Course:ASIA351/2021/Xiao Jun

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Xiao Jun (萧军)
picture of the writer (if available)
Born July 3, 1907

Linghai, Liaoning, Qing China

Died June 22, 1988 (aged 80)

Beijing, China

Birth Name Liu Honglin (刘鸿霖)
Pen Name Sanlang (三郎)

Tian Jun (田军)

Occupation Writer
Education Primary school
Nationality Chinese
Spouse Wang Defen (王德芬)

(married 1934)

Partner Xiao Hong (萧红)


Daughter Bao Xudong(鲍旭东)


Period 1907 - 1988
Genre Novels

Xiao Jun (Chinese: 萧军/蕭軍; pinyin: Xiāo Jūn; 3 July, 1907 - 22 June, 1988), was a member of the Chinese Nationwide Federation of Literary and Arts (中国全国文联委员), the commissioner of the Chinese Writers Association (中国作家协会理事), and a writer from Linghai, Liaoning, China. His original name is Liu Honglin; former names Liu Yinfei (刘吟飞), Liu Yujie (刘羽捷), Liu Weitian (刘蔚天), and Liu Yuzhu (刘毓竹); pen names TuoYan Sanlang, Sanlang, and Tian Jun etc. He was a Chinese novelist, well-known for his anti-Japanese work Village in August (八月的乡村). He has a relationship with Xiao Hong, a famous female novelist in modern Chinese literature.


1907 :Xiao Jun was born in a poor family in Pan Gou village, Liaoning, He only received education up to primary school.

1925: Xiao Jun joined Northeast Military Academy (東北陸軍講武堂) and started his writing career in army.

1932: Xiao Jun met female writer Xiao Hong in Harbin[1].

1933: The couple co-authored and published Bashe (跋涉), a compilation of fictions and non-fictions work. Due to the anti-Japanese sentiments in the book, the book was banned by the Manchukuo government and they are forced to leave[1].

1934: They arrived in Qingdao in June and arrived in Shanghai in November. They become friends with Lu Xun and Xiao Jun worked as editors for magazines such as Haiyan (海燕) and Author (作家)[1].

1935: Xiao Jun completed and published his first novel Village in August (八月的村庄)[2].

1936: Xiao Hong went to Japan and the couple parted their way since then[1].

1940: Xiao Jun went to Yanan during Sino-Japanese War, worked as instructors for anti-Japanese associations and Lu Xun Arts Academy.

During his five years in Yan'an, he served as director of the Yan'an Branch of the China Nationwide Association for Resistance Against the Enemy in Literary and Art Field (中华全国文艺界抗敌协会), the director of Lu Xun Research Society, chief editor of Literature and Art Monthly (文艺月报), teacher of Lu Xun College of Arts and Literature, and participated in the Yan'an Forum on Literature and Art (延安文艺座谈会)[2].

After the anti-Japanese war, he worked for University of Dongbei and Culture Gazette (文化报).

1948: Attacked for “anti-Soviet Union, anti-Communism and anti-People” and was assigned to work in a mine in Fushun, Liaoning.

1950: Went to Beijing and started writing again[2].

His work after the founding of PRC includes Wuyue de kuangshan (五月的矿山, Mine in May) and Guoqu de shidai (过去的时代, The Times of Past).

During the Culture Revolution, he was labeled as a rightist and was imprisoned for 8 years. With the rehabilitation in 1979, he actively participate in literature work until died in 1988[2].

Literary career

In 1929, Xiao Jun wrote his first vernacular novel, Nuo... (懦......, Coward...) under the pen name TuoYan Sanlang. It was published in Shengjing Times of Shenyang on May 10, 1929. The novel angrily expose the warlords' cruelty to the soldiers.

In 1931, after the Mukden Incident, Xiao Jun officially began to engage in literary creation.

In October 1933, Xiao Jun and Qiao Yin (Xiao Hong) published the novel (a collection of essays) Bashe (跋涉, An Arduous Journey), including the collections of 6 novels Guchu (孤雏, Lonely Young), Zhuxin (烛心, Candlewick), Taose de xian (桃色的线, Peach Line), Zheshi changyou de shi (这是常有的事, This is a Usual Thing), Fengren (疯人, Madman), and Xia deng ren (下等人, Rabble) from the pen name Sanlang. [1]

The novel Village in August (八月的乡村) was completed in 1934. [2]

In June 1940, Xiao Jun went to Yan'an for the second time. Meanwhile, he continued to write the novel Di san dai (第三代, Third Generation). On October 19, he established the Monthly Meeting of Arts and Literature (文艺月会). [2]

In January 1941, Xiao Jun founded the periodical Literature and Art Monthly (文艺月报), which was edited by him, Ding Ling, Shu Qun and Liu Xuewei in turns. [2]

On May 2, 1942, Xiao Jun attended the Yan'an Forum on Literature and Art (延安文艺座谈会) in the auditorium of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee in Yangjialing, where Xiao Jun delivered a speech on My View on the Current Issues in Literature and Art (对于当前文艺诸问题的我见). [2] Kaifeng presided over the conference, and Chairman Mao gave the opening speech.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Xiao Jun continued to engage in literature and art research and creation work, and served as a consultant to the Beijing Opera Troupe of Fushun Mining Bureau. The Peking Opera King Wu's conquest over Yin (武王伐纣), the novel Wuyue de kuangshan (五月的矿山, Mine in May), and Guoqu de shidai (过去的时代, The Times of Past) were all his works during this period. During the Cultural Revolution, Xiao Jun was persecuted and imprisoned for eight years. After crushing the Gang of Four (四人帮), he returned to the literary world and collated more than 800 old poems.

