Indeed, experience itself is a kind of wealth, it does not matter whether you have succeeded or whether you have failed. 


On My 57th Birthday

With a poem and a cup of black tea, I seldom celebrate my birthday. 

Looking back at a journey of 57 years, I find half in adverse state. 



 南京知青歌曲《蓝蓝的天上,白云在飞翔》,琴声激越,唱者声情 并茂。
  For My High Schoolmate, Dehui Wang in Shang Hai
       Among the flowers of peach and plume 
                               with you standing out alone
       In the poor village of Houbai
                               You sang with the sweetest tone

       Like busy swallows these
                               thirty years we are apart
       but still my soul remembers 
                               the voice that touched our hearts.

Wrote by Frank Xu,translation of poem by Dr.Jingmei Yuan,USA

英国学者,世界著名的盆景艺术大师克雷格(Mr.Craig Coussins)在他的网站


In the time of the so called Cultural Revolution, many students and schoolchildren
were sent away from their families , their homes and their education to work on the
land as peasants. They were sent to distant villages where they were not allowed to
 study or even mention former lives. Their days were hard, tilling the soil, working
under poor conditions in the dust or the mud. This was re-education for the body and
mind but perhaps not the soul. While they toiled they always tried to keep our minds
sane by remembering  loved ones and the precious times that were had with friends
at High School, university or professions. Some were broken though many did survived
these terrible times. Occasionally they travelled to other villages or towns to visit each
other. Recently, Frank wrote a poem  recalled for a visiting 36 years ago for his school
mates who were from  his High School and worked in a poor area called Houbai.
The students and children, the flowers of Chinese youth and the future of their country
were almost destroyed. They came back from a visit with that wonderful sound in their
hearts and held in their soul the few moments of joyful pleasure in an otherwise mental
landscape of grey.

Houbai is the name of a small town which placed in Jurong county, Jiangsu province.
 Wang de Hui and some of my old schoolmates settled down in this town to be the
 peasants for several years, I once visited them. During those days, Wang and her
 roommates sang some "educated youth songs" for me. In China, people call us young
 students which were sent to the countryside to be peasants as "educated youth". Some
 talent educated youth secretly wrote some songs for our rural lives, but these songs
could not be sung openly by us at that time the composers were soon put into the prison.
The most famous one of them is Mr.Ren Yi, who was forced to stay in prison for over ten years.

You see, it was very brave to sing such songs at that time.

When I visited my friend Dehui Wang, she sang for her visitors. Her voice gave us hope.
It was not always the words but the sound of her voice that gave us all hope. We were very
moved and I remembered the sweet tone of that beautiful voice so many years afterwards.
We could not simply forget our past as Dehui Wang had touched our souls.
Many of her schoolmates at The Foreign Language School of Nanjing miss her after such a long time.
My poem reaches out to, not only, to Dehui Wang but on behalf of all her friends and the other
"educated youths", the  talented students that suffered though this period.


Here are two of my poems one which has been translated by my classmate
Hans Qin when we studied in Nanjing Foreign Language School 40 years
ago and now lives in South Africa. The second is by my old student Dr. Zhi Qun Zhu (USA).


         无题   ― 答潘兄


      Morning at Zhuqiao Bridge

At the bridge on a late autumn day
The chill's pinch is coming  my way.
Still  I can bask in the warm sun,
where I indulge in a lot of  fun.

Catkin ceases dancing with the wind,
Its spring frolic of nymph and wench. 
But the chrysanthemums are golden yellow,
Erupt on both banks, reflected in the water mellow.

Remark: My house is nearby the famous ancient Zhuqiao Bridge.
Written by Frank Xu, translated by Hans Qin,South Africa




 Gone are the days we were toiling in the hay,
 yet in our hearts they stay
 Grey hair we've all grown, before we even know
 Stormy ups and downs have weathered us all
 Still, our mind is wide as a spring sky.


 Written by Frank Xu, translated by Dr.Zhiqun Zhu,USA



   Self Celebration of the 55th Birthday
Never celebrated by myself, birthdays come and go.
Over a cup of black tea, I'm writing this poem.
Half of those 55 years are filled with hardships.
It's a journey not travelled by many.

Written by Frank Xu, translated by Dr.Zhiqun Zhu,USA

The translator:
Dr. Zhiqun Zhu is a Professor of International Political Economy and Diplomacy at the
International College of the University of Bridgeport, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut,
one hour from New York City.  He teaches such courses as World Politics, International
Political Economy, Asia-Pacific Political Economy, US-China Relations, American
Government, and Chinese Political Economy.
 An authority on US-Asian relations, he has frequently been interviewed by the BBC, the
Associated Press, Bloomberg, CBS MarketWatch, VOA, and other international media
outlets.  His book on US-China relations is to be published by Routledge in London.  In
addition to teaching and reading, he likes to spend time with family, walk on the beach,
and travel.  He can be reached at