In 1979, Xiao Jun attended the Fourth Congress of Chinese Literary and Artistic Workers and was elected as a member of the Chinese Nationwide Federation of Literary and Arts and the commissioner of the Chinese Writers Association.

Representative works

Works Genre Publish Time
Nuo... (懦......, Coward...) Vernacular novel 1929
Bashe (跋涉, An Arduous Journey) (wrote with Xiao Hong) Short stories and essays October, 1933
Village in August (八月的乡村) River novel July, 1935
Yang (羊, Sheep) Short story sections Janurary, 1936
Jiangshang (江上, Above the River) Short story sections August, 1936
Lvyedi gushi (绿叶底故事, The Story Under Green Leaves) Poems and essays December, 1936
Di san dai (第三代, Third Generation) (1 and 2) River novel December, 1937
Shiyue Shiwuri (十月十五日, October Fifteen) Novels and essays 1937
Juanjuan (涓涓, Trickling Sluggishly) Novelle September, 1937
Cemian (侧面, The Side) Reportage November, 1938
Cong linfen dao yanan (从临汾到延安, From Linfen to Yan'an) (The sequel of Cemian) Reportage 1941
Xin fu zhi jia (幸福之家, Happy Home) Four-act drama May, 1940
Wuyue de kuangshan (五月的矿山, Mine in May) River novel November, 1954
Guoqu de shidai (过去的时代, The Times of Past) (Part 1 and 2) River novel June, 1957
Wuyue chunqiu sjihua (吴越春秋史话, History of Spring and Autumn of Wuyue) (Part 1 and 2) River novel July, 1980
Wo de tongnian (我的童年, My Childhood) Autobiography 1982

(Works Reference [3])


Xiao Jun rose to prominence as an author of anti-Japanese literature and the left-wing Northeast Authors Group and thus his influence was significant for supporting Chinese literature at the time. From a personal perspective, both Xiao Jun and Ba Jin were disciples of Lu Xun, and sought to carry forward the sentiment of Lu Xun in their own works. He saw his association with Lu Xun to be the source of his own help towards others, for example when Qiu Ying needed assistance, he wrote to Xiao Jun who was working for Wen Hua Bao but not having met Xiao Jun in the past, and Xiao Jun happily supported Qiu Ying despite of his own problems at the time and continued to look after Qiu Ying. [4] Xiao Jun was also especially vocal with his own dreams for himself as aspirations of the author as well as what he saw the future of China to be. Notably, his obituary writes that he was one of the most important authors of China’s revolution where he may not have been the best in the world, or he may have had ideological flaws, but his own personality was something that could not be surpassed. [4]

Thus, from an ideological perspective, the contribution of Xiao Jun’s influence can be found to be rooted in anti-Japanese literature. The influence is two-pronged in that it is not only his work, but his work together with Xiao Hong that formulated a considerable component of anti-Japanese literature and spurring the Chinese revolution [5]. Fundamentally, Yang argues that both Xiao Hong and Xiao Jun came to define the ideology behind Dong Bei (东北) or the North Eastern region and their spirit in resisting Japanese imperialism [5]. Xiao Jun was not alone in this endeavor as he co-write literature with his then-wife Xiao Hong, who is another influential author at the time such as Bashe (跋涉, An Arduous Journey) anthology. His most significant work was Village in August (八月的乡村) and was translated subsequently translated into Russian, English, and Japanese where the attention that was garnered became a window to the life and struggles for those who resisted Japanese imperialism at the time [5]. Notably, the source of influence is from the gritty nature of this work that allowed it to create a sense of realism that appealed to the readers. Thus, one significant influence that can be highlighted is the translation and its spread in the United States. Zheng argues that the effects of the novel demonstrated three aspects of Chinese anti-Japanese struggles where it demonstrated Chinese resistance, the influence of such resistance on a global level, and the creation of round characters that appeals to the writer [6]. The influence of Xiao Jun’s work was not just limited to literature circle but played a critical role in advancing and rallying anti-Japanese sentiment and resisting Japanese imperialism.

(Note: Due to scant resources in English, most references and citations are from Chinese journals and sources).

Further reading

Lee, Leo. (1973). The Romantic Generation of Chinese Writers. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674492776.

Xiao, Jun. Xiao Jun yu Xiao Hong ; Xiao Jun yu Wang Defen. Di 1 ban., Hua shan wen yi chu ban she, 1993.

Li, Zhensheng. Wo shi Lu Xun de xue sheng : guan yu Xiao Jun . Di 1 ban., Beijing guang bo xue yuan chu ban she, 2000.

Zhang, Yumao. Xiao Jun zhuan . Di 1 ban., Chongqing chu ban she, 1992.

Xiao, Yun., and Jianzhong. Wang. Xie gei fu qin ai de ji yi : Xiao Jun zui hou de sui yue . Di 1 ban., Zhongguo shu dian, 2010.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Chronicle of Xiao Hong. Harbin, China: Publication of Harbin. 1991. pp. p1316-1388.CS1 maint: extra text (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Gao, Falin (29/May/2010). "Xiao Yan Talking about her father". Sina Blog. Retrieved 23/Mar/2021. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)

[1] Qingdao Xiao Jun Xiao Hong gu ju ai si liu xing. 2012. Xin Lang (Sina).

[2] Xiao Jun yu Yan'an Forum on Literature and Art. 2012. Guang Ming Net.

[3] Xiao Jun. 2012. Dong Bei Writers Net.

[4] Qiu Shi. (2014). Bajin and Xiao Jun Comparison. Journal of Liming Vocational University, 84(3).

[5] Yang Hong Cheng. (2016). A re-evaluation of Dong Bei in Chinese anti-Japanese literature. Nan Jing Shi Fan Da Xue.

[6] Zheng Chaoran. 2019. The spread of Xiaojun’s Village in August in the United States. International communications.

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